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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: The origin of the game expansion? rss

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Katina Choovanski
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This discussion came up earlier and it really made me wonder... what is the very first board game expansion? The earliest one that comes to mind is for Cosmic Encounter, but there is likely one older than that, right? I can think of a number of Avalon Hill games that ended up having expansions. Who here can fill me in on the history of board game expansions? I'd love to know! :-)

~Kat ^_^
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Kirk
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In it's simplist form... D&D Modules?

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Bruce Messenger
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This is the earliest one in my collection:

Monopoly Stock Exchange Add-on (1936)

Monopoly Stock Exchange Add-on
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maf man
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well I gotta assume the first game of "stick and rock" was followed by the anniversary pot set which included the rock expansion to play ether classic or "stick and rocks"
....it wasn't all that great as it was horribly unbalanced and the rock player always won

seriously... I think it may be a question of how you define an expansion. The oldest but still recorded well enough may be related to a deck of cards. Plenty of new games were thought up with the same components or if you like there were some games that added some cards such as jokers; would that be an expansion? And I've got to assume something like my fake story actually happened to one of the ancient games that actually existed.
 
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Pete
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The backgammon doubling cube? Very old game, but as far as I can tell the doubling cube was introduced in 1920.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backgammon#History

Pete (thinks there's probably something eariler though)
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Russ Williams
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bruce messenger wrote:
This is the earliest one in my collection:

Monopoly Stock Exchange Add-on (1936)

Monopoly Stock Exchange Add-on

FWIW that's the 2nd oldest expansion I find in the BGG database (after Draw-Bridge from 1905).

But yeah, it all depends on what OP means by "expansion". E.g. the queen, as a piece which could fly in 8 directions, was added to Chess in the 16th century...
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AJ Newhausen
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Go has that beat by at least 1400 years:

Wikipedia wrote:
This board has a 17 × 17 grid, which confirms the statement by the 3rd century author Handan Chun in the Classic of Arts that Go was at this time played on a 17 × 17 grid.

The earliest board with a 19 × 19 grid to have been found is a ceramic board dating to the Sui Dynasty (581-618) that was excavated from Anyang in Henan Province, so sometime between the 3rd and 6th centuries a change in grid size must have taken place.


That might be taking the term 'expansion' a little too literally though.
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Paul DeStefano
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Scissor.

After it was decided Rock Paper was too predictable.
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Harv Veerman
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Decks of cards are pretty old, but originally did not have Jokers in them.

The Joker is an American "invention" from 1865.

Does this qualify? (I know, not really a boardgame...)
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Pete
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Mad Math wrote:
Decks of cards are pretty old, but originally did not have Jokers in them.

The Joker is an American "invention" from 1865.

Does this qualify? (I know, not really a boardgame...)
Considering that poker was in full swing and my guess is that jokers were almost instantly used as wilds, yeah, that's an expansion by my defintion.

Pete (thumbs that up)
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Christian K
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Geosphere wrote:
Scissor.

After it was decided Rock Paper was too predictable.


For a long time scissor was a Kickstarter exclusive, I remember reading an ancient thread about how many fans were pissed that they were stuck playing Rock Paper and "getting nowhere." The resale values were through the roof until people figured out how to homebrew the Scissor expansion.
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Chris Robbins
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I'll leave games that "came out" before I was alive for others to argue about. I'm too lazy to try to compare dates, and Avalon Hill has already been mentioned. But of those, I remember a Coral Sea variant for Midway and a France 1940 extension for Panzer Leader.

Some of AH's stuff may have originated in the General magazine, but these I ordered direct as separate purchases.
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Bishop of East Anglia
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plezercruz wrote:
Mad Math wrote:
Decks of cards are pretty old, but originally did not have Jokers in them.

The Joker is an American "invention" from 1865.

Does this qualify? (I know, not really a boardgame...)
Considering that poker was in full swing and my guess is that jokers were almost instantly used as wilds, yeah, that's an expansion by my defintion.

Pete (thumbs that up)


The jokers deriving from the Fool from the Tarot deck have been around longer than the US in 1865. But that's not an expansion.

The question is when did they become wild.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fool_(Tarot_card)

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Harv Veerman
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SamNzed wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
Mad Math wrote:
Decks of cards are pretty old, but originally did not have Jokers in them.

The Joker is an American "invention" from 1865.

Does this qualify? (I know, not really a boardgame...)
Considering that poker was in full swing and my guess is that jokers were almost instantly used as wilds, yeah, that's an expansion by my defintion.

Pete (thumbs that up)


The jokers deriving from the Fool from the Tarot deck have been around longer than the US in 1865. But that's not an expansion.

The question is when did they become wild.






https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joker_(playing_card)

Truly curious: why do you not consider this an expansion?


EDIT: this link has a mind of it's own, sorry 'bout that. Lost the other link accidentally, again sorry.
 
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Steven McKinney
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I don't know if you would call it an expansion, but 9 Men's Morris had several variations throughout the centuries.
 
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Bob Zurunkel
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SPI's Blitzkrieg Module System for Avalon Hill's Blitzkrieg was an early one in the modern gaming era.
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Guest Starring...
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steven1mac wrote:
I don't know if you would call it an expansion, but 9 Men's Morris had several variations throughout the centuries.

The original("Five Men's Morris") was pretty dull. The expansion ("Four More Men!") definitely saved it.

Of course, Five Men's Morris wasn't half as lame as Chess before the "Black Pieces" expansion ...
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james collins
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wouldn't the extra players or new season for any early Strat-o-Matic game count?
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Andrew Birkett
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Wow that is a fairly old expansion. Very cool that you have that in your collection.

bruce messenger wrote:
This is the earliest one in my collection:

Monopoly Stock Exchange Add-on (1936)

Monopoly Stock Exchange Add-on
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Corey Hopkins
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Mad Math wrote:
Decks of cards are pretty old, but originally did not have Jokers in them.

The Joker is an American "invention" from 1865.

Does this qualify? (I know, not really a boardgame...)


Sounds more like a promo exclusively given to Kickstarter backers...
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Chinese Checkers and Tri-Chinese Checkers.
 
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Got This Name In A Math Trade
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plezercruz wrote:
Mad Math wrote:
Decks of cards are pretty old, but originally did not have Jokers in them.

The Joker is an American "invention" from 1865.

Does this qualify? (I know, not really a boardgame...)
Considering that poker was in full swing and my guess is that jokers were almost instantly used as wilds, yeah, that's an expansion by my defintion.

Pete (thumbs that up)


To me, this seems like a local variant that we widely adopted.

To be an expansion, shouldn't it have some sort of underlying purpose of marketing the original game?
 
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Russ Williams
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E Decker wrote:
Of course, Five Men's Morris wasn't half as lame as Chess before the "Black Pieces" expansion ...

Shogi (Japanese Chess) has no black pieces but is a fantastic and utterly un-lame game. Indeed, the fact that all pieces are the same color is a feature, not a bug, because you can drop captured prisoners back into play as your own... which is a most excellent expansion rule not appearing in standard international Chess.

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Russ Williams
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C Dylan wrote:
To be an expansion, shouldn't it have some sort of underlying purpose of marketing the original game?

The notion that marketing goals are necessary for a game or expansion to count certainly raises interesting questions about how very consumerist society has become...!

(Now I'm imagining similar statements in other contexts, e.g. to be music, shouldn't it have some sort of marketing purpose?)
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Bishop of East Anglia
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Mad Math wrote:
SamNzed wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
Mad Math wrote:
Decks of cards are pretty old, but originally did not have Jokers in them.

The Joker is an American "invention" from 1865.

Does this qualify? (I know, not really a boardgame...)
Considering that poker was in full swing and my guess is that jokers were almost instantly used as wilds, yeah, that's an expansion by my defintion.

Pete (thumbs that up)


The jokers deriving from the Fool from the Tarot deck have been around longer than the US in 1865. But that's not an expansion.

The question is when did they become wild.






https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joker_(playing_card)

Truly curious: why do you not consider this an expansion?


EDIT: this link has a mind of it's own, sorry 'bout that. Lost the other link accidentally, again sorry.



My question Is more was it first wild in the USA in 1865? Or in Europe in the early 1800s, or in the 1700s?

My other thought is, if the joker has been there since at least some time in the 1700s is changing use of a component an expansion or simply a refinement?
 
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