9 Card Wingspan – An Overview

Continued from TINYforming Mars

From the Wingspan Rulebook …

Wingspan – a competitive, bird-collection, engine building game
Designed by Elizabeth Hargrave
“You are bird enthusiasts—researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors—seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves. Each bird extends a chain of powerful combinations in one of your habitats.”
Wingspan vs 9 Card Wingspan (working title)

Wingspan has 3 types of habitats; Forest, Grassland & Wetland. And each of these habitats focus on a particular thematic, game mechanic; gaining food, laying eggs, and collecting bird cards. So the more birds you have in a particular habitat, the better you are at doing that action. And all of the actions combine to make it easier to place bird cards in your habitats. After a set number of rounds, you add up your points from your birds and bonuses, and the player with the highest score is the winner. My 9 card version will have those same mechanics, but with a much smaller set of cards and pieces.

Wingspan 9 Card Wingspan (working title)
1-5 Players 2 Players (+ Solo?)
170 Bird cards + 26 Bonus Cards 7 double sided cards
5 Player Boards 2 double sided cards
5 custom dice 4 regular dice
75 eggs, 103 tokens & 40 cubes To be determined …
Player Boards

2 of the 9 cards will need to be used for Player boards. (Red line is card edge, dotted blue is safe zone, though that is not really an issue in a PNP.)

The Player Board is 4 rows and 5 columns. The 1st column is a placeholder, to hold cubes when you choose that action, and columns 2 to 5 house the birds, which are placed in the left most free space. The lower 3 rows are the different habitat types, showing an improving benefit as you populate them with birds. The top purple row indicates an egg cost, to place a bird in that column. So the first bird placed in each habitat costs only the food on the card. But birds 2 & 3 have an additional cost of 1 egg, and bird 4 has an additional cost of 2 eggs.

This will all be explained in detail in the rules, but for the moment I just wanted to see that the card was legible, and how well it will hold 8mm cubes.

Player Board with 8mm cubes

When you place a bird in a habitat space, you indicate it with a coloured cube and you indicate eggs in that birds nest with cubes of a different colour. I wanted to cap the number of eggs for each bird at 2, so the space on the card will be just enough.

Bird & Bonus Cards

Bird cards collected during the original game were placed on the player boards. But we don’t have that luxury with only 7 cards left in our build. Not to mention, it just doesn’t work when the bird cards are the same size as the Player Board. So we will use cubes, as shown above, and that allows us to squeeze many birds on to a card, keeping one space for an end of game bonus.

Wingspan Bird Cards

6 card spaces keeps everything legible, and even has room for a small piece of art. So in this first mock up I grabbed a couple of different drawing styles to see what might work best on printing. (I’m favouring the full colour images, as opposed to the B&W). The required habitat, food cost and game points are clear, as are bonus instructions when you add the bird to your Player board. This “retheme” will be entirely birds found in Australia, as I don’t want to replicate any birds from the original game.

The top right space on every side, of every card, will be a different bonus condition, and the bonus on the card you receive at the beginning of the game will be the one you use. There’s plenty of room for the text, so I’ll add graphics to improve the look of that space.

Now that I know what will be on the cards, I’ll look closer at the game mechanics.

Continued in 9 Card Wingspan – Components

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