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Subject: Oh no! ...not another Expansions thread rss

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Kirk
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I am very curious as to which game expansions (ones the require the base game) people think are the best (i.e. add balance, add new excitement to play, add new strategies, etc...) out there right now and which are the worst (i.e. overpriced for value, unbalance a good game, extend game play too long, etc...)?

Sooo many games have them now that it is almost expected and often planned ahead by publishers. Sure, it is a good money grab for a popular game but where is this failing and where is it succeeding?

Personally, I have found that most expansions to already very good games have done little to enhance them. Maybe there are some average or less games that have gotten good "pick me ups" from an expansion or two?
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Bryan Thunkd
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Quote:
Oh no! ...not another Expansions thread
I really thought the base thread was good enough. You guys keep putting out all these additional threads, but they don't really add anything worthwhile. I mean, I keep posting in them because I'm a completionist, but more and more I just want to post in the original thread and avoid all the later ones.
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John James
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Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport add to the game without unnecessarily complicating it.
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Kirk
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Thunkd wrote:
Quote:
Oh no! ...not another Expansions thread
I really thought the base thread was good enough. You guys keep putting out all these additional threads, but they don't really add anything worthwhile. I mean, I keep posting in them because I'm a completionist, but more and more I just want to post in the original thread and avoid all the later ones.


I missed the one dicussing specific expansions that are bad or good?
 
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saturnkk wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Quote:
Oh no! ...not another Expansions thread
I really thought the base thread was good enough. You guys keep putting out all these additional threads, but they don't really add anything worthwhile. I mean, I keep posting in them because I'm a completionist, but more and more I just want to post in the original thread and avoid all the later ones.


I missed the one dicussing specific expansions that are bad or good?


That's not the only thing you've missed
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Kirk
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Good god. I am daft today! gulp

I need to start drinking my caffeine in the AM!
 
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Geki
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Most thematic games are easily enhanced by expansions.

However, I usually dislike expansions for Euro games (including those for some of my favorite games like Village, Tribune: Primus Inter Pares and most of the modules for Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies), given that they throw off the designed balance.

The main exception is The Pillars of the Earth: Expansion Set, which given the open ended nature of the base game does an excellent job at expanding it, actually making it deeper and more interesting.
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K S
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Huh! It's funny, but even though I've always been interested in adding expansions (I love variety), I actually don't know whether I can think of a single expansion that I feel is particularly notable. Maybe I'm wasting my money...surprise

EDIT: Actually, I realize that I definitely think that the Star Realms expansions add a lot to the game for, but that's primarily because I've already played the base game so much, rather than any particular virtues of the expansions themselves.
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Matt Kruse
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I like expansions that add more of the same. Like Mysterium's expansion just adding more cards to choose from or Settlers of Catan's 5-6 player expansion. Something that doesn't add major new mechanics to complicate everything when I'm explaining the rules. If you are really dedicated to one or two games that you and another person play VERY often then expansions are usually pretty good. But if you mainly play with a game group and are always playing a ton of new games... I think they are just kind of extra bloat.
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Kirk
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harvest4 wrote:
I like expansions that add more of the same. Like Mysterium's expansion just adding more cards to choose from or Settlers of Catan's 5-6 player expansion. Something that doesn't add major new mechanics to complicate everything when I'm explaining the rules. If you are really dedicated to one or two games that you and another person play VERY often then expansions are usually pretty good. But if you mainly play with a game group and are always playing a ton of new games... I think they are just kind of extra bloat.


That is a great point. Usually, adding cards like Mysterium, keeps the game fresh without really changing anything.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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Expansions I'm glad I have and would recommend (for those who play the base game):
Innovation: Echoes of the Past
Lancaster: Henry V – The Power of the King
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies
Russian Railroads: German Railroads
Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals and Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders
The Ladies of Troyes
Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice
Concordia: Salsa

I won't bother listing games with map-based expansions (e.g. Age of Steam, Power Grid, etc.).

But yeah, for the most part I do find myself a little disappointed with expansions more often than not. Often it's not even that there's anything wrong with the expansion, but it just makes the game harder to get on the table due to the increased learning curve for new players, and I tend to not repeat play games that often anyway.
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Tomello Visello
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I am always disgusted with publishers selling games in oversized boxes, thus forcing me to buy expansions in order to properly fill the excess space.

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Kirk
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TVis wrote:
I am always disgusted with publishers selling games in oversized boxes, thus forcing me to buy expansions in order to properly fill the excess space.



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CARL SKUTSCH
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Check out Clockwork Wars. It's a pretty darn good dudes on a hex map Euro'ish steampunk game. Quick and fun.
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I own both Innovation expansions. We play that game all the time. We haven't used the expansions yet. Maybe soon.

Concordia Salsa is auto for us now. The base game is great, now it's even better. It helps that the integration is smooth.

Hive, I got all the extra bugs. Mosquito and Ladybug are pretty much musts. I think I could leave the Pillbug out and never miss it.
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Doug Hook
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The expansion Shadows over Camelot: Merlin's Company* adds much to the base game of Shadows over Camelot.
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* oversized box
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Kirk
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I seem to have a harder time integrating expansions on games that I really like a lot. I always surmise that they will not make the game better but worse. For games that I am not as enamored with, I seem more willing...
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Patrick McNamara
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Best expansions for enhancing the base game (in my very humble opinion):

Merchants & Marauders: Seas of Glory
Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport
The Pillars of the Earth: Expansion Set
Descent: The Road to Legend

For me, expansions are either more of the same (Dominion, Legendary, etc.) or they add additional rules etc. I usually love the former and dislike the latter. But, I will make exceptions for the 4 listed above. They all add to the base game without over complicating things.
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Dan B.
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Without question my favorite expansion is Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm. I really liked the game before and this expansion adds so much it's worth it's weight in gold (if you like the game that is).
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Melody Klein
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The expansions to For the Crown (Second edition) bring me the most joy out of all of the expansions I own.

I think out of all the ones I own, Core Worlds: Galactic Orders is the most significant and impactful, but this is still theoretical, as I haven't got it to the table yet.
 
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Larry L
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I like the Chaos in the Old World: The Horned Rat Expansion because it lets the game play 5. I like each of the three first expansions for Race for the Galaxy because it lets the game play 5. I like the first expansion for Galaxy Trucker because it lets the game play 5.

You get the idea. I rarely play at a table with 4 or fewer.

Actually, my relationship with Galaxy Trucker expansions is slightly more complex. My ideal GT game is filled with chaos and exploding ships. Unfortunately, I've pretty well mastered the basic game so my ship rarely falls apart. The expansions allow me to ratchet up the chaos again.

Unfortunately I usually play with beginners which makes using the expansions problematic. Luckily some expansions can be used as a handicap, only adding trouble to the lives of experienced pilots.
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Justin Fuhrmann
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IMO, the best expansions are ones for games that were excellent without it, but after playing with the expansion, it takes it to a whole new level. Core Worlds: Galactic Orders is a great example. The base game felt complete without it, but then the expansion added things you never even knew were missing.

Then there are expansions that make vast improvements in the base game, but it's because the base game was too easy or unbalanced in some way to start with. Example: Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower - base game was far too easy

Sometimes expansions add stuff that's not needed. For me, Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies is in this category. It adds a fifth player (which we'll probably never use), prophecies (which escalate the game's stress to an undesirable level for our group), and tribes (which I like the idea of but we didn't find the powers that useful).
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os10
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i prefer Agricola with Farmers of the Moor. i dislike Hive's pillbug expansion, as it seems to change the game's focus entirely.
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Jason
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Good
Pandemic: On the Brink is an expansion that makes Pandemic better. In general, I think the Pandemic expansions are good because they're modular and allow you to mix and match whatever modules you want.

The Dixit expansions add more card variety and they're generally a good addition. I would imagine most games like this, where expansions add variety without changing rules are generally an improvement to a game you enjoy.

Small World: Be Not Afraid... and Small World: Cursed! add some of the best races and powers. These are slightly different from simply more variety, because they introduce new rules for those races and powers.

Bad
Small World: Tales and Legends isn't terrible, but most of the cards just make the turns fiddly and random.
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Mike
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Machi Koro - The original set-up, where all the cards were available from the start of the game, was broken. The first expansion offered a variant where the set-up was different each game and this vastly improved the game. So much so that most people ended up using it in the original game.

Kingdom Builder - The strength of the game is the changing combinations of special abilities you have in each game. So the expansions, by adding more special abilities, add to the overall game. So far, there are some I like better than others but I haven't played any I think are bad.

Stockpile: Continuing Corruption - The new Investor cards (and the promo Investors) are good. The Forecast Dice and the Commodity cards each add some variety to the game at the price of a little extra time spent on each round. The Bonds however don't impress me; they don't really add much strategy or variety to the game.

CV Gossip - This expansion adds a lot to the base game. The Gossip cards let you interact much more with the other players. And the Fate cards give you more strategic choices.

 
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