Last updated: October 05, 2020
Dominion League FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions for the Dominion League
- Signing up
- Discord and the online community
- Scheduling matches
- Playing matches
- Dominion Online
- Details and backend
If you have a question that is not answered here, please reach out to any moderator. You can find a moderator who is online by looking at the League Mod section of users on Discord.
Credit: Thanks to gloures, who onboarded hundreds of new players and compiled most of the original FAQ.
1. Signing up
How do I sign up?
Navigate to Sign up and complete the Google form there.
Make sure you join the Dominion Discord server (https://discord.gg/vMmmMBu) as a moderator will send you a direct message via Discord in about a day with a few question to confirm your signup, and a deadline to do so. You must answer this message to be confirmed.
What is required to sign up?
You are required to have a Dominion Online account with 10 or more rated 2-player games and to join the Dominion (Card Game) Discord server. You must also have enough time to play five 6-game matches during the 6-week season, which is usually about 2 hrs per week.
How do I play a rated 2-player game?
In Dominion Online, click the Matching tab. In the Automatch options, make sure Player count is set to 2P and Rated games is set to Rated (click the yellow options to cycle through the choices).
I didn’t respond in time to Discord message to confirm my signup. Can sign up again?
If the deadline hasn’t passed, you are encouraged to re-sign up by filling out the Google form again.
Do I need a subscription to Dominion Online (http://dominion.games) to sign up?
You do not need to buy a subscription, but you do need to create a free account.
Am I required to play matches on Dominion Online (http://dominion.games)?
No, but this may be the only way to play games against the vast majority of your opponents. Note you are required to have a Dominion Online account and you must play 10 or more rated 2-player games before you can play in the League.
How good do I need to be at Dominion to sign up?
We welcome players of all skill levels. Players are divided into different tiers so that they can compete against opponents of similar skill.
Do I need to be proficient in the English language to sign up?
You will need basic English skills to communicate on Discord and schedule you matches. Scheduling isn’t too difficult, and if you can understand this paragraph, you will be fine. Let a moderator know if you have language issues, and we may have someone who can help translate.
Who do I play against?
You will be put in a division with up to 5 other similarly skilled players.
How do I know who is in my division?
The introductory message in your division’s Discord channel will say who is playing in your division. You can also see which players are in every division in the Standings post, pinned in the Dominion League board.
How do I know who my moderator is?
The introductory message in your division’s Discord channel will say who your moderator is.
What is the role of my moderator in my division?
Your moderator’s role is to make sure players stay on schedule, and resolve any disputes between players. You can feel free to reach out to them at any time, either in your division channel or a direct message if you have any questions or concerns about the league. They can help resolve any conflicts between players such as scheduling issues or rules violations. Your moderator may also check in with you throughout the season for various reasons such as if you fall behind the one match per week pace, or if your opponent is having trouble reaching you. Please respond promptly to any messages your moderator may send you.
2. Discord and the online community
What is Discord? How does it work?
Discord is an instant messaging app. In the Dominion server you can discuss Dominion topics with players all over the world. These discussions are organized into different channels (denoted by #). There are channels for Dominion strategy, the Dominion League, and your specific division.
Do I need to use Discord?
Yes, you are required to have a Discord account and join the Dominion server (https://discord.gg/vMmmMBu).
Why do I need to use Discord?
Discord is where you will message opponents to schedule matches and receive important announcements.
How does the Dominion League use Discord?
You will mainly use Discord to communicate with the other players in your division, and the moderators. You can also see announcements about upcoming matches so you can spectate them, and you can announce your own matches.
How do I see what matches are coming up so I can spectate them?
Check the Dominion calendar.
How do I announce my matches so others can spectate me?
Fill out the Dominion calendar form, and the match will be automatically announced on Discord an hour before it begins.
What is a Town Hall on Discord?
The moderators host Town Halls to gather feedback on a specific topic that doesn’t have clear answers. Town Halls takes place over a 24-hour period in the #town-hall channel on Discord. They begin with a presentation by the moderators on the topic and some of the options under consideration, then everyone is invited to contribute via messages and emoji polls. Following the discussion, the moderators formulate a plan of action based on the feedback, which, if opinion is split on the matter, could involve choosing to collect additional feedback from all League Players via the Returning Form.
3. Scheduling matches
How do I schedule matches?
You will need to coordinate with your opponent via Discord. You can send messages in your division’s channel, or send direct messages to an opponent. It is very beneficial to schedule matches in advance, instead of hoping someone is available to play impromptu.
Do I need to follow the suggested schedule (provided to tier E and below)?
No, but it is provided as a guideline.
May I play multiple matches per week?
Yes. We recommend playing at least one match per week, and encourage you to stay ahead of schedule.
What do I do if my opponent did not show up at our scheduled time?
Please wait 15 minutes past the scheduled time to see if the opponent shows up. If the opponent has still not arrived, notify your moderator. While this can be frustrating, there are many reasons this may happen.
What do I do if I can no longer make it to a match I scheduled?
You should let your opponent know as soon as there is a chance you will be late, or miss the match entirely. If you will miss the match, reschedule with your opponent.
What do I do if someone in my division never responds when I try to schedule with them?
Notify your moderator as soon as possible if someone in your division is unresponsive.
What do I do if it is impossible for me to schedule with someone in my division?
Notify your moderator if your schedule is completely incompatible with someone else’s. Make an effort to schedule matches on the weekend if necessary.
What happens if someone in my division is completely inactive?
If someone does not respond to any other players in their division, or to their moderator, that player will be removed and banned from returning to the League for the next 2 seasons. If they played 3 or more complete matches, the remainder of their games will be simulated. Otherwise, their game results will be voided. If a removed player rejoins the League after their ban ends, they return to the tier below the one they were removed from.
What do I do if I can’t play all my matches in time?
Notify your moderator, and they may be able to grant you an extension of up to 1 week.
What do I do if I can’t finish the season due to unforeseen circumstances?
Notify your moderator as soon as possible and explain your situation. The moderator can remove you if necessary, and can waive the ban if appropriate.
4. Playing matches
What is a match? Is it the same as a game?
A match comprises 6 games of Dominion played against a single opponent. Each season, players play 1 match against each other player in their division.
How long is a match?
Most players play a 6-game match in a single playing session lasting about 2 hours, without breaks. As a courtesy to your opponents, you may want to adjust your play speed if you find your games are considerably longer than this.
Do I have to play all 6 games at once?
No, you can play the games of a match across multiple playing sessions. Make sure your opponent is aware how many games you intend to play in each playing session. Submit the results of each playing session separately as you go, and they will be added together on the standings.
Who should be the starting player each game of a match?
A random player should start the first game, and then the staring player should alternate so each player starts 3 games.
Which cards do we play with?
The default is to play with all the cards either player owns and up to 2 landscapes. If you have a subscription, you get to play with all of the expansions you have. If you do not have a subscription but an opponent does, you may need to learn some new cards. For the lower tiers, we ask (but do not require) the player with expansions to be gracious in these circumstances, for instance, offering to restrict the pool of cards to a few expansions which the other player is a bit more familiar with.
Can I request an undo? Do I need to grant an undo?
The default policy is that granting undo requests is required for low numbers of decisions that do not provide new information. Players with a different undo policy must announce it before the match. Granting these undo requests means players don’t have to play very slowly and cautiously. This default policy is common among players in the higher tiers. Players who wish to use a different undo policy must announce it before the match.
What is an undo policy?
An undo policy is a statement to your opponent before a match about what types of undos you will grant to them. Examples:
- “I will grant an undo of any action that doesn’t reveal important new information.”
- “I won’t allow any undos.”
- “I will decide whether to allow each individual undo request as it comes up.”
What are “decisions that do not provide new information”?
Each entry in the Dominion Online game log counts a decision, for example, playing a card. The most common type of new information is learning which cards are where, for example seeing what cards were on top of your deck by drawing them.
- Playing a Workshop does not give you any new information, so undoing that should be granted by default.
- Playing a Militia does not give you any new information (unless they already discarded, and you can see that card), so undoing that should be granted by default.
- Playing a Smithy lets you see new cards, so undoing that does not need to be granted. It’s possible that the Smithy player drew Action cards they couldn’t play and wanted to change their mind, but this is information they learned only after making the decision to play Smithy.
How do I report the score of a playing session?
See the pinned message in your division’s Discord channel for the link to a Google form where you can submit the score of a match. Partial match scores should be submitted as you go, so you don’t forget.
Should both players report their score for a playing session?
No, one player should submit the scores of both players.
Which player should report the score of a playing session?
We recommend that the player with more wins during the playing session be responsible for reporting the score. If it’s a tie, the player who was not the table host (and therefore did not have to manage the table settings) should report the score. If you wish to have the other player report the score, coordinate that with your opponent.
Do the players’ VP scores in a game matter for the League?
No, all that matters is who won, or if it was a tie. It does not matter how many VP you won the game with.
Who wins a game if both players have the same VP?
The rules of Dominion say that if both players finish with the same score, the player who took fewer turns (not counting extra turns from cards like Outpost) wins. If both players took the same number of turns, then they tie.
How does the League count games that end in a tie?
If a game ends in a tie, both players get 0.5 wins for that game. For example, if during your match you won 3 games, lost 2 games, and tied 1 game, you get 3.5 wins and your opponent gets 2.5 wins. Note that games where both players finish with the same score but took different numbers of turns are not ties (see the rule above).
Do I need to record proof of my game results (screenshots, game IDs, etc)?
No, we operate on an honor system. You can also use DomBot on Discord to retrieve the results of recent games. If you disagree about who won a game, notify your moderator.
Why are players in tiers A, B, C, D, and E required to allow spectators?
Allowing spectators offers League members an opportunity to watch competitive games between some of the top Dominion players. It also allows those players to get feedback after the games. Having spectators at your games can provide you constructive comments to help your future play.
What should I do when spectating a League game?
As a spectator, you can comment on the players’ decisions and discuss strategies with the other spectators. Please refrain from making inappropriate remarks, and be courteous in any critiques. A transcript of the commentary is often given to the players after the game, so they can evaluate their performance and areas for improvement. You may not discuss a game with the players until the game is over; trying to give a competitive advantage to any player is against the Dominion Online terms and conditions, and could result in your account being suspended.
What resources can I use during a game?
In general, you are limited to using your own brain and the features provided by the Dominion Online website. Don’t consult strategy guides or other people or software. Consulting the Dominion rules is allowed (for example, looking up how a particular pair of cards interact from a rules perspective). A list of allowed resources can be found in the League Rules.
Can I resign or forfeit a match?
All players in the League are expected to complete all of their matches as competitively as possible. It is possible for the result of any match to determine the fate of you or another player by way of the tiebreaker points. However, resigning a game while playing to the best of your ability (like when you are way behind and feel there is a 0% or a very low chance to comeback) is allowed. Forfeiting a game (which is like resigning turn 1, 2 or not playing at all) is not allowed as it is unfair to other players in your group if you do not complete your matches properly.
5. Dominion Online (http://dominion.games)
How do I add someone from my division as a friend on Dominion Online?
Click the “Friend List” tab in the lobby, enter your opponent’s username, and click “Add”.
How do I make a table?
Click the “New Table” tab in the lobby and choose “Create Table”. Note you should also click “Advanced Options” at the table and uncheck “Players can see spectator chat”.
How do I find my opponent’s table?
Click the “Tables” tab in the lobby, and find their name. If you are friends, then you can also find their name in the Friends area of the “Matching” tab.
Do we play rated or unrated games?
The default is to play unrated games, but players can agree to play rated games instead. This is also the default setting for a table. Either way, you can use DomBot on Discord to retrieve the results of these games.
Which cards/cardlists do we play with?
The default is to play with all the cards either player owns (including the new Menagerie expansion, if owned) and up to 2 landscapes, to respect the disliked and banned cardlists, and to use no other special rules (such as “Extra Menagerie”). These are also the default settings for a table on Dominion Online. Players can agree to make any changes to this, such as excluding certain expansions or respecting the liked cardlist.
What are cardlists?
Everyone gets 3 cardlists, and each one can have up to 5 Kingdom cards and up to 3 landscapes (Events, Landmarks, Projects, Ways). Putting things on these lists can change the likelihood they show up in your games:
- Liked list: these things show up twice as often
- Disliked list: these things show up half as often
- Banned list: these things never show up If you and your opponent both have the same card or landscape on their lists, the likelihood it shows up is a product of both your preferences. For details on how this works, see the official cardlist announcement.
How do I set the cardlists at my table?
Click “Advanced Options” at the table, and then set the 3 checkboxes next to “Respect liked/disliked/banned cards”. Checking the leftmost box means the game will use both of your liked cardlists. The middle box corresponds to your disliked cardlists, and the rightmost box to your banned cardlists. Note unless you and your opponent agree otherwise, you should uncheck the leftmost box and check the other two.
How do I set the starting player at my table?
Click “Advanced Options” at the table, and then “Player Order”. To have the starting player determined randomly, such as for the first game of a match, check “Random”. Otherwise, you can use the arrows to set the player order. Note the username of the player who went first during a game is colored red in the game log and chat box.
Do we use the VP tracker?
The default is to use the VP tracker. This is also the default setting for a table on Dominion Online. Players can agree to turn the VP tracker off, and can do so by clicking “Advanced Options” at the table and unchecking “Show VP tracker”.
What other settings should I be aware of?
We encourage you to uncheck “Players can see spectator chat” so that spectators can discuss the game with each other. They are usually willing to share their insights with you after the game.
Some settings depend on whether my game is base only. How can I tell?
One of the introductory posts in your division channel lists the subscription status of the players in your division. You can also see your subscription information on the Account tab of the Dominion Online website. If neither player owns any expansions, the game will be base-only. Otherwise, all expansions either player owns will be used.
6. Details and backend
How do the moderators determine players’ tiers (A, B, C, etc)?
For a new player, their starting tier is decided shortly before the season starts, based on the available spots in the tiers and their Dominion Online level. For a returning player, their tier is based on how they placed in their last season.
How many tiers (A, B, C, etc) and divisions (C1, C2, C3, etc) are there each season?
The number of tiers and divisions depends on the number of players. Each division has 6 players by default, and divisions are filled from the top down. The general pattern for making divisions is that there is 1 division in tier A and 2 divisions in tier B, and starting with tier B, every other tier doubles in size, except the bottom 2 tiers will be made to be roughly equal in size.
Here are some examples for different numbers of players:
- 402 players = 8 tiers = 67 divisions:
1 A + 2 B + 4 C + 4 D + 8 E + 16 F + 16 G + 16 H
- 690 players = 9 tiers = 115 divisions:
1 A + 2 B + 4 C + 4 D + 8 E + 16 F + 16 G + 32 H + 32 I
- 1,266 players = 10 tiers = 211 divisions:
1 A + 2 B + 4 C + 4 D + 8 E + 16 F + 16 G + 32 H + 64 I + 64 J
- 1,650 players = 11 tiers = 275 divisions:
1 A + 2 B + 4 C + 4 D + 8 E + 16 F + 16 G + 32 H + 64 I + 64 J + 64 K
How do the moderators group divisions by time zone?
As much as possible, players are grouped by their time zones in tiers E and below. Players may indicate their flexibility on the Returning Form to help us sort players.
How are players seeded?
For all divisions in the same tier (and in the same time zone region, for tiers E and below), players split into 4 groups: new players, players who demoted from the tier above, players who promoted from the tier below, and players returning to the same tier. These groups are distributed as evenly as possible:
- In a random order, new players are placed into divisions, starting with the last division of the tier.
- In a random order, players who demoted are placed into divisions, starting with the first division of the tier.
- In a random order, players who promoted are placed into divisions, starting with the first division of the tier.
- The players returning to the same tier randomly fill in the remaining spots.
What do I do if my regular schedule makes it difficult to play with people from my own time zone?
The easiest way to indicate this is to sign up with the time zone you can most easily play with.
What are promotions and demotions, and how do they work?
Players may earn a spot in a different tier by promoting to the next higher tier or demoting to the next lower tier, based on their place in their division. There were different rules about how promotions and demotions worked as the League changed sizes from Season 39 to Season 41. The Season 43 rules are:
- Players who finish in first place in tiers B, C, E, F, and H promote.
- Players who finish in first or second place in tiers D, G, I, and J promote.
- In all tiers except J, players who finish in sixth or seventh place in a seven-player division, or fifth or sixth place in any other division, demote.
- Players in the practice tier do not promote or demote automatically, and are instead placed as new players in Season 44.
At the end of the season, my division has fewer than 6 players. How does this affect promotion and demotion?
The same places promote and demote as normal. If a place that would demote is vacant, no additional players demote.
If I skip a season, what tier do I return to?
If there is space, you will be placed into the tier you would have been in next, including any promotions or demotions from the last season you played in. If there is not enough space for all players returning, we may offer play-in matches for those players to compete for the available spots. Otherwise you will be offered a position in another tier. Note if you skip 6 or more consecutive seasons, then when you return, you are instead placed into a tier like a new player.
How are play-in matches and free promotions determined?
Sometimes there are open spaces after assigning players to tiers. To fill openings in a tier, the moderators choose eligible players from the next lowest tier to promote, or to compete in play-in matches for the opportunity to promote. Eligible players are those who:
- Finished in 2nd place their previous season
- Are new to the League and have a Dominion Online rating similar to players in the tier above
- Had exceptional cases during the last season they played, such as negative effects from dropping a player or having a strong win record Then these eligible players are seeded by the League’s algorithm.
In tiers A, B, C, and D: If there are fewer than 2 eligible players per opening, the top seeded players get free promotions until there are 2 eligible players per opening. If there are more than 2 eligible players per opening, the bottom seeded players are removed from eligibility until there are 2 eligible players per opening. The remaining eligible players are paired up with the top seed versus the bottom seed and so on. The winners of these play-in matches promote.
In tiers E, F, and G: All openings are filled via free promotions. When deciding which eligible players get these free promotions, the moderators also consider time zones.
How are the standings calculated?
Players in a division are ordered by the percentage of their games that they’ve won. This placement doesn’t matter until everyone has finished the season. If there is a tie for a promotion or demotion spot, the tied players are ordered by their head-to-head results. If they are still tied, they play a tiebreaker match.
What is the +/– column of the standings?
A player’s +/– number represents how many more/fewer wins they have compared to if they had tied all their matches. That is, it is the player’s performance relative to a neutral performance. For example, if you lose a match 2–4, lose a match 1–5, and win a match 4.5–1.5, you have 7.5 wins as opposed to 9, so your +/– is –1.5.
The standings show U1, U2, U3, etc instead of the player names. Are they broken?
No, these are temporary placeholders while the Google sheets update some complicated
IMPORTRANGE formulas. Try checking the standings again after a couple hours.
What are the rules on etiquette?
There are no rules on etiquette, but we encourage you to be friendly and courteous, and we do not tolerate offensive behavior. Saying “good luck” or “have fun” at the start of a match and “good game” at the end of a game are always positive behaviors. Notify the moderators of any offensive behavior. Offensive behavior may result in suspension from the League.
What do I do if there is a player with an offensive username?
Notify the moderators, and we may help them change their username.
Are there ever matches with 3 or more players?
No, all matches are played with 2 players.
How can I share ideas about how the League could improve?
You can choose any of these methods you prefer:
- Contact a moderator via a Discord direct message.
- Submit your suggestion via the Returning Form.
- Reply to the latest Newsletter forum post with a fully-written idea.
- Participate in a Town Hall on Discord.
- Use the Dominion League Hotline for urgent matters.
- You are also encouraged to develop your idea by discussing it on Discord.
How are moderators chosen?
If the current team of moderators decides more moderators are needed, a recruitment form is posted to the #announcements channel of the Discord server as well as the News page. Candidates apply by filling out the form. Moderators discuss and vote to determine which candidates are accepted.