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Expansions that actually improved your base game experience
Keng Leong Yeo
Singapore
Singapore
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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From time to time, I come across criticisms of board games with expansions, some of which have a whole slew of them. Some of the common criticisms are:

i) A good base game does not need expansion(s).

ii) The publisher is out to squeeze more cash out of us fans of the base games. (I am still waiting for the english CZ deck of Agricola to be released on its own, instead of part of the expensive Goodies Expansion, because I already have some of the other items and am not interested in the others.)

iii) The designer has run out of good ideas for new board games.

iv) It lengthens the base game unnecessarily without adding much.

v) It unbalances the base game, which may be well-balanced to start with. (Hive seem to be favouring the starting player a little bit more since we added both the Mosquito and Ladybug.)

vi) There may be inconsistencies between productions. (The Agricola base game animals were cubes, but Farmers of the Moor introduced horses which were horse-meeples. The first edition of 7 Wonders had wooden coins, but the Leaders expansion has gone with the coins of the second edition.)

Having said the above, I am sure there are expansions that improved on your base game experience. Which is the one that really improved on the base game experience for you? And why?
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76. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game – Space Marine Pack 1 [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Hunter Shelburne
United States
San Marcos
Texas
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Only got this one a few days ago, but I don't see myself ever NOT playing with the extra Space Marines. Again, adding characters is an easy way to strictly improve the gameplay experience, as it is an easy addition that adds more variety. I don't know about the Mission Pack 1 just yet, since the card backs are different, but if I can randomize without sleeving it will be here as well.
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77. Board Game: Supremacy: Warlords and Pirates of the Neutral Zones [Average Rating:6.26 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.26 Unranked]
Doctor X

New York
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When we first test-drove the vanilla Supremacy set the first thing we noticed was that unless you had a full set of players, or say four at the minimum, the game was very much like two-player Risk without much else to do besides beat each other up and hunt through the resource deck. This set put speedbumps in every territory and made it possible for you to adopt client states for your outdated technology. Putting nasty nuclear minefields in your opponents' sphere of influence was a standard tactic at the table.
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78. Board Game: Supremacy: Fortuna [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked]
Doctor X

New York
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After the first couple of blowouts with no winner, our game play became very cautious, resulting in long drawn-out contests. Fortuna was nice because it threw in random events that changed games variables and forced you to do things, or at the very least, stopped players from becoming comfortable. Various disasters and upheavals around the world could tilt economic card houses.
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79. Board Game: Supremacy: The Unconventional Forces [Average Rating:6.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.09 Unranked]
Doctor X

New York
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The broad effect of nuclear weapons and their relative ease of use made bald aggression very dangerous in this game. We liked this set a lot because it turned every round into a barrage of dirty tricks that would hopefully shut off somebody else's gravy train, prepare the way for a general attack, or put the enemy at a disadvantage in some way. Unfortunately the coup d'etat function became overly used.
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80. Board Game: Thunderstone: Promo Pack [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Bob Cairns
United Kingdom
Belfast
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An extra hero, plus extra monsters and a Doomknight gaurdian, best of all its free!
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81. Board Game: Cheesy Gonzola [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
The Hoagland Family
United States
Mount Holly
New Jersey
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For a mom playing this game full of little pieces with her kids, this expansion hugely improved my experience with the game. Not because of anything it added to the gameplay, but because of what it did for the cleanup and setup. The base game has no good way to store the pieces, making the game hard to put away and set up for the next play. This box provided a home for all twenty mice and all the itty bitty cheese tiles. Total bliss! kiss
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82. Board Game: Alhambra: The Treasure Chamber [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Zack Stackurski
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
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I'm suprised none of the Alhambra expansions are on here... perhaps that has to do with the popularity of the Big Box these days. My favorite expansion for Alhambra is the Treasure Chamber mini-expansion from this box. The scoring is easy and fits in seamlessly with the rest of the game and it gives you just a little more to think about when selecting your city tiles.
 
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83. Board Game: Duel of Ages Set 2: Intensity [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Bartow Riggs
United States
Antelope
California
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This expansion adds a lot but the three biggest are 72 new characters (72!) 40 Guardians (40!?!) and the black and white headquarters.

There is a lot more (elevation, pets, sentinels etc.) but the above makes this a game that I would simply not play without this expansion.
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84. Board Game: Vexation [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
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This expansion makes TransAmerica/TransEuropa a decent filler. Without it they would both be very dull. They are still quite light, but not a bad experience at all. It has been included in the base game for quite awhile now.
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85. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Greg Udvari
Hungary
Budapest
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To me this expansion makes the base game sing. The added goals provide a new strategic element to the game, which without adding any great complexity adds a lot of purpose.
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86. Board Game: Last Night on Earth: Survival of the Fittest [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.72 Unranked]
Eric Spencer
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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I know Growing Hunger has been added, and I absolutely agree with that. I felt like SotF should be added simply because of the zombies with grave weapons. I feel like this adds a lot more strategy to the zombie side of the equation, and it makes things more tense. There's plenty of other stuff in SotF that I like pretty well, but the grave weapons tend to find there way into almost all of my scenarios these days.
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87. Board Game: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! The Giant Squid Mini Expansion [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
chet carmody
United States
Florida
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Allows another player to join in - that is great!
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88. Board Game: Chicago Express: Narrow Gauge & Erie Railroad Company [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
chet carmody
United States
Florida
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Another fine example of the addition of a player.
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89. Board Game: Dungeon Twister: 3/4 Players Expansion [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked]
Johannes Andersson
Sweden
Solna
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This game really shines when adding the 3rd and 4th player. It gets alot more chaotic and random when you cant rely on the "you always get a chance to act before your character can be killed" rule.

Still like the base game but the expansion really adds to the experience.
 
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90. Board Game: Kingsburg: To Forge a Realm [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
Kenny Wong
Canada
Burnaby
British Columbia
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Great expansion that adds additional depth and strat to the base game. I'm not too keen on the character cards as some of them can be a little OP, but overall I wouldn't play without this expan.
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91. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:254]
Robert Ridgeway
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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I thoroughly enjoyed the basic game. Then got to play with the "Shadows over Camelot: A Company of Knights" + "Shadows over Camelot: Sir Bedivere, the 8th Knight": another perfect case of More Players + More Options = More Fun.
I can only assume "Shadows over Camelot: Merlin's Company" will only add to that equation.
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92. Board Game: Small World: Tales and Legends [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Lo Ma
United States
California
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Don't mean to add every Small World expasnion, but this is the only one that changes the gameplay. I like it once in awhile to change things up!
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93. Board Game: The Settlers of Catan: The Fishermen of Catan [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked]
mateenyweeny
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Not quite as game changing as Catan: Seafarers or Catan: Cities & Knights, this small mini-expansion really opens up the board and makes the coastal tiles much more valuable without over complicating the rules for those new(er) to the game.
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94. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot: Merlin's Company [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Brian Mc Cabe
United States
Arizona
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Having to draw to find out whether your knight completed his move as desired really cranks up the difficulty level.

Brian
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95. Board Game: Groo: The Game – Expansion Set [Average Rating:6.65 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.65 Unranked]
ivan pawle
Ireland
Dublin
D7
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Doesn't add any new rules but contains almost the same number of cards as the base game and probably should have been included with it.
 
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96. Board Game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small – More Buildings Big and Small [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked]
Gabriele Candiani
Italy
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This expansion adds a nice touch of variety to the completely deterministic base game. If you like ACBS, I consider this a must buy. This expansion completes the ACBS game and probably, it should have been included into the base game box.
 
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97. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked]
Gabriele Candiani
Italy
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From the first impressions at Origins, this seems a must buy, adding more variety and strategy to the base game.
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