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Subject: Expansions vs Base Game rss

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David Hahn
United States
San Diego
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So, I got the base game AND all of the expansions. My question is how you handle the expnasions...do you shuffle everything together for one massive set of agents? What about the other elements? Do you incorporate everything at once? I suspect there may have been a thread on this earlier, but I missed it. I'd like as much input on this as I can get, since I did get everything. I don't want to dilute the game, but I want to know what y'all think creates the best experience. Thanks in advance!
 
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Paul Wilson
United States
Maple Grove
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I am putting parts into each stocking for Christmas. After that I plan to play the base game before adding in parts. After trying some different expansions that have different agents we will mix in different missions. After that we will add in commanders.

I haven't thought about it enough, but I assumed I would be adding these expansions in. I could instead create custom decks taking some of the base and adding some of the expansions so the expansion cards come up more often.

Similarly, I have ED: Escalation coming with the base game that I have not played. I plan to play the base game before adding in the expansion.
 
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JT Schiavo
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Frederick
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While it is certainly possible to mix all the expansions together, I believe Saar said it wasn't really playtested and balanced for that purpose.

Honestly, you could probably mix in all the mission packs without any trouble. Maybe cut out a couple of the "weaker" missions if they don't fit your group. I played one game of just base game, then one game with black ops, mission: critical, and special agents all mixed in and it all flowed together just fine.

As far as agent packs go, I'd probably only mix in one or two at a time. I think I'm going to avoid mixing partners and secret agents together, simply because you are more likely to get a whole hand of agents that do you no good at or near the start of the game. Special Agents and Spoofs are less likely to interfere with the base game mechanics, but will make certain missions harder due to the need for matching agents or commands.
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Dillon Littlefield
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Haven't played yet but as of now I've made the same mix as Schiavo, leaving out Spoofs, Partners, and Secrets. I figured they would water down the matching agents missions as well and that I would probably only play while adding at most one of these other sets at a time unless I removed the matching missions.

On the other hand, since the partners and secrets don't really take up space in the factions it might not affect the matching missions that much. I would consider playing with a pool of agents (the official variant suggests 6) that are face up and available for 2 IPs when playing with more expansions. That way you can still get the specific types of agents you need when there are secret and partner agents mixed in.

As a side note, I'm least interested in the spoof expansion, mostly because I feel like they don't create as many interesting relationships. But like I said, I haven't played with the game yet. They might not dilute the core experience at all.
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