I didn't expect to like this expansion, but I actually think it improves the game. Drafting leaders early requires players to think about the strategy they are interested in pursuing before the game begins, though there is some wiggle room, since you draft four and only play three. I like it.
Note that the scores will obviously go up because there's more money and because there are points for leaders. (1 play)
This is very strange for an experienced Agricola player. I had expected it to ramp up the difficulty level significantly, but instead it is about as difficult--yet it is a very different game. Things that are normally difficult are much easier, while additions such as the fuel thing are very hard to do. So, the focus is different. I know that if I'd played this first, I'd be really excited about it. As it is, it's hard to judge it accurately. I don't think it is a good as the base game--but at this point, my level of experience is so different from one to the other, how can I judge? Try it. Reserving judgment for now. (1 play)
This adds a lot of complexity and several new things to think about. It foils typical strategies but I'm not convinced that it creates new ones. Worth a try, especially if you are tired of vanilla Alhambra, but on the whole I am not that impressed. I like the vizier, not so sure about the huts. (2 plays)
It can be very difficult to get the pairs into your hand, but there are plenty of support cards dealing with that problem. I'd say this makes the game a little luckier, but it seemed manageable. Thus far I prefer the Hoax, but there's some fun stuff here. (1 play)
Yay! More Dominion expansions!... I don't even know if I am being sarcastic there or not, actually. It's an interesting twist on Dominion to have cards that last beyond a turn, but it definitely slows the game down and adds a certain unDominionlike fiddliness. The cards themselves are pretty cool though and they do very useful things. (1 play)
This expansion adds several options, some new cards and abilities, and the possibility of playing with five or six players. Thus far, I've only tried it with for, and while some of the new stuff is nice, it is mostly very similar to the original. Some exceptions: France is a very cool addition which I like quite a lot, and the black master builder is, hmmm, goofy. (2 plays)
Decreases the time investment--I like it a lot. Advantageous placement is very different from the base game--the middle is useful, because you need to get to EVERYTHING. Power plants run out!! Moves even faster when combined with the Power Plant Deck 2. (3 plays)
China map. I liked this quite a bit. It's a nice tight map in which the cheapest section is a peninsula (!). The mechanic of the less random card deck is also quite interesting. Putting out one card fewer than the number of players really increases the tension while bidding. When we played, it was a pretty cash-poor game and I think this was directly related to this. (1 play)
Korea map. Coal is even tougher than usual; if you have a big coal plant, you just have to hope fervently that Step 3 will not come up. Takes a little longer for nuclear to be good too. Very interesting map. (1 play)
Wow, Italy is really tight. It makes for quite a different game, as all the players try to squeeze into the worthwhile cities while they can. Interesting, but for now I think I prefer Benelux or the base maps. (1 play)
France is pretty much exactly the same as Germany, but with crazy nukes. (1 play)
I like some of the new cards. Rebel Cantina is lots of fun. I didn't really understand the takeover rules, and I don't think the rest of the group did either, since none happened. Dislike the reliance on military. (1 play)
I like playing with five and I really like the new starting worlds. I'm not convinced I like the goal cards, though. They take away some of the spontaneity of the game play and reward strategies that are already good. (2-3 plays)
The map is more balanced than in Railroad Tycoon and so are the cards. The balanced map actually makes things much more difficult because there are plenty of worthwhile things that are quite far away from either of the two red cities. I was reminded of Brass in that the desire to waste time (and save money) on your turn is quite strong, but it is much harder to do here. There are still a few visual board design issues, but these are much better than in the base game.
On the other hand, this is a much more map, so I guess it is a *better* game, but it is also more frustrating and it is less likely that your efforts will be rewarded. (2 plays)
I think it is more balanced, particularly the Observatory, and new stuff like the Sycophant and the New Farmer is very interesting (though I am still unsure whether the New Farmer is actually worthwhile). And I really like playing with five. And the game has much the same feel as the original, though it's hard to get used to remembering the fifth player. Even without five, the game is quite different because it is longer and that changes the timing. This is great stuff. Seriously considering bumping this up to a 10. Playing with both expansions and four players increases the length and arc of the game, making it more of a gamer's game than heretofore.(4 plays)
This is one of those expansions that makes the game longer. It's harder for any player to win because you don't cycle through your tiles as quickly. However, it also adds some interesting things--the 1/2/3 paddle is a nice addition, as are the double canoes, not to mention that all-important sixth player.
I actually quite enjoyed this, and I lost interest in Thurn and Taxis quite a while ago. The horses do reduce the risk level, it's true, but they also add another element to juggle in a game that really needed it. The new bonuses are also nice, but what I really like is the map. I like the split region--suddenly, things become much more complicated--and I like the cities that don't count as colors. Definitely more interesting than the original. (1 play)