We have already talked about in the past Wingspan (here the link to our review), intriguing title of Elizabeth hargrave produced by Stonemaier Games and distributed by Ghenos Games. Surely it was one of the most played and discussed titles among board game enthusiasts, in particular among lovers of card combos, thanks to the simple and engaging mechanics that characterize it (although not everyone liked the setting). The expansion Wingspan Europe it was therefore highly anticipated by fans, who were eager to enrich their aviaries with new species of birds. We have had the opportunity to try it for numerous games, and here's what we think.
New species from Europe
As mentioned earlier (and as can be guessed from the title) Wingspan Europe introduces well 81 new bird species Europeans to add to the basic deck, as well as new bonus cards, automaton cards, and end-of-round objective tiles with which to enrich the games we will be facing. In short, some nice additions that give a lot of longevity to the base game, already quite variable in itself given the number of cards included in the base version. The cards each represent a different species of bird, with its own unique ability.
Also Wingspan Europe, like all titles Stonemaier / Ghenos, excels on the graphics sector and game materials. The cards are of excellent quality, as are the tiles, tokens and miniatures of the colored eggs. This expansion also adds 15 eggs and 38 additional food tokens, a more than enough supply even for a 5-player game. The graphics are clear and the illustrations by Natalia Rojas they are magnificent.
The game mechanics
The basic mechanics of Wingspan remain unchanged (for a detailed overview of the rules we refer to our review), but a series of new small rules are introduced:
- End-of-round skills - some birds have blue abilities, which are activated at the end of each round, so a maximum of 4 times in a game. These abilities are very variable between them, the text on the card still explains them very clearly, and are activated before the scoring for the objectives, in turn order starting with the first player.
- New brown / white / pink skills - the bird species of the expansion also introduce new abilities of the types already known, as usual well explained by the text of the card (and in any case clarified in the rules).
- New goals - 5 new objective tiles are introduced, which allow you to slightly vary the strategies in the game, giving relevance to new elements, such as birds with a point value of less than 4 or, again, the number of food tokens left in your reserve .
- New bonus cards - these also allow you to vary the strategy a little by rewarding the choice of particular birds.
In short, from what you have read you will have understood that those proposed cannot be defined as drastic changes capable of upsetting the rules to which the base game had accustomed us, but rather small and appreciable optional additions that contribute to enrich the experience, making the Wingspan games even more fun to play in the company of a few friends.
Wingspan Europe introduces a series of additional cards and rules (which can happen to be used in the game or not) that do not drastically change the game but they certainly confer longevity and variability to a game that already in its basic version allowed to play numerous games, each one different from the other. The end-of-round skills, logically much stronger if played at the beginning, are a nice addition that allows you to devise new strategies based also on the game of the opponents, giving a little more interaction (although it remains a not particularly interactive title).
The deck of cards, already substantial, becomes huge, in fact the card holder included in the expansion is necessary to contain all the enveloped cards. This is certainly a virtue, since it will be difficult to play the same birds for two games in a row. Summing up, Wingspan Europe is a nice expansion, certainly necessary for those who often play this title because it adds longevity and variability without upsetting or complicating the mechanics of a game that makes its simplicity a strong point.