Wingspan European Expansion Review and Strategy Primer
Wingspan: European Expansion brings fresh new ideas and broadens existing ideas established in the Core Set. Here are 18 important facts to be aware of:
- In total, there are 81 new bird cards introduced.
- Seven new bonus cards are introduced (two of them are for Automa/Solo play).
- Behaviorist: Three points per column (vertical placement) with birds that have three different power colors.
- Bird Bander: Birds that can live in multiple habitats.
- Citizen Scientist: Birds with tucked cards.
- Diet Specialist: Birds with a food cost of three food.
- Ethologist: In any one habitat, two points per power color.
- Autwitcher: Birds that are worth three or four points (Automa/Solo play).
- RASPB Life Fellow: Birds that are worth five, six, or seven points. (Automa/Solo play).
- Ten new end-of-round goals are introduced (five two-sided tiles).
- Food In Supply
- Bird Cards In Hand
- Birds Worth More Than Four Points
- Birds With Zero Eggs
- Birds In One Row (Habitat; horizontal placement)
- Filled Columns (vertical placement)
- Brown Powers
- White & No Powers
- Birds With Tucked Cards
- Food Cost of Played Birds
- You get fifteen more eggs in a new color: purple.
- You get thirty-eight extra food tokes (mixed types).
- You get a new scorepad.
- You get a new bird tray.
- You get four new Automa cards for solo play.
- You get the European Expansion rule book and appendix (of course).
- A new power type, the “End of Round” Teal Power, is introduced, which gives you new and interesting options to passively generate more points and resources at the end of each of the game’s four rounds.
- Tucking strategies are taken to another level with the introduction of “Mass Tucking” powers that allow you to tuck multiple cards under one or more birds in the same habitat.
- Many new predator birds with “when played” powers allow you to ignore their food/egg cost if you meet alternative conditions.
- Five birds are introduced (Black-Headed Gull, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Jay, Little Owl, and Red-Backed Shrike) that allow you to steal one piece of food from another player when activated (they then get to choose to replace that food with one from the birdfeeder). This is the first real “negative player interaction” in Wingspan.
- Three brown powered birds (White Stork, Black-Throated Diver, and White-Throated Dipper) are introduced that let you cycle the bird card tray and draw one of the new cards. Don’t underestimate this effect.
- Two birds are introduced (Coal Tit and Eurasian Nuthatch) that allow you to spend the seeds that are cached on them at any time.
- Bonus Card Birds have a new spin to them, only drawing one bonus card but then also letting you pick from various resources such as food, eggs, or bird cards.
- Four birds are introduced (Common Blackbird, European Roller, Grey Heron, and Long-Tailed Tit) whose “when played” power lets them be played sideways, covering two spaces in a habitat.
- Five new pink-powered birds are introduced: Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Common Cuckoo, Snow Bunting, and European Goldfinch.
What Do We Think of the Wingspan European Expansion?
The Wingspan European Expansion brings a welcome breath of fresh air to the core Wingspan experience. Check out our Core Set review here: Wingspan Board Game Review.
The European Expansion does not deviate in a dramatic way from the core experience but still manages to grow the game in new and interesting ways, such as introducing “end of round” teal powers. I believe that the Core Set plus the European Expansion currently provides us with the “definitive Wingspan experience” and is a must-buy. If you’re on the fence about this expansion, it’s time to hop down and buy it!
I say this as someone who owns, plays with, and enjoys the Oceania Expansion as well; Wingspan Expansion 3 has not yet been revealed/released as of this writing. I’ve read positive reports from others who play with all expansions combined, but they eliminate nectar and the revised Oceania Expansion boards. I’ve not tried this myself, but I can see the appeal. It’s a further evolution of the core experience (something that a lot of people seem to care about) without impacting the birdfeeder or the habitats in a major way (something the Oceania ruleset does).
Quite frankly, this Wingspan European Expansion review can be short and sweet. Our Core Set review digs deeper into what Wingspan is and what you can expect, and the vast majority of that applies to the European Expansion as well.
Wingspan European Expansion Strategy Primer
Check out this directory/list of Wingsplain links (tailored for the European Expansion) to level up your game, win your next tournament or home game, and rule your roost: