Thrift Treasure: Domination

Thrift Treasure: Domination

Can I tout how much I enjoy abstract games again? In the 70’s and 80’s there seemed to be a new one coming out almost weekly, and now we’re happy to be finding them at our local thrift stores and Goodwill. I was extra excited to find a copy of Domination by Milton Bradley recently, not only because it is a really well-done game, but because even though it was issued in 1972, this copy had never been played.

We're always excited to find new abstract games for our collection. This copy of Domination by Milton Bradley hadn't been played in 30+ years! - SahmReviews.com

Even the box showed very little wear, but the tell-tale thing that made us realized no one had tried it was the sheet of stickers. I mean, when you open something and see that there are stickers to apply, what’s the first thing you do? Apply them! Our copy of Domination still had its original sticker sheet, shiny and perfect as the day it was printed. Obviously the previous owner hadn’t given the game a chance.

Domination is much like a 4-player version of checkers. Originally named “Focus” and first issued in 1963, our version was renamed to Domination by Milton Bradley when they introduced it to the United States in 1982. Considering its rather long international success, we’re surprised to learn it hasn’t been issued in any form since 1997 in Europe.

We're always excited to find new abstract games for our collection. This copy of Domination by Milton Bradley hadn't been played in 30+ years! - SahmReviews.com

Depending on the number of players playing (2-4), there are rules on how to set up the board. Your goal is to ultimately control all the pieces on the board or push your opponent into not being able to move at all.

We're always excited to find new abstract games for our collection. This copy of Domination by Milton Bradley hadn't been played in 30+ years! - SahmReviews.com

On your turn you will get to do one of the following moves. Either make a single move by moving one of your color pieces one space horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally). You can move it to an empty space or one occupied by other pieces. If you do the latter, simply place your piece on top, creating a multi-colored stack.

Or you might choose to make a multiple move. If you control a stack (having your piece on top), you can move it up to the total number of spaces equivalent to the number in your pile.

We're always excited to find new abstract games for our collection. This copy of Domination by Milton Bradley hadn't been played in 30+ years! - SahmReviews.com

When doing so, you might also elect to split your stack, especially if you have another piece in the middle. When you split, you move the upper pieces up to the number of pieces removed (again, horizontally or vertically). The bottom pieces remain in place.

We're always excited to find new abstract games for our collection. This copy of Domination by Milton Bradley hadn't been played in 30+ years! - SahmReviews.com

Create a stack more than 5 high and something special happens. Save the top 5, and remove the bottom pieces from play. If they are one of your opponent’s colors, those are removed from the game. However, if you capture one of your own pieces you then get to save it until the right moment to reintroduce it onto the board. Instead of moving anything on your turn, you would simply place that piece anywhere on the board, even on top of another stack.

We're always excited to find new abstract games for our collection. This copy of Domination by Milton Bradley hadn't been played in 30+ years! - SahmReviews.com

These reserve pieces are extremely powerful, and the instructions even suggest to “amass reserve pieces and wait until the end of the game to play them to top off strategically positioned stacks”.

We're always excited to find new abstract games for our collection. This copy of Domination by Milton Bradley hadn't been played in 30+ years! - SahmReviews.com

Depending on the skills of the players, expect a game to last anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour. A bit longer than Checkers, but much less than Chess. There are a number of sellers offering it on Amazon for under $10 as well as on eBay. Domination is a very solid abstract game that I wish was still in print. You don’t find too many that support four players, and this game does it well. Do keep an eye out for it!

Are you more of a Checkers or Chess person?

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Scott

About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

13 comments on «Thrift Treasure: Domination»

  1. This looks like a really fun family game. I am really surprised that I have never heard of it before now!

  2. Vera Sweeney says:

    I wish I had your luck at finding old games at thrit stores in such great condition!! This sounds like a fun game for the family, love that it’s for four players

  3. Brianna says:

    Our family loves playing board games. This one looks like it would be right up our alley.

  4. Tami says:

    This game looks faintly familiar. I think my kiddos would enjoy playing it with me.

  5. Daniele K says:

    How fun to find old games. I definitely prefer checkers to chess, but would love to play this game if I ever found it.

  6. This looks fun and is a great way to occupy kids in the winter months instead of constantly having a TV on! I like the idea of finding old classics for the kids to play in this world plagued by terrible video games…

  7. Erika says:

    This sounds like a fun game. We are more the checkers players in my house.

  8. My husband loves games like chess and checkers. This looks like a fun game, though I am pretty my husband would beat me everytime.

  9. Jess Benoit says:

    I love reading your blog and finding new and fun games to add to our collection!

  10. LydiaF says:

    This sounds like a fun game that will lead to angry words and gnashing of teeth, hahaha 🙂

  11. Michelle Feliciano says:

    That sounds like a really fun game. I have never heard of this one before.

  12. Crystal says:

    Hearing the rules of the game, I feel like I’ve played this before. But the look of the game is unfamiliar. Need to see if I’ve any advantage having played a similar game.

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