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Writings about games and other stuff

A blog about my relationship with the gaming hobby and about life in general, and whatever pops into my mind.

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Still going strong

Linda Stenström
Finland
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No posts here for a while, oops. I've been thinking about writing about the games we have played, but I just haven't got around to do it. Also, we haven't had time to play very much lately. A few games every now and then, but hubby pretty much lives at work, he's working on some project that he wants to get ready. But yeah, we're still alive. I've been at home on maternity leave for a couple of weeks, and even if it's still a while to our due date, the baby could in theory decide it's time any day now. So our life has been about waiting for the baby lately.
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Fri May 27, 2016 9:53 am
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Mice, dice and pirates - games played April 18-24

Linda Stenström
Finland
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Last week was a slow week in gaming due to busy work schedules. But I realised I only have two weeks of work left before my maternity leave begins. I'm looking forward to that, even though I like my job. Keeping up with those six-year-olds is getting exhausting at this point.

After last Sunday's trip to Helsinki (you can read about it in my last blog post) we decided not to buy any new games for a while. We didn't define "for a while" though. But fact is, we have bought lots of games this spring, and now we need to concentrate on playing the games we have. We have all the new games, of course, but also a lot of older ones we haven't played in ages.

So, what did we play last week? On Monday hubby and I managed to get a couple of games on the table. First off was Flip City, one of the games we bought last Sunday. It's a deck building game where you try to get a certain amount of victory points to win. The twist of this game is that the cards are double sided. So your cards are always face up, also in your draw pile and when you shuffle. You can then upgrade your cards by flipping them to their better side.
Hubby was really excited about this game, and I can see why. But for me, it wasn't love at first sight. Of all the new games I have played lately, this was actually one I wasn't convinced about. I can't really point out what was wrong, it was just a vague feeling that I didn't understand the game, although at least in theory I did understand the rules. I'll have to read some forum post and see if it starts making sense to me.

The second game on Monday was Takenoko, one of our new games which has already become something of a favourite. We bought the Chibis expansion last Sunday, and decided to try it now. It adds a female panda and some other small stuff. No big changes to the rules, except that you can now also choose to move miss panda instead and have her make babies, which earns you more points. It was a good expansion. Not one of those that we will never play without again, but it adds fun variation to the game.

Next time we got to play games was on Saturday. Hubby and I started the gaming with two games of Dead Man's Draw. Hubby has played it a lot on the PC, and at some point this spring I decided to buy him the tabletop version. We have played it a couple of times or so before, but now I felt I'm really starting to get the game. In short, it's a sort of push your luck card game. It's quick and the rules are simple, and it might seem like a game that is a lot about luck, but there are actually a lot of choices to be made. I like it, and I think it will get a lot of table time.

Then hubby's brother arrived, and we sat down for a session of Mice and Mystics. And in case you didn't already guess, it's also one of the newbies in the collection. Mice and Mystics is a co-op role playing board game, where you can advance through several chapters in a story. The rules are pretty easy, but it seems like the story telling is very good. We started with the first chapter, obviously, and well, didn't get any further than that. We were close to losing the game all the time, and when we were pretty close to the end of the chapter all of us got captured which meant we lost.
It was a fun experience and I look forward to playing again. This session was a little affected by the fact that two of three players were a little tired, and it was also a new game to all of us. I think when we play again we will enjoy it even more, hopefully the game will then have a better flow when we are familiar with the rules.

Hubby's brother only stayed for one game, so hubby and I continued the day with a game of Quarriors!, which has quickly become a favourite. I like deck building games and the feeling when your deck of cards grows, but adding the dice to your bag in a dice builder is even more fun. It's just such a cool feeling to shake that bag with all those dice.

Then it was time for the last game of the evening, Port Royal. This time we decided to play with the expansion, which was new to us. Port Royal is a pretty new game in the collection, but we have played it a few times. I got a recommendation to get the expansion from someone here on BGG, and when I saw it in the game store last Sunday, I decided to buy it. I wasn't sure whether Port Royal really needed an expansion, or how good the expansion would be. But the expansion is very good, even so much that it felt it should have been part of the game to start with.

On Sunday we didn't have much time for gaming, but we managed to squeeze in a two player game of Mice and Mystics. Since we failed the first chapter on Saturday, we decided to replay that. This time we managed to win, but only barely. Playing now that we were more familiar with the game made the experience better, it was easier to get immersed in the story when we didn't have to check the rules all the time.

Not a lot of games hit the table last week, but we had fun (mostly) with the games we had time to play. Hopefully we will have time for some gaming this week, too.
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Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:40 pm
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Games played April 11-17 - Quarriors, Coal Baron and more

Linda Stenström
Finland
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The first week in the new apartment went pretty much to get everything moved and organised, so no time for gaming there. But this Monday hubby went game shopping with my brother, and of course we had to try some of the new games. (We have been shopping a lot lately, but on the other hand we had a long period when we didn't buy any new games. It's so nice with our new library, now there's space for new games. And of course we have to fill that space right away...)

The first game we played was Quarriors! Light vs. Dark. I had only heard and read the name Quarriors! before, and didn't really know what the game was, but hubby was very excited about it. The base set is very expensive though, and since the cheaper Light vs. Dark set also works as a stand alone game, hubby decided to buy that first. Apparently, Quarriors! is a dice building game. I have played several deck building games before, but dice building was new to me. It was a very fun game, and definitely worth expanding I think. Actually, one of the game stores around here had two of the expansion sets on sale this week, so we ordered those and they arrived the other day. They should be compatible with the Light vs. Dark set, but we will probably have to get the original base set at some point. One thing I noticed was the rules. In the base set, there are rules. Then one expansion had revised rules, which override the old rules. And the rules in Light vs. Dark overrides the old rules... What a mess, it seems. Perhaps it makes sense when you play the game and expand it, but in my opinion it's not the most customer friendly solution. Anyway, a very nice game, and I look forward to playing again.

Next we played Coal Baron. Also a game that I had probably heard of, but had no idea what it was. Well, it's a euro, no mechanisms that were completely new, I guess, but the combination of mechanisms was nice, and the game was pretty quick. Hopefully this game will also get a lot of table time.

Last game on Monday for my part was not one of the new ones, since I felt I wanted to play something familiar. So we decided to go for a game of Dominion. We have played that game a lot, but it was actually so long since the last time, that we had to check the rules for starting hands and winning conditions... This time we decided to mix the base set with the Guilds expansion. The Guilds has been in our collection for a while, but I don't think we had ever used that set before. It is a nice set, no complicated new rules or mechanisms, but a good variation to the original kingdom cards.

Later that evening my brother came over and he stayed up late with hubby and played some more games. I had work on Tuesday, so I went to bed early. But my brother stayed for the night, and when I came home from work on Tuesday, we played a little more.

First game we played on Tuesday was Lost Legacy: Flying Garden, one of the new games hubby bought. It's a Love Letter spinoff, and very much like it, but with it's own little twists. Not much to say about at this point other than that it's a nice addition to our collection.

Next in line was The Grizzled. This also was a game we had not played before, it's one of the games that has moved in with us this spring. It's a co-op card game where the players are friends who try to survive the Great War. Basically, you try to play as many cards to the table as possible during several missions, without playing too many cards sharing the same traits. When I read the rules I was a little worried that the game would be too easy and not have great replayability. Boy, was I wrong. The rules were simple, alright, but the game was definitely not that easy to win. We failed mission after mission and evetually lost, at no point were we even close to winning. Hopefully this little game gets played a lot, I think it will present us with much challenge yet. Also, I really liked how card texts and such were so well made and really fitted the theme.

After this my brother had to leave, so hubby and I decided to play one last two player game for the night. We went for Fairytale Gloom, also a recent addition to the collection that was yet unplayed. We also own Gloom and like it very much, it's a pretty unique game system I guess (transparent cards). So we decided to get the Fairytale version as a variation. There are a few differences between the versions. The biggest is of course that the theme in Fairytale is fairytales. Also, some rules and stuff that are part of expansions for original Gloom, are added to the base game in this version, stories for example. But all in all, it's Gloom with a different theme. We thought that fairytales as a theme would make it easier to come up with funny stories and such, but after playing we were not so sure. It felt like the theme rather limited the story telling. But still, a good game.
Fairytale Gloom should be compatible with Gloom and the expansions, so maybe combining them might be fun. I actually ordered a couple of expansions for Gloom when I ordered the Quarriors! sets. The game store had some copies of the first edition of the Gloom expansions a bit cheaper than the new ones.

Then we had a break in gaming for a few days due to our work schedules, but on Saturday our friend J came over to play games. I had spent several hours at the Child Fair at the convention centre in Helsinki, so I was pretty tired, and the guys played two player games for a while. But then I joined them and we played a few games. First we played The Grizzled. This time hubby and I had a better picture of how it was wise to play, and we actually managed to win the game (on rookie level). It's definitely a game I recommend.
Next up was Coal Baron. It works very well with three players as well, and I really like it.
Last game on Saturday was Lost Legacy: Flying Garden. This time we played several rounds instead of just one. It's fascinating how only 16 cards can make such a good game. I mean, the game doesn't sound very interesting when you just look at the basic idea - draw a card and play a card.

On Sunday hubby and I had some quality time and played a lot of games, just the two of us. First game was Morels, also one of the newbies in the collection. It's a two player card game where you collect mushrooms (cards) and cook them to earn points. The game seemed very easy when reading the rules, but it was actually more difficult and "thinky" than many similar games. That was actually very welcome, since many smaller games and/or two player games are very easy.

Next up was Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, yet another newbie. I'm not going to try to explain the game, but I would definitely recommend it.
After that we played two games of Quarriors! Light vs. Dark, one game each with the two expansions that arrived in the mail. While we were playing, we discussed the fact that we would have to get the base set at some point. Even though Light vs. Dark works with the expansions, it still isn't optimal as a base set. But the base set was sold out at the store.
And now comes the funny part. Of course we had to check the online store, just to make sure it was still sold out. But. It wasn't sold out anymore, apparently the store had received more copies since we last checked. Ok, well, it's still expensive, and we would have to wait a few days for it to arrive if we ordered it. If only it wasn't Sunday, then we could go to the store and pick it up right away. But the store isn't open on Sunday afternoons, we'll check that too, just to make sure. But of course, the store is open. We looked at each other for a while, then packed our stuff and jumped in the car and drove to Helsinki to pick up the game. And a couple of other things...

Well, back home we tried playing a game of basic Quarriors!, and it was absolutely worth the trip to Helsinki. But we did feel a little geeky, acting like that.

Well, that was my week in gaming. Hopefully we will have time to play this week, too. We agreed that there will be no more shopping for a while. We should play the games we already have.
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Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:36 pm
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Games played March 27-31

Linda Stenström
Finland
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Due to the move, we haven't been able to play a lot lately. But I noticed I haven't written about some games we played before the move. On Easter Sunday, three of our friends came over to play some games. Unfortunately, they were not at our place all at the same time, so we got no five player games going, like we had hoped to.

First one to show up was my brother. He played a two player game of something, Star Realms I think, with hubby while I was still trying to wake up. Then another friend, D, arrived, and we decided to play Dead of Winter: A crossroads Game. This is one of our recently acquired games, and this was my second time playing it. This time the scenario was much more difficult than the first time we played, and not surprisingly, we lost. This time we also had a traitor among us, but both hubby and I thought during the game that D might be the traitor, if there was one, but actually it was my brother. This is a fun game and I'm looking forward to playing it more.

After this, hubby's brother arrived and we all had a cup of coffee together. Unfortunately, D then had to leave. Now we decided to go for an older game in the collection, Darjeeling. It was not as difficult as I remembered, probably because it's ages since I last played it, and I have played so much after that and develop as a gamer. Anyway, still a beautiful and clever euro.

And now my memory deceives me. I clearly remember hubby's brother staying for more than one game, but I have not participated in those. Perhaps I was making food while the guys played something I wasn't interested in? Anyway, he left at some point before the next game I participated in, which was Tikal, also an older game in our collection. I had only played it once before, many years ago. Funny thing, I knew I had played it but I didn't remember the game at all, and when we pulled it out, it could as well have been new to me. Well, it's a very nice euro, and hopefully the next time we get to play it won't be so far away in the future that I forget the game again.

Last game for the night before my brother left was Powerboats, also an older game, and one that we have played a lot before. Still very fun racing game, and this time we ended up with lots of exploding boats. Oops.

The week after Easter went very much to working and preparing for the move, but on Thursday that week, when we went to my in-laws to borrow their van, we also played a game. My in-laws like playing games, and trick taking card games are their favourites. Wizard is a game we have played a lot with them, so much actually that at one point we had to buy a new deck because the cards got worn out. This time we didn't play Wizard, though, but Diamonds, a new game in our collection. It's also a trick taking game, but with the benefit of being much quicker. First they thought it sounded complicated, but when they realised that you don't predict tricks, but use suit abilities to collect diamonds, they liked it.

After that it has been quiet on the gaming front. We moved, and even if we have spent a lot of time arranging our games in our new library room, we haven't played anything. Yesterday hubby went game shopping with my brother, though, and we played a couple of the new games. But more about that later, hopefully we will get to play a little more tonight when my brother comes over.
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Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:18 am
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How do you feel about lending your board games to other people?

Linda Stenström
Finland
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This is more of a question to you, than an actual blog post. But I'm very curious, how do you feel about other people borrowing your board games? Do you lend your games to family and friends? If you do, to whom? And if you don't, why not?

This is a question that comes up every now and then. We have loads of games, and sometimes people ask us if they can borrow a few games. Now that we moved to a bigger apartment and built a sort of library, people even more realise how many games we have, and ask to borrow them.

I'm not going to tell you my opinion on the matter just yet, but I would love to hear what other people think.
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Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:59 am
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First post from the new apartment (and pics of our home library)

Linda Stenström
Finland
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Finally I get to sit down by my computer for a while. It's been an intense week. Last Friday we got the keys to the new apartment, and since that we have been working on moving everything and getting the new apartment ready. I've been sooo tired, it was wonderful to get to sleep today. Poor hubby had to go to work today, though.

The old apartment is emptied and cleaned, and yesterday we gave back the keys to it. And even if it means we're really tired, but working hard payed off. The new apartment is basically ready, baby's room is still a mess of boxes and trash, but the other rooms are finished. Of course there are small details, like finding the most practical order in the closets, and installing all the lights and stuff. But it feels like a home already.

Moving is an experience of it's own. We're really happy about this new apartment. It's bigger and more spaceous, and we finally have a dishwasher now, that's something I have been dreaming about for years. And we turned the walk in closet into a library, that's so cool. I'll try add some pics of it. If I manage to get the pics from my phone to here...

That was by the way one of the biggest stress-causing things. My computer broke during the move! Hubby managed to save my files from the hard drive, but all my programs and stuff are lost. I'll have to re-install everything at some point... Argh!

Ok, here we go, our library:









But now I will go and have a cup of coffee and just relax and enjoy my beautiful home. Have a nice day all of you!
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Sat Apr 9, 2016 7:01 am
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Really stressed out by the upcoming move

Linda Stenström
Finland
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It's Thursday morning. Tomorrow, we will get the keys to our new apartment, and we can start moving. Of course, I'm at work tomorrow, but hubby has the day off from work. My brother and one of hubbys brothers has promised to come and help hubby out, they will probably get most of the big furniture moved tomorrow, and then we will move the rest in the weekend.

I'm so stressed right now, there's so much going on. Baby on the way, and now the move. Too much for my poor head to keep track of. And it feels kind of unreal right now to know that the next night will probably be our last night in this apartment. The decision about the move happened quite fast. And one thing, which makes the move super easy, but makes it feel more unreal right now, is the fact that the new apartment is in the same building, so we don't have to pack barely anything. We can just empty the cupboards into IKEA bags, carry them down two flights of stairs and put everything in the new cupboards.

I'm really happy about us getting a bigger apartment, but dear goodness I feel stressed right now. I just want the move to be over...

But hey, the new apartment has a walk in closet. We will finally have a little library room for our games.
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Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:59 am
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Re-organizing Dominion

Linda Stenström
Finland
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After writing about expansion monsters, what would be better than to continue the rant about storing one of them?

So, Dominion. I've said before in this blog that storing that game is a nightmare. But let's start from the beginning.

When I played Dominion the first time, I loved it. I still like it, but the rating has gone down a bit. And I'm sad to say, but the size of the game compared to how short and light it is, affects my opinion in a negative way.
First there was one box, then another. I started realizing that there would be many more. Pulling out two boxes in order to mix between the sets was OK, but when the third and fourth boxes arrived, I started thinking about a storage solution.

I had a few criteria. I wanted to be able to store all sets in one place, so that they would be easy to pull out, to transport, and it would be easy to mix the sets. Well, my first solution was to pull out the insert from one of the boxes and store the whole game like that. I also tried making my own dividers and stuff to keep the cards in order, but the box was always in a mess. And with more sets being published, soon one box wasn't big enough, anyway. And it became really heavy.

The next idea was to get a big ring binder and plastic card pockets. So we did that. At this point we have nine boxes of Dominion (all sets up to The Guilds), the Base Card Set, and some promos. Well, everything still didn't fit in the binder, but the kingdom cards did. The rest of the cards, and all the other stuff, we put in one of the boxes.

Here's a couple of pics of the binder.





This solution wasn't flawless. Ok, so instead of nine boxes we had one box and one binder. But:
-The game had long since ceased to be transportable. The box and the binder were really heavy. They took up less space, yes, but carrying them any longer distances than from the shelf to the table was almost as much work as carrying the nine boxes.
-The cards kept falling out of the card pockets. Even when putting the binder down on the table, like in the pic, cards would start falling out from the pockets.
-Finding the right cards in the binder basically took as long as just pulling out the right box and taking the card from it.

So a couple of days ago I decided to put the cards back into their own boxes until we find a better solution. One reason was the upcoming move. I don't even want to imagine the nightmare it would be, having thousands of cards falling out of the binder while moving to a new apartment. So now the cards are back in the nine different boxes (and there are at least to sets we don't have yet), and I'm still looking for a solution that will work.

Also, completely off topic, but hubby brought home four new games yesterday. Again. Has the guy won the lottery without telling me?
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Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:54 am
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Who bought all these expansions? - My thoughts on the expansions in our collection and expansions in general

Linda Stenström
Finland
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As you might have read here on this blog, I have had a period of great inspiration for board games lately, after having had a more quiet period. At one point I was looking at the stats for our collection on my profile page. According to BGG, we own well over 450 games and expansions. Of those, 126 are expansions. I'm not sure whether BGG and I agree on all points on what is to be considered an expansion or a stand alone game, but we're still talking about more than 120 expansions.

My initial reaction when I realised how big that number is, was "Why on earth do we have that many expansions?". Later on I started thinking about expansions in general.

But first, let's have a look at the expansions in our collection. Looking through the list, I can see there are some games that have one or possibly two expansions, but those are actually only around ten games. And with these games, in around half of the cases the expansions were included in the edition of the game we have. Let's take for example Citadels, where our copy included the Dark City expansion.

But then we have some expansion monsters, which are responsible for most of the expansions.

The absolute winner is Carcassonne. I don't know an exact number, but according to BGG we own 24 expansions for Carcassonne. Basically, that's all the expansions that are or have been available in Finland. Carcassonne is sort of a special case in our collection, and I think I will have to save that story for another post. But in short, Carcassonne is something I collect because of collecting, not because it's the best game ever. I don't even like all the expansions for Carcassonne very much.

The price for second most expansions goes to Runebound (2nd ed.), with 23 expansions. We have all the big expansions, and 18 smaller ones with new adventure cards, market cards and scenarios. The scenario expansions, both big and small, don't get played that often, since it's a long game, but the decks with additional cards are used in every game.

Next up is Dominion. We have most of the sets and promo cards, but not all, and I'm not sure whether to get them or not. I would really like to complete the collection, but on the other hand, the game is too big already, and finding a storage solution that allows you to mix the sets without pulling out ten boxes is just... ugh. Also, the sets are a little too expensive, considering how seldom we actually play this game.

After that, the rest of the games with several expansions have between 5 and 10 expansions each. Among these are Ticket to Ride. For that, there are five map packs and some smaller expansions. The maps are nice, but not really necessary. The USA 1910 expansion was useful though, it's the one with bigger cards for the original Ticket to Ride. Europa 1912 with more tickets is also nice. The Alvin and Dexter one we have never played, and the Dice Expansion also just sits on the shelf. Even if it's not as bad as with Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride is a game for which I tend to buy expansions just for the sake of collecting.

Alhambra is another of these cases where I buy expansions, regardless of how good or bad they are. I have all six boxes with four expansion modules each, and we barely ever use any of them.

Bohnanza is also in this category, and my game of shame, so to speak. At some point we went through a lot of trouble to get expansions for it from Germany, since they were not available in Finland. And we never use them. Most of them I haven't even played. Bohnanza is not a game that needs expansions, really, and we don't play it very often anyway. I can't even remember when we last played it. Also, the fact that most of the expansions are in German, with lots of card texts, makes using them too much work.

Then we have a few games where the expansions actually get used. We have BattleLore and Memoir '44, for both of which we have some expansions to add variety. We also have some extra maps for Formula D, because playing the same two race courses all the time would be boring. Then there is Star Realms, for which we own all base decks and expansions available. It's a deck building game, but even with all the cards we have now, it's small and easy to store. And the new cards add variety to the game, but not so much that remembering all the new rules gets overwhelming, as is the case with some games. Last game with more than two expansions is Tide of Iron, which I have never played, so I can't say much about it. It's one of hubby's all time favourites, though.

And just for the sake of completion (no OCD here... whistle ), here are the games for which we have one or two expansions:
Citadels
Descent: Journeys in the Dark
Frag
Ghost Stories
Jambo
Mesopotamia
Mystery of the Abbey
Niagara
Pandemic
Race for the Galaxy
Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game
Thurn und Taxis

So, as you can see, a huge amount of the expansions we have, are ones I've bought just to collect stuff. Luckily I've started to grow out of that a bit. But we still have situations at home where I tell hubby something like "Hey did you know this game has an expansion?" and hubby says "NO! No more expansions!".

This takes me to the next question. Are expansions necessary? Well, that depends on the game, of course. But the more I play, the more I realize that some games work with expansions, and some do not. Some games benefit from being expanded, and some just become a mess with expansions.
I'll use the games we have as examples. BattleLore and Memoir '44 work well with expansions, and those are a very good way to add variety. Formula D also benefits from having multiple tracks to choose from. But then there are games like Bohnanza. It's a fun game, but in my opinion, adding expansions meant adding so much new stuff to remember that it affected the fun in a very negative way. Same goes for Alhambra. Some of the expansion modules are OK, but most of them just mess up a simple, beautiful game.
Carcassonne is a case of it's own. Some of the first expansions are actually very good, they add variety without making the game more complicated. But a lot of the more recent expansions just seem to add stuff to remember instead of new aspects of the game. And the Catapult, I mean really...
Same goes for Ticket to Ride, to some extent. New maps and tickets are OK, but how many maps with different rules to remember do you need? And as I said, the Alvin and Dexter expansion, really? In my opinion, Ticket to Ride and monsters do not go together.

Then we have Dominion and Star Realms, which I keep comparing. Well, they are both deck building games. With Star Realms, the expansions are small, 10-20 cards each, and in some cases they don't add any new rules, just more variety to the deck, which in my opinion is perfect. Dominion is a game I used to love. As long as there was two or maybe three sets, it was still easy to store, to pull out, and most important of all, it was easy to remember the special rules. But at some point it felt like remembering all the new stuff was just too much work. It was the same as with the newer Carcassonne expansions, the new sets just seems to add unnecessary stuff rather than more depth to the game.

Also, when talking about expansions, there is the question of how often you play the game. We play Star Realms a lot, and therefore the expansions actually get used. There are other good games with good expansions, but they might be such games that we don't play very often, and in that case it might be better to just stick to playing the game vanilla. One example would be Race for the Galaxy. We have one of the expansions, and we have been considering getting the others, too. But we would need to play the game a lot more often, for it to be worth getting them. Pandemic is another of these cases. When it was new I loved it, but after playing it a lot it started getting a little boring. We have one of the expansions, and I considered getting more of them. But a friend of mine also has the game, and more expansions, and after playing with them I felt like they didn't add that much new after all. So I don't think I will be expanding that game any more.

Nowadays I try to consider all of the above before I buy expansions. OK, if it says Carcassonne on the box, I'll probably buy it anyway, but otherwise I'll think about it before I buy.
I have some expansions on my wishlist. I mentioned Race for the Galaxy, but those I will probably not buy unless we start playing the game a lot more. Same goes for Formula D. There are a few map packs we don't have, but with the amount of plays the game gets now, those we own should be enough. Then there's Dominion. For the sake of completion I would love to buy the sets I don't have, because I really liked the game at some point. But is it worth the money and the shelf space? I have also been considering the expansions for BattleLore. We have the first edition of the game, and some of the expansions. We don't play it a lot, but I know we both really like the game, and I would want to buy the expansions as long as they are available.
Also, it just hit me, we don't own all expansions for Star Realms. There is the new Cosmic Gambit set, which we haven't bought yet. On one hand, we don't use the old Gambit set, but on the other hand, it's a cheap expansion and the game gets a lot of plays with different people. Someone might like playing with the Gambits.

Thank you, if you took the time to read this. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Are there too many expansions out there? Is there some game that in your opinion absolutely benefits from expansions? Or some game where expansions are of absolutely no use?
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Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:55 am
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Games played 12.3-20.3

Linda Stenström
Finland
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This time I'll try to actually write something about the games I've played lately. I've had a very quiet time when it comes to gaming for quite a long time, but this year we have been playing more again, and the last few weeks have been intensive. Earlier this year we bought some new games, and last week hubby brought home as much as ten(!) new games. If he keeps buying games at that pace we will have to move into a mansion soon...

Saturday a week ago I played one game with hubby, Louis XIV. It's a game that hubby owned when we met almost ten years ago, but for some reason I had never played it. Hubby has played it a lot though. Not much to say about it, it's a euro. I'm glad I finally got to play, since it's a nice game, and it feels stupid to own games that I've never played.

Next Sunday hubby's two brothers came over for some gaming. One brother arrived earlier than the other, and we started the day with Escape: Zombie City. I really like this game, the way the game is played feels very unique. Ok, we own Space Alert, which also has a soundtrack, but Space Alert feels much more complicated. Escape: Zombie City is just fun and hectic. After four rounds the other brother showed up, and we needed to calm down after running away from zombies, so we moved on. The next game we played was Spyfall, a game we bought earlier this spring. It was fun, and different, but would have needed more players than four. Then it was time for a game that one of the brothers brought, King of Tokyo. I had played it once before, and only rated it a six, so my expectations were not very high, but it was much more fun than I remembered. I wonder why I had rated it so low before, it's possible that it was because then I played with some other friends, some of whom are very sore losers. And even if sore losers are never much fun, this is certainly a game that is not good for such people, since someone might be out of the game very quickly. Anyway, moving on. Next in line was Hanabi, which I have played before, and it was still very fun. After that we played another game that one of our guests brought, Small World. This game we had also played many times before, but it was a while since the last time, so it was nice to get to play it again. After that it was time for one of our games, Heartland, which is also a game we have played many times, but not in a long while. After that one of the brothers had to go home. We played one more game with the other brother, Ahoy, which was also a game he brought. Ahoy was new to us. Quick and fun, good for kids I can imagine. Then the other brother had to leave, too, and I played one last game for the evening with hubby. We chose an old favourite, Lost Cities, which we haven't played in ages.

The next day, a Monday, a package of games had arrived when I was at work, and when we had unpacked all the games, we started playing them. We only managed to play three of six new games that evening, but that's not bad. First we tried Loony Quest, which is... I don't know how to describe it. Awsome fun, and unlike anything I've ever played before. One of the things we have tried to keep in mind when we buy new games now, is that we try to choose games that are not too similar to games we already own. There are for example lots of great euros we could buy, but we own a lot of those already. Party games and trivia games on the other hand, we don't have a lot of. Well, anyway, after Loony Quest we decided to play 10 days in Asia. We have both played 10 days in Africa before, but since a friend has it, we decided to get a different one in the series. Still, very nice Rummikub-like game. Last game for the evening was Takenoko. After reading the rules we thought it would be a little like Masons, but it wasn't really. Good game, and very beautiful.

The next day a friend came over and we tried one more of the new games, La Boca. Also unlike anything I've ever played before, and also something I can't really describe. Go check out the game page if you like, it's a great game. After that we played a three player game of Loony Quest, and after that we pulled out an old favourite, Runebound. We played the basic scenario, but in co-op. Since it's a long game though, we didn't manage to finish it that evening. Luckily we could leave it on the table. The next evening our friend came over and we finished the game. We were very close to losing, but managed to beat the scenario.

At some point that week, four more games had appeared at our house. Hubby tried to look innocent.

Saturday a week ago we went to my in-laws to show them our new stroller for the baby, and of course we brought some games. We only had time for one game though. We played Terra, also one of the new games. We bought it because we don't have many trivia games, and we knew we like Fauna, which is very similar. Since a friend has Fauna, we decided to buy a different one. They are indeed very similar, but Fauna is probably better for kids. Neither is good for small kids, but Fauna is about animals, and older kids can imagine animals even if they don't know much. Terra is about geography, history etc., and at last hubby's 10-year old niece, who likes to play Fauna, said she didn't understand anything of Terra. The adults liked it very much, though.

Last Sunday a friend came over for some more gaming. Hubby and I started the day with a game of Star Realms while waiting for our friend to show up. The Colony Wars base deck was one of the new games hubby bought this week, and since Star Realms is one of our favourite games at the moment, we had been looking forward to this deck. In Star Realms, each base deck has enough cards for two players, so we have had two base decks mixed together so we can play with up to four players. We're a bit lazy, so we never separate the decks even when we play with only two players. Now we have separated our two original base decks, and mixed one of them with the Colony Wars deck, and kept the other separate. This helped the problem with multiple (up to six) copies of certain cards in the deck. Colony Wars is nice, it's not very different from the original cards, but adds variety.
Then our friend showed up. We decided to play another new game, Escape: The Curse of the Temple. This is very similar to Escape: Zombie City, which we also have, but we decided to buy this one anyway. It did actually feel different, even if the mechanics are very much the same.
Then we played a game of Loony Quest. Still awesome fun, even if we had played it a couple of times this week. Then it was time for a game our friend brought, and which was new to both hubby and me, Colt Express. Very fun, but I think it would feel less interesting without the cardboard train.
Then another of our new games, Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game. I wasn't very interested in this, I'm starting to get a little bit tired of zombies. But it was fun, this time we managed to win the game.
Then yet one more new game, Concept. It's a party game where you explain words, but not by explaining or drawing or anything, but by placing markers on a sheet with pictures. It's hilarious. The last two games for the evening were games we had played earlier that week, Terra and Takenoko.

I think this week I just wrote about must have been some sort of record for me. Hubby bought ten new games, and of those I have played nine. The only one I haven't played yet is Mr. Jack in New York. Also, I played 12 new to me games in this time.

This last week we haven't had very much time to game, but today some friends are here for gaming. But I'll tell you more about today's gaming another time.
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Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:30 pm
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