Stonemaier Games reveals Red-Crowned Crane from the upcoming Wingspan Asia Expansion
This large Wetlands bird is expensive but it has a flexible food cost of one wild, one seed, and one invertebrate. This food should be easier to acquire, helping to get this bird onto the board without too much hassle.
A five point bird with a two egg ground nest isn’t that impressive, especially with a food cost of three, but this bird is all about its unique power and not its general qualities.
Setting a new precedent in Wingspan, and perhaps hinting at other powers to come, Red-Crowned Crane allows you to immediately score any points you are getting from a bonus card by caching that many food onto the Crane itself. You then discard that bonus card and draw a new one. All we have to do is take a look at tuck/draw birds such as Barn Swallow to understand how powerful point scoring and card cycling abilities can be.
This power allows you to cycle out that “bad” or low scoring bonus card that you had at the start of the game for a chance at a better one, albeit for minimal points. On the other side of the spectrum, if you have a bonus card like a maxed out Forester (which won’t score you any more points), you can cash in your points and look for even more points through a new bonus card. This is pretty awesome.
Community member “TawnyFrogmouth” made a good observation on the Stonemaier Games discord server shortly after Jamey Stegmaier posted the card there:
“It could combo nicely as a late-game play with the Wrybill (WHEN PLAYED: Look through all discarded bonus cards. Keep 1 of them.) to double a bonus card’s effective value, which could be quite powerful for a bonus card that lets you score 8+ points, e.g., Omnivore Expert.”
This is a great combo and its great to see that as Wingspan gets older and more expansions are released that we get to see these types of interesting card interactions develop. It adds so much more depth, complexity, and variety to the game.
The History of the Red-Crowned Crane Chinese Promo for Wingspan
There is an interesting history with Red-Crowned Crane that some of you may not know about. The Chinese localization partner for Stonemaier Games asked them if they could include a promo card in the core set of Wingspan for their audience. Jamey approved it and they created their own unofficial version of Red-Crowned Crane. Jamey later regretted that decision since he is generally against exclusives, as he’s stated in the past.
Elizabeth Hargrave (the creator of Wingspan) did not create this promo card which I was surprised to find out. As we can see in the image below (this photo was shared on the Stonemaier Games discord by community member Cass), the promo is quite a bit different than what Elizabeth has designed for Wingspan Asia. It has a food cost of Invertebrate + Seed + Fish, is worth seven points, and has a one egg ground nest.
Its power reads: “When Played: Draw 3 bonus cards, then discard 2”, which is pretty powerful! It breaks the mold for what bonus card birds could do in the Core Set. It also has different artwork. Jamey stated in his August 3rd Facebook livecast that he has been looking forward to Wingspan Asia so they could introduce Elizabeth’s official version of Red-Crowned Crane.