The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Rick's Rec Room

May 31, 2013

New expansions bring more variety to great games

Quite some time ago, board games came out, were played until they got stale and never changed or were altered in any way.

There are numerous examples of this: Monopoly, Sorry, Life, Yahtzee and Scrabble to name but a few. That was then, this is now. Now there are many reasons why a board game will be revisited by expansions. The worst two are for more money or to fix a problem that cropped up after the game released.

I want to cover three expansions that do not fall into either of those categories, at least not exclusively, for a do believe that all three companies would like to make some money off these releases. But none of them feel as if they were released with that as the sole purpose.

The three games are: Kingdom Builder from Queen Games, Rivals For Catan from Mayfair Games and Smash Up by AEG. All three have strong followings for the base game and two of the three had previously released expansions.

The most heralded of the trio is Kingdom Builder from designer Donald X. Vaccarino, which won an international game of the year recognition two years ago. It is already supported by Nomads, an expansion that adds scoring options, new boards and the ability to move settlements that had already been placed to different locations.

The new expansion is called Crossroads and it can easily be labeled as more game changing than Nomads. Anyone who has played Nomads would expect an expansion to contain new boards and it does. They would anticipate new location tiles and it has those. But Crossroads introduces a new means of scoring as well as some new pieces to put on the board and that will be my focus here.

In Kingdom Builder, players put settlements on the modular game boards in order to try and earn points made available through three scoring cards randomly drawn before the start of the game. With Crossroads, there are four new pieces to be put into play depending on which board is randomly drawn for play. The elements are warriors, wagons, ships and city hall tiles. They come in the five different player colors.

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Rick's Rec Room
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