Wingspan Oceania Expansion Review
Wingspan Oceania Expansion (2020)
Travel to Oceania to discover new birds (and more!) for your wildlife preserve!
Gameplay 1-5 Players |Playing Time 40-70Min |Age: 10+ | Play Type Engine Building
Designer Elizabeth Hargrave |Artist Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas, Beth Sobel
Publisher: Stonemaier Games
Wingspan: Oceania Expansion focuses on birds in Australia and New Zealand. This expansion includes new player mats and a new food type, allowing players to explore different strategies in this new environment. It also has new bonus cards and more end-of-round goals, and a new color of egg.
The new food source, Nectar, has various abilities. Each player starts with a Nectar, and players can get more through the bird feeders' dice. These are wild food and have upgrade actions when used and collected by the player mat. End of the game, players score points for having the most Nectar in each habitat. However, at the end of each round, used nectars go back to supply.
The European Expansion offers special End of Round bonuses on some birds, which is a smart addition, but the Oceania special bird card bonuses are End Game and the bomb. Some can lay more eggs on bird cards, cache food, and even add another bird at the very last minute! These birds are fun and fanciful. We giggled and awed when drawing new birds.
All the new birds are shuffled into the original game or go wild and also add the European expansion.
*We started with just adding Oceania to the base game to feel the new bird cards. We found them more dynamic and strategic without feeling complicated.
The snazzy new player mats give opportunities to reset the bird feeder and the bird tray. The grassland habitat offers fewer eggs; however, we found that some of the new bird cards can remedy that predicament.
The End of Round Goals is our favorites! The beak pointing to the left or right goal is genius. The most played a bird in a round is a tad stressful, in a great way, and the -No Goal- what??? What have we always asked for, another turn? This goal allows players an extra cube for later rounds due to not scoring a cube (or bird token) on that round end. Perfect.
New bonus cards are like puzzles and can distract if too much focus on that goal. Remember, there are many paths to victory.
Wingspan Oceania continues to inspire.
The vibrant (adorable) bird cards of Australia and it has to be noted, the time and effort put into each card. The illustrations are stunning, and the factual information: what they consume, their habits, Wingspan, and their bonus actions are related to that individual bird.
It is strategic without being maddening. There are many roads to build a good engine. I have stressed that the first rounds are vital; however, lately, my luck of the draw has been lacking in the first round, and I had to pivot. It was the third round when my habitats started to produce. Oceania brings a more balanced and more good-natured game. The new expansion has plenty of bird powers to level the playing field by assisting other players like yourself.
Wingspan European Expansion added exciting variations of existing mechanisms to the game; however, Wingspan Oceania Expansion successfully boosted the game with clever mechanics and powers.
Wingspan is a card-driven, engine-building board game where players are bird enthusiasts, researchers, and collectors working to attract the optimum birds to their wildlife preserves. The strategy and mindful approach to these cards can swing a game in your favor. There are difficult choices to make in the declining turns, knowing that time is limited and moving swiftly.
In the pursuit of your personal and shared goals, players will work to attract the best birds to their habitats. Each bird can provide a particular action that bolsters a chain of combinations in the habitat they reside.
Play begins; players are dealt with five random bird cards, two random goal cards, and one food type. Before you start, you choose one of the goal cards and which birds to keep. Choose wisely because the birds offer bonuses that building early and crafty will turn to points at the end.
There are three different habitats available for players to attract birds: forest, field, or wetlands, and each habitat allows players to focus on optimal areas of growth: gain food, lay eggs, or draw bird cards.
The winner of the game is the bird enthusiast with the most points after four rounds. We have repeatedly denoted that we wanted another round but wanted more to make a game back on the table time and time again.
The game strategy's backbone is predominantly based on luck and timing due to initial draws and player actions. There can be a scarcity of resources and unlucky draws. Smart engine building begins from step one of the game!!!
When you play a bird, our house rules announce the name, where it is from, and if you have seen IRL.
Each of the four rounds offers alternative goals for the end-around bonus plus a diminishing mechanism of leaving a cube on end round bonus board. The declining turn component lends to an unmistakable sense of urgency and difficult choices, knowing the end of the round is evident.
I relished the declining turns and maximizing the potential turns towards the finish.
Bits and Bobs
95 bird cards (all unique, all-new)
15 egg miniatures (yellow)
5 bonus cards
5 food dice
5 player mats
4 goal tiles
69 nectar tokens
1 reference tile
1 Automa rulebook and 7 Automa cards
Even when you lose a game, you still feel accomplished, and that is the beauty of Wingspan.
Nerdz Garage found Wingspan Oceania delightful with boundless choices. Pairing the game with Birds of Australia's National Parks
by Wild Eden Nature Sounds, made the experience better than therapy.
*We hope there is a new birdhouse on the next expansion. Ours has not fared well after all the use, and one player accidentally crushing it when closing the lid. If we can wish more… a legendary box to fit the whole kit and kaboodle.
*Wildfires were encompassing Australia earlier this year and affected many birds; Stonemaier Games announced earlier that the Wingspan expansion would focus on the region of Oceania. For each email they collected by January 22, Stonemaier Games donated $1 to a wildlife rescue organization in Australia. Totaling over donation was $7,439.
Game Upgrades by Meeple Source
Hope you enjoyed the Wingspan Oceania Expansion review. Let me know in the comments if you have played it or a similar game.
Let’s be honest; there is still a bit of drama when we play.
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