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Dominion: Dark Ages is an expansion for Dominion. It does not contain the basic cards, meaning you need Dominion or Intrigue in order to play it.
Most cards are focused on trashing cards for bonuses.
It adds 35 new Kingdom Cards. It also adds new gameplay mechanics, including Knights, the Madman pile, the Spoils pile, Ruins, and Shelters.
After picking your cards, look and see if any have the Looter type. The cards that have this are Cultist, Marauder, and Death Cart. If you do, shuffle the Ruins together and deal out ten for each player face down. (These go in their own pile, not to the players)
If only cards from Dark Ages are being used, then each player gets one of each Shelter card instead of the Estates that they would normally start with. If cards from other expansions and cards from Dark Ages are being used, then you choose randomly whether or not to use the Shelters. (Please verify)
If the Knights are picked as a card to be used, shuffle all of them together in one pile. Put it in the supply, and turn the top one up. Whenever one is bought or gained, turn up the new top card.