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Subject: Best expansion for a board game? Speak your mind! rss

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Brandon Held
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I'm having a horrible day, so I figured I'd post this thread to take my mind off of a few things and read some lovely responses. Lend me your ears! Or eyes, as the case may be. And then maybe fingers.

I wanted to hear back from you, you boardgamegeekers, you who are the board game elite, about what you think is the best expansion out there for a board game.

I even put that in bold.

As I was molding this question in my mind, I thought about some of the angles you could come at a question like this:

1.) You could say what expansion changed the theme of the theme of the game to take it to a new level of excellence, made the theme of the game that much richer/more vibrant.

2.) You could talk about how an expansion created a great deal more depth to the game or turned up/down the difficulty, which added to your overall enjoyment.

3.) Or you could talk about how the expansion changed the mechanics of the game and ramped up the base to game new levels of awe-inspiring greatness, by getting rid of some base mechanic or adding new mechanic changes with the expansion.

Just a few directions I thought this could be answered. There's probably at least 8989 more. I have a few expansions already in mind, but I want to see if they get mentioned and what people have to say. Plus, many of you own (a lot) more games than I do and have played (a lot) more games than I have in my brief time here on Earth-616, so your expertise is probably more valuable.
 
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Gerry Daigle
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To me, a great expansion is one that doesnt change the way the game plays. Personally if I'm buying an expansion its because I enjoy the game and want to further that experience not change it. I can see how others can see that differently but I wouldn't buy an expansion for a game I didn't enjoy in hopes that it makes it better. But I would buy an expansion for a game I already enjoy if it continues the fun I know I like. With that, it would be hard to say the best expansion is .... because we each want something different from the expansions.

But I am curious as to the specific examples you'll get.
 
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Aaron Edwards
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Well, I'm not a huge expansion-buyer. It's far too tempting to just buy new games, but I'm trying to do better about buying expansions instead (cheaper, take up less space). But in my limited experience, the best expansion I've played is Firefly: The Game – Breakin' Atmo. I really like the Firefly base game, but the game can take such a long time that it makes it virtually unplayable for old fogies like my with kids and demanding jobs. Breakin' Atmo sprinkled in a few more powerful/rewarding cards that help speed up the game and make it a little less frustrating.

I'll also give a shout out toStar Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – Millennium Falcon Expansion Pack. I don't think this really counts since it's more of a minis game addition than a board game expansion, but come on. What geek hasn't always wanted to play with this model?
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Legendary: Dark City

This expansion hit on all notes: theme, depth, design.

Theme- unique artwork on each card is a major improvement over the base set.

Depth- increased difficult, making cooperation critical.

Mechanics- new icons and abilities enhance gameplay.

The base set of Legendary was disappointing as the artwork was a farcry from what I expected out of a comic-inspired board game and the game was simply too easy, requiring little-to-no teamwork for a cooperative game!

I was reluctant to buy this expansion, but it made Legendary one of my favorite and most played games, especially with my wife.

What more do you want?

King of Tokyo: Power Up! also impressed me as it took an extraodinarily simply game with merely a couple strategies and gave every character its own unique feel and made veterans of the game reconsider how they should play.

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Aaron Edwards
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imtylerdurden wrote:
Legendary: Dark City

This expansion hit on all notes: theme, depth, design.

Theme- unique artwork on each card is a major improvement over the base set.

Depth- increased difficult, making cooperation critical.

Mechanics- new icons and abilities enhance gameplay.

The base set of Legendary was disappointing as the artwork was a farcry from what I expected out of a comic-inspired board game and the game was simply too easy, requiring little-to-no teamwork for a cooperative game!

I was reluctant to buy this expansion, but it made Legendary one of my favorite and most played games, especially with my wife.

What more do you want?

King of Tokyo: Power Up! also impressed me as it took an extraodinarily simply game with merely a couple strategies and gave every character its own unique feel and made veterans of the game reconsider how they should play.


Awesome. These are my next two targets.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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This is exactly the sort of topic that's better addressed by a Geeklist, such as these:

Must-have expansions.
Must Grab Expansions!
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Aaron Yoder
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I think Fantasy Flight is going to have an advantage, because their expansions usually make the $70 of colored cardboard you just bought playable.

Now that I'm done ribbing FFG I'll put in my vote, which is High Frontier: Colony.
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Clinton Sattler
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The Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower expansion changes the base game from an easy family affair to a tough nail biting finish type co-op. If you want to play Castle Panic into an adult's game, this is the way to do it.

Also Saint Petersburg: New Society & Banquet Expansion fixes some balance issues with its expansion. Some consider it a must have.
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Brandon Held
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ContainerJones wrote:
The Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower expansion changes the base game from an easy family affair to a tough nail biting finish type co-op. If you want to play Castle Panic into an adult's game, this is the way to do it.

Also Saint Petersburg: New Society & Banquet Expansion fixes some balance issues with its expansion. Some consider it a must have.


Gah! Now I think I'm going to have to invest in both the Castle Panic and the expansion. I've read too much about how the expansion takes the base game and makes it an adult friendly co-op with a feasible amount of difficulty.

I was wondering if someone was going to mention this, now I'm putting it on the "must buy" list.
 
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Brandon Held
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Santiago wrote:
This is exactly the sort of topic that's better addressed by a Geeklist, such as these:

Must-have expansions.
Must Grab Expansions!


I wanted to read other people's personal feedback, not create my own list. Also, looking through past lists isn't taking my mind off the fact that I got some rough news today, so I figured I'd do something that engaged my active brain with reading and responding to other people's discourse. So there's that.

But thanks for alerting me to these links, either way. I'll read them at some point, probably tonight...
 
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Brandon Held
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nomoredroids wrote:
I think Fantasy Flight is going to have an advantage, because their expansions usually make the $70 of colored cardboard you just bought playable.

Now that I'm done ribbing FFG I'll put in my vote, which is High Frontier: Colony.


Rib on!

I haven't heard of the High Frontier series until this moment, thanks for that. I'm more of a solo/cooperative game guy with my girlfriend (otherwise we have some serious fights), but it looks like a lot of fun actually.
 
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C L
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The two Galaxy Trucker expansions are critical if you want to get the true Galaxy Trucker experience. The base game barely scratches the surface. The expansions improve on every element of the game by adding to the existing components and introducing so many other options.
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Daniel West
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All of the Dominion expansions.
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Brandon Held
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clinz30 wrote:
The two Galaxy Trucker expansions are critical if you want to get the true Galaxy Trucker experience. The base game barely scratches the surface. The expansions improve on every element of the game by adding to the existing components and introducing so many other options.


I was just playing a Vladda Chavatil game tonight, but it was Space Alert. I've heard only good things about Galaxy Trucker and its expansions...
 
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Dan B.
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My favorite expansion is probably Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm. It really makes the game much more playable passed the 10 or so plays with the base game. The variability it adds is quite extensive. We use 4 of 5 modules pretty much all the time now minus the reinforcement one since we lean towards enjoying the randomness of the winter stage. 4 solid expansions in one that isn't your prototypical "add another player and some other minor thing" expansion.
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Trevor Kindree
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I'll throw my thoughts into the mix, see what comes out.

First off, Core Worlds. The original game was designed with the expansion in mind. Some people argue that the expansion should have come with the base game, it completes a game, gives it a much more enjoyable experience without adding too many rules / unnecessary cards. Why wasn't it included with the base game? It would have brought the price of the game up into a range they wanted to avoid. Sad, but sometimes leaving it out makes the difference between a sale and sitting in a clearance bin.

Second, I'll hit up King of Tokyo. Previously noted that it completed the game, giving it some teeth. Without the expansion, it is a little more than Yahtzee. With the expansion, it actually has some strategy. Again, not many more rules, yet finishes off a game nicely.

Third, I'll toss around Lords of Waterdeep. This changes the game from a happy introductory game into a cutthroat gamer's game. It definitely adds teeth, complexity, and increases replay value.

Lastly, I'm looking at Dominion. Yes, there are many expansions, other games now do expansions equally well, but it was my first in new gaming. There is the base game, or Intrigue. Both are equally important as a core set, neither NEEDS an addition to make an excellent game. But expansions were released, each with a central theme, often introducing mechanics. What I thought was interesting is that many mechanics introduced were seldom seen outside of that expansion. For example, Alchemy. Often hated, it is the only one with Potions. Prosperity involves expensive cards, not seen elsewhere to such a degree. Seaside has cards which remain in play until the next round. They can be mixed, used alone (with Core cards from the base), in part or in whole. They aren't essential, are not precursors to other expansions, play well together but don't require one another. You could buy one, three, none, or all, and still have just as much a good time.
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Matt Bowles
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Pandemic: On the Brink
So many cool additions but especially the new roles that are available. Necessary!!

Catan: Cities & Knights
When things get bland, how about a bunch more resources (commodities) and more of everything. Its like playing a different Settlers on top of an existing Settlers game. yeah, that doesn't make sense! it's just cool alright!
 
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Chris
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Village Inn

An expansion that adds beer. Job done.
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Mr. Blue
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Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small – More Buildings Big and Small took a very good 2-player strategy game and made it great by introducing a needed element of variability to the setup. I'm a sucker for expansions, but that one is probably my overall favorite.
 
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I've gotten more actual use out of the Settlers of Catan 5-6 player expansion than I have of just about all other game expansions combined. And that's despite my reservations that the "special build phase" is a game-ruining incentive against trading and the need to repaint the orange pieces to be visual distinct from the red pieces.



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Kasper Lauest
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Team D20 wrote:
All of the Dominion expansions.

This!

The Dominion expansions really are perfect. They do what expansions should do: give you more variety and expand on the game without fundamentally changing it. They are all worthwhile. I own all 8 of them and I have never regretted buying any of them.
 
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mrblueesq wrote:
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small – More Buildings Big and Small took a very good 2-player strategy game and made it great by introducing a needed element of variability to the setup. I'm a sucker for expansions, but that one is probably my overall favorite.

Yes, but on the other hand, an argument could be made that since this expansion is pretty much mandatory to make the game properly replayable, it really should have been included in the base game.
 
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Kathleen Nugent
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Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders and Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals. Makes the game just long enough. Adds a tiny bit of complexity without changing the feel of the game - unlike Princess & Dragon or any of the other very small boxed expansions. I think the game would get dull with just the base set.
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dylan benton
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Councilofthevoid wrote:
clinz30 wrote:
The two Galaxy Trucker expansions are critical if you want to get the true Galaxy Trucker experience. The base game barely scratches the surface. The expansions improve on every element of the game by adding to the existing components and introducing so many other options.


I was just playing a Vladda Chavatil game tonight, but it was Space Alert. I've heard only good things about Galaxy Trucker and its expansions...


The anniversary edition of Galaxy Trucker is like a big box of cardboard candy. I've played (and lost) that game so many times now and still haven't used everything in the box.

Scoundrels of Skullport for Lords of Waterdeep is another must buy expansion. I played the base game so much and was nearing a burn out point, now with the expansion I don't think I'll ever get sick of that game.

I've got to put a third vote in for all the adventure packs for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Without those the game isn't complete.
 
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BlueSwan wrote:
Team D20 wrote:
All of the Dominion expansions.

This!

The Dominion expansions really are perfect. They do what expansions should do: give you more variety and expand on the game without fundamentally changing it. They are all worthwhile. I own all 8 of them and I have never regretted buying any of them.


Agreed! They make a great game even better! I don't have all of them yet, but I'm close!

Also, I hope today is a better day for you!
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