Jan 31, 2021: Wingspun

We’re taking Wingspan out for a play next Thursday night for our boardgame night. Since we last played – and, I believe, Daniel won and ruined all the fun for us – a new expansion has come out which features birds from the Australian neck of the woods, including an Australian bin chicken (which does have a proper name, it’s not just called a bin chicken) and new ways of playing and scoring points.

So, we did our due diligence on it today and took it for a quick run between the two of us.

I don’t think I have ever won a game of Wingspan. For whatever reason, I just can’t construct a decent engine to fire off rounds of points and/or point gathering techniques. I can lay a lot of decent birds down. I can get a decent bird score. But I can never manage to get them to bounce off each other the way other people can.

Today was no exception. Three birds down and none of them had a power I could use throughout the game. I was on the back foot to start with. And I forgot about the new mechanic using the nectar foodstuff as a wild card and a gateway to a decent points addition to the end of the game.

It was not going well for me, it’s fair to say.

Meanwhile, Carole is fretting because she’s played very few birds at all. And the ones she has put down are low pointers.

But she’s set up a nice card recycling system where she gets to have a pop at the discard pile every time, and she’s also got a way to tuck cards behind what she’s played for extra points at the end of the game.

It was hard to tell who was going to do the best. Carole really thought I was going to win.

Carole, clearly, has forgotten who I am.

If the scoring ended after adding up the bird scores, I won. Easily. A massive victory.

That’s what makes it worse, in all honesty.

I had such a lead after the first bit of scoring. And then it all went. And then some. I had performed so badly at all other aspects of the game that my lead was just destroyed in seconds. I forgot about my bonus card – to have birds with huge wingspans – and had essentially played a board filled with all the smallest winged birds I could find. And one pelican. If the card’s flavour text said, say, “This bird is known as the microscopic wing nugget” I’d have it. So many small birds. So many.

No bonus.

Carole, meanwhile, bonuses for days.

And this was a theme. There were a few elements I’d done better on. But Carole had tucked what seemed like hundreds of cards away during the game, each of those was a point.

And she’s won almost all the round challenges. And in a two player game if you don’t win, you get second. Unless, like me, you fail to get any of the required conditions.

And you wouldn’t believe who hard it is to find a bird with a beak pointing to the right when you need one.

If you’d asked me prior to this game, I’d have said they all pointed that way. That’s just the way birds point.

But no.

Not under game conditions.

Basically, I lost.

Bloody stupid game.

I might do better on Thursday.

But I’m not holding my breath. Daniel’s in the mix. He’ll win by a ridiculous margin having never even touched the game.