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Subject: My 1 box rant. rss

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Sukunai Yori
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Considering how many games have expansions and how so many of you are so over the moon for most of them, I don't expect a lot of support.

But.

I am getting tired of some of my games.

I am getting tired of how they seem like they have become basically cash cows.

In some cases it is just too hard to 'keep up'. To stay current.

From having the latest book for a role game, to the latest module for something like ASL or just the most recent edition of a manual for some mega hit.

I've been digging through my collection, trying to get the fire going, and finding that some of my games, well they have not sat idle while I was inactive the last few years.
And now I find myself feeling hopelessly left in the dust.

I find myself railing against the sprawl of some of these designs. I just want a simpler time I suppose.

Part of me wants to turf ASL, score a copy of original Squad Leader and just have fun with the beginning experience.

I was wandering through all that has evolved for PanzerBlitz/Leader and I feel overwhelmed by it too.

I guess sometimes I wish a good game could just be left alone as it was when I found it.

I miss what Dungeons and Dragons was back when I found it. Today, I am not remotely interested in what they are doing with 5th edition. I think 4th was a mistake, and 3rd was a mistake, and I think they might have gone too far with 2nd in some ways.

I find myself frustrated trying to just find games that are just one box, just the one box and nothing else. Everything in the one box. I want to know that the entire game is just what is in the one box.

Yes I know there are plenty of those out there. I have a good handful of those too.

My ASL is going back into limbo, I'm pulling out my copy of The Longest Day, because as big as the game is, it is just the contents of the box.

I am thinking of going to operational scale, they tend to be one box designs. I'm going to step away from tactical scale.

Thanks for listening to my ramble
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Mark Jackson
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Does the existence of expansions invalidate the experience of playing the base game? If you enjoy the base game, why do you feel the need to get rid of it just because you don't have the latest shiniest add-on? If you still have your original D&D books and have willing players, you can still play that game no matter what WOTC decides to do.
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Sacre Bleu
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Ah_Pook wrote:
Does the existence of expansions invalidate the experience of playing the base game? If you enjoy the base game, why do you feel the need to get rid of it just because you don't have the latest shiniest add-on? If you still have your original D&D books and have willing players, you can still play that game no matter what WOTC decides to do.


Yes. The game becomes less fun knowning that you are missing important parts of it, in my opinion.
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Eric Johnson
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If the game requires you to buy more than the base, I can understand irritation (MtG gets a lot of flack due to this business model). However, I do not disparage a publisher trying to expand the re-playability of a popular game in order to make more money with expansions. Why? Because making money in the game business is hard. I'd rather they stay in business to make more games.
 
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Sukunai Yori
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No it doesn't invalidate the experience, but, the fan base does tend to move on, and anyone unwilling to keep up does tend to get left behind.

In the case of role games, people saying 'oh you don't need to have every book' have lived sheltered existences. My experience has been the players always want to try out all the new, and thus if you are the lucky one to be the DM, you always feel like you are chasing down the latest.

In the case of board games, there is the problem of how you feel like you are left behind with an experience that everyone has already finished with.

With games that simply don't have this present, it is a case of either you like the game or not.

In the case of ASL, part of me actually wishes they had released modules of new counters, new boards, new scenarios, but had left the design alone. Always trying to stay up on the ever increasing complexity is exhausting.

But gamers are always wanting to fuss, to tweak, to fiddle with
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Jimmy Smith
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Have you tried Euros?
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Ebon Hawk
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I play most RPGs with very few of the books (except Delta Green which I rarely play, but still own all the books). I am not sure if you are familiar with it, but for RPGs, the old is new again with the "Old School Revolution" or OSR. These are old school games, in some cases the original D&D but better organized.

When it comes to expansions, I understand your frustration. I am fortunate enough to have a couple game groups that don't fall into the cult of the new. We enjoy new games, but rarely have to have everything for them. I personally cull my collection rather often and am trying to get my collection to about 25 with only games that I truly love and would like to play all the time.

Good luck and focus on the fun.
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Georg von Lemberg
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I endorse this internet rant.
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Emma
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jmsmith2434 wrote:
Have you tried Euros?


Have you seen the Terra Mystica expansion? Euros have this problem too. There are, however, plenty of designers that are, for the most part, anti-expansion. Reiner Knizia and Ignacy Trzewiczek are two prominent examples.

Abstracts also rarely have expansions, Hive being a notable exception.

I think it's reasonable to expect a finished product when you buy a game. But many expansions aren't simply finishing the product. They are completely changing the game, and you should not feel obligated to get them if you don't like the direction they take it. For instance, I have some Race for the Galaxy expansions but not others because I wanted a specific type of experience. I have a Magic: The Gathering cube for drafting, but I feel no pressure to keep up with buying new cards to compete in Standard.

There will always be expansions (they sell), but not every game will be expanded and not every expansion is necessary for you. If you are perfectly satisfied with a base game or old edition, don't let the manufacture of desire via advertising or a sense of perfectionist completion sway you into purchasing a product you'll resent.
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bort
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Just like Fight Club, you choose the level of your involvement.

Some people are crazy about expansions - pick any new game, people will be talking about what they would put in an expansion.

So, why wouldnt the publishers release expansions if people want them?
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Garcian Smith
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I don't think we should equate a game having lots of expansions as being a title that is designed to milk you for your money. I think you CAN do that, but you can also decide your level of involvement as bort mentioned.

I think expansions are needed when your group really warrants it. For instance, if I am playing Race for the Galaxy, but I usually have a 5th player, getting either Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm or Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts makes sense because I need it to have more players.

I look at some of the other games I have and realize I really don't need those expansions. I have Arkham Horror with Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion and Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion and realize that I don't need the expansions that much. The reason being is that I don't really play the game that often, but when I do, it's usually with new players. If that's the case, I'm not going to add the boards for the two expansions because that's too much for new players to digest. So the expansions for me have been just about getting new characters, bosses and new small cards.

When you buy an expansion for a game, it's good to think of it as a commitment. Will you play the game enough to justify an expansion? Will this expansion increase the likelihood to play a game that you never play?

I feel that people should focus on the games they absolutely love and get expansions for those rather than buying a ton of games they play very little of and buying all the expansions for everything. I suppose it's good for the economy.
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Michael Carter
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Skarjak wrote:
Ah_Pook wrote:
Does the existence of expansions invalidate the experience of playing the base game? If you enjoy the base game, why do you feel the need to get rid of it just because you don't have the latest shiniest add-on? If you still have your original D&D books and have willing players, you can still play that game no matter what WOTC decides to do.


Yes. The game becomes less fun knowning that you are missing important parts of it, in my opinion.


Do you have a history of being weak to peer pressure?

Unless a game is a customizable one, I rarely buy expansions.
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Richard Massey
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Catherine the Great wrote:
I miss what Dungeons and Dragons was back when I found it. Today, I am not remotely interested in what they are doing with 5th edition. I think 4th was a mistake, and 3rd was a mistake, and I think they might have gone too far with 2nd in some ways.


Amen to that.

(I'm still playing the first version of AD&D, but the subsequent versions make quite good inpspiration/reference material)
 
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Ray
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Although I haven't played d&d for decades, I agree on the latest rule sets. Part of the magic for me was the level that your imagination was used, was the level of the experience. Rules handed how to do basic things, but the rest was open interpretation. Now you got rules to build a fire, and it feels that imagination and creativity take a back seat to rules. I think the rules are well written, but take away what made the game great
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Bryan McNeely
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In the age of diminishing attention spans and increasing desire for instant gratification, old-school folks will be left behind. Balancing staying current with never forgetting our roots is very, very tough. I know.

My best example of this comes from personal experience in the realm of PC gaming.

From roughly 1998 to 2000, I was completely immersed in the world of EverQuest. I mean, so much so, that upon looking back, I slap my forehead because of how addicted I was to that world. I adored the base game and even looked forward to The Ruins of Kunark, EQ's first expansion. ...then came Scars of Velious, which I enjoyed, but I began to feel as if the game was leaving me behind. Others seemed more interested in the flavor of the day and not really the joy of sharing a world with others. I cared a lot for those people. Our community forum showed it.

By the end of that expansion's run, a new one was about to enter our world and I just became overwhelmed and a bit tired of adding to it. It was fine the way it was. I was happy. ..but because some hardcore folks couldn't seem to enjoy their experiences and loot finds, the push for more end game content became more and more intense. Those like myself, with a small group of friends and feeling more comfortable roaming the land alone, still had a lot to discover; much that others had seen many, many times already.

/sigh

I knew it was time to leave and try something else. What I had loved became nothing more than a starting point for ever-increasing content that I just wasn't interested in. I said goodbye to the greatest community in the virtual world and never came back.

A couple years ago, however, I discovered something very interesting. A group of folks took the original EQ files and recreated the world using an emulation program. They made it available to anyone who wanted to try it out and experience EQ from its core roots. Much like how I felt about the game, they added the first two expansions: the ones that truly mattered.

Trying it out was like taking a nostalgic trip through my young adulthood. Nothing was different, everything was exactly how I had remembered it and it felt wonderful. There were a few tweaks here and there, but essentially, it was the same universe I had abandoned years prior. It was so nice to revisit old times and remember what it was like to feel satisfied in a MMORPG. I had tried Dark Ages of Camelot, World of Warcraft and even EverQuest II, but it was that vanilla original EQ that gave me the most pleasure.

..but then something started to occur.

Despite feeling at home in this Norrath from years gone by, I began to feel restless. The slow movement, the long travel times to get from one place to another. The tedious battling, the plain loot, the inability to do anything remarkable as a solo player... I was becoming affected by the new school brand of MMO's.

It became convenient to fast travel places. It seemed natural and familiar to kill a little trash mob and get something extraordinary. To not have that in EQ '99 was, somehow, wrong.

Leveling up my character took forever. The variety of creatures was virtually miniscule compared to more modern fantasy worlds. I became bored and interested in something more. I wanted that game, my game, to grow up as I had. It didn't. It was there for the old-timers, which I thought I was, but perhaps I wasn't.

---

I enjoyed playing around with the EverQuest emulator and I did come across several people like myself who were wishing for that old-school experience in the 21st century. I can only wonder how many of them are still there; or have moved on to the more current fare of games. Just as I wonder where all those great people are I had met fifteen or so years ago.

There are times when we sit back and see all the games on our shelves and notice how they've grown over the years and we sometimes wish we could hit the reset button and start all over again.

Then reality sets in. It's okay to look back at the past, just don't stare. Enjoy what you can for what it's worth and try to keep looking ahead. Chances are, everyone else is, too.
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Dan Wojciechowski
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I listened to your rant, and you are welcome.

A lot of this comes down to what you want and why you buy games. Personally, I do *not* feel I'm missing out because I don't have all the expansions. I do *not* feel that I'm being left behind because my friends are playing with expansions I don't have. I'll get an expansion because I feel like I want an expansion to add to the game. You wouldn't be surprised to know that I have relatively few expansions, and those I have are primarily lumped in just 3 games.

Some examples.

Alhambra: I have no expansions for Alhambra. None. Zero.
Carcassonne: I have no expansions for Carcassonne. None. Zero.
Why? I like those games. I like them as they are. I enjoy playing them. The people with whom I play those games like them. As long as I enjoy continue to enjoy the game, I have no need to expand.

Alternately.

Dominion: I have added Dominion: Intrigue, Dominion: Seaside, Dominion: Prosperity, and Dominion: Cornucopia.
Arkham Horror: I have added Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion, Arkham Horror: The Lurker at the Threshold Expansion, Arkham Horror: The Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion (Revised Edition), and Arkham Horror: Miskatonic Horror Expansion.
Why? I like both of these games. I liked them as they were originally, but in both cases, I wanted even more variety. Not because my friend had all the expansions. Not because I felt I was left behind only playing what I had. Rather, I felt I would really like to have more options and variety. In Arkham, my big driver was having more Location Encounters, so that I would be less likely to see the same encounters. In Dominion, I really like the challenge of assessing each new combination of Kingdom cards and trying to play them better than my opponents.

Ultimately, it depends on your personal drivers. If yours are more "external", you will get annoyed if you cannot keep up with all the expansions, add-ons, and updates. There is nothing wrong with that at all, and I sympathize with your frustration. If your drivers are more "internal", you are not likely to feel the same annoyance. I don't think there is anything wrong with that either.

As with so many Internet rants and raves, the real trick is to understand that personal preferences are just that, and that real "right vs wrong" decisions are few and far between. Of course, the chances of such understanding in on the Internet is pretty much zero, and after all, even if there were, what fun would there be in *that*?

laugh devil whistle
 
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Andrew Bartosh

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Catherine the Great wrote:
In the case of role games, people saying 'oh you don't need to have every book' have lived sheltered existences. My experience has been the players always want to try out all the new, and thus if you are the lucky one to be the DM, you always feel like you are chasing down the latest.


You don't need every book, and I'm not living a sheltered existence.

If players wanted to try stuff outside of MY books, they can bring the exact thing they want to use to me themselves and I can give it a quick look over. I don't have to chase anything. If players want to keep up with the new shiny and ask about it, then they can do the legwork for me.

That, or they can accept the limitations I set on the campaign I am running for them.
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Chaddyboy
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I used to care about getting every expansion to everything. However, I've started ignoring many expansions, and the base games are still just as fun as they were before the expansion was released.

To me, expansions are only for when I tire a bit of the base game and would like to add something to make it exciting again.
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Sukunai Yori
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AndrewRogue wrote:
Catherine the Great wrote:
In the case of role games, people saying 'oh you don't need to have every book' have lived sheltered existences. My experience has been the players always want to try out all the new, and thus if you are the lucky one to be the DM, you always feel like you are chasing down the latest.


You don't need every book, and I'm not living a sheltered existence.

If players wanted to try stuff outside of MY books, they can bring the exact thing they want to use to me themselves and I can give it a quick look over. I don't have to chase anything. If players want to keep up with the new shiny and ask about it, then they can do the legwork for me.

That, or they can accept the limitations I set on the campaign I am running for them.


Oh if only I had thought this thought back when I got the brilliant idea to buy heavily into 4th edition D&D
I was supposed to just buy the core PHB MM DMG and nothing else. I sure screwed that plan up.

The other day I wanted to see about organizing my ASL scenarios. Big mistake. Do NOT go online and try to get a list of all of them I have never felt so utterly overwhelmed in my life. And I used to think I had my finger on the pulse in that game too. Nope, I am soooo out of step. I packed up the stuff and put it back on the shelf. Just too intimidated by all I encountered. Just toooo much stuff.
 
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Edward Uhler
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And we will get off of your lawn too
 
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