Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
20 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Expansions that are worth it rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Danny Frahm
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a slightly frugal boardgame collector. I have a collection created over about 8 years of 50 games. And I've spent a long time umming and arring over the purchase of expansions to my favourite games. It usually comes down to this argument - I COULD buy the expansion to Rune Wars OR this whole NEW game.

The problem is that though expansions often look great I wonder to myself, how much will they will really add to the experience. Because paying $50 for a minor overall improvement of experience is pretty lame when the opportunity cost is a whole new game.

Some games have expansions which are vital to the game experience vastly improving the game (Arkham Horror: dunwich horror) and some games actually include components which reduce the fun of a game or at least include components that do I.E. Battlestar Galactica - Pegasus expansion, the caprica component.

Lets look at one of the great games I bought all the expansions for - Arkham Horror - only to have the entire collection stolen when I lost my car. I realised when rebuilding that only certain expansions actually improved quality of play. One expansion that is vital is Dunwich. I rebought that expansion without thinking. I realised then that all the other expansions only served to dilute the items decks and often add mechanics I never used. King in yellow was last on the list and Kingsport was terrible except for the epic battle cards, and so on with the rest of the series expansions. I actually think my AH experience is better with less.

Games I've bought many of the expansions for:
Summoner Wars new factions lots of new ways to play!
Netrunner I'm addicted every new card opens new possibilities
Race for the galaxy (didn't buy the prestige one though give me half a chance and I'd buy another different expansion)
Chaos in the old world - new upgrade powers and a 5th uniquely styled race! Sounds like fun!

Games I contemplate getting expansions to all the time:
Mage Knight - but I don't because $ and minimal game mechanic change
Rune Wars Banners of War - mostly $ but unsure how MUCH it improves the game
Galaxy truckers - original is fun, expansions are more if the same?
Space alert - ditto
Eclipse - I don't need 9 players, shakes things up but overall the same game?

So should I stop worrying and just embrace $$ expansions or am I one step ahead here.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean Boyll
United States
Kuna
Idaho
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Go read the Banners of War forum and you will find that it is considered, by nearly everyone, to be a major improvement to the game. Many have stated that it fixes some of the issues with the base game and is a must for fans. I believe a few of the changes from it are going into the 2nd printing.

I don't find the other expansions you mention as necessarily. Most of them just ad more random stuff to their base game. The Eclipse expansion does ad a new way to do turn order but you don't need the expansion to play that way in your game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Your read of the Mage Knight, Space Alert, and Eclipse expansions are spot on. I mean, they are the same basic games with some additional content/new scenarios. If you're not bored of the base games they're not really needed but are nice to have (I own them all). The campaign mode in Space Alert is pretty game-changing however.

My favorite expansions:

Claustrophobia: De Profundis - The scenarios in this expansion are more varied and interesting than the base game. There's also twice as many scenarios included as the base game had.

Cyclades: Hades - If you're a Cyclades fan I would heavily recommend this. Adding in Hades really changes up the tempo of the game, allowing for more aggression and board movement. The other bits of the expansion are very cool but not as important.

Dominion: All expansions - Adding in expansions to Dominion is a must. You see infinite replayability after you add a few in as the Card selection will never be the same.

Starcraft: Brood War Expansion - This radically changes the game/races for the better. Very awesome expansion packed with content.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jennifer Derrick
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I sometimes feel the same way. I hate spending money on expansions sometimes when I could buy a new game, instead. The one that I found most worth it was the Kingsburg expansion, To Forge a Realm. That took an average game and made it almost great.

I agree on Summoner Wars. Thus far, I've avoided the reinforcements, but I did go for all of the factions and I'm not sorry. So much replayability.

I've also heard that the On the Brink expansion to Pandemic really made that game. Can't say, since I just bought the new version of the base game and am waiting for the new version of OTB.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dickson
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a big fan of the expansions for 7 Wonders. Interesting new dynamics that don't break the old ones.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wesley M
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Greatest Game Ever
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Check this geeklist

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/153304/must-grab-expan...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rauli Kettunen
Finland
Oulu
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FinalAttack wrote:

Case study Arkaham Horror
One expansion that is vital is Dunwich. I rebought that expansion without thinking. I realised then that all the other expansions only served to dilute the items decks and often add mechanics I never used. King in yellow was last on the list and Kingsport was terrible except for the epic battle cards, and so on with the rest of the series expansions.


Way I read the underlined part, it sounds as though you see it as a negative, correct? Me on the other hand, dilution of the Unique Item deck (Common and Spell decks don't really matter for the point I'm making) is not only great, it is mandatory to keep Elder Signs from popping up. With just base game, you have 4 in 39 cards and even with DH added, I remember taking for granted I'd see at least two per game. With the current combination of expansions I have (and I use them all), my ES ratio is down to 4 in 98 cards, no guarantee I'll even see one in a game and when I do, it feels unique and special, not run-of-the-mill like before. Additionally, I tend to view games that see 2+ ES as too easy (ditto for Marie Lambeau being in the game as with her IH Personal Story, she can remove 2 doom tokens too).

Quote:
I actually think my AH experience is better with less.


Well there's just no talking to crazy people ! Although your Kingsport comment does show you have your lucid moments laugh .
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
For a long time, I resisted expansions because I like trying new games, and I didn't get to play a particular game often enough for it to get stale enough to need new stuff added to it.

However, I am running out of space for games, and getting frustrated with picking up new games that never get played, so I am considering switching to expansions for old favourite and component upgrades (like the distinct faction minions coming out for Defenders of the Realm).

I also like to support local stores, so I am probably going to be switching my cash over to upgrades like sleeves for cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Forrest & Ryan Driskel
United States
Longmont
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I love the new stuff in Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients, but then again it is my favorite game. While we have yet to play with more than 6, players love the new colors. We're seeing much more diverse ship combinations with all the new rare techs. The new aliens sectors are very popular. I haven't had anyone say they didn't like a part of ROTA.

I've often had mixed feelings about expansions. My other most played game is Alien Frontiers but Alien Frontiers: Factions pretty much fell flat for our group. The new tech cards are great, but everything else was pretty meh, and I don't like the agendas at all.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Vanish wrote:

I've often had mixed feelings about expansions. My other most played game is Alien Frontiers but Alien Frontiers: Factions pretty much fell flat for our group. The new tech cards are great, but everything else was pretty meh, and I don't like the agendas at all.


Yeah. I am not a big fan of expansions which change the rules. If it is already a good game, changes are more likely to hurt it than make it better.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Addison Fox
United States
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
RogMcK wrote:
Vanish wrote:

I've often had mixed feelings about expansions. My other most played game is Alien Frontiers but Alien Frontiers: Factions pretty much fell flat for our group. The new tech cards are great, but everything else was pretty meh, and I don't like the agendas at all.


Yeah. I am not a big fan of expansions which change the rules. If it is already a good game, changes are more likely to hurt it than make it better.


In the case of Alien Frontiers, I've found that hidden information makes the game much better, though this is clearly not a universal perception. In standard AF, there is zero tactical incentive to land your last Skittle unless it will win you the game, whereas with agendas there is the possibility of coming from behind if you think you have more of your 1-vp bonuses complete than the next closest competitor. If you are a fan of perfect information games with symmetrical player powers, Factions could fall flat, but I've found it makes the base game much more interesting, and won't play without it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Louis Brenton
United States
Brighton
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I encourage your caution regarding expansions. A small handful are brilliant, many add a bit of variety, & some just wreck the machine.

My best example of category one (brilliant) is Pandemic: On the Brink. It's the only expansion that I would recommend purchasing at the same time as the basic game. What it adds to the game is simply wonderful, & turns a good game into a great game (in my opinion, of course).

Two examples of category two (variety) include Formula D/De & Flashpoint. Formula D/De has many expansions, but not really any significant gameplay changes. I love these expansions & own all of them. Flashpoint just gives you more buildings to burn down & a couple of new rules specific to those structures. I own all the Flashpoint stuff.

I'll allow other people to add thoughts about category three (wreck the machine) expansions. I'm pretty picky about what I purchase as well, so I've managed to stay clear of most of the stinkers.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I want to make a point about Dungeon Command. I just started with the game, and I like it, but each 'expansion' (a fifth one is coming out this month) is actually another starter set.

The same counters, the same rulebook (other than the cover picture), and not significantly different map boards.

Not cool, WotC. Not cool.

The factions ought to be just minis and cards. Period.

I am done spending money on DC if this remains their business model.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Danny Frahm
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dam the Man wrote:
FinalAttack wrote:

Case study Arkaham Horror
One expansion that is vital is Dunwich. I rebought that expansion without thinking. I realised then that all the other expansions only served to dilute the items decks and often add mechanics I never used. King in yellow was last on the list and Kingsport was terrible except for the epic battle cards, and so on with the rest of the series expansions.


Way I read the underlined part, it sounds as though you see it as a negative, correct? Me on the other hand, dilution of the Unique Item deck (Common and Spell decks don't really matter for the point I'm making) is not only great, it is mandatory to keep Elder Signs from popping up. With just base game, you have 4 in 39 cards and even with DH added, I remember taking for granted I'd see at least two per game. With the current combination of expansions I have (and I use them all), my ES ratio is down to 4 in 98 cards, no guarantee I'll even see one in a game and when I do, it feels unique and special, not run-of-the-mill like before. Additionally, I tend to view games that see 2+ ES as too easy (ditto for Marie Lambeau being in the game as with her IH Personal Story, she can remove 2 doom tokens too).

Quote:
I actually think my AH experience is better with less.


Well there's just no talking to crazy people ! Although your Kingsport comment does show you have your lucid moments laugh .


Lots of item cards make the game inconsistent. One game everyone could get great cards and another everyone ended up with terrible cards. I've never had trouble adjusting difficulty. I always play with Heralds.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rauli Kettunen
Finland
Oulu
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FinalAttack wrote:
Lots of item cards make the game inconsistent. One game everyone could get great cards and another everyone ended up with terrible cards. I've never had trouble adjusting difficulty. I always play with Heralds.


Well, Herald is a must, even with Innsmouth in the mix. I agree about inconsisten item decks, but variable stuff like that is just what really makes Arkham (and since this is an expansion thread, Talisman as well) so great. Good cards or terrible cards, you have to make the best of what you're given. At least for me preferrable to a "guaranteed" 2+ Elder Signs every game. I'd rather have 2 show up in every 20 games (ideally never, but seems unlikely) than 2 in every one, at "worst" two games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
CD Harris
United States
Louisville
KY
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Obviously I love Chapter Packs/Data Packs for AGoT and A:NR (and am looking forward to Force Packs for Star Wars). That's kinda the point.

But here are a few other game expansions that are worthy:

Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus Expansion -- the Exodus expansion is solid, but Pegasus adds some elements I simply won't play without. Nothing needed fixing, it just makes a great game even better.

Innovation: Echoes of the Past -- terrific expansion that brings a ton of replayability and new ideas to an already good game. I've only gotten to play the new one, Figures in the Sand, a couple of times so far but it, too, does a nice job of taking the game to a new level.

Twilight Imperium (third edition): Shattered Empire -- fixing the role problem alone is invaluable; so much the better if it hadn't been needed.

Kingdom Builder: Nomads -- corrects a fundamental, inexcusable flaw in the game: No red player pieces.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
badge
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I use the ladybug expansion and the mosquito expansion for Hive. But they are only kind of expansions since they came with my copy of Hive Carbon.

I also use the expansions for Dominion, the Jeweler expansion for Caylus and the Dixit expansions every time I play those games.

Carcassonne the River gets used fairly frequently, but Carcassonne itself hasn't hit the table in a long time.

Hansa Teutonica East, Power Grid China/Korea and Pandemic On the Brink both hold a lot of promise, but haven't hit the table yet. I know HTE is good because I have played it.

The rest of them I own are regrettable (well not the El Grande ones I guess since they came with the game version I bought).

In general I would say you are better off buying a new board game than putting money toward expansions.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
frumpish wrote:
I use the ladybug expansion and the mosquito expansion for Hive. But they are only kind of expansions since they came with my copy of Hive Carbon.

I also use the expansions for Dominion, the Jeweler expansion for Caylus and the Dixit expansions every time I play those games.

Carcassonne the River gets used fairly frequently, but Carcassonne itself hasn't hit the table in a long time.

Hansa Teutonica East, Power Grid China/Korea and Pandemic On the Brink both hold a lot of promise, but haven't hit the table yet. I know HTE is good because I have played it.

The rest of them I own are regrettable (well not the El Grande ones I guess since they came with the game version I bought).

In general I would say you are better off buying a new board game than putting money toward expansions.



Could you list the bad ones?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
badge
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RogMcK wrote:
frumpish wrote:
I use the ladybug expansion and the mosquito expansion for Hive. But they are only kind of expansions since they came with my copy of Hive Carbon.

I also use the expansions for Dominion, the Jeweler expansion for Caylus and the Dixit expansions every time I play those games.

Carcassonne the River gets used fairly frequently, but Carcassonne itself hasn't hit the table in a long time.

Hansa Teutonica East, Power Grid China/Korea and Pandemic On the Brink both hold a lot of promise, but haven't hit the table yet. I know HTE is good because I have played it.

The rest of them I own are regrettable (well not the El Grande ones I guess since they came with the game version I bought).

In general I would say you are better off buying a new board game than putting money toward expansions.



Could you list the bad ones?


I highly regret the Settlers of Catan expansions. Each and every one I own.
The seven wonders extra placemats haven't been played, and I don't think they are worth the cost. (That said I like that I have them. Try to figure that one out).

Carcassonne the Tower has never been played. Ticket to Ride 1910 has never been played nor has Wallemi Pines expansion for Timber Tom.

Keep in mind that even some of the ones I feel favorably toward have not seen play yet. It's pretty hard to argue they were worth any expenditure until they do.
1 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Garcian Smith
United States
Northridge
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I find expansions to only really be worth it if you put a significant amount of time in the game you are playing. I've played Race for the Galaxy maybe a hundred times. For me, having an expansion for it allowed me to see to what degree, how the game changed. If I had only played Race for the Galaxy maybe 10 times, getting 3 expansions wouldn't be really worth it.

For Arkham I find the game to be a great game in itself. It's only when you really get into the depths of the game after playing it dozens of times can you say you really know the game and then see changes once you add an expansion. I however went with 2 expansions: Innsmouth and Dunwich. The game sadly barely gets any play, so I would say I would have preferred not to buy the expansions.

And I do have Summoner Wars Master Set and I know there are tons of other factions out there. The thing is, I barely get SW played at all and more factions would not increase the chance of it getting played.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.