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Arnak: expedition leaders (2021)

Game design: Min and Elwin

  • 8.5/10
  • 12+
  • 1-4 players
  • 60-90 minutes minutes

Gameplay

This is the expansion I was most excited about when arriving to Essen Spiel this year. But what's new?

The main new addition to the game is the expedition leaders. There are 6 leaders, all with their own special player powers. First off, each character has their own deck of cards, all focussing on something else. I’ll explain each of the characters briefly below:

The Captain focusses on Archeologists, he has an extra one to use eacht round and has a lot of actions surrounding the archeologists.

The Falconer has a falcon token that moves to the following space at the beginning of each round. There are also card actions that make the falcon move. Each space has a different kind of reward associated with it.

The Baroness is all about income. Each round (exept for the first one) she gets one coin. Besides this she starts with a special card in her hand every round, the special delivery card. When she buys/gains an item she may discard this card and put the newly bought/gained item in her hand.

The Professor also has an income each round, alternating between a compass and a tablet. He loves artifacts and his income goes directly into his suitcase, these resources can only be used buying or using artifacts. Besides this, at the beginning of each round, he places three artifacts open near his playerboard. These are available for purchase besides the ones available for everyone on the board.

The Explorer is only allowed to use one archeologist and has three ‘snacks’. These snacks can be used to relocate the archeologist, or they can be used to activate certain cards in the deck containing rewards like activating a camp site or gaining a tablet and an idol.

The Mystic has a lot of exiling posibilties. He also transforms fear into rewards, by executing rituals. Rituals can be executed by exiling one of 4 starting cards.

Also, there are 2(!) New research tracks, which can be put on top of the original ones and can be played separately from the expedition leaders. Besides new routes and new benefits, they also come with new sets of rules. The bronze tiles and silver tiles can now be bought on different places other than only on the top space.

The Monkey Temple has an artifact card put on the indicated space. When your magnifying glass passes this space you may activate the artifact for free.

The Lizard Temple doesn’t have an artifact, but a monster space. Both the magnifying glas and the notebook are able to reach this space. No player is allowed to go any further until a player defeats the monster. Players that are on that space at the end of the round will receive a fear card.

Besides the bigger additions described above, there are also 18 new items, 12 new artifacts, 3 new assistants, 4 new idols, 5 new guardians, 5 new level 1 sites and 3 new level 2 sites. These new additions all have little new tweaks other than the ones in the original game.

To be able to see more cards throughout the Course of the game, there is a red moon staff variant added. It exiles two item cards and two artifacts closest instead of just the ones.

Thoughts

Oh man! This expansion is one big party to play with. It adds not just one new element to the base game, but so many things!

I enjoy exploring the powers of the different expedition leaders. And believe me that's a lot to explore! I've played with the Falconer and the Barones now and I would like to play them both a couple of times more to see what they can be stretched to do.

The new research tracks are really cool with the artifact and the monsteraddition. They really give a special touch to them. However, I would've liked to get some resources from the monster as well. Feels a bit weird the rewards being visible and having no function at all in this place.

The other new elements, such as new cards and new monsters to defeat, add a touch of freshness to it all. It really ensures this expansion being a very complete one, I am excited about it and highly recommend it to any fan of the Lost Ruins of Arnak

8.5/10

A copy of this game was provided to me by Czech Games Edition for the purpose of writing this review. My opinion however remains my own.

Boardgamegeek BGG

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