Kickstart This! #286: Windward (Expansion & Big Box)
Designers: Daniel Aronson (The Age of Atlantis, The Island of El Dorado, ¡Taco Fight!), Hayden Lapiska, Nick Tompkins
Artist: Justin Spice (Windward)
Publisher: El Dorado Games (The Age of Atlantis, The Island of El Dorado, Windward)
Genre/Mechanisms: adventure, area movement, bias, dice rolling, expansion, events, grid movement, hand mangement, modular board, miniatures, pick-up and deliver, space exploration, team-based game. trading, variable player powers, worker placement
Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Windward is already fully-funded. Pledges currently total more than 4.5x the initial funding goal with 2 days left to go on the campaign.
Player Count: 1-6
Solo Mode: yes
What It’s About: “You are a captain flying your Ship on the skies of the gaseous planet Celus. Gain the most notoriety by sailing the skies, hunting crestors, fighting opponents. The Treacherous Skies expansion adds many new elements to the game: a third level of elevation, scout boats for all players to use alongside their ships, world-building events, a pirate-style faction, contract mini-quests, team play, and more. All of these elements come together to open the door to countless new paths to victory.”
How It Works: “In Windward, your goal is to become the most notorious captain on the gaseous planet of Celus. Become the master of the skies by hunting dangerous leviathan-like beasts called Cresters, plundering opponents, and using cunning maneuvers to harness the power of the ever-changing wind.”
“There are four ways to gain notoriety on the Planet of Celus. You can bring teeth of Cresters to the Trading Post to prove you defeated them in battle, buy notoriety with gas while at the Trading Post, complete achievements, or end your turn at sky. The notoriety track is shown on the Trading Post Board.”
“Gameplay happens in clockwise turns, and continues until the end game round is initiated. During your turn, you can do any of the following: Move Ship/Longboats, Give Orders, Spend Gas, Use a Supply Card, or Initiate a Battle. You may do these multiple times per turn and in any order. After your turn is complete, you must complete the ‘Turn End’ steps. These rest steps are also written on your Ship Player Board. If you’re ending your turn at port, move your mates to that rest space and add one to your crew morale. If you’re ending your turn at sky, move your mates to that rest spac and choose to discard a supply card OR reduce morale by 1. Then, move any Red Crester that is on your territory 3 spaces towards your Ship.”
“When a player reaches the final space on that notoriety track (15 or greater), this turn will be that player’s final turn. The game will end immediately before that player’s next turn begins. Each other player gets to take one final turn to try to get as many notoriety as they can. If a player goes beyond the final space on the track, they will count their extra points by beginning again at the start of the notoriety track (starting at 16). The player with the most notoriety at the end of the final round is the winner. In the event of a tie, play another round (starting with the player who initiated the end game phase) until a player has the most notoriety at the end of a round.”
“The Windward: Treacherous Skies expansion adds many new elements to the game: a third level of elevation, scout boats for all players to use alongside their ships, world-building events, a pirate-style faction, contract mini-quests, team play, and more. All of these elements come together to open the door to countless new paths to victory.”
Comparisons: Several other games that also pair pick-up and deliver with worker placement include Bus, Coal Baron, Crown of Emara, Istanbul, Panamax, and Santiago de Cuba.
What Should I Pledge?:
$45 Upgrade Kit: includes the Collector’s Edition Box, KS Edition Expansion Components, Plastic Organizer Tray System, Replacement Supply Card Deck, 10 Replacement Longboat Minis, and all unlocked stretch goals.
$99 Collector’s Edition: includes everything in the Upgrade Kit, plus the base game components and all unlocked stretch goals from the previous campaign.
The Collector’s Edition, including the Collector’s Edition Box, Plastic Organizer Trays System, and stretch goals from both campaigns.
All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $99 for the Collector’s Edition plus $15 in shipping for a total of $114.
Windward (Expansion & Big Box) completes its Kickstarter on Sunday, October 25th and tentatively ships in September 2021.