Expansions can be addicting – especially for favorite games. They can not only breath new life into a title you’ve played out, but they can change up the strategy and playstyle. We covered five great ones before. But there are plenty more than just those. Here are five more expansions that make great games even better.
7 Wonders: Leaders
7 Wonders is a fabulous card drafting game that gives you a civilization building feel while clocking in at a tight 45 minutes. And it easily accommodates between three and seven players without adding to the playtime. The game seemed perfect. But then Leaders came along and made it perfecter.
With Leaders, there is an initial draft of the notable figures before the game really begins. Some leaders will provide you with end-game points for certain types of cards. Others give in-game bonuses like bestowing coins or reducing the cost of buildings. But the best thing they give is direction. Sometimes, the first few hands of 7 Wonders feels sort of random. You grab whatever looks good and see what shakes out. But with Leaders, you know what advantages you’ll have and you can draft in that direction. It makes the experience more focused and the game interesting from the get go.
Image Credit: Asmodee Games
Coup is a brilliant bluffing game where players are trying to be the last one with cards. Claims fly fast and furious and, as people are called out on their lies, the game approaches a conclusion. Reformation, though, adds a team element that heightens the strategic value of many of the actions.
In Reformation, players are divided into two factions. You can only coup, assassinate, and steal from players on the opposite team. But the trick is, you can change teams. As a new action, you can spend a coin to switch sides or spend two coins to swap someone else. In one game, the person to my left had 10 coins and was going to kill someone. We were all on the same team, so it could have been any of us. On my turn, I used two coins to swap the guy to my right to the opposite team. Now the guy on my left had to coup him. The fluid nature of the teams adds to the experience without giving the game a bloated feeling.
Image Credit: Indie Boards and Cards
Mage Knight: Lost Legion
Mage Knight is an absolutely brilliant adventure game where, over the course of three days and nights, your powerful mage knights dominate the landscape, enter tombs and dungeons, and finally sack cities. The system is beautiful and provides an intense experience.
But the first expansion, Lost Legion, really completed it. Lost Legion added new enemies, including ones with new abilities like Elusive and Assassinate. It added more tiles, including new refugee camps, walls, and labyrinths. And it added several cooperative scenarios where the players must defeat or defend against the powerful Volkare and his armies. The expansion eliminates any semblance of predictability and dramatically enhances the replay value of Mage Knight. Plus, if you like to play cooperatively, there are a whole host of new scenarios that cater specifically to that playstyle.
Image Credit: WizKids Games
Dominion is a great game that can hit the table again and again. And it isn’t short on expansions. Intrigue, Seaside, Alchemy, and more. They all add more cards and more variety to this solid, if themeless, deckbuilder. But one expansion really towers above the rest in what it brings to the game: Prosperity.
Prosperity is the big money expansion to Dominion. It adds Platinum – treasure cards worth five coins – as well as Colonies – victory cards worth 10 points. Not just that, but it adds a ton of new cards with high prices and powerful effects. Cards like the King’s Court. It costs 7 to buy, but it lets you choose any card in your hand and play it three times! Combine that with a Smithy and you’ll have enough coins to buy those expensive colonies. Now, the players are using huge abilities and building even more impressive combos. Of all the expansions, Prosperity is far and away the one to add to your game.
Image Credit: Rio Grande Games
Ticket to Ride: Team Asia
Ticket to Ride is a modern classic. And it’s had its share of expansions and standalone titles – mostly alternate maps with a few rules twists. They are fine and change the flavor slightly here or there. But the best expansion of all time – especially for someone who is a little played out on Ticket to Ride – is Team Asia.
No longer a free-for-all, Team Asia allows for two or three teams of two to compete. If a player decides to draw train cards, one goes to his hand and the other to a communal pile. Either player can build trains using cards from their hand and/or the communal pile. And both players independently draw route cards, but don’t automatically show them to their teammate.
The team version of Ticket to Ride is amazing. It takes a game that is familiar and enjoyable, and layers on tacit communication and cooperation. You aren’t just looking at the likely routes your opponents are building, but the likely routes your partner is investing in. And when you see a group of yellow cards in the communal pile, is that for you to use or something your partner is saving? Answering that question correctly is the most important part of Team Asia.
Image Credit: Days of Wonder
Did I miss any great expansions? Tell us about it in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: WizKids Games