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Subject: Hmmmm, should I or shouldn't I... rss

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David Gregg
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If the base game plays well, just ignore the expansions.

The completionist within me says: gulp
My wallet replies: devil
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Rich Shipley
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It is a tough question to answer in general. I try to stay away from "collectable" games that give you a random selection in each purchase. I find I end up with lots of stuff I don't want.

If it is a game I like, I usually prefer buying an expansion to a new game. I already know I like it and it gives me more variety in play. I'm also happy to reward the people who produced the game I like with more of my money.
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Kris Van Beurden
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I actually prefer such games - knowing that if I like the game, it can be hugely expanded with new material, keeping the game fresh ... and if I don't like it, I just don't buy the expansions.
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s3rvant wrote:
If the base game plays well, just ignore the expansions.

The completionist within me says: gulp
My wallet replies: devil


Oh yeah, my problem too.

And yes, I avoid games that state "Living" or "Collectable". I have no problem with an expansion set or two (if it makes the game better or offers an alternate map to play on) and I usually buy them without much thinking. But what FFG does with its living card games is something that drives me away zombie
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Gláucio Reis
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pkmatchbox wrote:
Have you ever hesitated on buying a board game because you know that down the line, they are going to release a ton of expansions, figurines and whatever?

Definitely yes. I have stayed away from LCGs for that sole reason, even if I love their themes. In fact, I will be hesitant toward any release from FFG. I didn't buy Rune Age, for example, because I feared a lot of expansions would follow, but now that some time has passed and no expansion has appeared, I'm actually thinking about purchasing it. I also avoid getting into deck building games (not always successfully), as they tend to have many expansions.
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David
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I have no issues with not buying expansions. I still don't have any expansions for Settlers. As such this is not an issue for me. If the base game is good that all I need to know...
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Yes and no. This is the only reason I have never been bitten by 40K and Magic. On the other hand, I usually seek our games with expansions: Mythos, CC, Small World, C&C, LNoE, Dominion...
 
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Bill Krause
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I love expansions to games I already like to begin with. In some cases I've found that a game is much better with a particular expansion.
 
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Wade Nelson
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The closest thing I've encountered to the OP's situation was whether to try getting into FFG's LCGs. I was on the fence with Warhammer Invasion, and LotR:TCG looked good too. We got W:I in a trade and bought LotR, and I'm glad we did. Both are really fun games.

My only concern now is whether we really want to keep investing in the system with the expansions and battle packs. We aren't real big deckbuilders; we bought 3 W:I battle packs from the first cycle and haven't really gotten into them much. The Assault expansion lets you play two different races, but we haven't been able to justify that purchase yet either. With LotR:TCG we've bought the first few mission packs, but haven't played them yet either. We've been having fun just playing the core set scenarios, and haven't even beaten all of them yet. I don't honestly think we'll be able to keep up with the pace that FFG releases new addons for the games, but I also don't really feel like we need to.
 
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Pieter
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I only buy a game when the base game is good enough to play by itself. However, as soon as someone says: "You need to buy a couple of expansion to make it really good" in principle I'm out.

This does not mean that I will not buy expansions. I will, but only if I like the game already and think that it will be improved even further with an expansion. But a game that I don't like I rather trash than buy an expansion to make it better.
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Brian Cox
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I call these "Life Decisions." You buy a deck of cards or Dominoes, and you're good for life. Buy a CCG or collectible miniatures, and you'll be buying for life.

I haven't yet experienced it with my boardgames because I like so many different things that the Base game gets me through until I go to the next game I want to play. But I know exactly where you're coming from. (EDIT: I did catch the Munchkin bug and bought a bunch of expansions, but that was only after we played the base game a bunch. However, I now have more expansions than we can play with.)

I first used this term when I bought a Pokemon game for my Gameboy in college. (Pokemon Blue.) I knew it was addictive and I knew it would take up a lot of my time. But after careful consideration, I reasoned that it would be a good life experience to train my Squirtle into an awesome Blastoise. Totally worth it...AND I've only bought and played one Pokemon game from each generation since. Pretty good restraint if you ask me.

This similar reasoning has kept me from ever playing World of Warcraft. I know people love it, I know it's probably really good, and I know it's right up my ally. Unfortunately, I know it will take up some of my money and all of my time and that is a life decision I'm not willing to make right now.

Then again, when I'm a millionaire...
 
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chuck dunn
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More is better ... play before you buy ... support the industry ...Don't let expansion muck up a good game experience ... I 'm a fan of building the collection. Cuba is a fast playing game that ends fast. Nice opener for a game nite ..Cuba: El Presidente brings an extra hour or so to play experience .. settles the rush which can be nice when just one games able to be played . So buy up .
 
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Yep... I skipped Dominion & 7 Wonders for that reason. Ok 1 expansion or 2, but more it's a waste of money... I own everything of Memoir 44 but after the purchase of Campaign book n. 2 I promised to myself to stop and invest my money somewhere else Better a brand new game than an expansion (consider also prices are almost the same).
 
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CJ
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Thing is, often expansions can add a lot to a base game and improve your gaming experience. Not only that but expansions also mean that a game retains its currency and support. It's easy to ignore just how important that is to retaining a game's popularity and therefore developing and maintaining a large pool of active players.

I think a really good example of a game that dies a death due to the lack of expansions is Battlelore. Base game availability aside, DOW were savaged for their failure to release sufficient quality expansions and the player base has suffered as a consequence. Even the move to FFG failed to re-ignite the franchise with the expansions continuing to be too infrequent and limiting. The game is effectively dead now in a way that neither M44 or Ancients suffers, despite being [in my opinion] more mainstream on paper than either. Give it a few more years and you'll see Heroscape really die away to a core cadre only as well...
 
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james_bond wrote:
Yep... I skipped Dominion for that reason.

Dominion is the type of game that I was talking about, in that the base game plays well by itself. You can safely ignore the expansions and still enjoy a great game. Then, as a bonus, should you ever want to expand it, you can.
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michael dorazio
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Can't figure out why anyone would choose not to buy a game simply because there are expansions existing or upcoming. Buy the base game and play it. If it's cool and you want more variety, buy expansions. If not, keep your money.

And I've never seen a game that requires an expansion as a fix. Even Twilight Imperium's awesome first expansion doesn't make the base game obsolete. Personally, I like the variety that comes from numerous expansions. But it doesn't have any place in my decision to purchase the base game.
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Judy Krauss
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elgin_j wrote:
Thing is, often expansions can add a lot to a base game and improve your gaming experience. Not only that but expansions also mean that a game retains its currency and support. It's easy to ignore just how important that is to retaining a game's popularity and therefore developing and maintaining a large pool of active players.

I think a really good example of a game that dies a death due to the lack of expansions is Battlelore. Base game availability aside, DOW were savaged for their failure to release sufficient quality expansions and the player base has suffered as a consequence. Even the move to FFG failed to re-ignite the franchise with the expansions continuing to be too infrequent and limiting. The game is effectively dead now in a way that neither M44 or Ancients suffers, despite being [in my opinion] more mainstream on paper than either. Give it a few more years and you'll see Heroscape really die away to a core cadre only as well...


I must disagree. It wasn't the lack of expansions that killed the game. It was the move to FFG and their new expansions with sloppy rules and below-standard (badly made, difficult to assemble, and sometimes badly smelling) figures. I loved the game when Days of Wonder and wish that the Fantasy Flight Games newer expansions had been done as well. Mostly, when I play now, I just use the basic set and the DoW expansions.
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Gláucio Reis
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Jude wrote:
It wasn't the lack of expansions that killed the game. It was the move to FFG and their new expansions with sloppy rules and below-standard (badly made, difficult to assemble, and sometimes badly smelling) figures.

Not to mention outrageous prices. Charging half the price of the base game for expansions that contained just three dragons/creatures with their respective cards and a few tokens was probably not a good move.
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Brook Gentlestream
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I tend to look for games that have expansions, although Dominion is about my upper limit of tolerance for that sort of thing.

I wish there were more expansions available for some of my current favorites.

On the other hand, I never did get into Pandemic because I heard the expansion improved the game to such a level that you pretty much needed the expansion to enjoy it. When you add up the cost, I figured it was better just to invest in a base game I knew I'd enjoy.

I bought Cutthroat Caverns because I wanted an expandable game, but then it turns out the whole thing seemed like one base game broken up into expansions and released incomplete, which was a disappointment.

So, in summary, it's all very complicated.
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Dan
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I feel sorry for the many people who are faced with this situation. As a late bloomer, various games come in a bundle with their expansions already (yay! meeple)

But if I were in your shoes, I would probably purchase both the base game and the expansions as they are released, unless there are really awful reviews or I run out of money (the latter case is usually what stops me cry)

I'm still poking around news about Puerto Rico Deluxe. I've never played the actual game, but I hear good things about it! All it needs to do now is be released in North America.
 
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I prefer a game that is expandable for the same reason I watch more TV shows than movies. Once I find a good thing it's nice to stay with it for a while instead of having to always move to something new not knowing if it will be as good.
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David Boeren
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Depends on the game and expansions.

Sometimes they're done well. Sometimes companies put out incomplete or unpolished games because they think they'll make more money selling expansions than giving you a complete and well-made game to begin with.

Overall, a game with 1-2 expansions I usually feel good about. If it's got 6 or more then I usually assume they're flogging it for all it's worth and the quality is probably going downhill.

Something like an LCG is an entirely different category in my mind, nor are minis wargames that release new minis. The game in both cases is the same, because these types of games were designed from the beginning as open systems that are expected to gain new options continually over the entire lifetime of the game. Also, both of these types of games are built around constructing your force with restrictions and costs to incorporate a particular card or model and their rules are not used unless you actually put them into your force.
 
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I did that with Star Trek: The Deck Building Game

I decided not to buy it because I thought it would be a Sci Fi themed Dominion.
 
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Honestly, it doesn't even factor into my thinking. If a game looks good and I'm inclined and able to, I'll buy it. Any more these days, I just expect that the expansions will come along in time. After all adding 'just one more' twist to a successful game has got to be a good economical bet, from the publisher's point of view. And as long as the base game is a complete and rewarding experience, I don't lose anything.

I suppose it could be argued that the publisher may hold back a trove of ideas that are purposely left out of a game, in order to release them later as expansions, but that seems to me to be counterproductive. If it were up to me, I'd release as full and rich a game as I could to give it the best chance of success, and then keep tabs on the players' criticism's and suggestions, and base future supplements on the buzz.

If I like a game after some play, and an expansion comes out for it, I would probably pick it up. As long as they add something to the game, I would continue to pick them up - right up to the point where the game was getting needlessly complicated, or the ideas fell flat. At that point I can always dial it back and play the game the way I want.

In some ways expansions allow players to learn and play a fairly involved, feature rich, game by doling out the concepts one at a time with each expansion, on top of a base game (think Carcassonne). It also allows a player to build up a bigger game in more affordable chunks, picking and choosing what features to add, tailoring the game to the person.

Whatever, the bottom line is that it is still a business: the publisher will produce a product that sells - meaning giving the players what they want, overall (presumably, this means some games with expansion potential, which they wouldn't publish if they didn't sell) - or they will eventually go out of business.
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Jimmy Smith
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Most of the time this doesn't even enter my thinking. Although I have consciously avoided RftG and Dominion (Magic-lite) partly for such reasons.

Personally, even when a game comes out with an expansion, I don't even consider buying the expansion unless the base game itself feels lacking. I never feel obligated to get the expansion simply because one exists. Others may feel differently.
 
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