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Subject: Does anyone else dislike expansions? rss

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John Prewitt
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I've just spent the last few hours going through all my games to separate the expansions from them so I can sell them. I got into a bit of a "completionist" mindset for awhile and bought all the expansions for most of my games as I ordered them and put them in after 1-2 plays. Over time however I've really found I don't like well, almost all of them. They add clutter, set-up, unnecessary complexity, and I've generally noticed most expansions unravel the "tightly wound" mechanics of a lot of games, and make games with formerly tight scoring become totally lopsided. I guess it's a good thing though, I'll save a lot of $ as I don't plan on buying expansions anymore. The only games I'm keeping expansions for are Mage Knight because well Mage Knight and KDM because I spent a bajillion hours putting everything together and painting, but even for KDM I am not totally thrilled with the expansions.
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Greg
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To answer your question, yes, I am sure there are other people who dislike expansions besides you.

For me personally, I would say that I like some and am indifferent towards most.
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James Lautermilch
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While I'm sure there are many like you who don't like expansions I am not one them. For me they add depth, story, new challenges and a sense I am playing a brand new game. I do see your point about going overboard, but I tend to be selective about expansions so have not had that problem.
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bort
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I like good expansions
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Des Lee
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Some expansions are great. Tuscany (Viticulture), Ambition (Roll for the Galaxy), Gathering Storm and Rebel vs Imperium (Race for the Galaxy), anything for Dixit. 1910 (Ticket to Ride).

Some expansions are meh. Stone Age. Five Tribes.

If I like the base game, I'd probably get the expansion unless I read bad reviews about it. doesn't mean I have to always play with the expansion. Some games I'll never play without expansion or at least some part of the expansion, others will mostly stay in the box unless I'm after something a bit different.
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Jill Reid
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There are still a few expansions I consider must-haves, but I did the same thing. ALL of my games got bloated with expansions. It became a chore to sort out and figure out what to play with when we pulled out a game. I have sold off some expansions and even some of the games that just weren't as fun anymore. I think I ruined them with my completionism.
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Francisco Gutierrez
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Some expansion are great; Sentinels of the Multiverse has great expansions. I love the game so I love getting more of the same. I would recommend all of them.

Other expansions aren't so great; while I really like Flash Point: Fire Rescue, I don't use most of the expansions. While new mechanicisms and maps are cool, they make what I find to be a fun, simple game feel bloated. I wouldn't recommend most of them.

Some expansions are a mixed bag; most of Arkham Horror's expansions added something I use every game and something I used once. I wouldn't recommend most of them, but I'm glad I have them.

So as a whole, I guess I don't like expansions either, but some make games even better (even if better just means more)


EDIT: wow, just checked out your ratings, looks like the examples I chose weren't very good whistle
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Laura Blachek
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I also dislike expansions by default for the same reasons you listed.. My main exception for this rule is Legendary: Dark City, which really added to the base game without getting it bloated with added complexity.
 
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Roland Sanchez
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Wow dude, judging by your Previously Owned list, and the red ratings that looks like a river of blood all the way down the page, I would say your tastes are particular enough to the point I'm surprised the title of the thread isn't Does Anyone Else Hate Games?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but I would say that for even games that most people don't like and cull from their collection, they usually don't give them across the board 1s, 2s, and 3s.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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I fully vet online and in print for game expansions. I only get expansions that I know that I will like to play.
 
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John Prewitt
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ath3ist wrote:
Wow dude, judging by your Previously Owned list, and the red ratings that looks like a river of blood all the way down the page, I would say your tastes are particular enough to the point I'm surprised the title of the thread isn't Does Anyone Else Hate Games?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but I would say that for even games that most people don't like and cull from their collection, they usually don't give them across the board 1s, 2s, and 3s.


I can't make any post on here without someone criticizing my previously owned/ratings list. It's exciting to explain every time, though I really should just prepare a canned response. I'm not fond of the rating system here to be honest. I'm not gonna give something I wasted money and time on a 5 just because it's "neutral" or whatever. A "bad" game experience involves researching the game, ordering it, learning the rules, playing it, selling it, shipping it; all in all it's a huge waste of time and money. Those games deserve nothing more than a 3 in my opinion!
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Lawrence
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I find this ironic from OP's collection ratings:

Quote:
Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game (2015)
Rating: 6
Comments: Desperately needs expansions.


But to answer the original subject, there are plenty of expansions that add more depth and variety that increase replayability and even sometimes fix issues in the base game. Expansions I really love:

Nations: Dynasties
Shadowrun: Crossfire – High Caliber Ops
Cuba: El Presidente
Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition
Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies
The Voyages of Marco Polo: The New Characters

There are also some games I will flat out refuse to play without the expansion. Most notable for me is Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport
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John Prewitt
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Now THAT game DOES need expansions. There just aren't any (besides the newly released hero packs which I don't want) .
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Darth Heisenberg
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I like FFG games, 'nuff said!
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Cool User
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I used to get expansions because I thought I "should", not because I really wanted or needed them. I do not get the chance to play base games enough to ever get bored with them. I think that's a primary reason for people wanting expansions.

Of the expansions I own (most received in trade and I didn't go out looking for them) there are probably only a couple that I actually use.

For me, an expansion says one of two things: "Oops, we didn't get it right the first time" or "We made a good game the first time around, now we need to milk the cash cow."
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Mark Jackson
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If I really like a game and also think the expansion looks worthy I'm not against getting expansions, but generally i don't play any one game enough to really need more/different stuff.
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Kathleen Nugent
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cool username wrote:
For me, an expansion says one of two things: "Oops, we didn't get it right the first time" or "We made a good game the first time around, now we need to milk the cash cow."


I pretty much believe the above.

I'm cheap. If I buy a game, I want to be able to have fun playing it, not have to spend more to make it fun.

I have one game for which I use the expansions all the time: Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals and Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders. The game is too short without the extra tiles from these expansions.

And I have one other game The Castles of Burgundy for which I bought extra boards. We'd played it so often with the original boards that I wanted the option of some other ones. But that's just one board per player per game, and doesn't significantly change much else at all.

The rest of my 188 games have no expansions.
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Jacob Schoberg
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Buyer's remorse for dropping 900+ bucks on every Kingdom Death: Monster expansion? whistle

To answer your question: It depends on the game. Lots of games have great expansions and I'm glad they add more content to the game. There are occasionally games that feel like they really don't need an expansion, so I don't get them.

Any expansion that adds variety to existing campaigns / adventures / systems etc. is good with me. Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition), the aforementioned Kingdom Death: Monster, Thunderstone, Cosmic Encounter, etc.

There are times when expansions add a level of depth that I don't really feel is necessary. Five Tribes, Tokaido, etc.

There are occasionally expansions that don't fall into either of these categories and are still quite good. Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport is excellent, as an example.
 
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John Prewitt
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emodiu5 wrote:
Buyer's remorse for dropping 900+ bucks on every Kingdom Death: Monster expansion? whistle

To answer your question: It depends on the game. Lots of games have great expansions and I'm glad they add more content to the game. There are occasionally games that feel like they really don't need an expansion, so I don't get them.

Any expansion that adds variety to existing campaigns / adventures / systems etc. is good with me. Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition), the aforementioned Kingdom Death: Monster, Thunderstone, Cosmic Encounter, etc.

There are times when expansions add a level of depth that I don't really feel is necessary. Five Tribes, Tokaido, etc.

There are occasionally expansions that don't fall into either of these categories and are still quite good. Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport is excellent, as an example.


It was only $700

No buyer's remorse really. Just.... too much stuff. I've had them for like 3-4 months and think I've only used the Gorm, which I wasn't thrilled with. I couldn't sell them if I wanted to though as my wife is obsessed with painting my KDM stuff, so she gets more out of it then I do.

I felt the Tokaido expansions ruined the spirit and tightness of the game. I'll be glad to play the base set again. Race for the Galaxy clogged everything up and I didn't like the extra mechanics or the huge stack of cards. Carcassonne's first expansion is probably the only one I really enjoy as the large meeple is awesome. Nemesis for Relic was particularly bad as the nemesis role was just... so poorly thought out and boring. Mage Knight's expansions are nice because they fit in pretty seamlessly.
 
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Dr. Saari
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I have slowed down on expansions myself. They sometimes feel like a quick money-grab. If a game is good, it generally should not need expansions. I have thus held off on expansions to games like Village and Istanbul because I feel the base games are very good and don't need expansions. With that said, I think you have to vet them one at a time. I think the Leaders expansion to 7 Wonders, for example, adds a nice element to the game without radically affecting base play.

Another good expansion is Castle Panic. The base game to Castle Panic, for example, is fun but ridiculously easy to win. Each subsequent expansion has made the game much more difficult, and therefore enjoyable.



 
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Dan
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Expansions

Pros
Makes the base game better (Catan: Cities & Knights, Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion)

Cons
Might not make the base game better
Extra $$$ for small benefit. I would rather buy more unique games. For instance, I don't need expansions for Kingdom Builder or Alhambra (well, I might be tempted by a few Alhambra expansions, if they were cheap enough).
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Stephen Williams
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I don't dislike expansions as a general concept, but I've grown weary of excessive expansions, particularly when it becomes obvious that the company in question is just cranking them out because they can, and not because they have any particularly great ideas to add to the game.

I, too, used to be a completionist. I came around when I realized I was buying expansions I never actually used, because I was always playing with people who just wanted to play the base game. So, something akin to what the OP went through, sounds like.

I still buy games that have expansions, but I don't buy the expansions immediately. I play the base game a few times and I research the expansions to see what they actually add to the game. If it's just "more of everything" I don't generally bother picking it up, but if I find a flaw or a gap in the base game which a given expansion addresses, I'll buy that one. Entirely new mechanics are fun sometimes, but they really need to do something revolutionary to pique my interest.
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Stephen Hall
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What I don't like is when companies withhold content, then sell it separately as an expansion (I'm specifically talking about situations where a game is designed, then the designer/publisher removes a chunk of the game to sell on its own).

Yes, I understand this is "just business", and these companies need to make money, but it just feels... wrong.

And, to clarify, there is a difference between this and a situation where a game is successful, so the designer makes additional content later. That's fine. It's the whole "Day 1 DLC" thing that gets my goat, where they could have put extra stuff in the game, but decided not to.
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If someone develops *good* content for a game, I think I should at least have the *option* to buy it. If you don't like buying expansions, you might as well buy your games on KS -- with base games, you have an entry-level price point that allows you to try out the game before buying an expansion. If companies rolled up expansion content into a base game then... well, imagine if Dominion expected you to fork over $300 for the base game! I think only once a game has been in the hobby for awhile, like Carc, is there a market for an "all-in-one" package for content, such as a Big Box version.

Expansions allow companies to develop additional game content in response to market demand. That is, if FFG finds out Eldritch Horror sells better than their other games, then they'll focus resources on developing content for it. And that content will be released as an expansion. The only alternative I can see is for FFG to spend resources on *every* game they might expand, delay the release date as they keep adding more content, release a very expensive game, then go out of business when the market says no to the high price.

I will agree that, as companies release more content, expansions tend to add more rules, cards and other components, and other complications that may cumulate into a bloated horrid mess. My own solution is typically to only play with the base game (and improvements from expansions) and only one or two expansions. Also, I believe that "elegant" games should minimize complexity, so should avoid expansions. Ameritrash, however, should feel free to roll in them.
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Jonathan Challis
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Given like for like quality, I would always much rather an expansion for a game I own, than a new game. Actually, the bar for quality is probably lower - just adding content and complexity is enough. And I'll by an expansion that adds to the number of players (at least up to 6) regardless of other content or quality (I have far too many great 4p games that never get played!)
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