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I'll let you in on a little secret: I own way too many board game expansions.

I love a good board game expansion - and some expansions are simply just better than others. I happen to be one of those people that thinks expansions should bring something new and exciting to the table, instead of just being more of the same stuff. There's a time and a place for basic expansions, and for example, expansions bringing more people to the table are always a win in my book - even if they don't include something totally new or innovative. Sometimes I do encounter expansions that feel empty and a bit greedy- costing a lot but containing very little. If I buy an expansion, I want it to be worth the money. That's why I got inspired to write about my favorite expansions that are truly worth their price tag.

1. Root - The Underworld expansion

Alright, I'll admit- when it comes to Root I had some difficulties choosing just one favorite expansion. This glorious game already has three full sized expansions, as well as a few expansion decks. It probably doesn't come as a surprise that I already own all of these.

Root-lisäosa

Originally, I wasn't going to buy the Underworld expansion. It feels a bit pricey- that was why I was on the fence on buying it. Having played it a ridiculous amount of times, I now understand the high price tag. Underworld features not only new animals, but also two new maps. The new animals are nice, but they're not exactly going to revolutionize your game experience. However- the new maps might! The new maps feature new rules - the most prominent probably being the tunnels. The tunnels bring an extra challenge for moving around a map, and at first they felt very annoying. However, after a few plays I can appreciate the extra challenge they bring to the warfare, and I consider them a great addition to any game of Root. If you're in the market for more challenges for your Root games, Underworld is a must-buy.

A word of warning: if the Root base game feels challenging enough, Underworld might not be the best expansion for you. However, Riverfolkis a really good bang for your buck, and is also very much worth a try!

2. Wingspan - Oceania Expansion

Alright, so Wingspan Oceania made this list for two reasons: First of all: the new birds add to the game's replayability. The Wingspan base game is glorious, but in the end, there's quite few birds, and I often end up craving more of a challenge. Wingspan is easy to learn and its simplicity really adds to its charm. For more experienced players though, the Oceania expansion and its birds bring some much needed challenge to the game, as well as a whiff of fresh air.

Second of all: the Nectar tends to divide opinions but I personally happen to love it. A best-case scenario for me is when an expansion fixes issues I've had with the base game. I often find myself getting annoyed at the slow start in Wingspan and the nectar in the Oceania expansion really makes for a faster early-game. It does change the feel of the game a bit, and I do understand why it might not be your cup of tea. If you think Wingspan is already perfect and you just want some more birds to play around with, go ahead and pick up the European Expansion instead. It brings more birds to the board, but otherwise the game stays the same.

Wingspan Oceania

3. 7 Wonders- Cities

Let's start with a disclaimer: I've never really been a huge 7 Wonders fan. It's a fun game, but it's rarely my first choice.

This is mostly because I end up craving a bit more interaction to the game. It feels like I often end up building my city in peace and hardly even notice what the other players are doing. This of course is just my opinion. I know plenty of people that love 7 Wonders, but for me it ends up lacking proper conflict and social interaction. Fortunately, there's a perfect solution to this: 7 Wonders- Cities.

7 Wonders- Cities features practically everything that I miss from the base game. It feels odd recommending an expansion for a game that I don't even enjoy that much. However, I figured that I can't be the only one who craves some more interaction into 7 Wonders, and I was hoping this suggestion could make your 7 Wonders games feel more enjoyable. enjoyable. With the 7 Wonders expansion the game quickly changes from mundane to "edge of your seat" -exciting. As another plus, this expansion is very small both in size and price - so there's really no reason not to pick it up!

4. Gloomhaven- Forgotten Circles

Generally speaking, Gloomhaven is one of those games that you easily get obsessed by. Even though there's lots of adventures to enjoy in Gloomhaven, once you get hooked on it you can run out of scenarios pretty quickly.

When you do run out of scenarios, it's time to bust out Forgotten Circles! It's worth noting that you have to finish the original Gloomhaven for Forgotten Circles to make sense. This particular expansion seems to really divide gloomhaven fans into two groups: the ones who find that it's more tedious than the original Gloomhaven, and those who appreciate the more advanced scenarios and the longer gameplay. Forgotten Circles works great for seasoned Gloomhaven players, who've simply ran out of adventures in the base game. The scenarios, however, are quite a bit more complicated than those in the base game- so if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, I'd suggest looking into Jaws of the Lion instead.

However, if you've finished the Gloomhaven base game, you're probably crazy enough about this game to appreciate the intricacies of Forgotten Circles. However, if Gloomhaven tends to get you frustrated and feels too long and complicated- don't pick up this expansion. You've been warned!

Gloomhaven forgotten circles

Honorable mention: Tapestry Plans & Ploys

This expansion did not make the official list, since more or less a "more of the same stuff" kind of expansion. That being said, having played Plans and Ploys, I can't imagine a game of Tapestry without it. If you don't enjoy the original Tapestry, this expansion is not going to change your mind. However, for diehard Tapestry fans, this is a must-have. Plans and Ploys brings great new content in the form of new cards and a couple of new rules. It integrates into the original tapestry seamlessly, and brings along one of my favourite features: Landmarks.

 

Sofia Wahlroos

Copywriter at Poromagia

Maybe a tad crazy about board games