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Subject: Any expansions that has made a game "Jump the Shark"? rss

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mortego
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"jump the shark"
(informal)
(of a television series or movie) reach a point at which far-fetched events are included merely for the sake of novelty, indicative of a decline in quality.
------------------------------------------------

I've thought about this before and since I'm not a big fan of expansions (but do have some) I have no idea if any expansion has actually made a game in a way that makes it either tiresome or worse or just too much of the same.

In particular I am thinking about FFG who are known for lots of expansions but I'm not saying any of them fit this description.
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Andrew
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First thing I thought of: Games that have reached "heat death"
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Donald Walsh
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I buy science fiction/fantasy book collections in MD/DC/VA. GeekMail me.
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Carcassone Catapult I think is the gold standard.
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Eddy Sterckx
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Ticket to Ride: Alvin & Dexter
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Michael Korson
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I think you could make the argument that a lot of popular board games who have since churned out a lot of expansions or different versions may have 'jumped the shark' if these are more about milking the game's popularity versus actually enhancing the original game.

Some possibilities:
Ticket to Ride: There's a version for each continent at each point - and sure, each one does have a slightly different rule set (i.e. tunnels and ferries in Ticket to Ride: Europe) but it's really the same game with just a different map.

Pandemic: Not only are there several expansion, but now there are multiple re-themed versions (You want Cthulu, you got Cthulu!). Not to mention that Season 2 of the Legacy Game is coming out.

Catan: There's now a Catan out there for everyone.

Monopoly: Probably the poster child for this - because they've done it all. Hundreds of pasted on re-themed versions (um, Twilight Monopoly anyone?), anniversary editions, contests to choose new pieces (RIP Thimble), adding only slight enhancements (no paper money, transactions are done electronically!) - no shame.
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Scott McKay
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I want to say Survive: Dolphins & Squids & 5-6 Players...Oh My!. Can't the dolphins jump the sharks?

But seriously, I thought Eclipse: Black Hole was kinda silly.
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Chris Laudermilk
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Munchkin

...though that pretty much started mid-jump out of the gate. whistle
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Robert Wolkey
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aaj94 wrote:
First thing I thought of: Games that have reached "heat death"


Thanks for posting the list. It was informative and entertaining.

I own Descent v1 and bought all the expansions except the last one as it wasn't needed to play the Road to Legend/Sea of Blood campaigns.

As an ASLer there are never too many expansions and I can't wait for the Korean War module.
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HenningK
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Totally agree about Carcassonne: Expansion 7 – The Catapult. Adding a dexterity component? Seriously?

To me, "jumping the shark" isn't the same as being superfluous or just bad. The second category contains many more than the first.

My personal number one pick for an expension that makes a game worse is Stone Age: The Expansion. It actually manages to turn a good game mediocre to bad. I rate basic Stone Age an 8 and the expansion a 4, and that is generous.
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Under the paving stones, the beach
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I quite like it in a silly high camp way, but Talisman Timescape massively divides the fanbase.
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John Wilder
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claudermilk wrote:
Munchkin

...though that pretty much started mid-jump out of the gate. whistle


Yes, but it really jumped in Munchkin Booty 2: Jump the Shark.
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Chris Laudermilk
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desmothenes wrote:
claudermilk wrote:
Munchkin

...though that pretty much started mid-jump out of the gate. whistle


Yes, but it really jumped in Munchkin Booty 2: Jump the Shark.

I guess at least they are self-aware of the status.
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Kelly Krieble
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7 wonder: tower of babel

Innovation: either expansion

I hate to nominate these because I really love both 7 wonders and Innovation. But these expansions just really stunk IMHO.

and +1 to the TtR Dexter/Alvin expansion, which is awful.
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Richard Irving
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Wolkster wrote:
aaj94 wrote:
First thing I thought of: Games that have reached "heat death"


Thanks for posting the list. It was informative and entertaining.


No it was neither--typical whiners gotta' whine and list pet peeves of expansions they hated. yuk

Ignoring three VERY BASIC FACTS:

ONE:
There are really three different types of expansions:
- Type I: Adds variety with minimal* (or no) rule changes: New maps for a train game, new tracks for a racing game, new scenarios for a wargame, new cards for card game, etc. (* Minimal rules: New type of terrain on a map, scenario specific rules, but no general rule changes.)
- Type II: A substantial new element of play added but the game is still recognizable. Think Seafarers of Catan, King & Intrigant El Grande, Most ticket to Ride expansions, new nationalities in a wargame, etc.
- Type III: Basically expansions they create a new game with the old bits: Agricola Farmers of the Moor, Cities & Knights of Catan, El Grande: Grand Inquisitor & Colonies.

TWO:
Whether a game is expansion or a "New Game in a series": Is usually a manufacturing decision: Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails and the Mayfair Rails are "new games" because they had to provided so much stuff, they might as well throw in the rest. (Which makes Thurn and Taxis: Power and Glory puzzling--if they had included buildings, it'd be a "new game".)

THREE:
Expansions can always be removed if you don't like them. I can't ever unwatch Fonzie jumping the shark, but I can take Cities & Knights and never play it. (Or add only the elements I like: Where is that Debtors Prison card in the St. Pete expansion?)


Quote:
As an ASLer there are never too many expansions and I can't wait for the Korean War module.


ASL fits the Three Types expansion paradigm:
Type I: Scenario Packs
Type II: Each of the Main modules adds new nationalities.
Type III: Is ASL itself, from original Squad Leader.
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Abiezer Coppe wrote:
I quite like it in a silly high camp way, but Talisman Timescape massively divides the fanbase.


Though I'm no fan of Timescape; I moreover think the ENTIRE 3RD EDITION jumped the shark... well, maybe the Atlantic.
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No One
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rri1 wrote:
[q="Wolkster"]
There are really three different types of expansions:
- Type I: Adds variety with minimal* (or no) rule changes: New maps for a train game, new tracks for a racing game, new scenarios for a wargame, new cards for card game, etc. (* Minimal rules: New type of terrain on a map, scenario specific rules, but no general rule changes.)
- Type II: A substantial new element of play added but the game is still recognizable. Think Seafarers of Catan, King & Intrigant El Grande, Most ticket to Ride expansions, new nationalities in a wargame, etc.
- Type III: Basically expansions they create a new game with the old bits: Agricola Farmers of the Moor, Cities & Knights of Catan, El Grande: Grand Inquisitor & Colonies.


I think there's a subset worth adding to Type II: fixes significant flaws in the original rules.

~V
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If we're talking sheer number of expansions I think Kingdom Death has.... 30+ ?
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Robert Wolkey
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dr_divot wrote:
7 wonder: tower of babel.


+1 Oh my, this should be the poster boy of bad expansions. I forgot how bad it is and that I own it. It's at the bottom of a drawer somewhere.

One of the very few expansions that I don't like.
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Jonathan M
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Wolkster wrote:
dr_divot wrote:
7 wonder: tower of babel.


+1 Oh my, this should be the poster boy of bad expansions. I forgot how bad it is and that I own it. It's at the bottom of a drawer somewhere.

One of the very few expansions that I don't like.



Wow, I'm really happy I didn't spring for this one. It didn't quite grab me like the other expansions, and I have the Broken Token insert that does not fit it, so I've been content with Leaders, Cities, and the Wonder Pack. Sounds like that's the way it's going to stay.
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Shayne Gray
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JMac85 wrote:
Wolkster wrote:
dr_divot wrote:
7 wonder: tower of babel.


+1 Oh my, this should be the poster boy of bad expansions. I forgot how bad it is and that I own it. It's at the bottom of a drawer somewhere.

One of the very few expansions that I don't like.



Wow, I'm really happy I didn't spring for this one. It didn't quite grab me like the other expansions, and I have the Broken Token insert that does not fit it, so I've been content with Leaders, Cities, and the Wonder Pack. Sounds like that's the way it's going to stay.


I was really glad that I played this expansion before I bought it, well I guess I should say I didn't buy it because I played it.
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Tony C
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Castle Panic - Wizard's Tower.

I still play the game, either base only or base with Wizard cards - but the added monsters really changed the game, for my opinion, for the worse. I know a lot of people enjoy that it's more of a "Gamer's game" but I liked the original's ease of setup, play, and explanation. It was a great intro game to many people, and to me, the extra monsters add complexity but not fun.
It drastically changed the game experience, for the worse based on my way of playing it, when adding that expansion, so it's the closest I can think of to "jumping the shark".

There are definitely expansions i don't need because they're "more of the same" and I just don't need more (I've never gotten expansions for Defenders of the Realm, though they do have a rather fervent fan base), but I don't categorize that the same way as a potential shark-jump.
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Robert Wolkey
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JMac85 wrote:
Wolkster wrote:
dr_divot wrote:
7 wonder: tower of babel.


+1 Oh my, this should be the poster boy of bad expansions. I forgot how bad it is and that I own it. It's at the bottom of a drawer somewhere.

One of the very few expansions that I don't like.



Wow, I'm really happy I didn't spring for this one. It didn't quite grab me like the other expansions, and I have the Broken Token insert that does not fit it, so I've been content with Leaders, Cities, and the Wonder Pack. Sounds like that's the way it's going to stay.



Cities is exceptional. For some reason at conventions we always have 8 players. Cities fits an 8th player in seemlessly.

BTW - with 8 players we also play Viva Java the Coffee Game and Zombicide Black Plague. Both are a blast.
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Pete
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Dungeons & Dragons Set 5: Immortals Rules was so silly they needed to reboot the whole product.

Magic: The Gathering Fallen Empires and Homelands were so bad many players quit and never came back.

Pete (dates himself with some examples)
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Jason
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plezercruz wrote:
Magic: The Gathering Fallen Empires and Homelands were so bad many players quit and never came back.


Those two expansions are what mostly killed MtG for me.


In regards to "jumping the shark," shouldn't these expansions effectively kill subsequent expansions or the subsequent expansions have the same poor quality? If there's one (or more) bad expansion in the middle, then in can't be a jumping the shark if there's a good or great expansion later.

Maybe a more appropriate term for situations where we get a bad "season" in the middle would be to reference them along the lines of The Wire Season 2. "Too much time at the docks."

[Couple edits due to phone autocorrect.]
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Steve C
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plezercruz wrote:
Dungeons & Dragons Set 5: Immortals Rules was so silly they needed to reboot the whole product.

Pete (dates himself with some examples)

I think D&D deserves a special place (good way and bad way) because they also introduced the 4th edition which was so silly they needed to reboot the whole product.

It's a monument to silliness that they did major mistakes twice, but it's also noteworthy that they are still in business and putting out content after making said mistakes.
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