Kokopelli Expansion 1
- Designer – Stefan Feld
- Players: 2-4
- Age: 10+
- Time: 45-60 minutes
- Played with review copy provided by Queen Games
A few weeks ago, we reviewed Kokopelli, and at that time, we only played with the base cards. Since then, I have been able to get the game back to the table, now with some of the cards from the first expansion. Component wise, this expansion is essentially more of the same, providing you with 9 more ceremonies (12 cards of each, and a selection tile for each of the new ceremonies). The one thing that is doesn’t include is a small reference sheet for the players – something that was provided for the initial 16 ceremonies in the main box.
As far as rules go – the base rules are unchanged. Briefly – In each round, the active player gets 2 actions, which can be chosen freely from 5 options. You can do the same action twice if you want.
1] Draw a card – draw the top card from your draw pile into your hand
2] Open a Ceremony – IF you have an empty slot in your own village, you can choose to open a ceremony by playing a card from your hand to that empty slot. You cannot already have this ceremony present in your own village. Once visible, the special ability of that ceremony is in effect for you.
3] Play a card – play a ceremony card from your hand to an opened matching Ceremony that you can reach. You can also play a Kokopelli card as a wild card, this matches any previously played card. You can play on any ceremony in your play area (your own board or the two closest spaces of your neighbors). If you play the 2nd or 3rd card in that stack, you are extending the ceremony – but if you play the 4th card, you finish the ceremony. The player who plays that 4th card takes the 4VP tile for this particular ceremony; if the 4VP is gone, then take the 3VP tile and put the Game End Marker on the ceremony. If the Game End marker is there, then you only get 1VP for closing the ceremony. The owner of the ceremony takes the four cards and puts them on the discard pile in any order they like, and if they were not the player to close the ceremony, they get 1VP. Note that since you can no longer see said ceremony, the owner loses whatever special ability existed from it.
4] Cancel celebration – you can simply discard all the cards in any one ceremony on their village board. Again, you lose any special ability associated with that ceremony
5] Exchange cards – discard all of your hand cards, putting them under your drawpile in the order of your choosing, and then draw the same number of cards from the top
Examples of some of the NEW expansion powers are:
Explorer – you may take the top card from any other player’s discard pile
Settlement – exchange any number of cards and draw 1 more than exchanged
Storm – At the start of your turn, draw the top 2 cards from your draw pile and decide to play each on the top or the bottom of your draw pile in any order
Twins – playing a card to this pile gives 2VP to the active player
Plague – Other players may not play Kokopelli cards on your ceremonies
After the two actions are complete, any cards in your hand in excess of 5 are placed on the bottom of their draw pile. If you manage to completely play your hand out, you immediately score 1 VP and draw 3 cards (this does not cost an action).
Again, the game ends when either 9 ceremonies are fully closed (2+ finished of each) or when a player exhausts their draw pile. There is a bit of endgame scoring. First all players put their hands into the discard pile and then count the cards left in their deck. The player(s) with the fewest cards score 5VP, second least scores 3VP. Then, each player scores 1VP for each ceremony on their own board (regardless of the number of cards in it).
The player with the most points wins. There is no tie breaker.
My thoughts on the expansion
As I mentioned at the top, this expansion just gives you more of the same. The short review would be – if you liked the base game, you’ll probably love this expansion because it adds to the variety of the game and increases the number of different possibilities in the combination in setup. If you were lukewarm on the base game, this isn’t going to change your view of it.
The new ceremonies are a bit more complex (as you would expect with an expansion) but not overly so. This makes sense from the development sense as you’d expect the more basic (simpler) actions to be included in the base game. As most players will encounter only the base game first, you want to make sure that they can handle those actions they first play. Once they are more familiar with the game, then you can add in actions which are a bit more complicated or a bit more time consuming.
Overall, I think that the length of the game remains about the same. Some of the actions (Storm specifically) take awhile to resolve as players have to take a minute to think about where they want the cards to go. Plague also makes it a bit harder to finish ceremonies, and this can also slightly lengthen the game. But overall, these increases are minimal. The game really does feel the same – you just have more choices now to pick from when you are choosing 10 ceremonies for each game.
The different actions integrate really well with the base actions, and I think that once someone has played the game at least once, there really isn’t a choice in this box that would be too complex for that player.
As I mentioned in the original review, “The artwork is thematic, and I have no problem with the clarity. A few of the ceremony colors are close in shading, but with the big icons, it’s no problem telling things apart.” Now that you have nine more ceremonies, you’ll have even more close shades of color, but the different icons still keep it relatively clear as to the identity of each ceremony.
For fans of Kokopelli, this is a great addition, and one I would recommend highly to that group.
Until your next appointment
The Gaming Doctor