Spinning Games Right Round



Now that that’s out of the way, Board Game Bento is proud to present Spin Offs! Expansions are a part of the hobby, largely influenced by Settlers of Catan. Legend says that Klaus Teuber scaled down his original Catan design to make it cheaper to produce. When the game was a success, he was able to release what he cut out as expansions.

When expansions caught on, they posed a logistical problem for game stores, who needed to balance the number of copies of the base game and its expansions they ordered. After all, you could sell the base game to anyone that didn’t have it. You could only sell the expansion to someone with access to the base game.

Enter the standalone expansion. I’m not sure who to credit with this invasion but they eliminated the drop between number of potential customers of a base game and an expansion. Often standalone expansions include rules patches and clarifications, meaning they also had all the advantages of a second edition of a game without any of the rendering the old version of the game obsolete.

If this is your first Board Game Bento (welcome), have no fear. You are still getting three games you can play right out of the box. They’re based on tried and true games that proved popular enough to warrant revisiting and expanding upon. Well, two of them are. The third is a spin off, which is set in the same game world as a game we previously included and shares themes but operates completely differently.

Board Game Bento’s history of stand alone expansions dates back to our second box, November 2015’s Beneath The City (long ago sold out in the Board Game Bento shop). Brotherwise Games offered us Boss Monster for our then fledgling subscription box. As a big fan of Boss Monster, I was excited by the prospect of having such a popular game in our box. But was it too popular? Even then, our most common question from potential subscribers was “what if I get a game I already own?” Nervously, I countered their generous offer with “Boss Monster 2?” Fortunately for myself and our subscribers, the owners of Brotherwise Games are as understanding as they are awesome.

The stand alone expansion well is not one we’ve gone to often, but I think basing an entire box around it was a fun change of pace. If you are a new subscriber, like I said, it’s three great games for you to enjoy. If you are a longtime subscriber and have one of the games this month’s contents spun out of, you get a little something extra as a thank you for your loyalty. As luck would have it, all three of the past boxes that included the games this month’s contents spun out of are still available in the Board Game Bento shop. That’s both a hint and an opportunity in case you are interested in expanding this month’s games when you get. It wouldn’t be the normal order these games are expanded but that’s the beauty of stand-alone expansions!