$10.00
Expansions that "complete" base games
Chris Wood
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Wheaton
Illinois
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This list is designed to explore expansions that make the original game "complete". These expansions usually are almost necessarily included in every game, and after the implementation, vanilla base games are rarely ever played. Lets get this party started.
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51. Board Game: Caylus Expansion: The Jeweller [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Joel Eddy
United States
Coeur d'Alene
ID
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It seems silly because it's just one tile, but after you've played the game a few times, you find that this is sorely needed at the end of the game.

Also, it's included in all the new editions of Caylus, but I have the first edition and my friend was kind enough to fabricate this tile for me. I will always consider it an "expansion".
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52. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game: Legions of Middle-Earth [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
 
Markku Herd
Finland
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While the basic game book has point costs for individual troops, the army lists in this book are quite necessary for building "proper" armies and staging balanced battles. The different scenarios offered here are a nice bonus, too.
 
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53. Board Game: War of the Ring: Battles of the Third Age [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked]
Adam
United States
Phoenix
Arizona
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I'm amazed this didn't make it on this list before now. Evidently, FFG agrees with me, since they made sure it was included in War of the Ring Collector's Edition.
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54. Board Game: Advanced Civilization [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
Jason Waeber
United States
Milford
OH
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Really, the king of expansions isn't on here yet?

IMHO, the original game is deeply flawed, in terms of the trading mechanic and limit on technologies, and the tech tree is quite weak in a couple places.

Advanced Civ not only makes trading soooo much better, but gives you a much stronger and far more interesting tech tree. The AST works infinitely better when you're not capped on the amount of techs you can buy. There are variants that I'm fond of, but that's really just sauce and not essential.

IMHO this is another "fix" that really obsoletes the old game by itself. There's a reason it costs so much....
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55. Board Game: Cross of Iron [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
J.L. Robert
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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Advanced Squad Leader would never have become a thought if the Soviet and German forces from the original Squad Leader weren't fleshed out in this set.

The additional rules in Crescendo of Doom and GI: Anvil of Victory overburdened the original Squad Leader rules to the point of becoming unwieldy, necessitating the development of ASL. But SL purists point to this expansion as the one that made the system come alive.
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56. Board Game: G.E.V. [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:1238]
J.L. Robert
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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The additional armor types introduced in this game turned the Ogre system into a fully-fleshed out light wargame system.
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57. Board Game: Kingmaker Variant Event Cards [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
J.L. Robert
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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No self-respecting Kingmaker player would willingly play without these.
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58. Board Game: Richthofen's War Maneuver Cards [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
J.L. Robert
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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Another add-on which became the standard for afficionados of this particular game.
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59. Board Game: High Frontier Expansion [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked]
Ethan Krindle
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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A prime example for this list. The High Frontier expansion seems like the "real game", with the base game acting as more of a "training module" to get you used to the fundamental concepts before introducing the expansion's added complexities.
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60. Board Game: Catan: Seafarers [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Mark Englehart
United States
San Diego
California
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A ways back someone mentioned Cities and Knights. I disagree with that one, but would make a case for this one.

Specifically, as I recall, the designer intended for this to be part of the base game (making it like Friends & Foes for LotR, an expansion that completes the designer's original intent).
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61. Board Game: Jambo Expansion 2 [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Damon Asher
United States
Jefferson
MA
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Jambo becomes a whole different beast with the expansions. I liked the base game quite a bit, but with the first 2 expansions mixed in, especially the huts, a whole new, more strategic game opens up. Even if you don't think Jambo needs this expansion, there is little doubt that Expansion #1 needs Expansion #2, because Exp #1 doesn't come with the ware cards you need to just mix all the new cards in. More thoughts in my Exp #2 review.
 
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62. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: Survival of the Fittest [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Jon Grey
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Thematically necessary. SotF introduces rules for barricades, among other things. I can't imagine a Zombie apocalypse without boarded up doors and windows.

Mechanically necessary. The Growing Hunger expansion's Exploration markers, I feel, are absolutely necessary for LNOE. Otherwise the game devolves to Heroes running from building to building wasting their ENTIRE turn trying to draw the right card.
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Stefano Castelli
Italy
Rome
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Some time ago I created this geeklist which seems somehow a complement to this one.
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64. Board Game: Elfengold [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
Sean Hixenbaugh
United States
Dayton
Ohio
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Not sure how this one did not make your list yet, although it is a tough expansion to find these days we do not play Elfenland without it anymore (unless we are playing with the kids). This expansion makes Elfenland much more of a gamers game as strategy becomes much more relevant.
 
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65. Board Game: Illuminati Expansion Set 2 [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Eric M. Aldrich I
United States
California
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This and Illuminati Expansion Set 1 make this game far more fun. Never play without them.
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66. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter: Expansion Set #2 [Average Rating:8.20 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.20 Unranked]
Eric M. Aldrich I
United States
California
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Again, the game is far better with this and Cosmic Encounter: Expansion Set #1. Never play without them

 
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67. Board Game: Scorched Earth [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Eric M. Aldrich I
United States
California
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If you're going to play with the monster that is Fire in the East, why go only part of the way?
 
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68. Board Game: Catan: Seafarers [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
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Teuber's original design for Settlers of Catan was simplified to the base game we're now familiar with. Add the Seafarers expansion, and you have the closest game to the original.
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69. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Late Bronze Age [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
David Anderson
United States
seattle
Washington
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I can't believe this hasn't been added yet. If you haven't checked out this free downloadable expansion, you need to...right now! I feel the base game ends too quickly and there aren't as many paths to victory as I'd like. This expansion fixes that. I have no desire to play the base game anymore since I found this expansion.

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70. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: The Big Expansion [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Alcibiade Dathène
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Suprised this one not out there yet. 5th player, more components, more destruction...

A good expansion
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71. Board Game: War of the Ring (first edition) [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:34]
Damon Asher
United States
Jefferson
MA
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I recently was teaching this game to some new players, so I removed the expansion components, and I was very surprised how limited I felt. No Balrog? No Dundlendings? Ents? Siege engines? Without the expansion elements, the game is much more scripted (Kill Gandalf right away, tap the Voice of Sauron again and again....). It is very nice that the expansion is available to open up some options for experienced players, and I will always use it unless teaching the game.
 
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72. Board Game: High Frontier Colonization [Average Rating:8.48 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.48 Unranked]
Stanislav Zhorin
Russia
Moscow
Moscow
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Same as with HF Expansion.
With Colonization game are going to be something different and base more like training.
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73. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked]
Benjamin Johnson
United States
Murray
UT
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Absolutely will not play without this anymore (unless using it to introduce newbie gamers to our hobby). Bigger variety of lords, more ways to claim/use buildings, more interesting plot quests, intrigue cards become more effective, more interaction with opponents, and the CORRUPTION!!! Corruption alone does an amazing job of tying the theme to the mechanics with the way it introduces risk into gameplay.
 
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