Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Jamey Stegmaier

Stonemaier Games

No. of Players:

G@mebox Star



G@mebox author Lutz Wildt writes about the game:

There is a lot to discover at STONEMAIER GAMES! Whether it's ornithology, viticulture or space bees, it's turned into a wonderful game idea, with unique game rules and great artwork, packed into a game box to give players an unforgettable gaming experience. With Scythe and the corresponding 1920s alternate reality created by Jakub Rozalski, Jamey Stegmaier has created an iconic setting. With numerous expansions, this has become a game cosmos of its own, which has now been given a sequel with Expeditions, giving players the opportunity to discover other things in this universe. It is important to know that the sequel or successor to Scythe is based on completely different elements than Scythe itself in terms of gameplay. It is not a new expansion to the game! The artwork designed by Jakub Rozalski and the setting are retained in Expeditions and thus form the link to the original game.


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In Expeditions, the protagonists go in search of the missing scientist Dr. Tarkovski, who wanted to investigate the effects of a meteorite impact and has not returned from this mission. The players take on the role of heroes who explore Siberia with their companions in a giant mech in order to get to the bottom of the matter and become as rich as possible in the process.

The players carry out the actions on the large game board consisting of hexagon tiles by selecting them on their player board using an action selection mechanism. The Move and Gather actions allow the mech to move around the game board and collect benefits from the respective card parts. Play is used to play hand cards that trigger further actions. This adds an interesting and sometimes very powerful deckbuilding element to the game. The different cards have different areas and can be used in various ways. In addition to a basic value consisting of resources required for the rest of the game, which you receive when you play them, you can also place a suitable worker on the cards in order to be able to perform an ability printed on them. In some cases, they can also be used to complete missions, melt down meteorites and upgrade items. The aim of the game is to become as rich as possible during your expeditions. The end of the game is triggered when a player is able to place the fourth glory token. You can place these tokens as soon as you have achieved a goal printed on the bottom section of the game board. This includes, for example, owning 7 workers or completing 4 quests.


Click on image to enlarge!

The main control of a turn is determined by the action selection mechanism. In total, the three actions Move, Play and Gather are available. However, a player may only perform two of them at any one time during their turn. A small wooden cube must be moved to the corresponding space on the player board on each turn so that only two actions are visible at any one time. Only on the first turn and every time all cards have been refreshed may all three actions be carried out. You have to keep an eye on your planned moves, as otherwise the desired combination of actions will not always be available at the right time.

To illustrate this a bit, I will now go through the various actions and briefly explain the possible playable action combinations. If a player has chosen the Move action, they may move their powerful mech up to three hexagon spaces across the game board. However, only until they come across a previously undiscovered tile, i.e. one that is still face down, at which point their movement ends and the tile is flipped over and becomes available. Depending on the player's previous selection, they now have either the Play or Gather action at their disposal. This means that they play a card from their hand to gain resources and can also perform the card's ability by placing a worker. Or they can take the reward shown at the bottom of the hexagon field or, if applicable, carry it out. In some cases, these rewards must first be unlocked by defeating the corruption tokens on newly flipped cards.


Click on image to enlarge!

When taking the Play action, i.e. playing a card from their hand, a player always receives the Power or Guile resource shown at the top left, which they can mark on a track on their player board. In addition, the ability printed on the card can be used by placing a suitable worker, which offers very different options depending on the type of card (item, meteorite or quest). For example, the Scythe card gives you a new worker or the Greenstone meteorite allows you to take a green card face up between the hexagons into your hand. Sometimes these abilities relate to the player's previously played cards. As both the cards in hand and the cards used are face up, this creates a small engine builder area. At least until the player refreshes their cards and has all their cards back in their "hand" and the workers are available in their own supply again. You can use the Upgrade, Meld and Solve actions to place the relevant cards under your Mech Mat and gain wealth, permanent abilities and resources. However, these cards are then no longer available for deck building, but form another small engine building element, generate victory points or help you achieve a glory category.

Now to the last action, Gather. As already explained, with this action you can simply collect one or more free rewards shown on the hexagon. By moving and collecting cleverly, you can collect new cards or use certain card abilities. With careful planning and a bit of luck, powerful combinations can also be used here. As the game board is reassembled from the location tiles of the different categories South, Central and North for each game, a great deal of variance in the game is guaranteed.


Click on image to enlarge!

I am absolutely thrilled with Expeditions. I knew before I tried it for the first time that I couldn't expect Scythe. I don't think that's necessary, as Scythe and a few wonderful expansions already exist. As a result, I approached the game with a very open mind and was able to really enjoy it without comparison. I really immersed myself in this world. In thematic terms, Expeditions perhaps even fits much better into the world conceived by Jakub Rozalki. The combination of action selection, engine building, worker placement and deck building really interlocks wonderfully! As the cards are laid out face up in front of the player, it is also very easy to see which options and combinations can be developed from the available cards. Of course, the exploration of the game board should not be ignored. The clever choice of Glory categories provides excellent guidance for the game in its breadth. Even if your own planned movement is blocked by an opponent, or you can't use the right combination of actions because your planning isn't quite as precise, you can always find a solution that advances your game! Of course, this sometimes has a negative effect on the duration of your own turn. But since the other players are facing the same problem, it's not so bad! I'm already looking forward to my next well-planned expedition!

For me, this wonderful game is definitely worth a G@meboxstar, as it perfectly combines some of my favorite mechanics, offers a great gaming experience and the artwork and especially the game material are really excellent!

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