Games today announced the first expansion to Elizabeth
Hargrave’s mega hit Wingspan. Wingspan
took the gaming world by force when it hit in early 2019, combining a huge
variety of gorgeously illustrated cards with simple, elegant gameplay. Wingspan
was quickly the most talked about game, unfortunately making it frequently out
of print, and difficult to find. Winning the illustrious Spiel des Jahres
Kennerspiel award probably did not help matters either.
The European Expansion, also designed by Elizabeth Hargrave, still contains the fantastic art by Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas, and Beth Sobel. The new birds included in this expansion will use a variety of new abilities, including round-end abilities, more player interactions, and birds that benefit from excess resources. The plan for this expansion, and future additions, it to be seamlessly shuffled into the original cards, creating a larger, more varied game.
Stonemaier has also announced that future copies of Wingspan will include a “swift start promo pack”, which includes a first round walk-through, using specific new bird cards to demonstrate how to play. The back of the Wingspan box will clearly show whether the promo pack is included. This promo pack will be also available for separate order directly from Stonemaier. For more information on the Swift Start Promo Pack, check out Stonemaier’s website here.
The European Expansion for Wingspan will contain a new tray for holding the tremendous quantity of cards, 15 more eggs (purple!), more food resources, and a new scorepad. Pre-orders for this expansion will begin on November 6, and look for the game to hit shelves November 22, 2019. For those lucky enough to attend, limited copies will also be available at Essen in October. For more information, check out Stonemaier’s website on the European Expansion here.
The next big thing designed by Jamey Stegmaier is Tapestry, a 1-5 player civilization game that plays in 90-120 minutes. The game was revealed on Stonemaier Games’ weekly livecast video on Facebook.
In Tapestry, you start from nothing and advance on any of the 4 advancement tracks (science, technology, exploration, and military) to earn progressively better benefits. You can focus on a specific track or take a more balanced approach. You will also improve your income, build your capital city, leverage your asymmetric abilities, earn victory points, and gain tapestry cards that will tell the story of your civilization.
The game features art by Andrew Bosley, of Everdell fame, and sculpts by Rom Brown. The first English print run of 25,000 is complete and the game is sailing from production to fulfillment centers now, with each box individually numbered. Tapestry will be available for preorder through Stonemaier’s website in early September, and will be for sale at Essen Spiel.
Some tidbits from the video: Tapestry is not tied to real world history. The rulebook is only four pages long. The factions have asymmetrical starting points. The solo mode is by Automa Factory. The game includes a spatial placement element somewhat similar to A Feast for Odin.
One might not be able to tell from the consistent popularity of Scythe that it was ever in need of anything new, but Stonemaier Games has made it a habit of offering new gameplay experiences to Scythe fans. First it was Invaders from Afar, which gave fans two new factions. Then it was The Wind Gambit, which gave fans Airships and the Resolution module. The Rise of Fenris brought fans an 8-game replayable campaign and 11 interchangeable modules. The latest addition to the popular game is a Modular Board. This is not the first time Stonemaier has offered a different gameboard experience. The original gameboard is two sided, one side with the full game board map and the other side consisting of a portion of an enlarged gameboard that could be completed with a gameboard extension for a 70% larger gameboard. The enlarged gameboard did not change gameplay though. The new modular board for Scythe, on the other hand, does. The Scythe modular board adds a new level of variability to Scythe. The map is different on both sides and has spaces for 4 big double-sided tiles that change the landscape each game. Even the faction home base locations can change each game. No longer must the Nordic faction start in the north, or the Saxony faction start in the corner without easy access to the wheat fields that both neighboring factions have. Faction location and landscape can vary every game. No longer can faction strategy count on the consistent landscape around their home base. Additionally, the modular board adds a drafting element to setup, along with a variant for a tighter map at low player counts.
The Scythe Modular Board comes with 1 double-sided board
(624x818mm, same size as the standard Scythe board), 4 double-sided tiles (7
hexes per tile), 8 home base tiles, 8 structure bonus tiles, 1 rulebook (11
languages), and Automa rules for solo play.
Pre-orders from Stonemaier open on May 29, or look for the Scythe Modular
Board at your friendly local game store late this summer.
Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia (2013) was one of the early award winners to come from Stonemaier Games, and the studio has just announced the first expansion, Euphoria: Ignorance is Bliss. In the original Euphoria, players used dice as workers to manipulate the three factions in the Euphoria world: the Euphorians, the Subterrans and the Wastelanders. The numbers on the dice represent the intelligence of your workers: higher numbers allow them stronger actions, but in this world, you want dumb workers, because the smart ones run away. In Ignorance is Bliss, by designers Morten Monrad Pedersen and automata-masters Nick Shaw and David Studley, the once lofty Icarites, who lived among the clouds selling bliss, have now descended to the peons, imposing a new way of life. For more information, keep an eye on the Stonemaier website here, where they will continue to provide more information on this expansion all February long.
The game is played over 4 rounds with the player with the most points being declared the winner. Habitats (which are actions in the game) are used by birds to perform combinations. Habitats focus on different aspects of growth:
A bird feeder dice tower dispenses food tokens via custom dice
Egg miniatures, in a variety of colors, are used to lay eggs
A deck of cards allows hundreds of unique birds to be drawn and played
Featured game components include:
170 unique bird cards (57x87mm)
26 bonus cards (57x87mm)
16 Automa cards (57x87mm)
103 food tokens
75 egg miniatures
5 custom wooden dice
5 player mats
1 birdfeeder dice tower
2-piece Game Trayz custom tray
1 goal mat
8 goal tiles
1 first-player token
40 action cubes (8 per player)
4 clear plastic resource containers
1 scorepad (50 sheets; 1 sheet used for all players each game)
Stonemaier Games has announced a limited edition set of metal mechs for their super popular (BGG ranking #7!) board game Scythe. The set comes with one mech from each faction, packaged in a felt lined insert in a numbered, foil embossed box. The print run of the new mechs will be limited to 4000, although a special numbered run of 40 will be released in a 2018 charity auction. The metal figures will be released world wide on November 2, 2018. For more information, check out the Stonemaier announcement on their web site.
Stonemaier Games and developer Jamey Stegmaier have announced a new small box expansion for their mega hit Scythe (currently rated number 7 on boardgamegeek). Scythe Encounters started in June 2018 as an invitation to fans to design encounter cards for the game, those random events players find while wandering the countryside. The response was overwhelming, and Encounters represents the best 32 entries. Scythe Encounters is due for release December 8, 2018, however Stonemeier went one step further and had one palette shipped over to the US, so the first 1900 pre-orders will receive their boxes significantly earlier. Check out the Stonemaier Games Newsletter for more information, and as always, a great chart on the progress of new additions from the company.
If the name in the headline seems slightly odd and lengthy, you’d be forgiven for thinking so, but such is the cost of combining two fairly different tile-laying games into one new and surprising title. Stonemaier Games announced on Wednesday that they’ve gotten permission from Bezier Games to combine their Castles of Mad King Ludwig with Stonemaier’s Between Two Cities, creating a more unique version of the latter with advanced scoring and theme from the former. It’s a kind of board gaming mad science that, when coupled with several prominent reviewers having received early copies to critique, makes for one very powerful piece of news that subverts disbelief with lots of pretty new tiles and possibilities. Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig plays 2 to 7 players, features a 4-piece Game Trayz custom insert, and is set to hit retail on October 19th.
“Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a competitive tile-drafting game in which each tile is a room in a castle. You work together with the player on your left to design one castle, and with the player on your right on another castle. […] At the end of the game, each castle is scored. Your personal final score is the lower of the scores of the two castles you helped design, and the player with the highest final score wins the game. To win, you have to share your attention and your devotion between two castles.”
As presented within the description above, it really is just Between Two Cities but with some better bits mixed in. You’re still doing the same wonderfully unique exercise of building two places between your neighboring opponents, but now there’s more involved with what kinds of rooms you add that affect scoring in new and interesting ways. It is doubtlessly a more attractive package than either of it’s parts, both on the table and in it’s design. Fans of either game have something a bit more of value in store in this union, which speaks to the thoughtfulness of Stonemaier Games’ presentation of this product.
Apart from the praise and criticisms this game will gather under it’s own merits, I can’t help but applaud the idea of smashing up two games into something a bit different. Will this become a new trend to takeoff into 2019? The year of board game mashups? It would be fascinating to see, and I encourage it! If you’re interested in learning more about Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, check out Stonemaier Games website for more pictures, videos, a full rulebook, and updates.