I will not deny it – Wingspan made a great impression on me. Actually, no other EURO game recently hooked me and my family so much as this simple in rules and complex in possibilities game. Thus this is probably not surprising that I acquired a new addition to it – European Expansion. This will not only change the game dynamics but will also allow us to familiarize more with the birds from our continent!

Wingspan – first impressions – base game
Wingspan – first impressions – AUTOMA 
Wingspan - first impressions - European Expansion

The expansion

All the European Expansion components

The first expansion to Wingspan increases the scope of the world to include the regal, beautiful, and varied birds of Europe. These birds feature a variety of new abilities, including:

  • a number of birds with round-end abilities – really powerful although only once a round!
  • abilities that increase interaction between players – you can now steal food from others or perform actions based on activities of the other players!
  • birds that benefit from excess cards/food – like predators, where you can put them into play paying not with food tokens but other birds from your hand (simply, the predator hunted them down)

Along with the new bonus cards, they are designed to be shuffled into the original decks of cards – and cards from future expansions. What is more, the European Expansion also includes an additional tray for storing the growing collection of birds (past, present, and future), as well as 15 purple eggs, extra food tokens, and a colorful new score book designed for both multi-player and single-player scoring.

Some of the new birds and birds types – great enhancement to base game (click to enlarge)

Full inventory below:

  • 81 new birds
  • 15 purple eggs
  • 5 new bonus cards
  • 2 new automa cards
  • 2 Automa goals scoring cards
  • 5 new double sided goals tokens

The gameplay

Gameplay with European Expansion – much more interaction!

I think what is more interesting is how the new game mechanics influence the play? First of all, there is many more ways to score points, so you are not getting stuck during the late game with no real choice other than laying eggs. Secondly, the new end-of-round goals make the game much more interesting – you can score for food, lack (!) of eggs on birds or special abilities. What is more, there is much more interaction between players, although the negative aspect is very light.

I love new, purple eggs. Seems not a big difference but a nice addition. Not to mention new Birds!

The game of course still shines as far as components quality is concerned and expansions seamlessly incorporates into the main set. With so many new birds we are getting hours of additional experience – the game is even more re-playable then before!