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【Board Game Miscellaneous】Eclectic, subvert the original! Those refreshing board game expansions
2020-08-20

Online games are always inseparable from the word "update", or to fix bugs or upgrade versions. Updates must be used to maintain the normal operation of the game and retain new and old players. In fact, not only online games are the case, but the main offline board games also need to be updated. Many classic board games will continue to introduce new extensions to continue their popularity and reputation.

In general, the expansion of board games is basically based on the framework of the original gameplay mechanism, adding some new elements, such as adding new characters, races, items, layouts, etc., or carrying out some minor mechanism innovations to improve balance. Generally speaking, the general direction will not change.

However, there are also some board game expansions that don't take the usual path, completely subverting the original gameplay or theme, and the style is also very different, making players both surprised and wondering-are they playing the same game? This article has sorted out some of the more special extensions, let's take a look at what changes they have made!

1.Pandemic: Contagion

"Pandemic" is a very classic cooperative board game. In the game, players have to act as experts in the field of disease resistance. Through various strategies, they work together to find out their treatment methods before the plague gets out of control, and at the same time suppress the epidemic To ensure that the hot spots of the disease are within a reasonable range of control.

Since the first version of "Pandemic" was launched in 2008, many expansion packs have been launched, among which the "RISING TIDE EN" and "Reign of Cthulhu" expansions have almost nothing to do with fighting the plague. However, the basic kernel gameplay of the two editions has not changed much. Although it no longer fights the epidemic, the theme is basically to solve some problems that endanger human society. Generally speaking, it is normal.

However, the expansion of "Pandemic: Contagion" launched in 2014 is a bit unexpected. The original theme of the series that solved the plague has been reversed in this version, and it has become the player playing the role of a virus to destroy the world!

Not only the theme has changed a lot, but the gameplay of "Contagion" is quite different from other versions of the series. Players must first draw an infection card each round, and then select a city for infection, and evolve and mutate their own viruses. The original cooperative gameplay is not reflected in the game at all. Players have to plan their own strategies and actions, compete, and get higher scores by causing more casualties.

In short, the "Contagion" expansion can almost be regarded as an independent game in the skin of "Pandemic". From salvation to destruction, from cooperation to competition, it is very slant and unexpected.

2.Lord of the RINGS:SAURON

As a super IP in the Western fantasy category, the name of "Lord of the Rings" can be said to be known to everyone. This IP-based board game is usually divided into two major series, one is the "Lord of the Rings" game featuring multiplayer cooperation, and the other is "Lord of the Rings: Confrontation" with two-player battles.

From the first version of "The Lord of the Rings" to the famous "Lord of the Rings: Card Edition", they are all typical cooperative gameplays. After the players have selected heroes with different abilities, they will cooperate in adventures according to the script and formulate strategies to overcome difficulties and complete mission goals. The main gameplay mechanism of "Lord of the Rings" and its card version are basically unchanged, but a large number of new elements have been added to enrich the game content. Among them, an anomaly has also appeared. It is the "Lord of the Rings" that has added a confrontation mechanism. : Sauron" expansion.

However, in terms of specific gameplay, the expansion pack of "Lord of the Rings: Sauron" is completely different from "Lord of the Rings: Confrontation". "The Lord of the Rings: Confrontation" is a two-player board game that takes turns, tit-for-tat against each other. The expansion of "The Lord of the Rings: Sauron" uses a one-player versus multiplayer gameplay, where one player plays the dark lord Sauron, and the others Players play the heroes of Middle Earth and fight against Sauron together, which still belongs to the category of cooperative board games.

Demon King Sauron is powerful, but in most cases, he can only activate part of his abilities-draw or play a Sauron special card, or activate a negative effect of Nazgul Ka. When the death icon appears, Sauron's abilities will be fully activated, and you can draw up to six Sauron cards, or use Sauron cards on any other character and give full effect. In addition, this expansion also includes the black knights serving for the demon lord Sauron, who are the main force in grabbing the Lord of the Rings.

Other players can't directly attack Sauron, they must cooperate tacitly to complete the mission of destroying the Lord of the Rings. However, when the biggest obstacle becomes a player with wisdom, the experience will become completely different and the difficulty will undoubtedly be higher. Fortunately, the expansion has added new character cards, Gandalf cards, and new resources for the Middle Earth heroes. In this one-to-many duel, both sides have a chance to win.

3.Runebound:Midnight

"Runebound" is a veteran fantasy RPG board game under the board game giant FFG. It is known as a classic game that all RPG fans must play once, especially the third edition of which is highly praised.

"Runebound" creates a relatively complete worldview. Players act as adventurers who come to this fantasy world. Starting from a small character who knows nothing, they explore unfamiliar territories, constantly fight monsters and upgrades, build equipment, and hone their skills. Finally go to defeat the demon king who threatens the world...it is completely the rule routine of common RPG games.

However, the late game setting is more interesting, because in the end, only by defeating the devil can you become the only winner, so in order to prevent others from defeating the devil first, players will inevitably intrigue, backstab each other, and sometimes fight each other too much. It is easy to cause a complete defeat.

The first and last three versions of the game, as well as most of the expansions, are based on this gameplay routine, but although the adventure gameplay is quite good, in some cases the interaction between players is not high. Because the beginning of the adventure is basically independent, and the equipment in the game is very important. Once all the good equipment is taken away by one person, the advantage will roll out. Laggards can't catch up with the leader at all. PVP can't be beaten even if they are played together, so the leader can only finish the BOSS as soon as possible.

As a result, the "Runebound: Midnight" expansion did not take the usual path and added a new mechanism. A player plays the devil against other players who play adventurers. The original adventure RPG board game instantly adds more non The element of symmetry confrontation. The adventurer player’s upgrade path will be constantly disturbed by the Demon King and it will become more and more difficult, but on the contrary, they will no longer intrigue, but will unite and cooperate with each other to strive to defeat the Demon King. I have to say that the interactivity of the game has indeed been greatly improved.

4.Feudum:The Queen's Army

The board game "Feudum" has constructed an overhead medieval fantasy world. Players play the role of a prince who was exiled to this world for unknown reasons. Not only do they have to carry out land reclamation, build fiefdom, and expand their influence, but the most important thing is to play The six major professional guilds competed for power and resources, and finally became the overlord most respected by the king through competition.

"Feudum" is a standard "American-style German game mechanics" game. It seems to have strong RPG elements, but in fact it is still divided into the main strategy based on strategy, which is relatively high. In each round, the player has to choose 4 out of 11 action cards in the action phase, and cover them with the back face down. Then, starting from the first player, each player turns over one of them to perform their actions. If there is sulfur or saltpeter, Special actions can also be performed.

After the action phase, it will enter the important guild stage. The resources and functions of the six guilds are different. Players need to send their subordinates to a guild to expand their influence. The higher the influence, the greater the benefits. After five epochs, the player with the highest score wins.

"Feudum" was followed by many expansions, and the "The Queen's Army" expansion appeared to be very unique. Unlike other expansion packs, which simply add some new action cards and available items to enrich the gameplay, the innovation of the game expansion adds a new and terrifying "player" to the game!

This "player" is the queen in the background story. She acts at the same time as other players, but has unlimited resources, no movement restrictions, and quick points. In the game, the queen is controlled by AI intelligence. Through clever rule setting, it can react very intelligently to different situations, causing a lot of pressure on other players. This new mechanism really makes people feel refreshing.

5.Carcassonne:Catapult

The well-known board game "Carcassonne" is a jigsaw puzzle game in everyone's impression, but what many people may not know is that it can actually be played as an action game.





As a light-hearted entry-level game, the rules of "Carcassonne" are very simple, so although it has a large number of expansions, they are basically just changes in the external form, and there is no change in the core gameplay. It feels different when playing. Not big.

But "Carcassonne: Seventh Edition" is a bit different. In this expansion with a strong spoof atmosphere, the producer has added a special prop sling, which has unprecedentedly added action and dexterity to the "Carcassonne" series. .

With the catapult, there are bullets. There are 4 types of bullets in the game. When a player draws to the bazaar section, after his round is over, he chooses a bullet. From him, each player launches a sling in turn. Different bullets are used to resolve different effects, such as: You can remove the hit Meeples (including the Meeples that you have unfortunately been hit), and some will add points by judging who launched the most accurate.

The addition of the catapult seems very weird, making it interesting for the first time players. However, the catapult accessories are really crude, and the bullets are just thick pieces of paper. It is difficult to grasp when launched. In many cases, it is difficult to perform normal functions. Therefore, it is gradually abandoned by the players. The evaluation of this expansion is also Not high, but this creative attempt is definitely worth encouraging.

6.Ticket to Ride:Alvin&Dexter

In "Ticket to Ride", players play the role of backpackers participating in travel competitions in the game. They must make reasonable plans to allow themselves to use trains (or other means of transportation) to visit more cities.

The rules of this classic board game are not complicated. In each round, choose one of the three actions: drawing train cards, declaring a route and placing train and train indicators, and drawing destination cards, and proceed by declaring roads and connections. The destination completes tasks to keep scoring. When there are only 0~2 unused train counters left by any player, the game enters the final round. After the end, the scoring rules are used to determine the winner.

Most of the expansion packs of "Ticket to Ride" are in different times and countries to carry out this planning layout and constant game tourism competition. However, the "Ticket to Ride: Alvin & Dexter" expansion introduces something unconventional—monsters!

Monsters will always interfere with the player's route planning during the game. If there are monsters in the city during scoring, only half of the points will be awarded. Of course, the player can move the position of the monster by discarding two train cards (another means to entrap the opponent).

In fact, the basic gameplay of "Ticket To Ride: Alvin&Dexter" is still the same as the original. However, because each expansion of the game body is based on the actual map shape, the theme is basically ticket travel, and the style is relatively simple, so it has always given people a sense of dignity and stability. As a result, such a magical monster mechanism was suddenly added, and there was a feeling of "I didn't expect that you with thick eyebrows and big eyes would also betray", which is really surprising.

In addition to those board game expansions that are recognized to be of high quality, these unusual expansions are also eye-catching. Although individual expansions are not very successful due to the addition of strange mechanisms or insufficient continuity of the theme, this spirit of experimentation and exploration is still worthy of recognition. We also look forward to more unconstrained and creative expansion, adding more diversified possibilities to a board game.



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