Rules of Domination

The rules of play for Domination are simple to learn; but to win, you must consider each move very carefully while paying close attention to your opponents.

I. Game Set Up

There are several options to customize your game of Domination:


In the Map Store are a selection of different maps to choose from to make the game more interesting or challenging. You can even design your own maps!


You can also choose from different decks of cards.

Game Type

1. In "Domination", you must occupy all countries on the map, and thereby eliminate all opponents. These can be long, drawn out games.

2. In "Capital", each player has a country they have selected as a Capital. To win the game, you must occupy all Capitals.

3. In "Mission", each player draws a random mission. The first to complete their mission wins. Missions may include the elimination of a certain colour, occupation of a particular continent, or a mix of both. You may continue on to “Dominationafter completing your mission.

Cards Options

See "Trade Cards" below for how to match cards.

1. With "Increasing", each set of cards traded in by any player increases the number of armies received. The first set gives 4 armies, the second set 6 armies, then 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, and so on in 5 army increments. Note that there is no limit!

2. With "Fixed", each set of cards traded in has a fixed value depending on the set traded:

a. All Infantry - 4 armies

b. All Cavalry - 6 armies

c. All Cannon - 8 armies

d. One of each - 10 armies

e. All wildcards - 12 armies

3. With "Italian", values are also fixed but on a different scale, and there is no limit to the number of cards you can hold:

a. All Cannon - 4 armies

b. All Infantry - 6 armies

c. All Cavalry - 8 armies

d. One of each - 10 armies

e. Two the same with a wildcard - 12 armies

NOTE: "Italian" rules also adds a third dice for the defence. This can change the entire flow of the game!

Auto Place All

At game set up, the computer will automatically place your armies for you.

Recycle Cards

Once all cards are handed out, the deck is recycled. Uncheck to stop card issue when the deck is finished.

Players / AI

Select Difficulty, colours, and any human players.

II. Gameplay

Start of Game

The player order is randomized, and board set up depends on the game type.

1. Domination and Capital Mode - The number of armies each player starts with depends on the number of players:

a. 6 players - 20 armies each

b. 5 players - 25 armies each

c. 4 players - 30 armies each

d. 3 players - 35 armies each

e. 2 players - 40 armies each

Each player places one army down on an unoccupied country in turn until all countries are occupied. Then the remainder of the armies are placed, one at a time, in countries occupied by the player to create the starting condition. In Capital mode each player also select a country they occupy as their Capital.

2. Mission Mode - starting countries are randomly assigned. Players then place the remainder of their armies.


In each turn, a player may trade in cards, place new armies, attack, then reinforce.

1. Trade In Cards - ONE random game card is collected at the end of each turn that a player has captured at least one country. Cards can be traded in when a set of three has been collected:

a. Three Infantry cards,

b. Three Cavalry cards,

c. Three Cannon cards,

d. One of each, or

e. Any of the above substituted with a wildcard.

The number of armies you receive on trade in depends on the rules you selected (see Set Up above), and possibly how many players before you have traded in cards. You will also receive 2 extra armies if you occupy one or more of the countries shown on the cards you traded in. These 2 extra armies will automatically be placed on the country shown.

NOTES on Trading:

a. When you eliminate an opponent, you receive all their cards. If you have more than 5 cards, you MUST trade in sets immediately to reduce your number of cards below 5.

b. If you start the turn with 5 or more cards, you MUST trade a set in.

c. The above does not apply in Italian mode where there is no limit to the number of cards you can hold.

2. Place New Armies - At the beginning of each turn, every player receives some amount of new armies to place and enter the game with. The number of new armies received depends on the number of countries occupied by that player by the formula:

# of new armies = number of countries occupied / 3 (fractions ignored)

For example: 11 countries = 3 armies, 19 countries = 6 armies. Players will receive a minimum of 3 armies each turn.

If any complete continents are held at the beginning of their turn, the armies generated vary depending on the continent held. See the details of each map for the values of their continents. For example, on the standard map:

a. North America – 5 armies

b. South America – 2 armies

c. Europe – 5 armies

d. Africa – 3 armies

e. Asia – 7 armies

f. Australia – 2 armies

New armies, along with any gained from cards traded, can be placed on any country that you occupy - there is no limit to the number of armies each country can hold.

3. Attack - In order to conquer any new countries in Domination, you must attack:

a. You can only attack countries adjacent to you, or which have a marked path of travel.

b. You must have at least 2 armies in the country you are attacking from - at least one army must stay behind to defend.

You may attack with only a maximum of 3 armies at once, each one receiving a dice roll. You may deselect a die if you wish to roll with less - for example if you want to move fewer than 3 armies into the defending country.

The defender will defend with only a maximum of 2 armies at once, each also receiving a dice roll. The "Auto-Defend" option ensures you automatically roll 2 dice when you can (there isn't really any reason to roll 1 die when defending).

NOTE: In Italian mode, up to 3 dice may be rolled when defending!

The dice are compared, with the attacker's highest die matched with the defender's highest die, and so on. If the attacker's number is higher than the defenders, the defending army is lost. If the attacker's number is the same or lower than the defender's, the attacker's army is lost. Some examples:

a. Attacker: 5, 5, 4. Defender 6, 4

In this example, each loses one army as the Defender's 6 beats the Attacker's first 5, but the Attacker's second 5 beats the Defender's 4.

b. Attacker: 3, 2, 1. Defender: 2, 1

The Defender loses two armies (3 beats 2, 2 beats 1)

c. Attacker: 6, 5, 2. Defender: 6, 5

The Attacker loses two armies (6 and 5 both tie)

The Attacker can choose to continue attacking or retreat at any time and continue attacks elsewhere, even from different countries. The Attacker may also choose "Annihilate" which will automatically roll the dice continually until one side loses all armies in the battle.

When a country is conquered by the Attacker, it must be occupied by at least the armies as attacked it (1, 2, or 3), or up to all armies but one from the attacking country. Use the slider to select how many armies to move or simply "Move All".

NOTE: in order to attack with 3 armies, your country must have at least 4 armies (1 must stay behind and occupy the country).

4. Reinforce - at the end of your turn, you may move as many armies as you like from one country to an adjacent one. However, you may only make one move.

This cycle of turns passes through the player order until the game ends.

End of Game

The game ends when the game type objective has been achieved and a player has won. In “Capitaland “Missionmodes, you may continue playing until the game ends in “Domination.

III. Strategy Tips

1. "Overwhelming Force" isn't just a Desert Storm catch phrase, it works. Keep your armies concentrated and focussed.

2. Take and hold easily defended continents

3. Try not to attack yourself into a corner - plan ahead for where your army is going to end up

4. Odds favour an attack with 3 dice when defending with 2 or attacking with 2 dice when defending with 1.

by Conway Hui,