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chemical22

All Expansions, All rules

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Well - I was one of the people who ran out and purchased the last remaining expansions to complete my collection, before sales stopped. So I've added in Frostmarch, Bloodmoon and Cataclysm to complete the collection.

 

Next week I am planning to play our first complete expansion game.   I've been considering using all rules as printed for these expansions.   How many of you do this?  Any suggestions or recommendations?

 

I'd like to hear about what I'm getting myself into.

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I would suggest against it unless you are crazy and your coplayers are too. The Dragon, The Harbinger and The Firelands do not work well together. If you do this, the game will be very deadly and either super short (because deadly) or super long (because all the upkeep time from turn to turn).

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My mileage varies - a bit.  We always play with ALL expansions.  Nothing printed in any of the rules say you can't or shouldn't.  All expansions are intended to be playable with each and every one.

 

Having said that... your mileage may vary.   I only play a 2 player game, so perhaps that is a part of it.  And we do tinker/tweak some rules - but still use all expansions.

 

We created a mechanic or situation that delays the pulling of Dragon scales and than also keeps it "manageable" if you will.

 

Two players using the Harbinger is a bit more of a challenge, admittedly, so we alternate between these two mechanics (or use both on some occasions):

    Every player starts with a riding horse, so they get the heck out of the region the H has appeared in, lol.  We also have placed a rune gate (from each expansion that may have one) in each region, so again, a way to get out of Dodge, when the Harbinger arrives.

 

That is about it.                        To be honest we rarely play the board game these days.  My co-player, aka "Wife" is just not down with the Harbinger or Cataclysm quite frankly.

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I would suggest against it unless you are crazy and your coplayers are too. The Dragon, The Harbinger and The Firelands do not work well together. If you do this, the game will be very deadly and either super short (because deadly) or super long (because all the upkeep time from turn to turn).

 

Well, I already play with those 3.

 

I have modified the Dragon to be less fiddly (I choose a king at the beginning and a scale appears on a square on a roll of a 1 for movement) - I definitely speeds things along.  It means that the Dragon King ending and one or two dragon cards don't work very well, but we just ignore those.

 

I can't say that it is "no problem" because we certainly have long games - but I personally don't see a problem with synergy between these expansions.

 

But yes - again, time is always an issue for us.

 

My mileage varies - a bit.  We always play with ALL expansions.  Nothing printed in any of the rules say you can't or shouldn't.  All expansions are intended to be playable with each and every one.

 

Having said that... your mileage may vary.   I only play a 2 player game, so perhaps that is a part of it.  And we do tinker/tweak some rules - but still use all expansions.

 

We created a mechanic or situation that delays the pulling of Dragon scales and than also keeps it "manageable" if you will.

 

Two players using the Harbinger is a bit more of a challenge, admittedly, so we alternate between these two mechanics (or use both on some occasions):

    Every player starts with a riding horse, so they get the heck out of the region the H has appeared in, lol.  We also have placed a rune gate (from each expansion that may have one) in each region, so again, a way to get out of Dodge, when the Harbinger arrives.

 

That is about it.                        To be honest we rarely play the board game these days.  My co-player, aka "Wife" is just not down with the Harbinger or Cataclysm quite frankly.

 

Two player using Harbinger would be tough - we always have 3-6 players. When Harbinger first came out, it dominated our games - but once you learn "to get out of Dodge" when he makes his appearance, he's a bit less menacing.

 

I'm mostly concerned with Night and Day and the Werewolf (and of course all the new additions from the Cataclysm) mucking up the game a bit more.   I don't want to rule them out without giving them a shot, but it does add a lot to the fiddle factor.  And of course if we play the Dragon by the book, then we have a lot more to fiddle with.

 

 

I appreciate both of your inputs.  I think you are both confirming that I'm just a glutton for punishment :)

Edited by chemical22

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I would suggest against it unless you are crazy and your coplayers are too. The Dragon, The Harbinger and The Firelands do not work well together. If you do this, the game will be very deadly and either super short (because deadly) or super long (because all the upkeep time from turn to turn).

 

Actually The Dragon expansion helps The Harbinger expansion, as you can choose to pull the Dragon King cards instead of Harbinger cards if you land on a dragon scale.

 

And if you use every expansion, Firelands gets watered down.

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And if you use every expansion, Firelands gets watered down.

And this is a true detriment to so many expansions, as I find Firelands to be one of the most interesting of the small box expansions.  On more than one occasion I have contemplated going through and thinning the deck just so that more of the interesting stuff might come into play more often.

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And if you use every expansion, Firelands gets watered down.

And this is a true detriment to so many expansions, as I find Firelands to be one of the most interesting of the small box expansions.  On more than one occasion I have contemplated going through and thinning the deck just so that more of the interesting stuff might come into play more often.

 

 

I think Firelands without other expansions to water it down is too strong/difficult, so I don't mind. But as far as themes of expansions I agree. I posted awhile back how around this time of the year I have thinned out my adventure deck to make it fit Halloween more. But generally I don't like a strong Halloween theme unless it's the season. One could do that for winter as well.

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We play with all expansions, every time. (We don't own Cataclysm yet, and we haven't owned Harbinger long.)
Usually there are 2-4 players, so they can get long. That's a good thing for us, not a deterrent.
The only tweaking to the rules as-is with our expansions is that once a player reaches the main board's Crown of Command, they enter the staircase from Dragon. (As the original artwork looks like a staircase, this makes sense.) While on the staircase, a player draws from the Nether Deck unless a visible alternative ending says otherwise.
Thus, we get bits of all the themes as we play.

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I use all expansions, with all non-optional rules. Plus, to speed up the start of the game we use the optional rule of 5 point trophy turn in instead of 7, and each player may choose 1 str or craft as a starting bonus. And of course you have to choose what to do for the inner region; Dragon board inner, Dragon Tower inner, Cataclysm inner, Cataclysm inner and Dragon Tower together, etc. For character draw, we draw 5 each and choose 1. If you die you just get 1 at random to restart with. 

 

I always recommend the person most familiar with the game play gamemaster. So it's one player drawing and running the cards to ensure smooth play each turn and consistency. Draw the card for whatever player needs something, narrate whats happening, hand the card to the player and show it if desired, but keep the game moving. This definitely includes drawing the dragon tokens! Majorly sped up play and eliminated confusion from new players by having the GM pull a token for each player instead of passing a bag around.

 

For ending, I randomly choose hidden or revealed, then create the ending stack (add hidden marked endings to generic endings, or add revealed to generic) and randomly choose the ending. If the ending is the dragon king card, you fight whichever is the current dragon king when someone gets there, ignore the text on the dragon king ending card. Make sure characters are selected before the ending (and inner region decision) is selected!

 

Before the Harbinger I really disliked the Dragon tokens, they overwhelmed the game. Now they are very balanced, because people are forced to bounce around between different realms to avoid the Harbinger and no longer overwhelm the outer region at all like they used to. And you can use them to avoid drawing a Harbinger card if you can't get out of a region he is in, but could land on a token instead.

 

Pre-cataclysm the only problem we had was that the game started very slowly (hence using the two quick start rules above), but would have a really silly snowball effect once things got moving. With remnants now on the board for quick early power ups, next game we'll likely drop the 5 point trophy turn in optional rule, that's what makes that snowball effect so bad. 

 

The one thing that did stand out recently that made the game drag was the lack of healing with the Cataclysm board instead of the main board. There is no board space to always be able to go hit to heal now. I'm thinking we may start the game with the Master Healer on one of his 3 permanent spaces determined randomly.

 

Using the board inner and the Dragon Tower as a separate board you enter at the crown of command space we don't really find to be any harder really; what it does is stop the instant teleport from various cards or dungeon straight to the ending card, and give a chance for another player to catch someone if they enter the tower, and makes a Talisman mandatory, which fits the theme of the game. Using both together does make the game take roughly 30+ more minutes for 3+ players though, that's the downside trade-off. 

 

Next game I think we'll randomize what we do for the inner region (cataclysm board, or which side of dragon board, but not tower + cataclysm, no one likes the time it adds), with a house rule that you must have a talisman to get into the CoC, no matter what. Any effect that would put you on CoC instead will put you on the Valley of Fire (or the draw 3 space before the CoC if Dragon Tower). 

 

Will probably use the Wrath of the Dragon King optional rule next game as well for flavor.

Edited by Kaaihn

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