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Subject: Advice on variants, expansions and tricking out games rss

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Alexandra Logan
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It has taken me a while but I've come to the realisation that although I like learning new games, most of the people I play with are overwhelmed if everytime we play I bring out a new game with new rules they have to learn. Maybe this should have been obvious earlier whistle

My thoughts for a happy medium between what I like and what my fellow players like is:

1. VARIANTS - I'm looking for games which have a lot of variants, either included in the rules or available here on BGG.
For example Citadels has a number of different roles you can use to make each game slightly different whilst keeping the same rules. Or Survive: Escape From Atlantis has a large number of variants posted in its forum, which I can explore.

2. EXPANSIONS - I'm looking for games which have expansions which add variety or slight modifcations to gameplay. I am NOT looking for expansions which simply add more cards, more complicated rules, and/or increase playtime. Ideally the expansion would be a sort of pick and choose of which elements to include in each game. I have ordered Pandemic: On The Brink in the hope that it sort of meets this criteria.

3. TRICKING OUT - I'm also looking for games have lots of potential for tricking out with extra components, player aids etc. I have got into the DIY and PnP field but just found myself making more new games rather than adding to existing games, which I feel should be my new focus in this area.

Please help me by providing suggestions of games (preferrably already in my collection, but OK if not) which would meet any of my above ideas.

Also if you have any other ideas how I can reconcile this mismatch between myself and my fellow players in terms of rules, that would be appreciated. For example, I thought I could make stop motion films to get extra enjoyment out of my games, when they are not being played.
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Albert Hernandez
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How about Agricola? I'm surprised this game is already 5 years old!

I don't think there are lots of variants specifically, but there is such a huge selection of cards, especially if you buy a couple of the small expansions like Agricola: NL-Deck or Agricola: Gamers' Deck. They don't add new rules but each deck has a different flavor. Also, the base game brings a family or advanced version as well as 3 different decks depending on if you want aggressive or passive games (more or less).

There are a few expansions that add changes to the deck. You can print out Agricola: Through the Seasons (which I enjoy) or purchase Agricola: Farmers of the Moor which adds more rules. Some of the small expansions also add new rules in that you draw cards when certain events happen. You definately can pick and choose what expansions to play with. You can even pick and choose within just the base game.

As to tricking out the game, you can buy Agricola: The Goodies Expansion for custom boards, farmer stickers and nice veggie, animal and resource meeples. Or do like some folks and make your own Sculpie/Fimo figures. Browse the game and you'll see tons of photos of customized Agricolas.

You already have Zooloretto and I think that has lots of pick & choose expansions.

Finally, I think Alhambra is another good choice. You can buy expansions boxes. Each box brings 4 expansions which you can add as you choose.
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Alexandra Logan
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Hmmm...

Agricola has never grabbed me as a game I'd want to play. It seems like a lot of counting and seeing whether you have enough resources to get something. My fellow players would probably find that too dull (they generally like a fair chunk of conflict and not too much forward planning).

I'll have another look at it though, because it does seem to meet my listed criteria very well.

And maybe I'll give Zooloretto another go too.
 
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Laura Creighton
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You have Small World. It seems to match what you are looking for, so can we ask what didn't work with this?
 
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Alexandra Logan
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Laura, you are right. Small World does meet my criteria and it really was this game that got me thinking "why don't all my games offer this variety?"

So probably more what I am looking for is "how can I add variety to my existing games?" Whether that is through expansions or variants I don't know.

But I would like to explore my existing games further. Maybe that simply means just actually playing them more and getting the true depth out of them.

Thus probably what it comes down to is choosing which of my games are good ones to immerse myself in. I am thinking of setting aside a "high rotation" shelf of maybe 3-5 games which I will play over and over for a month. Does that sound like a suitable approach?

I should also note, that half of the time I play the games by myself, using multiple characters (is that weird?) so if there are actual solo variants for some of my games that is another option.
 
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Laura Creighton
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loganbreath wrote:

Thus probably what it comes down to is choosing which of my games are good ones to immerse myself in. I am thinking of setting aside a "high rotation" shelf of maybe 3-5 games which I will play over and over for a month. Does that sound like a suitable approach?

I should also note, that half of the time I play the games by myself, using multiple characters (is that weird?) so if there are actual solo variants for some of my games that is another option.


Both of these sound like me, so if this is weird, you are not the only one.

Have you played many wargames? Many of them are very good for this. And once you discover the joy of miniature painting, well, you won't have to worry about _how_ to trick out your games, just how to find enough hours in the day,

 
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Scott Hill
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I see you have Flash Point: Fire Rescue, Alexandra.

This, it seems to me, has loads of re-playability built-in.

OK, you've only got the two buildings with the base game, but there's 6 fire-fighter roles, and you can play with anything between 1 and 6 fire-fighters (be that solo or multi-player), which gives you a grand total of (if I've done my math right) 1237 combinations of fire-fighter roles.

And then there's, what (of the top of my head) 3 or 4 difficulty levels?

And when you're bored with that there's 2 expansions - Urban structures (which gives you another fire-fighter role to try out) and Second Story which adds some new mechanics (and both give you two new buildings, each).
 
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Alexandra Logan
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Scott, I am defintely taking your advice and am going to play more of Flash Point. To the high rotation shelf it goes! Would it be advisable to pick up the expansions now, are they likely to become difficult to find soon?

Laura, I think wargames might be a good option too. The only game I've played which I think is a wargame (it has a war theme) is Memoir '44 which I really enjoy. This might also go on my high rotation shelf for the next month. Again, is it advisable to get the expansions before they go out of print? If so, which ones?

I also own, but am yet to play, Wings of Glory. I think it looks awesome, but I know it will freak out anybody who I suggest we play it. Are there solo variants, or advice on how to ease someone into the game?
 
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Scott Hill
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loganbreath wrote:
Scott, I am defintely taking your advice and am going to play more of Flash Point. To the high rotation shelf it goes! Would it be advisable to pick up the expansions now, are they likely to become difficult to find soon?


Well, I don't know for sure, but Travis (Indie Boards and Cards) posted recently to say that the expansions are now generally available, but in limited numbers, and that they'd 'sold out' at the producer level.

So, yes, I'd grab them ASAP if I were you.
 
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Laura Creighton
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One of the nice things about wargames is that they stay in print, and their publishers reprint them.

You may be interested in this metalist
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/140571/wargamers-guide-to-...

Also many wargamers don't hang out on BBG-general. If you want to reach more wargamers, post things here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/forum/743498/wargames/general

For solo variants of Wings of War see: http://tynesidewargames.co.uk/wowrules.html

(and probably many other places, too.)

Have fun!
 
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Moe45673
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Going through your list of games, OP, it seems you have a few games that have must-buy expansions

Flash Point
Pandemic
Race For The Galaxy (In fact, Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm offers a solitaire variant)

and some others with great expansions

Small World
Risk Legacy (ok, a different game, but that's a game that's bought specifically to be replayed about 15+ times)

I have my group of friends and I try to play one game with them over and over (right now it's Chicago Express, prior to this (when we had more time) it was Wealth of Nations. Group likes both games a lot). I also just met a few guys at my FLGS and playing with them is a blast, they're total gamers, buy their own games, and are always up for playing something heavy. With them I can play Through the Ages and Age of Industry. I just hope they're not overawed by buying new games all the time to the point where the games I like to play become old hat :\
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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loganbreath wrote:
3. TRICKING OUT - I'm also looking for games have lots of potential for tricking out with extra components, player aids etc. I have got into the DIY and PnP field but just found myself making more new games rather than adding to existing games, which I feel should be my new focus in this area.

Have you explored the "creative" image galleries on BGG for your favorite games? They tend to be full of good ideas for this sort of thing.
 
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Alexandra Logan
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Thanks for some great ideas guys. I have begun actioning your suggestions.
 
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