Since Wingspan has been such a meteoric hit, we’re all expecting loads of expansions for it. There’s a lot of room for expansions in Wingspan’s design, too. It has a nice, rich resource system to provide hooks into new mechanics. The player boards that can be easily tweaked and replaced. And of course, there’s the stack of bird cards that the game revolves around. There’s plenty of opportunity to inject fresh new ideas into Wingspan’s sturdy framework.
Wingspan’s first expansion, the European Expansion, didn’t stretch Wingspan’s horizons very much. It doesn’t really need to - for games that rely on a large deck of cards, adding new cards goes a long way. The European Expansion also provides components for a fifth player, which is pretty standard fare.
The Oceania Expansion, though, really begins exploring Wingspan’s design space. In addition to the regular extra player components, there are also more bird cards and more options for scoring goals. But the biggest change in the Oceania Expansion is the new Nectar mechanics.
Nectar is a new food type, slotting in with Seeds, Fruit, Fish, Bugs and Rodents from the base game. This of course means that Oceania comes with new dice for the birdfeeder. Nectar acts as sort of a wild card; it can be used to substitute any other kind of food. In addition, after spending Nectar to play a bird card, the player keeps the spent Nectar on their board, awarding bonus points to the player with the most at the end of the game. Nectar not only makes Wingspan easier, due to having more and more flexible resources, but it also introduces a new bonus for players to compete over.
That’s not all, too. Many of the new birds interact with Nectar in interesting ways. The Korimako can give a player a significant one-time infusion of Nectar - but the player must spend it quickly before it expires at the end of the round, encouraging them to go on a spending spree. The Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo is an inexpensive bird that can score a lot of points, but gives Nectar to everyone at the table.
Rounding out the new features, the Oceania Expansion also includes new player boards that accommodate Nectar mechanics, and also puts a damper on overpowered late-game egg strategies.
The consensus is a little mixed on the Oceania Expansion. Many players feel that Nectar makes the game a little too easy, infusing each game with a richer food economy. However, Nectar, and the other features of the expansion, also make the game much more exciting and interesting. The consensus still remains that Oceania is an excellent expansion, even alongside the European Expansion, and a must for the hosts of Wingspan fans out there.