Dominions is a complex game, but it is not hard to learn the basics.
You can probably learn how to play just by experimenting, but if you
are new to the series you are advised to watch the introduction videos
to learn how to set up a game and start playing. Starting a game and
playing around a little before watching the videos is not a bad idea
either, it will be easier to grasp the video after having tried the
Watching one of the videos should give you some good advice and some
idea of what you're doing. Of course, reading the main manual is also
a good idea if you want to learn more about the game. Especially when
you want to dive into the details or get access to the tables of
spells and forgeable items.
The main manual is an essential read if you want to learn about the
Dominions universe and the rules that govern it. It is recommended
for both new and experienced players.
Dominions 5 Manual (downloadable pdf)
The first video demonstrates how to setup and play a quick game of
Dominions 5. This video advances much quicker than the Beginner's
Guide Videos, but can be a good place to start to get a hang of the
The second video gives a few tips to new Dominions players.
Beginner's Guide Videos
These 6 Dominions 5 beginner videos show a detailed explanation of the
fundamentals as well as some slightly more advanced concepts of
Dominions 5, to help you both understand the game and win against the
The technical manual contains a list of command line options, environment variables and ways to control a network server from a script. It is probably only useful if you want to automate Dominions 5 in some manner.
Dominions 5, Technical Manual