Hello again friends! It’s time for yet another Around the Table – this time, a few of our friends at Punchboard Media shared with us their favorite expansion that came out in 2017. Here we go!
If you follow our blog regularly at all, you will likely not be surprised by what I’m going to claim is my #1 expansion of 2017. Yes, it’s Champions of Midgard: Valhalla. In my Ramble Review about the expansions, I said “If you enjoy base Champions of Midgard, these expansions are a must buy for you. It really takes the game up a notch, makes it more “gamerly” and makes you feel more excited when your dice warriors die in glorious battle. It actually helps to make that Viking theme more exciting and immersive.” To this day, I still feel the same exact way. Valhalla made significant changes to the choices that you make in Midgard and, as a result, I finally distinguish between Midgard and Waterdeep in my game rankings (Midgard is in my top ten; Waterdeep in my top twenty).
Honorable Mentions: Clank! Sunken Treasures, Tiny Epic Galaxies: Beyond the Black
Joe Sallen – @goodboardugly
The Good, the Board, and the Ugly
The Sallen Coefficient
The Long View
Many expansions from 2017 still haven’t made it to my shelf, let alone my table. I’m most looking forward to the expansion for The Voyages of Marco Polo: Agents of Venice. I have a curmudgeonly observation that’s especially apparent to me during this year: Many “expansions” feel more like deleted scenes that weren’t good enough to make it to the final product. Some are incredible and show that the designer listened to the community, as is the case with Gaia Project. It adds a modular board that scales to player count and revamps the weakest element of Terra Mystica, the cult track. But does it count as an expansion? Probably not. All that being said, my official nomination is Aeon’s End: War Eternal. It further expanded what was an incredible game by pushing the design space in new directions for everything you can imagine. If you want to argue that being a standalone game DQ’s War Eternal, then go with one of the two expansions for it they included in the Kickstarter. A truly amazing game that now looks great and has legs to last a long long time!
Best expansion of 2017: Aeon’s End: War Eternal and small box expansions
Dishonorable mention: expansions that consist of subpar elements cut from the base game
Eric Buscemi – @ericbuscemi
The Cardboard Hoard – https://www.punchboardmedia.com/cardboard-hoard/
First off, a quick caveat — unlike in previous years, when I found myself drowning in expansions for games I own, this year I played very few expansions and only bought one. However, the one I did buy was a long awaited expansion for one of my favorite family games, and it lived up to my very high expectations. That game is Jamaica, and the expansion is Jamaica: The Crew. It manages to pull off the rare feat of adding interesting new decisions to the game — a light, 45-60 minute pirate-battling racing game — without overcomplicating or bloating it, or feeling tacked on.
Eric Yurko – @whatseplaying
What’s Eric Playing? – www.whatsericplaying.com
Expansions, expansions, expansions; I’m not 100% sure I bought that many expansions, this year. Yeah, most of what I bought were standalone expansions, like Codenames Duet, Queendomino, Aeon’s End: War Eternal, stuff like that. As for things that released this year from a Pure Expansion standpoint, I’d have to give it to Millennium Blades: Set Rotation. The strangest game I’ve ever played keeps getting stranger, and I’m 100% here for it. Word on the street is that another expansion is coming soon, so I’m excited to see how they blow my mind next.
BJ Rozas from Board Game Gumbo @boardgamegumbo
I’m with Eric Buscemi on this one. 2017 focused more on new games rather than expansions, at least if you peeked into my game closet. However, I did have a lot of fun (and a lot of plays) of one particular game, so I’ll say from this vantage point that Clank! Sunken Treasures has been the best expansion so far in 2017. This game is replayable, sure, but it is even more replayable when you can throw in new boards and new cards into the mix. This is a perfect Gumbo Game NIght game — easy to teach, has a great mechanic (deck building), and there’s lots of tension especially in the back half of the game.
Honorable mention: Scythe: The Wind Gambit
Scott Bowen – @solitary_meeple
Open Seat Gaming – www.openseatgaming.com
This was the easiest selection for me of any favorite/top list ever. There’s absolutely no way I couldn’t go with Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave! To be fair, I hadn’t actually played Hostage Negotiator (HN) until I backed Crime Wave on Kickstarter and received my “everything” pledge, but the expansion came out this year so it definitely qualifies for this category. I just love everything about HN as a game system, and Crime Wave added interesting new mechanics and cards that let you go at things differently than the base cards from the original game. Even better, they give you instructions for combining them and making custom sets/decks! Add on the Abductor Packs (7 currently but an 8th coming out early next year) and you have SO much content and replayability that you’re able to play unique encounters for a very long time.
There you have it – our favorite expansions of 2017! What was your favorite expansion of the year? Let us know in the comments or tag any of us on Twit
Your Friends from Punchboard Media