Speckled, Feathered, and Eagle-Eyed with More Wingspan

Jun 16, 2024 | Sessions | 0 comments

Discover a wide range of birds from around the world with all of the different content available for Wingspan.

Finally! After getting myself reacquainted with Wingspan, it was time to add in all of the extra content I picked up for it years ago. Expansion content looked like it would add a few new elements, yet mixing together all of the vision-friendly cards was where my excitement came from. So much pretty artwork! With that, I went out to see all the birds…

Game Overview

Game Name: Wingspan
Publication Year:
 2019
Designer:
 
Artists: 
A. M. Martinez JaramilloN. Rojas, & B. Sobel
Publisher: 
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game

Just 4 rounds make up gameplay, where progressively fewer actions must be carefully used to attract birds. Food, eggs, and additional cards are all helpful to earn victory points and move ahead with the round goals. It’s a very fun puzzle that offers all kinds of strategies to try out!

Finding Lots of Neat Abilities and New Combinations with All the Cards for Wingspan
R

First Play

March 8, 2019

Complexity

2

Latest Play

June 16, 2024

Expansions

2

Setup Time

5 Minutes

Lifetime Plays

24

Play Time

30 Minutes

:

High Score

90

1

Game Area

28" x 18"

;

Low Score

50

Adding Everything

Whoa! My bird card deck more than doubled as I added all of the vision-friendly card packs. This meant I missed out on a few new mechanics, but only left out 17 cards.

I still had more than enough to keep me busy! Each play used less than 20% of the total cards available, which was a lot of fun. There were so many new abilities and birds!

Although my scores started to fall as I tried out new things, this touched on an important point: Discovery.

There were many opportunities to explore new strategies. Even better: I finally used some fancy speckled eggs!

Lots of Fun with Speckled Eggs and Unique Bird Abilities in Wingspan

Where Are the Eggs?

At one point, I somehow managed to end a play with no eggs out on my cards. This was a pretty terrible score, of course, and I absolutely missed the added colors!

It was harder to find strategies that worked together with new bird abilities and timing triggers. Not a problem, yet I found many times when I drifted in the wrong direction.

Yet the birds! I loved seeing some familiar faces show up in multiple plays, but the majority were entirely unique.

With a couple of bird trays, I actually found it pretty easy to mix up piles of cards. The stack wasn’t overwhelming.

A Rare Day of No Eggs from the Birds of Wingspan

The First Proper Duck

During this entire session, there were some adorable ducklings hanging out nearby! The only thing holding back these Calico Critters was a thematic entrance.

At last, I managed to attract a duck to the wetland, and someone immediately showed up to approve of my choice!

The eggs definitely made this even better, too, especially since they feature sparkles that sometimes catch the light.

Not only was I loving all of the new bird cards and abilities, but the play area always looked unique! And luckily, I felt like this was the complete game for me.

Finally Matching Up a Duck with a Calico Critter Duckling with Wingspan

Caching All the Seeds

One avenue I didn’t explore all that much was caching food, mostly because I never had any birds that focused on it. This time, though, I had a couple of seed caches!

I can see the discussion about dominant strategies, often in the egg realm. Yet with the added cards, round end and game end abilities can be very powerful. Great additions!

Although I was being absolutely destroyed by the solo opponent, I loved the relaxed pace of gameplay.

Nothing rushed me along and I could think through some clever moves. The final tableau was quite a sight, too!

Storing Up the Seeds for Winter and Trying Out Other New Birds in Wingspan

Tailoring a Solo Gaming Experience

In the simplest terms, a lot of my solo games have a single final goal in mind: Score the most points! This is till true here, but as I played on, I kept thinking about what I wanted to get out of the experience. Winning was definitely up there! However, I almost wondered if there might be some sort of scenario or campaign mode I might enjoy.

That search led to so many results, so I’m not alone in thinking more about it! I’m sure I’ll find something to try out when I return to play again. But more importantly, this gets at the joy of gaming. It’s not always about winning. Indeed, if I looked at my overall winning percentage across all of my solo games, it’s probably around 30% or 40%. Great!

One of the things that deflates me and erases a lot of excitement is an easy win, or one based on luck. If I get a new game and earn a victory right away, I don’t always see a reason to keep on playing. Granted, the journey is an important piece, yet I have a bunch of solo games I know I can win pretty handily. They’re excellent confidence boosters.

I think this bit of rambling is to get at another important point: Sometimes, I need to put something in to get more out of a game. They all can’t do everything right out of the box. Some unofficial scenarios and campaigns may very well elevate this birding experience for me, and I’m excited to explore some more ideas even further. So much fun!

More Love for Ducks

When I added a duck, that seemed like the time for a cute duckling to waddle over! This awesome pairing also showed off another wonderful speckled egg. So pretty!

It was very cool to mix and match abilities with the birds. Sometimes, I added card drawing abilities to the egg row, or food gathering abilities to the card row. Awesome!

Maybe I could have reduced the difficulty level of the solo opponent, yet I loved the challenge. No pressure, either.

Things were looking up, though, as I figured I had put my worst scores behind me… At least for a little bit. Ha ha!

Additional Praise for the Ducks of the World and Neat Eggs in Wingspan

Birds of the World

Ooo! This play turned out to be really interesting for a number of reasons. I planned ahead for the round goals, giving up on the early ones to do well later on.

I found excellent synergies, too, and finished up the wetland early on. Using a round end ability to activate all of my predators again was very fun, too.

And do I need to comment on this final tableau? Simply gorgeous with colorful birds and speckled eggs!

Despite still not coming close to a victory, I was a lot more confident. Besides, I always had the artwork to admire!

Lots of Fun with Different Bird Abilities and a Full Wetland in Wingspan

Session Overview

Play Number: 19-24
Expansion: Wingspan: European Expansion
Accessories: Many (Eggs & All Vision-Friendly Cards)
Solo Mode: Included in the Base Game
Play Details: Eagle-Eyed Eagle Difficulty Level
Outcome: 6 Losses

I had a goal of being a wetland scientist and achieved it with all 5 wetland birds! The Calico Critter ducklings came over to congratulate me on my focus… All except one of them, who was pretty upset at the sheer lack of ducks. Ha! Another wonderful time with this lovely solo game!

Duckling Critics and a Disappointment in My Lack of Duck Cards in Wingspan

%

20 Plays

Affordability

Price & Value

8

Functionality

Challenges & Mechanics

10

Originality

Design & Theme

7

Quality

Components & Rules

9

Reusability

Achievement & Enjoyment

7

Variability

Distinctness & Randomness

7

+ Pros (Positives)

  • The unique bird illustrations are simply lovely and help create a relaxing, beautiful play space right to the end.
  • Compelling and meaningful decisions make each bird card important, especially with synergies and strategies.
  • Most of the rules are very easy and straightforward, leading to only some rules checks for ability clarifications.
  • Although not necessary, the vision-friendly cards are easier to use and can increase variety without boxes.
  • Gameplay is surprisingly quick with clever choices and knowledge of every round goal ahead of time.
  • Not a lot of effort is required to run the solo opponent, which presents a realistic challenge with some interaction.

– Cons (Negatives)

  • Although the probabilities are balanced, mixing all of the bird cards can lead to birds that don’t work together.
  • Some randomness and bad luck can mean the solo opponent easily pulls ahead simply due to the card order.
  • More complex abilities can be fun, yet some of these feature wording that could be a little clearer during play.
  • Tucked cards can be a little hard to spot, and tucking a card under a bird with eggs is sometimes a dexterity test.

More Wingspan

Explore related posts about Wingspan!

Victory Conditions

Score the Most Points

  • Overall Goal Progress 86% 86%

Goals and Milestones

R

Score at least 80 points.

R

Score at least 90 points.

R

Win at least 1 game at the eaglet difficulty level.

R

Win at least 1 game at the eagle difficulty level.

R

Win at least 1 game at the eagle-eyed eagle difficulty level.

Q

Score at least 100 points.

Continue the Conversation

Do you have a favorite way to play Wingspan? Are there any solo scenarios or campaigns out there you’ve particularly enjoyed? It’s awesome to see how much more potential there is here! Being able to get back into this wonderful game has been the best, and aside from figuring out how to win again, I have much more to explore. This hobby is wonderful!

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