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Subject: Expansions vs new games rss

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David Murray
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I'm about 4 months in on board gaming. I own around 14-15 games and realize that I have to slow it down a bit especially because I tend to want big footprint more expensive games that can be played solo. IE: Scythe, The Gallerist, Robinson Crusoe, Eldritch Horror, Gloomhaven etc. I'm going to limit myself to one purchase per month, however there is so much I want so how do I decide what to get in order of want. The first thing I'm going to do is refrain from buying expansions. My feeling is that I would rather get a NEW game than an expansion or 2 for games I already own.

Opinions on this please and thank you
 
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HenningK
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The more games I play, the less I care about expansions as most don't offer all that much new, and often, they are only really worth it if you play the game a lot.

And to contradict myself: If you are looking for a heavy, big solo game with lots of variety, get Mage Knight Board Game and, eventually, its excellent Mage Knight Board Game: The Lost Legion Expansion expansion. No need to buy another game for months, or even years... ninja
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David Murray
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Heard that..the next 4 games 'on my radar' are:

Mage Knight
A Feast for Odin
Nations
Ghost Stories
 
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Ryan Keane
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Trantor42 wrote:
The more games I play, the less I care about expansions as most don't offer all that much new, and often, they are only really worth it if you play the game a lot.


Of course, don't buy an expansion if you're not already playing the game a lot. Never has an expansion made me want to play a game more than I did already, but some of my most loved games I always want to play with the expansion. I didn't buy any games in 2015 or 2016 by using the rule that I wouldn't buy a game I hadn't already played and loved, and those would just get added to my Xmas wishlist.
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I don't think you can universally say that expansions are less value than new games. Some games profit immensely from expansions (out of my head I think of Kingsburg and Eldritch Horror, although, probably not all of the Eldritch Horror expansions are needed).
 
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Geert Vinaskov
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I fully agree. A new game gives a new feeling, while an expansion is more of the same.

If I'm already in the mindset of "I want a lot, but I must limit my buying", I think it's a better investment to spend my money on actual NEW esperiences.
 
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Kevin Eastwood
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I tend to purchase expansions for games which I like, and which I believe add something to the game. Someone already mentioned Mage Knight - and for that game, the expansions have been excellent - with Lost Legion being the "must have" of the bunch if you're planning to play it solo and enjoy just the base game.

You mentioned Nations as well. Again, if you purchase and like the base game, the expansion for that game is excellent - adding a ton of other nations to use, and other smaller changes which IMO greatly enhance the replayability of the game.

In the end though, stay with the base games, play them a handful of times before jumping into decisions on the expansions (unless you find a good deal on BGG for a package with them included).

Finally, I have a geeklist of 100+ "solo" games and ratings after a handful of plays if that helps. I was thinking to also add another list of the expansions for those games as well, though I'm still backlogged on games to put up on the list.

Eastwood's "Make my day" solo game ratings
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Bermondsey Battler
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I do expansions because, for the kinds of games my son and I like (Memoir, Commands and Colors) they make sense by giving us more scenarios
Memoir 44 would quickly become boring if I had only the scenarios in the base game.

I dont buy others unless they add something I need - the capacity for extra players, for example, because I have four kids that play some games but only my biological sons play others.
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Edwin Woody
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Ryan Keane wrote:
Trantor42 wrote:
The more games I play, the less I care about expansions as most don't offer all that much new, and often, they are only really worth it if you play the game a lot.


Of course, don't buy an expansion if you're not already playing the game a lot. Never has an expansion made me want to play a game more than I did already, but some of my most loved games I always want to play with the expansion. I didn't buy any games in 2015 or 2016 by using the rule that I wouldn't buy a game I hadn't already played and loved, and those would just get added to my Xmas wishlist.


For me, Tuscany made Viticulture a much better game.
Never say never.
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Tom
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In my view, expansions broaden and improve the game experience and are often more of a good thing. Memoir '44 is a prime example. The core game has very basic rules. Each expansion adds more rules, more variety, more scenarios, more terrain tiles, and often more armies.

Of course, if you don't like the core game, then the expansions probably won't cause you to like the game system more.
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Ryan S
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If you have and enjoy game A a bunch, then expansions could help make that game even more enjoyable, and add more variety to the experience.

Buying a new game (B) could mean you end up with a game you don't like nearly as much as your expansion-less game A.

Here are a few games that I feel are enhanced considerably by expansions (not that they were bad games to begin with, just better with expansions):

Carcassonne
Dominion
Resident Evil Deck Building Game
Small World
Ticket to Ride
Catan
Alhambra
Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin
Lords of Waterdeep

That being said, you may find a new style of game you love most of all by trying a number of different types of games. Personally I've felt like my money has gone further buying expansions rather than new games, but that could be more related to my impulse purchasing habits.
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Andres Montanes-Lleras
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I think is difficult to make a universal judgment here. It depends on the game and it depends on the player.

While some people rightly argue that a new game can give you a completely different experience, there are not only expansions that change the game in such a significant way that they can have a similar effect, but also not all players are necesarily interested in playing (and buying) as many different games as possible.

In my personal case, I like being able to focus on certain games, which I can not only play several times (I tend to binge play a lot), but can also expand and almost make a hobby in and of themselves (the extreme case would be something like Magic the Gathering or Warhammer 40k).

Finally, in terms of money, an expansion can also be seen as a sound investment, not only do they tend to cost less than a new game, but can also revitalize a game you already invested in, assuming you liked it before, of course.

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Chris Mcpherson
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Concordia salsa is the expansion I think of that I really like. Other than that one, I couldn't care less. The ones I do have came bundled with a second hand purchase and I have yet to try them.

A new game will always beat an expansion for me. I really enjoy learning, teaching, and then playing a new game. That's why I have do many games, hehe.

I don't play games solo but I did enjoy playing ghost stories solo so I think you will like that one. Come to think of it, I tend to like co-ops solo but not true multiplayer games played solo.
 
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tfoz 15
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Certainly there are some expansions which offer more of the same, and mileage may vary person to person. For me however, there are some good games completely enhanced by their expansions:

Pandemic On the Brink and In the Lab
Dominion expansions except Alchemy
Tuscany as someone mentioned above
Five Tribes Artisans of Naqala - took an ok game and made it great for me
Istanbul Mocha and Baksheesh - we love this game as it is but the expansions provide variety
Memoir 44 - variety, although I don't own any expansions just yet

There are other games which I love as they are and haven't considered buying expansions:

Orleans
Scythe

Others I just don't play enough to justify an expansion:

Imperial Settlers
Concordia
Railways of the World
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Geoffrey Burrell
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I usually like expansions. Especially the Xenogames unauthorized expansions to Axis & Allies. They made the game feel more historical. So sometimes it is worth to buy expansions.
 
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Robert Wolkey
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Games I won't play unless we use the expansion:

Orleans - Invasion
Kemet - all except extra board
Mage Knight - Lost Legion
Pillars of the Earth
Castles of Burgundy - extra player boards and bgg expansion
Voyages of Marco Polo - new merchants
Russian Railroads - mini expansion
Descent v1 - Sea of Blood
Viticulture - new cards & Tuscany EE
Troyes - Ladies w/ the purple die
Mage Wars - more cards and mages
Arcadia Quest - more characters
Zombicide Black Plague - Wulfsburg, Deadeye Walkers
Chaos in the Old World - expansion 1
Runewars - expansion 1
Cyclades - New board and Titan
Age of Empires 3 - Builders
Claustrophobia - 1st exp adds creatures and tiles
Alien Frontiers- Outposts
Dixit - 2-3 expansions just for more cards
ASL - Japanese, British, more boards, etc

These are just looking thru games 1-200. As you can tell I really like expansions for many reasons.

Some expansions make a good game great (Troyes). Some add life or change a critical aspect (Cyclades). Some add variety or just improve it enough that other want to play it again (Pillars).

On the other hand some aren't worth adding to a game and are a waste of money. Just like the full spectrum of how people rate games and our personal preferences (I abhor Dominion) it's a matter of taste.



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Brennan Sheremeto
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The pretty much universal advantage to an expansion vs a new game is that you don't have to learn a totally new game; you just have the learn the new mechanics or changes.

If you play a game a lot then expansions will help the game from feeling stale, many will let you play with more players and in some cases (rare) make a game you weren't that into much better
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Robert Wolkey
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David murray wrote:
Heard that..the next 4 games 'on my radar' are:

Mage Knight
A Feast for Odin
Nations
Ghost Stories


Excellent list.

Ghost Stories is tough to win. You'll either come back for more or give up in frustration. Mage Knight takes a long time with 3+ players. It's excellent with 2 or solo. I love the Nations expansion. LOL. Have Odin, but haven't played it.
 
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Louis Brenton
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As someone entering the hobby, my advice to you is to do A TON of reading & research before you buy any new game OR expansion.

The reason I say so is that there's already so much good stuff out there, & so much new good stuff comes out every year, that storage space will quickly become an issue if you decide to pick up everything that strikes your fancy.

I tell my friends all the time: I don't play good games that are just good, because my world is full of GREAT games that I really love. I'm a lot more choosy about what I buy now just because of space.

Regarding the merits of expansions, I would only buy expansions for games that you:

1. Want to play in an expanded way.
2. There is massive concensus in your research that suggests that the expansion contributes something worthwhile.

Regarding 1, I mean several things. Thinking of games I like, if it's a scenario-based game like Memoir 44 or Combat Commander, you may want more scenarios. Or you may want different expansions that provide for different player counts, such as my much-loved Railways of the World. I have at least one map for all player counts for that game, because it's an all-time favorite for me.

Regarding 2, if you like a game & are curious about available expansions for it, research the heck out of them & see what people are saying they contribute. Again, citing games I like...I love Pandemic & after I got the On the Brink expansion, I'll never play without it again. I consider it essential & it makes the game much better. I feel the same about the expansion for Lords of Waterdeep. After experiencing the expansion, I'll never want to play without it again.

I wish you well on your quest to slowly build your collection!

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Steve Greasby
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I about about 6 months into the hobby. I lean towards getting new games over expansions but there are a few exceptions. As I look at the list, we have expansions for the favorite game of each member of our family. The other expansions were all "low risk" purchases (ie the added cost was low or the expansion is highly acclaimed).

Pandemic - This is one of my favorite games so I got two expansions: On the Brink and In the Lab.

Carcassone- This is my sons favorite so I got Inns and Cathedralsand Builders and Traders. We don't really play with the new rules much, we just wanted more tiles. We have used the pieces that allow one extra player.

Viticulture - I picked this up for my wife (a self proclaimed wine snob) who also likes board games. She will get it as a valentines gift this year. After hearing about all the people who only play it with Tuscany, I decided to get Tuscany without having even played the base game. I would not normally do that but figured it was a safe call.

Escape - The big box was on sale just before Christmas and it was not much more than the base game so it was another low risk decision.

TtR Europe - I got the 1912 expansion as a gift. TtR Europe is my wife's favorite so I may have purchased it eventually anyway. The new routes are welcome but I can pass on the other stuff.

Sushi Go - I include this because the party version is sort of like getting the base game with an expansion. I was afraid the base game would be too simple so I got the party version and I am happy I did because it has become a family favorite.
 
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David Purkiss
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Ghost Stories is probably my favourite game, love it at every player count, really enjoy White Moon, as it mixes things up a bit, not essientail but nice, Black Secrets looks OK but was more a completionist purchase.

Generally expansions are OK, Lord of Waterdeep has an essientail one, Summoner Wars / Neuroshima Hex have ones that add variety. 7 Wonders Duel Patheon mixes things up a bit. Generally expansions seem to add a lot to the cost (I own nearly everything for summoner wars for example)

Generally I stick to games that work for 2 players, with quite a few being CO-OPs as I can also play them solo.

I've also enjoy Onirim (playing with 7 included expansions) and Sylvion as they are very replayable as shorter solo games.

I own but haven't played Mage Knight and Lost Legion and am on the lookout for Gloomhaven, as it's my kind of game. Robinson Crusoe was another I thought of getting at some point.
 
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David murray wrote:
The first thing I'm going to do is refrain from buying expansions. My feeling is that I would rather get a NEW game than an expansion or 2 for games I already own.
I agree up to a point. Have you actually played all of the games you currently own?

I typically find that about one in five games I buy, is one that I really enjoy a lot more than the others. And that's a game that I will buy expansions for.

There'll also come a point when you'll feel you've covered all the bases, and new games no longer feel unique. Instead you start to think, "well, this is quite similar to 'X' except for ..."
For scenario-based games, I feel it's okay if I own several that are similar to each other, because I typically stop playing them after I've won each scenario, anyway.
But how many worker-placement games do you really need?
I think, typically, you'll find you have a favorite and prefer playing it over the others. So, this favorite may be a good candidate for expansions instead.

As others have pointed out, there are games that only really shine with an expansion, e.g. 'Eldritch Horror' feels incomplete and has way too few different encounters to be really replayable.
But you don't need more than one or two expansions to solve that.

Other games with important first expansions (especially for solo play) are 'Mage Knight', 'Ghost Stories' or 'Race for the Galaxy'. In fact the latter is game I consider every expansion has been worth it. But that's also because I've played it so often. If you've played a game hundreds of times, you can't help but want everything that's available for it.
 
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