There are some games that absolutely beg for expansions. Battleship Galaxies, for instance, was fun for about four games and then you wanted to play with different ships, but sadly Hasbro killed the game when it didn’t outsell the Scooby Doo retheme of Tic Tac Toe. Lots of deck-building games get better with expansions, like Nightfall and Dominion and the imaginatively-named DC Deck-Building Game.
But some games do not need expansions. Warmachine High Command, for example, does not need an expansion. Technically, the Warmachine version of High Command is the base game and the Hordes version is the fully playable expansion, but I reviewed the Hordes one first. And what I found out after playing the Warmachine flavor is that it is essentially the same game with different art.
Sure, OK, there are differences. The factions have different strengths, like the dead guys who can recruit cheaper and faster or the religious nutjobs who survive by sacrificing their own guys to protect other guys. There are four whole new groups in Warmachine High Command, only they’re not really new groups because they were the original groups, and I believe I already covered that.
But the game is still basically exactly the same. The rules, obviously, are the same – that’s kind of a given in a deck-building expansion – but there are virtually no differences between the Hordes flavor and the Warmachine version. It’s a little disappointing, really, because unless you’re about to dedicate the next two years to becoming the undisputed High Command master, there is almost no reason to own both boxes.
The good news, though, is that since they are basically the same game, you only need one of them, and it doesn’t much matter which one you get. It’s like dating twins, where they do that thing where you’re never sure which one is going down on you at the theater, and you’re not overly inclined to press the topic. For the record, I have never dated twins. That’s just what happens in movies.
I’m afraid there are not enough differences between Warmachine High Command and Hordes High Command to warrant an entire review. The Hordes review can pretty much cover either one. I still like the game, but I don’t play it enough to feel like exploring all the potential strategies of combining the two games. Plus, if I did play them a lot, the cards would likely completely disintegrate in my hands, because they are very cheap cards, and then I would want to have both just so I had a backup.
Some games need expansions. High Command did not.
Still full of tough decisions
Still has neat art
No reason to have published the second one
Coolstuff only has 6 copies of Warmachine High Command left in stock. If you don’t hurry, you will have to get Hordes High Command instead, and you will barely notice the difference.