This Strategy-Note article was written by openCards user Dukat and was published first on "The Continuing Committee (trekcc.org)" at Jan 18th, 2012.
This article is part of the article serie "Dominion Basics" from "Dukat (Andreas Rheinländer)". Also see:
- Next "Dominion Basics" (# 2): "Dominion Basics (Part 2 of 5): Play and Draw Engines".
This article represents the first in a series of 8 to make all my knowledge and experience accessible to anyone so they can have as much fun as I have playing the Dominion over the past few years – one of the most complex but interesting affiliations. Each article will cover a specific topic.
The first 5 articles (which include this one) are to be considered basic introductions to elementary aspects unique to the Dominion, like draw engines, play engines and mission solving. The others will cover topics that I consider advanced.
Everyone who has a question may contact me via private message over the forums. I will gladly answer any question.
Some people may ask why anyone should write 8 articles about a single affiliation. Well, first of all, I consider the Dominion one of the most complex affiliations (right after the Borg) due to their unique characteristics as well as their diverse strengths and weaknesses (which do not balance each other out). To begin with, let's have a look at the basic aspects. (Don't worry: all of them will be explained more fully in later articles).
- in theory, the Dominion can play an unlimited number of personnel cards for free (universal Jem'Hadar and Founders)
- they can seed a universal mission that cannot be stolen (Construct Depot)
- Jem'Hadar have very high printed attributes (an average of 7 Integrity, 8 Cunning and 9 to 10 Strength)
- the ability to solve any planet mission (and profit from special game texts) whilst ignoring those missions' requirements and overwriting them using Subjugate Planet
- equipment plays for free at Remote Supply Depot (which can be built in any quadrant)
- universal Jem'Hadar can report in any quadrant (using Young Jem'Hadar who can report in any quadrant using Jem'Hadar Birthing Chamber)
- any number of non-weapon equipment cards can be seeded (using Primary Supply Depot which, contrary to any other facility, can be seeded more than once)
- equipment can be protected from Disruptor Overload using Gurak Urak
- a special way of slowing down any non-Jem'Hadar deck (Friction)
In addition to that, the Founders are perfectly suited for infiltration and Jem'Hadar personnel have no problem with SECURITY and space mission-related skills (Navigation, Physics, Astrophysics and so on). All of this sounds good, at first. However, anyone will quickly realise there is a price tag attached.
- Jem'Hadar depend on Ketracel-White – if a player uses White Deprivation, any Jem'Hadar not equipped with a supply of White will attack any personnel present
The entire Dominion personnel selection represents a strict hierarchy:
- the Jem'Hadar (due to their lack of interest in politics and inter-species relations) have no Diplomacy, no Law and no MEDICAL. Only one Jem'Hadar has SCIENCE; in addition to that, only one First Edition Jem'Hadar has Biology (some universal backwards-compatible Jem'Hadar have Biology)
- no Dominion-affiliation Vorta has Honor (and all of them have low Integrity and Strength and only one does not have Treachery) and no Vorta plays for free; however they are vital for rationing Ketracel-White
- no Founder has Honor; all Founders have Integrity lower than 5
- each of those parties (when played without the others) always has a massive lack of certain skills
In addition to that, when it comes to mission solving, the Dominion mostly have to rely on non-Gamma Quadrant missions (whilst virtually all Dominion personnel are native to the Gamma Quadrant):
- there is no Gamma Quadrant Dominion space mission (yet)
- Gamma Quadrant missions have a very high span
- most Gamma Quadrant missions are very hard to solve for the Dominion
Now, when comparing those two sets of characteristics, one could think they cannot be equalized with each other – and that is what makes the Dominion hard to play, sometimes. However, once one has found out how to embrace their strengths and how to attenuate the results of their weaknesses, it is not only fun to play the Dominion, but a solid Dominion deck can actually be competitive in many ways (and even beat solid advanced Delta decks).
This article series will describe how to do so – in the hope that more Dominion decks will appear in the future on tables, at tournaments and maybe even at Worlds some day.