Expeditions Board Game Review – IGN

Jamey Stegmaier and Jakub Rozalski Create an Engaging New Game with Expeditions

Jamey Stegmaier and Jakub Rozalski, the creators of the popular board game Scythe, have released their latest game called Expeditions. While it builds on Scythe’s alternate-history setting and mechanics, Expeditions offers a completely different gameplay experience. With its strong horror theme, high-quality components, and complex strategies, Expeditions is a fantastic addition to any board game collection. The game’s randomized map also adds to its replayability.

Exploring and Questing in Expeditions

Expeditions takes place in the same “1920s but with mechs” world as Scythe but shifts its focus from warfare and area control to exploration and quest completion. Each player starts with a randomly chosen mech, each with its own unique ability and style. From the Highlander, which resembles a War of the Worlds machine, to Odin’s Wrath, a Viking longship on legs, the mechs add an element of excitement to the game. Players also get a different starting character and animal companion, which further influence their strategies and deck-building decisions.

Players embark on an expedition to Siberia, where a meteorite strike has unleashed ancient corruption. The game begins in a basecamp where players are relatively safe, but they soon venture further north by flipping tiles to reveal more of the map. Each tile not only uncovers new areas but also presents tasks that players must complete. The game’s art, which includes frozen Cthulthu-like creatures and the remains of unfortunate explorers, adds a wonderfully disturbing vibe. The attention to detail in every component, including the background art connecting to related tiles and cards, is impressive.

Strategies, Actions, and Resources

To progress in the game, players can activate tiles to gather resources, such as additional cards or workers. These resources can be paired with cards of the same color to fully activate their abilities. Face-down tiles, when activated, also grant players additional actions, improving their engine permanently. To streamline this process, the game provides risers to make card movement easier and reduces the required table space.

Along the way, players will encounter corruption tiles that grant them points but require resources to vanquish. Collecting corruption tiles is a balancing act, as they cost valuable resources. It’s crucial to choose targets wisely to maximize the benefits revealed. While the game doesn’t involve direct confrontation, players can strategically wait for others to handle difficult tasks before reaping the rewards.

Tough Choices and Quest Completion

Expeditions revolves around making challenging decisions to efficiently use actions and resources. Throughout most of the game, players can only take two actions per turn, alternating between moving, playing cards, and gathering resources. Refreshing cards and workers requires an action, so players must gather enough to maintain momentum. However, players can also convert cards into permanent upgrades, that are vital for earning points and securing victory.

In addition to managing resources, completing quests is a key component of the game. Quest cards direct players to specific tiles and require them to pay costs, typically in guile and might, to earn rewards. Even if players never intend to complete the quests, the cards themselves possess powerful abilities when played. Though not as immersive as Scythe’s narrative encounter cards, the art in Expeditions effectively conveys a story.

Pivoting Strategies and Glory Tokens

One challenge in the game is knowing when to pivot strategies. Pursuing different objectives, such as gathering corruption tokens or completing quests, allows players to place glory tokens on the board. Unlike Scythe, these tokens require players to take an action to boast at specific locations. This prevents players from placing multiple tokens in a turn and gives everyone a heads up when the final round approaches.

Early placement of glory tokens enhances starting cards and increases their power, as well as the potential for gathering guile and might. Meteorites also stack with each other, providing an advantage to players who effectively incorporate them into their strategy. Given the numerous combinations of the game’s components, players must adapt their strategies on the fly. However, experience will lead to a better understanding of the optimal choices.


Expeditions, with its engrossing gameplay and captivating art, is a must-have for fans of the genre. Its departure from Scythe’s mechanics and its strong horror theme make it an exciting and unique addition to any collection. The game’s emphasis on tough decision-making and resource management keeps players engaged. With its randomized map and complex strategies, Expeditions guarantees hours of immersive fun.

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