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2018 – Best Expansion Nominees

Join us as we review the 2018 Best Expansion nominees for the Diamond Climber, the 1st Annual Meeple Mountain Board Game Awards.
We’ve announced the winners of the first annual Diamond Climber board game awards. Head on over to the announcements page to see which titles won!

Whether it breathes new life into an old game, continues the storyline, or adds new mechanisms, expansions for popular games are always well-received. This year bring new and exciting additions to some of our favorite games, here are our nominees for 2018’s best expansions.

T.I.M.E. Stories: Brotherhood of the Coast

T.I.M.E. Stories is a one-of-a-kind game of time traveling narrative adventure, where players take on the role of time agents who, a la Quantum Leap, jump back in time to prevent abnormal events from mucking up the timeline. Because the game is story-based, each expansion is its own “module” that you essentially plug into the base game system.

Brotherhood of the Coast is set in the age of pirates and effectively carries its theme. Within the game players will find themselves upgrading their pirate ship, sailing around the Caribbean, raiding Spanish galleons, and occasionally solving some thematic puzzles as they work to achieve the underlying goal: stop the villains from altering the timeline. Overall, this is a solid addition to the T.I.M.E Stories family and one of the better scenarios of late.

Brotherhood of the Coast cover

Publisher: Space Cowboys
Designer: Ulric Maes, Manuel Rozoyi
Artist: Pascal Quidault, Alexis Sentenac

Vikings Gone Wild: Masters of Elements

Vikings Gone Wild is a great deck building game, with a lovely interplay between the theme and mechanics. The trouble is, after a few plays it can become a touch familiar.

Masters of Elements put paid to that and more. The expansion contains new cards which refresh every area of the game, and a whole new mechanic – the Gods – that give each player individual abilities. Add in some outstanding artwork and you’ve got an expansion that enriches the game experience and provides a satisfying extra layer of depth. Check out our review of Vikings Gone Wild: Masters of Elements.

Vikings Gone Wild: Masters of Elements cover

Publisher: Lucky Duck Games
Designer: Julie Vergonjeanne
Artist: Mateusz Komada

Roll Player: Monsters and Minions

This highly anticipated expansion to the runaway success Roll Player provides players new options, new playstyles, and new ways to earn Reputation Stars within the Roll Player system while remaining true to the game’s core roots.

A monstrous shadow looms large over the Roll Player universe and it is up to the stalwart players to deal with this threat,. But nobody’s quite sure just where the monster is hiding or even what its weakness are. Now, in addition to the ability to purchase cards during the market phase, players can opt to go beat up on the monster’s foul minions to obtain the information they will need to defeat the savage beast. The game ends with a battle: the players who have prepared themselves the best will have the best chance of defeating the foe and earning the most glory.

Roll Player: Monsters and Minions cover

Publisher: Thunderworks Games
Designer: Keith Matejka
Artist: Luis Francisco, Lucas Ribeiro

King’s Forge: Gold

The Gold expansion for King’s Forge is a small box that manages to perk up the base game way more that its tiny footprint suggests. Contained inside are a stack of new items to craft, new gather cards that provide some much needed variety, a bunch of scenarios that alter the rules and game experience, and, of course, some gold dice – a wild element that’s as rare and valuable as you might imagine. It’s a great, hassle free expansion, essentially a no-brainer if you like the base game which is exactly what an expansion should be. Read a review of King’s Forge and a review of King’s Forge: Gold expansion.

King's Forge: Gold cover

Publisher: Game Salute
Designer: Chris Schreiber
Artist: Jacqui Davis

Root: The Riverfolk Expansion

Even though it was released this year, Root already has a fantastic expansion in The Riverfolk.  This modular expansion adds in co-op playability and a solo mode, and though these likely won’t hold the test of time, the other other modules will. This expansion added in two additional factions: The Lizard Cult and The Riverfolk Company. These two factions are interesting tweaks to the original Root formula and expand the types of interaction amongst the players beyond the base game. Playing as the Otters, you set up mutually beneficial trading posts between you and other players, forcing them to decide when it is best to utilize your services for their own gain. As the Lizard Cult, you take the lost souls (cards played by your opponents) to wage crusades and set up gardens at your opponents’ behest. I can’t recommend these factions to new players since they require an understanding of the game’s inner workings, but experienced members of the forest will find them delightfully challenging. The expansion also adds a second vagabond and new vagabond scenarios.

Root: The Riverfolk Expansion cover

Publisher: Leder Games
Designer: Patrick Leder
Artist: Kyle Ferrin

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About the author

Andrew Holmes

Andrew Holmes is a husband, father, scientist, poet and, of course, gamer who lives in Wales, works in England and owns a Scottish rugby shirt. He has never passed up a challenge to play Carcassonne.

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