My eyes Gollumed. “My preci…” and I lept forward, greedily grabbing the expansion and running to the corner, unwrapping it as I moved.
More birds! More goals! More round scoring options!! WHAT IS THIS??? PURPLE EGGS!!!!
I was euphoric. I was delirious. I was also not thinking straight because I turned to Andrew and excitedly spewed “We should play you will love this there is engine building and birds and goals and more birds and a bird feeder and you roll di-“
Andrew sprang from behind his hoard, staff in hand (where did he get THAT?), slamming it to the ground and bellowed:
“YOU SHALL NOT ROLL DICE!!!!!!!!”
I REALLY miss Tony….
The Wingspan European expansion is not one of those expansions that has 5 modules that you can pick and choose (and then worry about balance), or that completely changes the game. Simply open the box, shuffle the new birds and bonus cards in with the base game, add the 5 new goal tiles to your existing pool of goal tiles and go!
The expansion’s new bird cards add new powers as well as a new way to activate them (see below). The goal tiles round out some missing scoring options. Finally, it adds some quality of life improvements, such as new purple eggs (my wife made me include this…), an updated scorepad, and custom tray to hold your cards.
Game Experience with the Expansion:
Get it. It is that simple. Here is why:
There are 81 unique bird cards in the expansion. They bring new powers to the game, the biggest addition of which are the end of round powers. Birds with end of round powers (their power is teal colored to differentiate) are more powerful the earlier you play them to your mat. For example, one bird allows you to tuck up to three cards from your hand underneath it at the end of the round and then draw a card for each card tucked, while another counts double towards the round end goal (assuming it qualifies). Now imagine getting these birds in play in the 1st round!
There are many other new powers that are not triggered at the end of the round. Tucking cards behind birds that do not have the ability to tuck cards, laying 2 eggs if you discard a seed, or, my personal favorite, discard all remaining face-up cards, replace them and draw one of the new cards. FINALLY! A way to clear the face-up birds! (Unfortunately, there are only three birds with this power…)
Also included are 5 end of round goal tiles. I LOVE these tiles! Remember that these tiles are doubled sided, so they add 10 new end of round scoring opportunities, such as birds with no eggs, food in your supply and “when played”/no power birds will all now score. These new tiles really open up your options because they address some birds that were a bit weaker for scoring, especially no power birds.
If you were looking for new bonus cards, you get five of them. Again, more varied scoring opportunities. What I really appreciate is that the designers made sure that the % of birds was accurate not only with the new cards, but they balanced the new birds so that the overall % on the base game goal cards still is accurate after adding in the European birds!
The European birds expansion also includes some quality of life improvements. New purple eggs. Additional food tokens. A new scorepad. A new custom tray to hold your cards. A round reference tile summarizing what to do at the end of each round. I really appreciate all of these additions!
I only have one complaint. I wish there was a more reliable way to clear the faceup birds. This was an issue I had with the base game and it persists with this expansion. Three birds, roughly 1.2% of the deck, is not enough to address this issue. Hopefully, this will be addressed in a future expansion.
If it is not obvious, I really loved the European Expansion! It made a great game even better, especially with the new birds and goal tiles. Oh, and those stupid purple eggs. I guess. Bottom line: if you like Wingspan, get this expansion!
• Still no reliable way to clear the three faceup birds