I have acquired the expansion to Altiplano some time ago but only recently had I time to play and test it. I like the base game – I did pretty thorough review of it – and had also high expectations to that addition. Bag-building mechanics are cool, the graphics and thematic aspect excellent, thus my hopes. Let us see how it played-out and what we can expect.
So, what is this expansion about? Namely:
- First of all, we have unexpected events at the beginning of the turn – pretty cool mechanics, available to play with or without actual expansion.
- We have new house, boat, mission and orders cards to enhance base game. Good!
- Then, we have traveler who wanders through all the areas and we can interact with him if our pawn shares the same tile. Main thing to do is to acquire assets – this can be really powerful improvements to your economy and can generate tons of points. We can also buy goods / opals and trade with them.
So in essence, couple of additions which spice-up the game while not introduce ground-breaking changes.
Prepared with rules we sit down to the game. The traveler expansion adds new area – trade post – which we placed in the center of the gameplay area:
What immediately draw our attention were those event cards – each turn something interesting was happening. After couple of the economy warm-up turns we started to look into available assets – some of them are great (Cartography – allows to move your pawn at the end of turn) and some are simply so so. Trading part was almost not used by us – especially opals, which seems and artificial addition, not bringing much added value.
Still, we had fun playing and in the end I managed to pull 169 points while Magda finished at 121. Such high results were also possible due to some very interesting assets.
Traveler is a neat expansion but not a ground-breaking enhancement. You can easily play the base game and you will not lose anything by restraining yourself from expansion purchase. The box definitely promises more the it brings. Still, the event cards and assets really had impact on your plans and are nice addition.