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Expeditions Board Game Review

Scythe is one of the greatest and most popular games of the century so far, and that along with Wingspan has made Stonemaier Games a household name in the board game space. We recently had the opportunity to look at the “sequel to Scythe,” Expeditions, which we are pretty fond of? Is this the game to remove Scythe from your collection, or does it fall just short of the original experience? Let’s dive in!


The first thing we should mention here is that Scythe and Expeditions are connected in theme and look only – they both exist in the same world, both post-apocalyptic experiences, but after that the differences are vast. So right away we will bury the lead and say, “No, Expeditions does not remove Scythe from your library because the games are very much different experiences.”

In Expeditions, players will be taking a number of actions on their turn – either two or three – from a selection of three actions: move, gather, and play. Moving allows players to move their personal mech 1-3 spaces, gather allows them to gather workers, cards, etc. from the space they currently occupy, and play allows them to play a card from their ‘hand” (left side of their player board) to their active row (right side of their player board). And really, that’s all there is too it. During the game, players will be attempting to complete quests, give themselves item upgrades, meld meteorite cards for bonuses, and more. The player with the most money at the end of the game wins – the end is triggered when a players places their 4th glory token on the glory board!

If you took Expeditions and broke it down to it’s most basic ideas and components, you have a very light worker placement game (your mech) which is masking what really is a good card game. As you move around the board collecting workers, victory points, corruption tokens, and of course, cards, you realize all of this is simply done to spur your “tableau” and build out your character in hopes of achieving 4 victory conditions.

Cards can be a number of different things, including quests, items, and meteorites, along with your hero and companion cards. These cards, when played, can provide you with various bonuses (sometimes more cards, sometimes more actions, sometimes more money, etc) if a worker is placed on them. The cards will almost always provide you with the two main spendable resources, Guile and Power.

Ultimately, players need to decide how to best use their turns, and decide when to ‘reset’ their board and put all their played cards back into their “hand” (left side of their player board) so they can be played again. That, coupled with good placement and movement on the main board will help trigger bigger and better advantages, allowing players to meld more meteorites, complete more quests, and equip more items.

Each player also gets their own special power, and I think these seem a bit unbalanced in my opinion. After a few games, it seems that the player who can meld, equip, and complete an additional quest (5 for each instead of the maximum of 4) won out each time. In games where we removed this character board from the available options, the game was much more competitive.

Regardless of your player character, however, the group decided after a number of plays that the game itself is really, really fun! Even at a loss, building out your character, taking actions on the board, completing quests, etc. is a really fun and engaging thing to do over an hour and a half. Unless someone is taking an excruciatingly long turn, the downtime in this game isn’t too bad, and for the most part, you can pre-plan your moes while others are taking their turns.

If you didn’t like Scythe, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is the same experiences. Again, this is a light worker placement game (light in that you get one ‘worker’ and he can only move 1-3 spaces) and much more of a card playing game. Sure, it’s a bit deeper than that, but if you enjoy large board games that has you collecting, manipulating, and playing cards, then there is a TON for you to love in this experience.

While I probably prefer to play Scythe if given a choice, I think there are many reasons why I would want to bring this to the table as well. Oh ya, and if you get the chance, purchase some upgraded metal coins and the rubber playmat – they just elevate the experience!

A copy of the game was provided by Stonemaier Games for the purpose of this review. The mentioned metal coins and rubber playmat were purchased by our staff at regular rates.


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel