Sometimes you just wish for one more option. And sometimes, you get it.
Expansions are a funny thing. A lot of games don’t need them, and some games truly do. These changes can be because some games can use a little variety (e.g. Downforce Danger Circuit – new tracks!), or some games need some major rules revisions (Battlestar Galactica I’m looking at you). But not every expansion needs to make sweeping changes to a game. A lot of the time you can do this with a couple of cards or a tile that shakes things up a little bit. These mini-expansions are released as promotional goodies for certain events, and while they are usually not groundbreaking, the cost of releasing them via normal distribution channels is generally prohibitive. This is where you see releases of many smaller modules or mini-expansions published as a collection, such as Cities of Splendor or Fresco expansions.
These promotional mini expansions can be expensive to get if you couldn’t get to the convention or buy the right magazine, assuming you can get it after the event at all. Luckily this is usually only an issue for collection completionists, but it can be depressing for the rest of the world that doesn’t get the chance to try these little gems.
The folks at Z-Man games seem to agree because in what is a rare case from my experience they have announced a range of mini-expansions for a some of their most popular games, available directly from their website.
It’s important to remember that these mini-expansions only give a slight change to already great games. I don’t think they are a required purchase at all, but it’s great to have the opportunity if you wanted to add to a game you already enjoy 🙂
A Feast for Odin
This mini-expansion contains two new exploration boards to help mix things up. The boards are dual sided and give exciting new bonus opportunities to any game.
Beyond Baker Street
Described as a mystery version of Hanabi, Beyond Baker Street adds a few elements to create a unique experience. This mini-expansion allows you to add some missing characters as it were – Dr John Watson, Sherlock’s brother Mycroft, and the Napoleon of crime himself Professor Moriarty!
And finally a great example of a just that little bit as an option to the big box expansion. This mini-expansion adds some new town tiles as well as unique scoring and bonus cards to help shake up the mix that little bit more.
Check out these as well as a few others such as The Voyagers of Marco Polo, Carcassone and Sylvion on the Z-Man Games Website here.
Until next time,