A sequel to the popular board game Scythe will arrive by mid-2023 and is already accepting pre-orders. Expeditions promises an exploration-focused experience with wholly new mechanics but a similar vibe to its alt-history predecessor.
Officially announced on February 1st, Expeditions will be the second board game created by Stonemaier Games set in the 1920+ world of mech-dominated Siberia and Eastern Europe. Players will compete to explore the frozen tundra in search of meteorite fragments and the powers they bestow. Some unknown corruption oozing across the land will complicate matters for the adventurers who answer their faction’s call to arms.
This is interesting given the company's divestment from Russian partners last year during the initial flare-up of the country's illegal military activities against Ukraine, which are still ongoing. While it's not clear that Expeditions' reduced focus on warfare is a result of real-world political issues, the differences between Scythe and this new title at least point to a broadening storytelling scope for the folks at Stonemaier.
Jamey Stegmaier handled design on the title, while Jakub Rozalski covered the artwork and worldbuilding. The official website for the publisher also responsible for Wingspan and Tapestry states that the three-year development of Expeditions is already complete, and the team will move into production by March in order to begin fulfilment in July.
One to five players will compete against one another, playing cards to harness two resources - power and guile - by playing different cards - these also reportedly bestow workers with unique abilities. A teaser trailer shows off character cards for Anna and her bear companion Wojtek, but we also see cards depicting items and events, as well.
Five massive mechs, represented by miniatures on the board, will travel to different locations throughout Siberia to gain more cards. By solving quests, discovering meteorites and collecting items, these mechs can be enhanced through sessions that last between 60 and 90 minutes. Along the way, adventurers will gradually accrue corruption that must be constantly managed by expending other resources.
Stonemaier Games says that Expeditions should evoke a similar feeling to Scythe despite the suite of wholly new mechanics. Instead of a board, it will portray the world via large hex tiles. Instead of a player mat, actions are defined by a tableau of hand-management effects from cards and a starting character and animal companion pair. Yet, both focus on conquering a land and vying against others for resources - there’s a clear connective tissue aided by Rozalski's strong artistic direction.
More information about Expeditions, including links to the rulebook, can be found on Stonemaier Game’s official website. Dicebreaker has reached out to the publisher for more information.
Edit: This article has been updated to add clarification regarding Stonemaier's split from its Russian partners.