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Subject: I Found My New Favorite Bird rss

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Chase Estep
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Newberg
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With the 4th printing of Wingspan here, I was finally able to get a game in at a recent game night. Since the game is still buzzing like a hummingbird, I wanted to write a quick review for anyone else looking at adding this game to their collection. I'll cover the Rules, the Gameplay, and then share some Final Thoughts.

Rules
Despite taking up a large amount of table space, the rules of the game were really straightforward and easy to understand. The entire game essentially takes place with just 4 actions: get food, lay eggs, add a bird to your hand, or play a bird from your hand to your board.

As you play more birds to your board, they may add additional sub-actions to each action you take.

Gameplay
We played a 4 player game. With 3 of us playing for the first time and with the rules explanation, the game took 1h45m. The art has definitely been the selling point for this game and I will agree that it is amazing. I also love the little factoids written on each of the cards about each of the birds. Thanks to those factoids, I found my new favorite bird: the Loggerhead Shrike, which I learned will sometimes skewer bugs and small animals on thorns and barbed wire to save them for a later meal.

As for the gameplay itself, I found it to be on the simple side with minimal interaction between players. The only time I really cared about what the other players were doing was when one of my birds had an ability that triggered when one of their birds activated their death effect.

On my turn, it only ever seemed like one or two actions would be beneficial so there wasn't much decision making. I will also note that sitting at one end of the table, it was very difficult to see which birds were available to take so I usually just got random birds from the deck.

Final Thoughts
Despite its let-downs, this was a very enjoyable game with beautiful art, fun bird facts, and simple actions. Personally, I won't be rushing out to get my own copy of this game but I won't turn down a play if someone brought it out at game night.

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Dusty Craine
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Chase.
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Matt Smith
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Troy
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It's a love/hate relationship.
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As you populate your sanctuary with birds, it starts to direct your strategy. So as the game progresses, your decisions become more and more obvious. It's the early-game decisions that are so crucial, including deciding which end-of-round goals to go for.

That being said, there is some room to adjust one's strategy mid-game, you just need to ensure you don't cut off your nose just to spite your face.
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Chase Estep
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I forgot to mention the goal cards which heavily influenced my starting strategy. I had the goal of having birds that were less than 4 points so my first few turns were just getting and playing those birds.
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Molokov (AU)
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The tray lid that holds the 3 face-up bird cards is designed to be easily passed around the table - so you can always ask someone to pass it to you so you can read about those cards before drawing

Glad you enjoyed your first game!
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Ryan Cornell
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Thanks for your insightful review! The shrike is super fascinating!
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Frank Hamrick
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You also need to keep your eye on the End of Round goals and thus, on how you stand relative to everyone else! I find, the more I play the game, the more I do watch what others are doing. Knowing the End of Round goals allows me to glance at everyone else's board to give me an idea where I stand on the current round and the future rounds. Planning for the future is an important part of the game!
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Matti Matilainen
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Were you able to see the end of the round goals from where you were sitting?

IMO you should play the game properly before writing a review.
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Roger Meertens
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I played this game a couple of times and I don't understand why you say that on your turn there were only one or two actions that were beneficial for you. There are many things to consider: when do I take cards and which ones (birds that help in end scoring, birds that help in end of round goals, birds that you really don't need to play but need to be discarded for your brown powers, inexpensive birds to get your engine going or big birds for the points or the abilities), where to play cards first, when to collect food (do I wait untill something more interesting comes along or shall I pick up that one less interesting one that I also need?), do I really work hard towards this round's end of round bonus or am I working towards the next round's one?
I always feel there is so much more that I want to do when I am nearing the end of the game and I hear more people have that feeling!

People are criticising this game for being simple but they forget the target audience: this is a family game! Other people are saying there is not enough interaction between the players. For one thing there is: besides the pink powers you mention there is also the taking of food and cards (during one of my plays I heard someone complain that I was taking all the cards that she wanted).
Besides: I hear no one else complain when they praise multiplayer-solitaire games like The Castles of Burgundy...
 
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