What Dominion expansions should I get?
Dominion is a game that gets exponentially better with each expansion you add. But deciding which ones to get, and in what order, is a pretty tricky question. Ask ten different people, and they’ll probably give you ten different answers. So take all of this advice with a grain of salt, knowing that whatever you choose in the end will probably be fine. (And as most people on this site can attest to, you’ll probably just end up getting them all anyway.)
First, the game designer’s own thoughts on what order to get the expansions.
The most natural way to get the expansions is in order. The sets were released in a particular order for a reason, and this way you can slowly climb the complexity slope.
If you want to tweak it a little bit, you can skip Alchemy and jump to Prosperity, since Prosperity is by far the most well-received expansion, and Alchemy is probably the least.
If you’re only getting one expansion (for now), you probably are best off with Intrigue or Prosperity. Which one you get depends on whether you like choices and interaction or the higher-value, higher-octane cards. Whichever expansion you get, you’ll play at least half your games with it, so something like Alchemy or Hinterlands would be a very poor choice.
Cornucopia and Hinterlands are probably “complex” for those new to Dominion. You probably don’t want to play with them until you get a bit more experienced with Dominion as a whole. Alchemy also alters the game a lot, so you definitely don’t want to get it too early. It’s great in small doses, but not too many people enjoy playing just Alchemy games.
Finally, Dark Ages is by far the most complex Dominion expansion released so far, and also the one that changes the game the most.
An overview of each expansion:
Intrigue: The first expansion, and the most natural. Comes with another set of Treasure/Victory cards, allowing you to support multiple games and/or a 5-6p game (though 5-6p games of Dominion are generally not that much fun). Focuses on interaction and card choices.
Seaside: Focused on duration cards, which last between turns. Along with Prosperity, has probably the most powerful Action cards.
Alchemy: Introduces Potions, a different kind of “currency”, and emphasizes Action chains, leading to much longer games. Probably not a great first expansion.
Prosperity: Adds Colonies and Platinums, and a lot of other over-the-top cards. Probably the most popular expansion, and certainly the most well-received.
Cornucopia: A small expansion that focuses on card variety. A more advanced set.
Hinterlands: Introduces cards that trigger when you gain or buy them. A more advanced set.
Dark Ages: The most complex set so far, with a big emphasis on card interactions. It introduces many new mechanics (including gaining from the trash).