Some time ago I had my round anniversary and as one of the gifts I received coupons for largest boardgames shop here in Poland (rebel.pl). I was pondering for some time what to get, and as I have pretty many wargames already, the decision was to get and Euro position I can play with family. The choices in the end was Wingspan – a decision I will for sure not regret!
Elizabeth Hargrave created a real masterpiece and Stonemaier Games stood up to its reputation as publisher. What we get is very elegant, repayable and interesting game. A game which received many awards & honors, Spiel des Jahres and BGG Golden Geek Award including. In my opinion, the title fully deserved it.
Following publisher description, Wingspan is a competitive, medium-weight, card-driven, engine-building board game. So who you are? A bird enthusiasts —researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors—seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves. Each bird extends a chain of powerful combinations in one of your habitats (actions). These habitats focus on several key aspects of growth:
- Gain food tokens via custom dice in a birdfeeder dice tower
- Lay eggs using egg miniatures in a variety of colors
- Draw from hundreds of unique bird cards and play them
The winner is the player with the most points after 4 rounds.
Sounds simple? Oh, believe me, it is not. The game is deep, interesting and thrilling.
Stonemaier Games is famous for its games as far as visual aspect is concerned. Take for example Viticulture or Scythe – not only great games but a feast for the eyes. Wingspan is not different – each element is meticulously designed and produced.
And the birds-feeder is a real masterpiece – children love it and you do not need any dice rolling mat. Another element worth mentioning are the eggs – colorful, beautiful and very nice to grab. It is great pleasure to play such a game.
So far I had chance to play around 10 games of Wingspan, half of which was with Automa (more on that aspect of game in separate article).
In our four players game we have seen a lot of interaction between players – which also speed up our production capabilities. And so the results were also quite high – Kuba 98, Agnieszka 83, Michal 79, Magda 78. Quite opposite with two players game, where you see much less possibility to benefit from or by opponents actions – I won 73-72 and 61-60 with my wife, Magda. On a side note, there games in a row with 1 point advantage over “your better half” can results in some serious family disputes 🙂 (joking :))
Enough about the game and gameplays. Now I would like to share some of my impressions regarding this title. There are some clear aspects which I like and would like to underline:
- components quality – I would like to again stress that both original edition (English) as well as Polish reprint are of highest sort – play mats, eggs, cards and the feeder – that all makes the game very, very nice to play with.
- educational aspect – my children – 5 and 7 years old – love the game and learning all those special information about birds – what they do, how do they feed, where do they migrate, etc. Really, great source of knowledge for everybody.
- can play with children – very important for me, as we usually try to play Euro games with family members; children are attracted by the components as well as curiosities about birds.
- replayability – the best games can be played over and over again; Wingspan has a great value in that area – what is more, you can very quickly develop syndrome of “one more game” to beat / increase your previous score. I definitely got into this mood when playing against Automa!
- multiple strategies to victory – good game does not have a one, set path to victory. And so it is with Wingspan – much depends on cards you draw but also on strategies you incorporate. I am never tired of playing that game and can easily play couple of them in sequence.
Still, I did not played enough to write a full review. And I have also the first expansion to unpack and test it. So much fun with Wingspan still in front of me!