Expeditions is the sequel to Scythe. This standalone game brings you some of the familiarity of it's popular prequel but brings you a new storyline, new format and new theme! A meterotie crash brings scientists, war heroes and keen explorers from around the world to the Tunguska River in search of trophies and wealth.
It took a lot of convincing from Alex for me to agree to trying this game as I'm not a fan of Scythe. However, I eventually conceded and agreed to give it a try on the condition that I read the rules so that I could understand it and not be able to dislike it on the basis that I didn't understand what I was doing.
The box was bigger than I than I thought it would be, however upon opening it up, the components were the high end quality we've come to expect from Stonemaier games. The insert has been designed really well and suggests that we can expect to see some expansions on the horizon. There's not an excessive amount of components and with the game box insert, it sets up and packs away relatively quickly.
Game Play Overview
Expeditions is a card-driven engine building game where players are competing for the most wealth. You'll be taking it in turns to carry out available actions from moving, playing cards and gathering resources. As you make your way around the board, you'll explore new locations, vanquish corruption and solve quests. Each card played will earn you points in either power or guile, which are used to vanquish corruption and solve quests, as well as give you the opportunity to place a worker in a matching colour on them to open up extra abilities. Each character and mech has their own special abilities to help you out during the game and once a locations corruption has been vanquished, additional gathering actions will be revealed, allowing you to upgrade your mech and meld meteorites onto them for extra money. Once one player has placed their 4th glory marker onto the glory track, every player gains 1 final action before game end scoring takes place. You'll add up coins earned from glory based on the number of completed quests you have, upgrades you've made to your mech and corruption tokens that you've vanquished and the player with the most wealth is the winner.
Pros and Cons
The components of Expeditions are top notch, I truly was impressed by the quality of them. The game plays (in my opinion) much better than Scythe and after playing the first game of it, I immediately pressured Alex into playing again! (OK it really wasn't that hard to convince him, he loved it too and wanted to try out another engine building mechanic within the game to see if he could beat his score!) There are several ways to get an engine running in this game, each as likely as the next if you combine the cards and actions in the right way. Each of the workers are different colours and also different shapes, so being colour blind, will not be a hinderance to this game! All of the bags provided in this game are the new eco-friendly style of packaging that Stonemaier are moving all their games over to and there was limited plastic throughout. If you don't like engine building, or limiting actions, you may find this game frustrating as you'll be blocking off one of your own actions for several turns until you sacrifice a turn to refresh your board. However, I found this a really interesting mechanic that really made me think about the actions I wanted to take (even if I did mess up my pre-planning a few times!) I really enjoyed having to think outside the box to acquire the resources and abilities I needed/wanted to achieve my goals. Lastly, I found the rules were explained really well, there was only a couple of things that we went back to double check on during the game and found the answer to our questions reasonably easily and what we did need to check was explained clearly in the rulebook.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this game and it's made me consider retrying Scythe. I still don't know what it was about Scythe I didn't enjoy, but Expeditions was a game I fell in love with! With it's unique mechanics and theme, coupled with the underlying familiarities made it a game like no other I've played and one that I am keen to play over and over again.
In conclusion, we would rate this game a 10/10