Wingspan Oceania Expansion News

Details of note:

  • Preorder late October, ships in November
  • Yellow eggs
  • Box size: 296x215x40mm - "it’s a very specific size for a reason you’ll know soon." - my theory is another playmat to bring the game to 6 players
  • "we are currently working on a big box solution with a built-in organizer designed to hold all Wingspan content (past, present, and future); it should be ready sometime in 2021. It will be just a box and a modular organizer–no gameplay content."
  • 10/01/20 UPDATE - the expansion includes all new player mats. A complete set of different player mats. You can read the design diary for October 1 to get Jamey's description.
  • 10/02/20 UPDATE - new food type: nectar. The nectar can be treated as a "wild" resource, and it matters where you use it. See Jamey's design diary for more info. There will also be a new set of dice to accomodate the new food type.
  • 10/03/20 UPDATE - bin chickens!
  • 10/04/20 UPDATE - new bonus cards and goal tiles. Examples - "no goal" tile, bonus cards for ascending/descending wingspan sequences in a given row
  • 10/05/20 UPDATE - yellow bird ability - game end powers
  • 10/06/20 UPDATE - flightless birds with * wingspans (considered wild)

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20 days ago

This is an expansion I am VERY excited about. #Wingspan gets more play than just about any other game in our house and is my wife and I's favorite game to play with each other.  We've adapted a very rules to help the game flow most of which I covered in a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmfqB6A9UOs ).  

Hard to say what I'd like to see in a new expansion but some of the balancing Becky and I use to reduce the R&D (randomness) would be nice to see.  I think birds that let players empty and refill the bird tray, birds that let players search through the deck, and possibly even a new die in the dice feeder that offers a unique choice...

(S1: any 1 food from supply, S2: turn a bird sideways taking up two slots, S3: remove a bird from your santuary and gain its food cost, S4: exchange any number of tucked cards or cached food for food or cards, S5: trigger the brown power of any other players bird, S6: discard any # of cards from hand and redraw that many cards)...

New birds and flavor text is always fun and somewhat educational.  This might end up being a Christmas gift for my brother if the timing works out.

20 days ago

My wife and I also play with rules variants that have made the game much more enjoyable for us. 

We also draft our starting hands. We deal 5 to each player then draft one and pass the rest so there's always at least one card the other player(s) don't know about.

We start with 5 cards and all 5 resources, and we skip the part of setup where you pay for your starting hand. We felt the game had such a slow plodding start that made round 1 and part of round 2 boring to play for us.  This makes it much easier to fill up your board, but increases your gameplay options early and makes the decisions of what birds to play more important as you may run out of space.

We play with a bird tray of 6 birds, 3 on the tray and 3 that are on the table.  All are available to draw, but any bird power that interacts with the cards in the tray still only applies to the 3 in the tray.  Some cards would be very powerful if they applied to all 6 bird cards.

We went through all the birds in the base game and first expansion and trimmed down the total deck by about 80 cards. We weighted the deck toward mechanics we enjoy slightly more, removed many duplicates, and kept many resource gathering cards.  I think one of the biggest parts of Wingpsan's design that fights itself is the sheer size of the bird deck.  We find the smaller deck leads to a much more focused feeling game with card combos more frequently available to build.

With our smaller bird deck, more available birds, and more open start of the game we have both enjoyed this game much greater.  I look forward to playing it now whereas before I almost regretted buying it.

20 days ago

We do the same with the starting resources and do a full out draft. I like the 3 in the tray, 3 out of the tray option. That's a great idea!

I like that all the birds are different and thought about trimming down the deck but didn't want to get rid of birds. 

I was afraid of filling up the sanctuaries too fast at first but even with our rule changes we never filled out boards up and the game continues to be a lot of fun...more fun in fact.

Thanks for sharing! 

19 days ago

It was hard cutting out so many little guys :/ Too many cool birds in the deck.

I was very surprised how different the game feels when you draft and keep the starting resources. They're probably the variants that had the most immediate shift in feel, and I'd agree that it's much more fun. It felt a little strange for a game like this to have a tight feeling start like it does when you pay for starting cards, though I could see it helping newer players by limiting what they have to decide to do at the start of a game that's new to them.

If I was playing this game with players that were newer to board gaming, I could see it making most sense to play without any of these variants. I do think a big part of the design of the rule set is to hit a decent middle ground of not overwhelming more casual players with a large decision space each turn but also having enough meat of gameplay for players that want that in their games.  For us, these variants just swing the game in the directions we like most.

20 days ago

Some great ideas here that I may have to implement to cut down on the randomness factor. I especially like the idea of drafting the cards and the idea of putting more from the deck out to be available to players just to see more of the deck. I don't necessarily think I would keep all 5 cards and 1 of each resource because that would in my opinion make the game a lot easier.

I can't imagine regretting purchasing this game so I'm glad you found ways to enjoy it more!

19 days ago

I do go back and forth in my head on the change of keeping 5 cards and 5 resources to start the game.  Each time we do that though the game feels a little too scripted for too long to me. I often feel like I don't have more than one viable or best option on each turn the whole first round, and even into the second round a bit. I do want to go back on that variant next game and see how it feels with the other variants. Maybe it won't feel as limiting with a larger bird line up.

19 days ago

Oddly enough I told my fiancé about your variants and she really liked the idea of keeping your cards and getting all 5 resources at the beginning. We'll probably give it a go..my concern would be like with filling up the sanctuaries too fast like mentioned. Only one way to find out lol

16 days ago

I'm just not one for house-ruling, and certainly not to that extent. I just feel that at some point I might as well play something else if I feel that a game needs a significant house rule to be good. There's also something to the fact that I need those changes to be "cannon," for lack of a better term. If the designer didn't develop those changes or at least voice their approval, then I feel that I'm not playing something "official." It's the same reason fanfiction does nothing for me. Many a fan has attempted to right the wrongs of some of my favorite series, specifically their endings, but it's the author's world. As much as I want some of those changes to be real, they're not. I feel the same with boardgames and house rules. 

All that said, I am glad that you've found a way to enjoy Wingspan with your wife. 

20 days ago

I like a lot of your suggestions! Especially S3, that seems like an interesting mechanism that could add a little more strategy to the game.

What do you think of my speculation that another player board will be added? Would 6 players make the game too long for you?

20 days ago

I would love to see another player board added!  We don't get 5 players often but love playing with higher player counts as the pink powers are much better at the higher player counts.  I would like the option as we can support 3 couples that way and there have been times when Wingspan was ruled out due to only having a 5 player count.  I thought about measuring the folded board but after seeing a picture of the boxes next to each other I think you are spot on.

20 days ago

My guess is another environment for each of the existing 5 player boards adding either Ocean and/or Deserts.  I have no idea how they would work or what they would do but I can see either/both of those being viable options given the theme. 

20 days ago

That's a good thought. I could see that happing.

20 days ago

That could be interesting. So just adding a fourth row under the player board?

20 days ago

Yeah that's what I was envisioning.  The biggest problem with this idea is that its not backwards compatible with the base and other expansion,  which seems very unlike Stonemaier games.  Just trying to think outside the box a little bit. 

20 days ago

Yeah I'd probably bet against it, because of the backward compatibility issue. I wouldn't be shocked to see it, as they did add onto player boards with Tuscany, but Viticulture is a step up from Wingspan in terms of complexity, IMO. Therefore adding more complexity is probably more readily accepted by the target audience.

20 days ago

Yeah supporting 3 couples would be nice. I'd probably only want to play at 6 players with people all familiar with the game though. That goes for 5 players too, now that I think about it.

20 days ago

Nice idea in concept I think for the reasons mentioned. We've been thinking about introducing this to our families (parents and siblings). When we get together there are usually 6 of us so it would always leave someone out. However with that being said I think playing with more players is an agonizing experience lol. Maybe I've just been subjected to too many AP prone players but I don't think I can take the game at 5 much less 6 (if it gets expanded).

20 days ago

Yeah a couple of my friends are very AP-prone. I would not do this one at 6 with them until they were extremely familiar with the game.

16 days ago

Don't know if any of you saw, but the latest update now shows the new bonus cards and goal tiles that will be in the expansion. I think for me the most interesting one Jamey mentions is the "No Goal" tile. Sounds like because there's no goal for that particular round, you wouldn't lose an action cube at the end of the round.

I'm so excited for this expansion!

16 days ago

I did see that! Didn't have time to update the post though, so sorry about that. Yeah this expansion is looking very cool indeed!

16 days ago

No need to apologize just wanted to make sure you saw! Hurry up pre orders! Lol

16 days ago

Haha! I think they'll be opening pretty soon, so you shouldn't have to wait too long! I'll probably be picking this up some time next year, as my gaming funds for the rest of the year are already earmarked, but I am looking forward to giving these new player mats a try.

19 days ago

think I got everyone in here

details added in the post

19 days ago

Thanks for the tag pulling me in here.  Would have missed this pic otherwise.

My uninformed guess is that after you take the actions in a row, you put the cube in the "spent" pink space of that row.  You can spend those cubes if you want to get an extra card draw in the wetlands, but the person with the majority at the end of the last round in that row gets 5 points or 2 points if shared?  But there's also the corner of a token board on the left of the picture that might have a pink token too, so maybe there's another set of tokens used to track the actions you've taken in each row across all rounds the whole game?

I'm not sure that really makes sense though because it would seem weird to incentivize more specialization into a single row when the base mechanics already motivate you to do so: building a single row with birds that give benefits of the other rows is a great way to up the efficiency of your actions in the game.  Maybe this would incentivize players to play into different habitats than their opponent(s) and teach players about playing different strategies than their opponents. I'm clearly making assumptions about what the player board icons mean, hah!  I have no idea! Just going down a thought trail.

11 days ago

This post feels silly a week later, hah! But it's fun to speculate.  I think the things that sound best about this expansion so far are the ones that bring significance to parts of the bird cards that weren't that important before. Goal tiles with what direction the bird's beak is pointing, and the objective cards that affect the order you may want to place birds in a habitat, a lot of neat little additions.  I feel like adding 90 some cards is going to make a full bird deck beyond unwieldy, but I know this set is going to have some cool ones, so I'm pretty sure the birds are going to be the thing that's gonna hook me... again...

11 days ago

Yep, I'm loving this expansion. I do think that the deck is going to be overwhelming if both expansions are there, but of course you can play with just half of it if you want.

18 days ago

looks like the pink symbol is in fact a new resource, nectar, which can be treated as wild

18 days ago

Huh, I like your theory! Could be interesting!

19 days ago

Thank you for the pic and update!  This does look quite intriguing!  I'm with wondering what that pink part is.  Looks like it might trigger based on number of birds or actions taken in a given round?  Interesting!