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All about Wingspan

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Board game Wingspan is photographed in Toronto on October 13, 2021. (Photograph by Jennifer Roberts)

Wingspan is a popular board game designed by Elizabeth Hargrave and published by Stonemaier Games. The game is all about birds and their habitats, and players take on the role of bird enthusiasts trying to attract the most birds to their wildlife preserves.

In the game, players use a combination of bird cards, food tokens, and birdhouse tokens to attract birds to their habitats. Each bird has a unique set of abilities and requirements, and players must carefully manage their resources to attract the right birds at the right time.

The game is won by accumulating the most points, which are earned by attracting birds, building birdhouses, and completing various objectives throughout the game. Wingspan is known for its beautiful artwork, educational value, and strategic gameplay.

The game can be played by 1-5 players and typically takes around 60-90 minutes to complete. It has won numerous awards and has become a favorite among board game enthusiasts.

Wingspan currently has three expansions that add new content and mechanics to the game:

  1. Wingspan: European Expansion: This expansion adds new European bird species and introduces new mechanics such as bonus cards, end-of-round goals, and nectar tokens.
  2. Wingspan: Oceania Expansion: This expansion introduces bird species from Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding islands. It also adds new bird abilities, bonus cards, and a new type of food token.
  3. Wingspan: Asia : A stand-alone game for 1 player or 2 players (Duet mode that can be used with any bird/bonus cards), a card expansion to the original Wingspan (any bird/bonus cards across any Wingspan game or expansion can be combined), and a 6-7 player expansion via the new Flock mode (for which the player components from the core game are necessary).

Wingspan uses several gaming mechanics to create its unique gameplay experience. Some of the most prominent mechanics used in the game include:

  1. Card drafting: Players draft bird cards from a common pool of available cards, choosing one card at a time and passing the rest to the next player.
  2. Set collection: Players collect sets of bird cards in their wildlife preserves, with different sets providing different bonuses and scoring opportunities.
  3. Engine building: Players build an “engine” of bird abilities and resources that allow them to attract and play more birds over the course of the game.
  4. Worker placement: Players use birdhouse tokens to claim action spaces on their player mats, allowing them to take specific actions such as gaining food, drawing bird cards, or playing bird cards.
  5. End-game scoring: Players score points at the end of the game for various achievements, such as having the most birds in certain habitats or collecting sets of birds with specific abilities.

These mechanics, combined with the unique bird abilities and habitat bonuses of each bird card, create a game that is both strategic and engaging. Players must carefully balance their resources and make strategic decisions throughout the game in order to maximize their score and win.

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Draw from hundreds of unique bird cards and play them! Each bird extends a chain of powerful combinations in one of your habitats (actions). Lay Eggs! Lay eggs using egg miniatures in a variety of colors! Winner! The winner is the player with the most points after 4 rounds!
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