Improves 7 Wonders quite a bit by neutralizing a bit of the luck, especially in the guilds that come up, and allow you to form a strategy before the first card is played. I really don't think I will play just the base game alone (unless teaching it to new people) after this.
Epic improves the base game by giving you so much more room to play. Reluctant Allies is a great twist to adding more players. I would have rather seen a different means to mark them than card board tokens. Now we just need more scenarios in this format.
The only interesting aspect of this expansion is the Allies. The rest makes it too random and too hard for the humans. I find it is just more fiddly now and doesn't add much. I guess the new cylon ship mechanism gives a more regular cylon presence but I never felt the original mechanism was broken.
After several more plays, my rating keeps going up. It is a bot more fiddly and makes it much harder on the humans but I think the theme is even more integrated. I really like the CAG and Allies. The Cylon Fleet works well but does ramp up the difficulty if you just keep jumping instead of dealing with the Raider problem.
If T&B and I&C finished out the base game for the complete experience, A&M looks to elevate this to Carc 2.0. It seems every aspect of the game is impacted for the better and I can hardly wait to add this into the standard Carc package.
This is a must have expansion. Not only does it add the possibility of a 6th player, it "completes" the basic game and put it on par with the other basics Carc games like H&G and AotC. This set remains in my basic game mix. While I don't usually play this expansion when I introduce the game to someone new, it is almost always implemented by the second game.
This expansion doesn't add a whole lot to the game and probably doesn't deserve such a high ranking. However, it is played just as much as the base game. Our group likes it because it spreads us out to begin with (we play a lot of 6-player games) and helps create the better visual effect of the city.
This adds a bit more to the River experience if you have the expansions included. With a few more roads and buildings inserted, it also seems to break up the fear of the superfarm wrapping around the ends.
We play with both rivers usually starting with a 2nd one once the 2nd spring is drawn. If a lake is drawn, we house-rule the option to discard to the bottom of the pile if there are still more rivers and make it a requirment if there isn't an open river hex still on the board.
After Inns & Cathedrals, my favorite expansion for the Carcasonne series. The tiles have a permanent place in the basic mix. However, I usually hold off introducing the rules until the 3rd game.
We all have our favorite aspect. The farmers love the pigs and the knights love the builder. Mine typically gets trapped quickly so I sometimes reserve him for the roads - that way when a iget a "crap" piece, I can at least go again. Christie dominates the trade goods. Somehow, that is always her niche and she usually ends up with two of the three.
The impact to the system is that motivation to complete others' cities is introduced. Farms are given a little bit of a boost and everyone enjoys a 2nd turn.
A solid expansion to a great game. EF has managed to take a few tweaks and make a very unique experience in the world of C&C.
First, I love the visual impact, along with the W/D board, or the winter battles. I really enjoy that aspect that screams EF to me.
The second is the use of more units and more involved terrain. The battles are really drawn out and engaging. Most of my longest sessions have come from this expansion and they are worth it.
Next, I really like the introduction of the Snipers. They give just enough harrasment to keep things interesting. If you don't deal with them, they can eventually take down a unit. And if you spend the time to go after them, they don't grant you a medal.
Finally, the Commissar rules are very unique. For me, this is a frustrating aspect of the game as too much can happen from when you place the Commissar's card to when you actually play it. But as much as I dislike the concept, it do appreciate the flavor it brings to the table.
Perhaps it was the hours spent maximizing the US attack againt japan in Axis & Allies, but this was the must have expansion for me in M44.
As with the other Army expansions, the feel is unique in this game. Where PT has its strengths is in the bloody feel of the battles. The slight tweaks to the IJAgive you the sense this is a battle to the death. And while not as interesting as the IJA, the USMC rule activates more units for more carnage.
I also like the new terrain and corresponding rules, such as the jungles and headquarters.
This is probably my favorite of all the expansions.
China: Makes for a very different gaming experience in that the plants are pretty much scheduled to come out in a certain order. Scarcity of plants, especially with more than 4 players, really makes you rethink your strategies.
Necessary addition to the game with more players (even with the base set of 2 to 5). Before, the tribune was the most challenging of the victory conditions because it required multiple steps and factions. Now the new module adds more crafty ways to get victory points.