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Subject: Expansions vs Variants vs ?? rss

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Jake Di Toro
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What should Ticket to Ride: Switzerland, Age of Steam Expansion #1: England & Ireland, or Thurn and Taxis: Power and Glory be called. I don't think they fit a good definition of either an Expansion or a Variant.

Let's look at how I at least classify the two definitions.

Expansion (Websters: the act or process of expanding) is adding components to a game to create a longer/bigger/deeper game. It is the function of adding components to the game to make it support more players (Catan: 5-6 Player Extension), more board space (Talisman (third edition): City of Adventure), or more components (Ticket to Ride: USA 1910). None of which have to be mutually exclusive.

Variant (Websters: varying usually slightly from the standard form) is utilizing the existing components while altering the rules to produce a different outcome. Many games come with variants right in the main rule book, while others are mostly home grown. Quite often those home grown variants should really be called expansions (mini perhaps) since they add new components as well.

So what do we call these other these other items. 90% of the mechanics of these are the same as the original game they are based on. Unlike 1910 where we've replaced/augmented a minor component of the game (cards) we're replacing a major component as well (board). Lets face it the only difference between the game Ticket to Ride: Europe and the "expansion" TtR:Swiss is that they chose not to package in components that they expect people to already own.

Part of me just want to call them "Alternates", but it's not striking the right cord with me.
 
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Lacombe
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Perhaps "modules" would work.
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Jake Di Toro
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NateStraight wrote:
Perhaps "modules" would work.


Hmmm, hearkens back to my RPG days. Better than "alternates". More ponderage required.
 
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Dean Thomas
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A 'Dievergance', 'Modification' or 'Spin-Off'?
 
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Mik Svellov
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I prefer to call them "Expansions"
- and I bet 99% of all publishers will continue to call them this, no matter will be decide here.
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AxonDomini
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I don't think expansions necessarily need to add to the play time, depth, or supported players. Some may just expand your options, and that's just fine. The TTR:Swiss map now gives you another choice of maps when you play TTR with 2 or 3 players. Sounds like an expansion to me.
 
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Lacombe
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What would you call something like Under the Shadow of the Dragon or Helden in der Unterwelt that are simultaneously stand-alone games and expansions to the original game?
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Mike Cooper
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In my opinion, an expansion requires the addition of physical components to the game. A variant is merely a rearrangement of some or all of the components.
 
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Mik Svellov
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Thosw wrote:
In my opinion, an expansion requires the addition of physical components to the game. A variant is merely a rearrangement of some or all of the components.

This is true when the variant is included with the original.

However when the variant is sold separately (or downloadable)
it is also way to expand the way the original game can be played.
 
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Simon K
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how about "rip-off" ?? EMBRACE THE FLAME!
 
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