Expansions in the game world are like sequels in the movie world. They are often over-hyped, not as good as the original, and leave you scratching your head as to why it was ever made. (One of the big exceptions to this is, of course, The Empire Strikes Back.) Today, though, I would like to tell you about two game sequels that are worth your investment.
The first things you notice about the expansion are the name and presentation. Called The Monster Box of Monsters, this is a clear reference to the Monster Book of Monsters used by Hagrid when he taught Care of Magical Creatures. As for the appearance, it is a miniature box decorated like a piece of luggage, which artfully ties in with the larger base game box, also decorated like a luggage trunk. As one can guess, this expansion is mainly about introducing monsters or creatures into the game. You will see familiar faces and foes like Fluffy, Norbert, and the mysterious Boggart. These get shuffled in with Villains from the base game and provide an exciting twist on a game you have already conquered. However, there’s more to this box than monsters …
I generally don’t get to play a lot of bluffing games, and I think it’s primarily because of the two gaming groups I belong to. One group is my wife and another couple, none of whom are great at bluffing, and in the other group I think the bluffing would get out of hand or cause hurt feelings. However, I have found one bluffing game that works reasonably well for both groups, and that is Sheriff of Nottingham. In Sheriff of Nottingham, you are a merchant trying to bring your goods (apples, bread, cheese, and chickens) into Nottingham, and maybe smuggling in some contraband as well. It’s a quick, fun, and a nice blend of playing your hand and playing your opponents. With that said, there were a couple of things I felt missing from the base game.
For starters, I sometimes wished it played more than five players. Secondly, I always wondered where Robin Hood, Little John, and the other Merry Men were. Lastly, it felt like you could make it through the game without bluffing ever (my wife) and cream your opponents, so there’s no incentive to bluff. I imagine I wasn’t the only one with these cons, so along came Sheriff of Nottingham: Merry Men. Sheriff of Nottingham: Merry Men is a small box expansion that provides five different modules to enhance game play. This is my favorite type of expansion, because you can pick and choose what you want to add and what you don’t.
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Copyright 2017 Stuart Dunn
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