Wingspan European Expansion

Wingspan European Expansion

Designed by Elizabeth Hargrave | Art by Natalia Rojas, Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, and Beth Sobel

This first expansion to Wingspan focuses on European birds.

1-5 players | 40-70 minutes | ages 10+

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(preorder on November 6)

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In this first expansion to Wingspan, we increase the scope of the world to include the regal, beautiful, and varied birds of Europe. These birds feature a variety of new abilities, including a number of birds with round end abilities, abilities that increase interaction between players, and birds that benefit from excess cards/food. Along with the new bonus cards, they’re designed to be shuffled into the original decks of cards (and cards from future expansions).

The European Expansion also includes an additional tray for storing the growing collection of birds (past, present, and future), as well as 15 purple eggs, extra food tokens, and a colorful new scorepad designed for both multi-player and single-player scoring.

Featured Components

  • 81 bird cards (all unique, all new)
  • 15 egg miniatures (purple)
  • 5 bonus cards
  • 4 Automa cards (2 of which are bonus cards)
  • 1 custom tray with lid
  • 1 scorepad (multi-player on one side, solo on the other)
  • 1 rulebook
  • 5 goal tiles
  • 38 food tokens
  • 1 reference tile
  • 1 box (296x144x80mm; 0.7 kg)


Release Details

  • Preorder from Stonemaier Games on November 6.
  • Worldwide retail release date on November 22, 2019 (MSRP: $25; SKU: STM901)
  • Limited copies available at Essen Spiel 2019 from Feuerland (German) and Matagot (English & French)

Can I play this expansion without Wingspan?

You need Wingspan to play this expansion. At lower player counts, it is feasible to only use the new bird cards, though the official way to play is to shuffle all bird cards together (same with the bonus cards and goal tiles).

Are the percentages on the core-game bonus cards now incorrect?

Nope! Elizabeth designed the expansion so the percentages remain almost exactly the same. We’ll continue doing this for all expansions.

Design Diary

October 7: Rules Rule!

The first Wingspan expansion integrates seamlessly with the original game–you just shuffle in the bird cards, bonus cards, and goal tiles and proceed to play as normal. The explanatory rules are thus very short, with the Appendix taking up the most space in the full document.

Due to how well the expansion integrates with the core game, if you have both, I think you can easily use both when sharing the game with new Wingspanners. At low player counts, you could also play the first game with only the new expansion components (I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but there’s nothing mechanically wrong with trying it).

I’ll include the “rules” portion of the rulebook as images here; just click on the link to view the full document.

Tomorrow you’ll start to see reviewers share their thoughts on the Wingspan European Expansion.

October 6: A Few More Birds

I don’t want to spoil too much of the first Wingspan expansion for you, as part of the fun is discovering new birds as you play. But before I post the rulebook tomorrow, I wanted to share a few more abilities Elizabeth created that I thought were particularly interesting. Also, huge thanks to Natalia and Ana for returning to illustrate the birds in this expansion!

October 5: Too Many Eggs?

While strategies in Wingspan can vary vastly from game to game based on which cards you play, the order in which you play them, your bonus cards, and the round-end goals, one commonly discussed approach is to play a lot of birds in your grassland habitat and activate it as much as possible in the final round. If played correctly, this can be even more lucrative than playing a high-value bird in the final round.

Elizabeth and I (Jamey) discussed whether or not this was a problem, and for the most part we decided it wasn’t–as with any strategy, you need to work towards the egg strategy for it to benefit you.

However, we wanted to widen the spectrum of final-round strategies, so Elizabeth designed some birds and goal tiles that direct players towards other options. Some of these options actively discourage players from laying eggs, while others enable players to stock up on cards or food and then convert them to points.

In the game of Wingspan I played on Thursday with the expansion, the impact was so dramatic that the winning player had exactly 1 egg at the end of the game, as did I! I made sure it was a purple egg, though. :)

Here are a few of the birds and new goal tiles that–if chosen and pursued–could steer players away from a heavy egg-laying strategy in the final round:

October 4: Round-End Abilities

While there are a ton of new abilities on the European birds, we wanted to include one new featured mechanism that spanned across a number of birds. This new mechanism is on 20 bird cards via a teal background.

These round-end abilities trigger at the end of each of the 4 rounds in Wingspan. We’ve included a little round-end reminder tile so it’s clear that these abilities trigger before you do anything else at the end of the round (in player order).

Because these abilities trigger at most 4 times per game, Elizabeth designed them to be very powerful. The earlier you play them, the better, but I’ve found that they’re still quite good even if they only trigger once or twice.

I actually just played the Wingspansion last night, and I ended up with two birds with these abilities:

I’ll leave you today with a few images of round-end birds, and there are many more for you to discover when you try out this expansion!

October 3: The Components Leak

You’ve seen the Wingspan European Expansion box–what’s inside of it? Everything shown in this photo:

It might be hard to see exactly what’s here, so I’ll list everything below with some brief explanations:

  • 81 bird cards (all unique, all new): Yes, these are marked with “EE” so you can sort them from the cards in the base game…though you’ll never need to, as they’re intended to all be shuffled together. You *could* play a 1-3 player game with only the European birds if you’d like. All of the new mechanisms in the expansion are integrated into the birds themselves–I’ll showcase them later this week.
  • 15 egg miniatures (purple): You probably won’t need these unless you play Wingspan with 5 players; mainly we just thought it would be fun to include a new egg color in the game. The egg colors don’t mean anything (out of respect for those with colorblindness issues, we don’t plan for the egg colors to ever have mechanical meaning in the game).
  • 5 bonus cards: These just get shuffled in with the original bonus cards. Elizabeth designed the expansion so the percentages on the original bonus cards are still applicable.
  • 4 Automa cards (2 of which are bonus cards): The expansion fully integrates with the solo mode of the base game.
  • 1 custom tray with lid: You need a place to store all of these new birds, right? And birds from future expansions. For this reason, the expansion will not fit into the original game box.
  • 1 scorepad: This new version of the scorepad has a splash of color on it and includes double-sided sheets (multi-player on one side, solo on the other). Other than the solo side, it’s functionally the same as the original scorepad.
  • 1 rulebook: The rules themselves are very short–most of the rulebook is an appendix. Oh, and the paper is the same fancy material we used in the base game.
  • 5 goal tiles: These tiles are to be shuffled into the original goal tiles.
  • 38 food tokens: I haven’t heard of many people running out of food tokens, but since we needed a punchboard in the expansion, we figured we’d maximize the utility of it.
  • 1 reference tile: This is included to remind players of the end-of-round steps…which now include a new step that I’ll discuss tomorrow!
  • 1 box (296x144x80mm; 0.7 kg)

While I don’t mention it on the official components list because they’re not a component we “officially” include (because they’re not necessary, and if they arrive broken, it’s extremely inefficient to ship replacements) are the 2 plastic resource containers shown in the photo.

I look forward to sharing the new mechanisms with you over the next few days!

Copyright 2019 Stonemaier LLC. Wingspan is a trademark of Stonemaier LLC. All Rights Reserved. This content is not authorized for posting on Steam.

72 Comments on “Wingspan European Expansion

  1. Does the expansion add any new rules/mechanics or is it just additional cards? I have pre-ordered the expansion either way at my FLGS, as I’m ok getting it a few weeks later (too busy playing Tapestry at the moment!)

  2. I am so delighted that the expansion is coming out! Is it possible that game and expansion could be made in Serbian? Thanks!

  3. Any chance there will be some kind of discount if buying the new version of Wingspan along with the European bird expansion – something less than $85?

  4. As one of the people who occasionally runs out of food tokens (usually in 4-5 player games when someone has a bird who piles lots of grain on its card) the extra tokens are much appreciated :)

  5. Is there a specific order you have to activate end of round abilities, or is it in an order of player choice? e.g. If I had a bird with a predator ability in hand would I be able to use the Lesser Whitethroat to play it before activating the Griffon Vulture reguardless of where they were on my player mat, or is there something specific in layout they’d need to be to combo them in that way?

      1. Unfortunately there is no Flamingo in the basegame I have purchased … Should there always be? Is there a possibility to get hold this bird, would love to add it to the basegame!

  6. Would it be playable with just the expansion cards, or would it throw off the bonus card % or something ? I usually play either solo or 2 player, so card quantity should not be an issue.

  7. Hi, so, just to be clear, does the neoprene mat will ship from regional fulfillment during the preorder period (like the swift-start promo pack), and if it’s the case, witch one ?

    It seem like a must have to me, but I would like to avoid custom fees and as the preorder is past the brexit deadline, also avoid UK fulfillment center.

  8. We actually did run out of seeds tokens recently in a four-player game when multiple players were caching lots of them on their birds. I can imagine it’s quite rare, but it’s good we’ll have more!

  9. Hello Jamey,

    My wife and I are looking forward to the European Expansion of Wingspan. We think this great game will be even better. Based on our initial review of the additional rules and Appendix, we have a question on one of the End-of-Round Goal Tiles:

    Food Cost of Played Birds – Count the food cost on your birds, remembering to count only 1 food for birds that have a choice in their food cost.

    We think there are two different categories of “choices” in relation to food costs. For example: Would the “count only 1 food for birds that have a choice” apply to birds with a ” / ” in their food cost (like the SONG SPARROW: INVERTEBRATE / SEED / FRUIT), birds with a “WILD symbol” in their food cost (like the FISH CROW: FISH + WILD) or both types of bird food costs?

    In this example, we thought the SONG SPARROW would count as “1” when counting the food costs for this End-of-Round Goal Tile, and the FISH CROW would count as “2”.

    Thank you.

    1. Stan: Thanks for your comment. That goal tile’s clarification is referring to the “/” in food costs. You’re correct about Song Sparrow counting as 1 and Fish Crow counting as 2.

    1. Just contact divercentro, who release the main game in Portugal, and they not promise the release! If so, only in 2020, depending on sales of wingspan. So I think I am gonna buy the English version instead.

  10. Glad to see a European Portuguese version from Diver. Thinking of swap my English version, to support this amazing initiative.

    Hope to see the expansion translated too.
    An amazing game. Congratulations.

  11. Hi Jamey, in your newsletter, you mention that preorders for the expansion will begin on November 6 at 9:30am CDT. Won’t we be switching to CST by then? Can you clarify, so that we’ll calculate our local times appropriately? Thanks!

    1. Indeed, that was just a typo. It will be at 9:30am Central (local St. Louis time). Thanks for checking!

      -Joe at Stonemaier

  12. Can I add the Wingspan Update Pack together with the European Expansion (on Nov 6th) without any delivery delays? I live in Europe by the way.

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