Munchkin is a game which thrives from the addition of new expansions, as card variety can only enhance the game experience. And the second expansion for Munchkin is Clerical Errors which adds… well, more cards.
Whenever I’m writing expansion reviews, I always need to ask myself, what is it we should expect from an expansion? What should expansions bring to the table? Should they completely change the game, or only tweak it? Do they exist to fix mistakes, or simply add more of what’s already there?
Clerical Errors is the type of expansion which adds more of what’s already there. There are no new mechanisms or dynamics added to this, it’s really just a pile new cards which add to the variety of cards already in existence. Let’s take a look and see if it was worth it.
With Clerical Errors, we are given 112 new cards; some treasures and others door cards. The classic Munchkin humour is present, providing one of my favourite puns from this game, the Tequila Mockingbird. A new race and class are also added, namely the gnomes and the bards. Not clerics, as you would assume from the title. They already exist in the game.
The art looks as cartoony and great as ever, and we are even given five special cards drown from guest artists. They manage to look different and fit in at the same time. One of these cards is the Perfectly Ordinary Rabbit, which is a great wink at Monty Python fans.
Alright, more cards are great and all, but otherwise this expansion is a little bland. Yes, Munchkin is the type of game that benefits greatly from adding more variety, similar to the new races and powers added to Small World or new aliens added to Cosmic Encounter. But at the same time, I do expect some sort of thematic thread tying it together.
What do I mean by that? When an expansion is released, I expect it to be a complete package in and of itself, despite needing the base game to play. In other words, there needs to be a reason that it exists other than just adding more stuff. Why are these cards in particular put together in this box? In this case, there is nothing special; they are just a whack load more cards.
Read the title of this expansion to see what I mean: Clerical Errors. With this title, it should have something to do with that idea. But it’s just named after one single card in this expansion, and it’s not even that special of a card. Like I mentioned before, if Clerics were introduced in this expansion, that makes sense. But they weren’t. There seems to be no central theme to this expansion at all. Munchkin 2: Unnatural Axe didn’t have much either, though at least they put some minimal effort in tying it together by having the axe show up throughout the artwork on the cards. Here they don’t even try.
Luckily, looking ahead in the Munchkin expansions, they seem to have fixed this theming problem with Munchkin 4. But I will talk about that more when I write that review. For now, I have to say that it’s nice to have more cards, but I am disappointed with the lack of thematic purpose with Clerical Errors.
Base Game -
Base Game & Expansion -
My Expansion Ratings
-- The expansion improves upon the original base game.
-- The expansion provides a differing experience than the base game but neither improves or detracts from the base game.
-- The expansion is effective and provides an interesting new aspect, but the base game is still preferred.
-- The expansion detracts from the base game.
How do I win BoardGameGeek?
Hey, I really think you are focusing on the wrong thing. I love Munchkin and each expansion has added to my enjoyment.
Technically, you're right. Both Unnatural Axe and Clerical Errors have little to do with "Axes" and "Clerics", but i don't think that's the point! They add more cards to the fun!