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Even in cases where I haven't played the base game before, or the "starter game", my preferences for game choices are often to play the game with expansions. The way I see it, just like how if it's like between playing a game that gets played often, vs. another game that's more difficult to get in. Folks who like to do the latter will go with the latter. Ditto here... base games are always easier to get in then game with expansions, so there will always be more chances to do that.

That said, I'll spring for the expansion only if it's doable. Considerations include time, doesn't make an already complex game 3x as complicated, if others are up for it, and the game can be set up in a reasonable amount of time. I love exploring new games, and expansions are a part of that interest.


As for "starter games", this is where the rules suggest you do this for a first time play. There are some games where folks never bother with the basic. For example, one group of mine taught Agricola, and they never bother with the family game since they feel there's no point.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Why two threads? Maybe you tried to play the base thread first, and then added an expansion thread?


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a1bert wrote:
Why two threads? Maybe you tried to play the base thread first, and then added an expansion thread?
I meant to post only one thread. I got some kind of browser error, thought it didn't go through, so I copied and pasted it again.

I've deleted the duplicated.
 
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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We like to explore games and learn them together, and foremost, keep playing the same games we find fun for all players (game according to the group). So, it is natural for us to start with the base game, keep playing it, then consider adding expansion(s) to add variety (and possibly more complexity) to keep it a game worth playing, a game that plays differently each time.
 
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Øivind Karlsrud
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I almost never use the stuff from expansions which adds to the complexity, anyway. I must have a really good reason to add extra mechanisms, even when I have played the base game a lot. But extra variety or more players, the things I really want from expansions, can usually be added right away.
 
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Corey Hopkins
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I don't really ever buy expansions with the base game, so I can't speak much to that. Though I will say that I will throw in expansion content when a new player is playing if that content does not add rules complexity (expansion roles in Pandemic), or if an expansion provides more cards for a deck used in the base game (Last Will: Getting Sacked).

As to the other thing, I value "learning variants" or "family variants" found in games like Agricola and Fresco very highly. I think a designer who has thought of a way to boil the core concepts of her game down to make an enjoyable learning experience has gone the extra mile and earned my attention.

When I taught my wife Fresco, I completely ignored all the reviews that said "If you're in any way a real gamer, you should just jump right in to the full game." I taught the basic game first, no modules. Then we played a game with the cards. Then we played with cards and the bonus tiles. Last we played with the cards, tiles and new colors. It was great! Not only did we get a real feel for the game by playing it several times, but it allowed my wife, who doesn't like to learn new games that much, to comfortably ease in to the game.

I wish more games had "learning variants", and I would always choose to play that way first. I also wish people prominent in the hobby did not look down on these variants and the people that appreciate them. We are also "real gamers".

(Note, my scorn is not directed at the OP at all. Great question, look forward to other views.)

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