We’re back for a special edition of Back or Brick as I look at the expansion for the superhero fighting cooperative game based off of the Brandon Sanderson series, The Reckoners. Pros Amazing Theme Amazing Components Cooperative Game Can get Base Game as well as …
So I’ve decided as well as doing my Back or Brick and the Waiting on Kickstarter series, “Coming to Kickstarter” where I look at the announced games that are coming and talk about what is or isn’t interesting about them, and kind of why I …
So, when building up your board game collection, it can at times reach the point where you have so many games that you just don’t play them all that often, and that you have a core few favorites that you play all of the time, so the question always is, do you add more new games to your collection or should you get an expansion?
Now, both have benefits in terms of your game collection. So I’m going to talk about the pros to both, and probably some cons as well, but when it comes to gaming, for me getting more games you can play is never going to be a bad thing.
The Argument for Exapnsions
So the argument for getting an expansion or starting to focus more on getting expansions is that you’ll probably play their content more. For a lot of games, Small World, Pandemic, Sagrada, and others, you’ll often just find yourself always having the expansion in the game. So if you are playing those games often, you’ll get more use out of that content.
It also can increase the replayability of those games. Stuff like Pandemic and Small World are great for introducing new people into board gaming. But it can end up feeling like you are playing the same game over and over again. So getting new roles in Pandemic or getting new monsters and abilities in Small World that can create combos or new strategies to try, those things will freshen up a game for a player who plays those games a lot.
Sometimes you can also not increase the number of boxes for the games by getting expansions. If the expansion can be stored with the base game, or vice-a-versa, you don’t add any new boxes to your collection that take up shelf space. Now, this isn’t always the case so sometimes you’re just adding boxes like normal, but if you are tight on space, that’s one reason to consider an expansion over a new game.
The Argument for New Games
With a new game one of the big selling points is that you can try something new. Sounds obvious, but it might allow you to find a new type of game or a new favorite game by trying out something new. Or you might find an improvement upon a game that you already like, if you like something like Splendor, trying Century Spice Road or Century Golem Edition might give you a game that you like better or that people in your group will like better, even though the feel of the two can be similar.
A new game also allows you to fill in gaps in your gaming collection. Now, everyone will have different types of games that the prefer, but sometimes you might need a party game, and you might need it so that you don’t get stuck playing a party game that you really don’t like. Or maybe a euro or deck building, or whatever it might be. So filling in some of those areas that you might not have enough of for your gaming group and to keep it interesting is important as well.
The Arguments Against Expansions
While I talked about the added variability, one thing to be slightly concerned about with adding more is the addition of complexity to a game. So you might take a game that is relatively easy to get to the table and make it harder by adding in additional rules or roles to explain. So while technically the game has more replayability because of those things, it will see the table less because it’s harder to pull out with a group of new to the game players. I have a friend who has several expansions for Galaxy Trucker, but because it’s harder to teach with those in the box, they raretly get played with.
Also, an expansion might not add in that much more to a game, so kind of the opposite of the one above, but if it just adds in a few more cards or a modular board, or something like that, it might not feel like it changes up the game that much, so it doesn’t add to the game play or it getting back to the table again.
The Argument Against New Games
The most obvious one is that you might not like the game, as simple as that. It’s an unknown commodity to you and there’s a risk/reward to factor in to it. Now, the more you’ve played games and played a variety of games, the odds of finding a complete miss aren’t that high, though it might not be something better than you already have on the shelf.
Speaking of shelves, space is also a concern. Because it is something completely new, it could take up a chunk of space and if you are limited in how much space you have, it might be the case where you won’t have room to store a new game. Now this can be rectified by getting rid of a game, but you might love all the games that you have, so then you have to make a choice if you decide to get any new games.
So, is there a better option, getting expansions or a new game? I don’t really think so. I think expansions can breath new life into an old game if you get them, but if you’re enjoying the base game, there’s no reason to. I think that new games can help you find things that you love and new favorites but probably have a higher chance of being a dud. It depends on how people play their games. Normally, I’m writing this mid Covid-19 Pandemic 2020, I play a lot of new to me games and a lot of different games, so having a good variety is great and something I really enjoy. But if you’re with a group who likes their handful of games, expansions are a great way to keep that feeling fresh.
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We have some Sony news as they look to create their own shows with Amazon, and I start going through my Top 10 Marvel Heroes with 10 through 6. If you are enjoying the podcast, please consider subscribing and leaving a rating and review. Those …
When we left the group last Bokken was talking with Sanphire and learning how to use a throwing dagger. Thrain and Barrai are down in the tunnel getting ready to explore the area that they had found out about during the dragon attack when they …
So, this second post for today comes from a thread over on Board Game Geek called “The 7 Sins of Boardgaming” and I thought while reading through it, I should do that. I should write up some of my “rules” for board gaming. Obviously, each gaming table will be different, there are people talking about no food and drink at the table, which is common place for my game nights. But I do think that there are some things at least for me that are important for a game group and gaming.
1 – Not Being Ready to Game
Now this one might seem obvious, but I don’t think that some people get it or are ready to game. While there are certainly social elements to game nights, that is meant to be done in the context of while you are playing a game. So come ready to sit down and play again, not ready to talk for 30 minutes to an hour and then play a game at some point in time and then talk more after a filler game. I fairly often theme in filler game nights for those more social times, but sometimes you need to be prepared to play a bigger game and it’s a game night, so that should be the mindset.
2 – Quashing Fun
This really is #1 through #7, but I want to call this out specifically. It’s something that was talked about in the thread a fair amount. Don’t quash other people’s fun because something in the game offends you and the flip side of this as well, don’t pull out a game that you know will offend someone. If you aren’t sure, leave it on the shelf, if you are uncomfortable, sit out the game. You can always bring it up after the fact and do so respectfully. And if you don’t know, ask before pulling out a game if the person is fine with it. This also is true for conversation on a board game night. We’re trying to create an inclusive place. If you can’t shut up about the debate last night, don’t come, if you are wearing hateful or polarizing material on your shirt, or whatever it might be, don’t assume everyone is like you, and don’t assume everyone wants to talk about politics or whatever polarizing thing like you do.
3 – Alpha Gaming/Analysis Paralysis Gaming
Now, I’m lumping these two together, and really, like I said, this falls into quashing people’s fun. But while that is more specifically about your tastes and views on things, this is more about the game itself. Don’t tell people what to do on their turns, sure they might not be doing an optimal play, but that’s okay. It might mean you’re less likely to win a cooperative game, and that’s okay. By the same token, don’t take too long on your turn, that is how people checkout of games, and I’ll talk about that later. But slowing a game down makes it less fun for everyone. For AP players, they feel the pressure to go fast and not let everyone else get bored, for the other players, they don’t want to get bored. Here’s going to be an odd statement, but alpha gamers and AP gamers tend to have the same issue, they need to win. The issue is how they do it, one thinks they know what everyone should do, and one locks up to make the optimal play. Winning the game isn’t everything.
4 – Sore Losing/Winning
As I just said, winning the game isn’t everything, and losing the game isn’t nothing. But don’t be sore at either of them. Don’t huff and puff and say that the game isn’t fair, that people ganged up on you (even if they did), lose graciously. Again, this steps on people’s fun if you lose poorly. At the same time, if you win, don’t gloat about it. Also don’t deflect and say it was all luck and that you just happened to get lucky to win, because someone might have been playing their hardest and gotten crushed and feel now like they are a terrible player. Instead be gracious in both winning and losing and that’ll make the game more fun for everyone.
5 – Cheating
Simply put, don’t do this. No game matters that much that it’s worth cheating at, at a board game night. I don’t care if you’re playing poker for the last piece of Rhubarb Cream Pie, don’t cheat. Cheating if you get caught ruins the game for everyone. If you don’t get caught, it makes the whole experience more hollow. I’ve found that the people who cheat usually don’t cheat to win, or if they do, they’ll also cheat to win by more, which makes it less fun.
6 – Readily Getting Distracted/Checkout of the Game
This can happen for several reasons, but try not to. Firstly, again, it’s a game night, you’re hear to play a game, not to look at your phone, not to have a conversation with someone who is playing another game, or someone who just showed up at the expense of missing it’s you’re turn. It’s fine to chat, but don’t get so distracted you lose track of the game, hold it up by missing your turn, and then spend a while figuring out your turn because you weren’t paying attention to what everyone else did. Also, don’t checkout of a game because you think you can’t win. First, you might not be able to actually tell that. But also if you start playing worse than you were, you can king make or otherwise mess up the fun other people are having. See your strategy and plan through to the end.
7 – Mistreating the Game
Now, as I’ve said, we have food at the table, so I’m not as strict about this as most people. In fact we’ve had Doritos and red wine (not the worlds tastiest combo) at the table before. But I’m talking about doing stuff intentionally to a game, or subconsciously. Don’t bend cards and throw pieces. Wipe off your fingers if you have Cheetos or Doritos’ dust on them before picking up pieces and cards. Just generally be respectful of other people’s property, it’s a common courtesy but be conscious of that, and resprect the rules the owner of the game has for their game.
So obviously some people in the thread were more clever than I was and created ones related to the actual seven deadly sins, but I thought it was an interesting topic for a gaming group and board gaming in general, so I wanted to write something up about it. Generally, I think that The RPG Academy gets it right with their motto, “If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right”. So make sure that you’re having fun, and make sure that everyone at the table is as well and playing board games will be fun for everyone.
What are your rules for gaming?
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