Blog — Expansion RSS

When is a mechanic worth the set-up time? An illustrative example from Ticket to Ride: Pennsylvania

Applying a cost-benefit framework to a specific mechanic in a TTR expansion, I explore if we can create a more objective way of weighing-up design decisions; at least as far as set-up goes. Ticket to Ride: Pennsylvania is the “B side” of the United and Kingdom and Pennsylvania map pack and requires a base game to play. While the train ferries have been seen in previous outings (like the Europe base game I wrote about here), by far the most important special rule is the addition of share ownership to the game. As with most of the series’ expansions, it’s a pretty simple addition: when you place your trains as normal you can also take a company share of any...

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The designer's drawer: A Dominion mini expansion – "By decree"

Many years and quite a few designs ago, I made a mini-expansion for Dominion. It's been sat in a drawer ever since. So as an experiment in criticism and self-reflection – and with the benefit of hindsight – I've decided to dissect it. I want to see what I did well… and not so well, and what lessons I can learn from it about design. What's the point of looking back? As part of the research for a blogpost about Dominion's design, I went turfing through my old cards. Amongst them, I found a mini-expansion I designed called By Decree that I had mostly forgotten about. As I looked at it, I remembered that I'd actually put a lot of...

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