Set Sail with Dominion Seaside

Dominion Seaside card game

Best Dominion Expansion!

As you can see from many of our Top Game lists, we think Dominion is a fantastic card game. The Dominion card game that has taken the world by storm since it was published 5 years ago (2008), starting a whole new card game genre – Deck Building – and spawning many copy-cat games. Publishers everywhere have been trying to mimic the success of Dominion.

If you’re not yet familiar with Dominion, there’s no time like the present. Go check out our original Dominion video and written review to discover the basics of this super addicting game.

But we better warn you – Dominion is such an addicting game that if you pick up a copy, you better make plans now for picking up one of the Dominion expansions.

Dominion Seaside card game

Tons of variety in the cards.

It’s not that Dominion can’t be enjoyed with just the base game for years to come. In fact since you only play with a random selection of 10 of the different 25 “Kingdom Cards” each game, there is amazing variety every time you play. It’s just that the game is so fun to play that you’ll simply want more.

But then the all-important question is, “Which of the 7 expansions should we get?”

While it’s a tough choice between a couple of the expansions, our pick for the best expansion to get for Dominion is Dominion Seaside.


Why Dominion Seaside

Dominion Seaside is our top pick for Dominion expansions because of the amount of variety it adds coupled with a bit more strategic planning.

Dominion Seaside adds player mats, tokens, and 26 new Kingdom Cards!
That’s a lot to enhance your Dominion game with.

Dominion Seaside card game

Duration cards add more strategic planning options.

The best addition in Dominion is the introduction of Duration cards. In Dominion, players use the 5 cards in their hand to try to improve their deck and position in the game. They play an Action, Buy cards to add to their deck, and then Clean up and draw 5 cards to their hand to await their next turn. It’s all about what you have in your hand.

However, with the addition of Duration cards, what you do on one turn affects subsequent turns. We love that this adds in a bigger element of planning. Every card you buy in Dominion will affect what you can do in the future. But nothing is so direct as a card that gives abilities this turn as well as carry over to the very next turn.

The Duration cards are easy to identify because they’re all orange. Take a look at the photo to see the variety of abilities these Duration cards offer. One of my favorites is the Wharf – now and at the start of your next turn +2 Cards and +1 Buy. And at only a cost of 2, the Haven is pretty sweet too – giving you an extra Card and Action plus setting aside a card from your hand now to add to your hand next turn for 6 cards in hand.


What do Player Mats add?

There are 3 Player Mats in Dominion Seaside that are each only used if that particular Kingdom Card is part of the game. They are Island, Pirate Ship, and Native Village.

Dominion Seaside card game

3 Player Mats and Coin and Embargo tokens.

  • The Island is a place where you can place cards to get them out of your hand and deck until the end of the game. It’s a great card an associated mat because an Island card is also worth Victory points. Getting and playing an Island card lets you set those Victory points aside plus another card from your hand until the end of the game. That those cards don’t take up space in your deck while you’re playing. Cool stuff.
  • The Native Village is similar in the sense that you get to set cards aside during the game so they don’t take up precious space in your deck. The difference here however is two-fold. First you don’t know what you’re setting aside. When you play the Native Village card, you simply take the top card from your deck and place it face-down on the Native Village mat. But you have another choice as well. When you play the Native Village card you can alternatively take all the cards on your Native Village mat into your hand to play. You can look at the cards on your mats at any time so you will know what you’ve got stored up on that mat and how it will help you on later turns. Sweet!
  • The Pirate Ship is actually one of our favorite cards in Seaside. Pirate Ship is an Action card with that packs a wallop. It’s another card with a choice that brings great benefits. First you can choose to Attack all other players and they must reveal the top 2 cards of their deck. If one of those cards is a Treasure, they must Trash it. If both are Treasure cards, you choose which to Trash. Then if anyone has Trashed a card you get to take a Coin token and place it on your Pirate Ship mat.

Not only is this a great way to Trash other players Treasure cards so they can’t buy as much stuff, but you also get to amass coin on your Pirate Ship mat. Because the other option you have when you play a Pirate Ship card is to use the Coin on your mat to add to Treasure in your hand for that turn. So once you’ve trashed other players Treasure cards a few times you’ll have a nice stash to use every time you play that card again. Get 4 or 5 coin on your Pirate Ship mat and you’ll be buying up Victory cards to seal the deal. Needless to say, when Pirate Ship is in play, you’ll see everyone going after it.


More Great Kingdom Cards

Dominion Seaside card game

Only downside – the art on the Navigator doesn’t seem to match the cool style of the rest of the cards.

It’s hard not to go through all 26 new Kingdom Cards to tell you about how cool they all are. But we must restrain ourselves. We’ve already mentioned a few of our favorites, but here are just a few more that we really like.

Ghost Ship – It’s similar to the Militia in the base game but instead of other players discarding down to 3 cards in hand, they put 2 cards from their hand back on their deck. So they’re still down to 3 cards in hand but have to draw those 2 cards back again as part of their next 5. In addition, the player who plays the Ghost Ships gets to draw 2 additional cards into their own hand. Love that attack.

Sea Hag – Is another fun Attack card. Each player discards the top card of their deck and then gains a Curse card and places that on the top of their deck. Ouch.

Smugglers – Lets a player gain a card that the person just before then gained on their turn (costing up to 6). It comes in very handy when the player just before you buys a Duchy (victory card). Play your Smuggler and gain a Duchy for free. Love it.

We could go on and on, but suffice it to say that the cards in Dominion Seaside add a ton of twist and turns and abilities that let you affect other players and subsequent turns tremendously.

Keep in mind that Dominion Seaside is purely an expansion to Dominion. It doesn’t come with any of the basic cards that you need to play (Treasure, Victory, Curse). However, the first Dominion expansion released – Dominion Intrigue – does include a set of basic cards as well. So if you’re just starting out with Dominion you have a choice in base games to start with. You could start with Dominion or Dominion Intrigue.

Just remember that you’ll soon be wanting more…

Dominion Games:

And if you’re looking for a Dominion expansion, grab Dominion Seaside right away!

Interested in what others think of Dominion Seaside?
Check out these other opinions:
* Play Board Games Dominion Seaside review
* iSlaytheDragon review of Dominion Seaside


Comments: 4

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Besides the expansions, don’t forget the promo cards from the BGG store 🙂

My personal favorite expansion has been Dark Ages. There’s just something that makes me happy about seeing a trash pile much bigger than anyone’s deck. The starting shelters instead of estates are cool too.




I’m still waiting for someone to play with!




[…] another opinion? Check out the Dominion: Seaside review on The Board Game Family or Play Board Games’ Dominion: Seaside […]




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