Dominion: Cornucopia - Board Game Box Shot

Dominion: Cornucopia

| Published: 2011
Expansion for Dominion, Dominion: Intrigue
Dominion Cornucopia title
image © Rio Grande Games

Autumn. It seemed like the summer would never end, but that fortune teller was right. It's over. Autumn, the time of the harvest. Agriculture has advanced significantly in recent years, ever since the discovery of the maxim, "leaves of three, let it be." Autumn, a time of celebration. The peasants have spent a hard week scything hay in the fields, but tonight the festivities begin, starting with a sumptuous banquet of roast hay. Then, the annual nose-stealing competition. Then you have two jesters, one who always lies, one who always tells the truth, both hilariously. This celebration will truly have something for everyone.

This is the 5th addition to the game of Dominion. It adds 13 new Kingdom cards to Dominion, plus 5 unique cards. The central theme is variety; there are cards that reward you for having a variety of cards in your deck, in your hand, and in play, as well cards that help you get that variety.

You will need Dominion, or Dominion: Intrigue to play this game.

User Reviews (7)

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8
I play blue
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USA
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9
20 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“What cornucopias of praise, praises springing from the city like grass from the earth”

What Is It About? – An Overview of the Expansion
The fifth Dominion expansion, Cornucopia reaps a bounty of cards. The focus of this set is to have a wide variety of cards. A new card type is also introduced: the Prize card.

What Do I Get? – The Components in the Box
Alternating back to the smaller expansion box, 150 cards are included, offering only 13 Kingdom cards but no new Supply cards. As a dependent expansion, it will need the basic cards (Victory, Coins, Curses, and Trash) of a base set.

What Does it Add? – Impacts to the Base Game
The main theme is to get as many different cards as you can. Up to this point, efficient decks consisted of only a couple of different cards and only focusing on enough copies of those cards to make your engine run. With Cornucopia, you are rewarded for variety: extra VPs at the end of the game, drawing more cards, and earning more Coins for Buys.

The new card type is Prizes and is linked to the specific Kingdom card Tournament. This is a set of 5 unique cards that are not a part of the Supply. They cost 0-Coin for cards that care about cost but cannot be purchased or gained in any way except through successfully “jousting.” Prizes are added to the top of your deck when gained and have a second card type so they can be played as Actions, Treasure, or Attack cards, as listed on each.

As always, the set is balanced out with a few new Attack cards, and one each of a Reaction, Treasure, and Victory cards. Revealing and discarding play a role in this set. As with Prosperity, there is a cycling of the cards, offsetting some of the inefficiency of the bloated deck.

What Is the Target Audience? – Who Should Get This
This is a set designed specifically for those that like to sample all that the Kingdom has to offer. These players like to look at how much Coin they generated and buy something unique in their cost range, not necessarily having a long-term engine planned out.

Those that like lean decks won’t be impressed with the overall set though may find certain cards suit their tastes. Those that really like the big money strategy will most likely pass up most of the cards here.

As with Prosperity, I would caution including it in games with new players. While nothing is terribly difficult to grasp in this set, it may reinforce loose discipline in deck-building and set them up for big losses in non-Cornucopia games.

What Do I Think? – Final Thoughts
I really enjoy this set and would almost call it a “must buy” expansion. My only hesitation is that it can be contrary to a lot of people’s play style in that you get your most mileage by traveling far and wide with the cards you pick up.

I really enjoy specific cards from this set, my favorite being Hunting Party which allows you to draw two cards, one of which will be unique to your hand. This can be a great way to cycle through your deck when you have an Estate or Copper in hand already.

Young Witch, while not a terribly interesting card on its own, impacts the game in a subtle way. It adds a cheap (2- or 3-Coin cost) Kingdom card to the mix bringing the total number of sets to 11 (instead of 10). This can impact cards that are looking for more Victory cards, for example, increasing the chances those will be in play. It also gets a cheap card on the table for the early game.

I absolutely adore the Prize concept and train hard to get as many prizes as I can, usually at the cost of the victory! These cards are only in play with Tournament. You must have that card in play and a Province in hand to gain one Prize. If no other player can “joust” with you (by revealing a Province in their hand), you’ll be able to draw and play this card this turn as well. It really is an interesting mechanic that breaks from the long established play in Dominion.

The disadvantage with the smaller boxes is that they must be mixed with other sets. Having only 13 Kingdom cards, in all-Cornucopia games (something I play on my Android), the variety is a bit limiting. But this set seems to mix well with Prosperity and should be considered as a joint purchase.

In the greater hierarchy, I would place this fourth of all expansions (Just ahead of Intrigue and just behind Seaside). I am that player that enjoys sampling all the Kingdom cards and trying to find new combos as opposed to making super-efficient decks. Given that the expansion is so small, it drops behind most of the larger expansions.

What Else? – Other Expansion Reviews
Dominion (base game)
Intrigue
Seaside
Alchemy
Prosperity

 
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2
Noble
10
37 of 40 gamers found this helpful
“Changing Playstyles”

The game gets its name from having cards that reward players for having the maximum variety of cards in their deck, a Cornucopia! Unlike previous expansions, this can change the fundamental strategy that players would employ.

Up until this expansion, the basic strategy for Dominion (including other expansions) is to find a few Kingdom cards in the current array that work well together and stack your deck with them. Cornucopia instead asks players to gain as wide a variety of Kingdom cards as they can, with benefits for doing say ranging from more actions during your turn to more victory points at the end of the game.

I quite enjoyed seeing this new mechanic, it allows for even more variety in play styles. One of the reasons I love Dominion so much is that you can win in any number of different ways, and Cornucopia simply adds another way to win without detracting from other strategies.

 
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7
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I'm Completely Obsessed
9
27 of 31 gamers found this helpful
“An excellent expansion that creates new play styles!”

While I usually play Dominion with a small, streamlined deck, I have played against many people who want to pack all the cards they can into their deck until they can bridge while shuffling. For all those people, Cornucopia has arrived!

This expansion is focused around having a lot of different cards in your deck, giving you benefits for variety. And while that seems clunky, it adds mechanics that still allow you to get to the cards you need to keep buying Provinces and win.

The game changer in this set seems to be the Tournament. If it happens to be in, expect it to be the first stack of cards emptied. While tournaments are more of a long term strategy, the card itself is worthwhile and the eventual rewards are fantastic.

Even though this is not the right expansion for me, the mechanics they add to the game are impressive. I’d rate it right below Seaside and Prosperity!

 
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Amateur Grader
8
27 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Still good, but not necessary”

Dominion expansions seem to come out faster than I have time to play enough to get familiar with all the cards. Since I still had only been able to play Prosperty a handful of times, I was not planning on buying this expansion, but a friend bought it so we were able to play.

My takeaway is that, like most Dominion sets, we had a lot of fun seeing the new cards and figuring out how to use them in an optimal way. The theme of rewarding variety is an interesting new spin, and creates another slightly different path to victory, which is always nice. However, my feeling is that this expansion is by no means necessary to get, mainly for the reason that this is only a half- or mini-expansion, with only 13 new cards, but at 2/3 the price point of the full sets. There is no real game-changer like we got with Prosperity.

For those who have played out all the other sets, these new cards will of course inject some new replayability into the older cards. But for those who don’t play this game enough to have seen all the cards many times over, feel free to save your money and just continue to enjoy the older sets.

 
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5
Critic - Level 4
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BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
8
25 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Variety is the Spice of a Horn of Plenty”

Cornucopia is the fifth expansion for Dominion, and the second small-box expansion after Alchemy. It’s a little more difficult to put a solid finger on this set than others, because the variety of the cards is so wide. But then, that’s what this set brings to the game: it has variety, and while there are many cards in Dominion that reward you for having certain types of cards in your deck, Cornucopia rewards players for building a deck with a lot of variety.

As mentioned before, this 13-card set has a little of everything: a new defense card, a new treasure card, a new victory card, three new attack cards, and the buzz of this set is the card that uses extra components: tournament. A lot of effects have the condition of holding one specific type of card, or for having as many different types (or just different cards) as possible. These kind of effects can have players scrambling all over the table for the cards they need to trigger these powers.

The production value on this set is the same as the ones that came before; still no awesome Thunderstone-style storage solution. The changes to gameplay are not such that it demands to be included in the way Prosperity or Seaside might be, but it is the kind of set when one or two sneak into a random setup, you say oh cool! that will totally make a good combo with this other card!

This is not a set I would recommend getting ahead of most of the full-size expansions but for players gathering a good collection of cards to use in their games, it is a great complement to the other sets.

 
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Marquis / Marchioness
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9
24 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Another great Domininon Expansion”

Cornucopia is as of this post the latest (but certainly not the last) Dominion expansion. It definitely pushes there being too many Dominion expansions out. But the cards are really fun and very different from previous expansions out there.

One of the most notable cards added is Tournament. This card makes you want to have Provinces in your hand when you play it, as it allows you to acquire one of five new unqiue cards in the game. Even when you don’t have Provinces in your hand, it gives you added benefit when your opponents do not have it in their hand, so it’s still a good early-game buy as well. This is just one of the many fun additions from this expansion.

If you already have the other expansions, I don’t think this is necessary, but if you don’t have many yet, this is one of the funner ones. I think I would recommend it over Alchemy just because it’s more usable with other expansions/base sets than Alchemy is.

 
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Novice Reviewer
9
7 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“I'm hooked”

I’m a completist when it comes to Dominion–I have all the expansions, including the overpriced single cards from BGG. This is a great one. Alchemy was so-so, but this one, Prosperity, and Intrique are all must haves.

 

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