There’s no denying Wingspan is a gorgeous game. Underneath the captivating artwork and attention to detail is a game that can be tough. Nailing the strategy in this game isn’t impossible to do alone but it sure does help to get some guidance.
This guide will go over all of the key ideas to getting an upper hand in this game and (hopefully) winning the game. For starters, you’ll need to know the rules of the games, so make sure to play through a few games before diving into these strategies.
1: Ravens Are Gas In The Engine
If it wasn’t immediately obvious after a few playthroughs: Ravens are very powerful. The ability to discard 1 egg and gain 2 food is such a boon that it actually is seen as overpowered by some of the community. It’s an easy way to build up quickly in this engine-building game.
Crows are in the same category to a lesser extent. They only give 1 food per egg, so this obviously isn’t quite as powerful. However, you should definitely pick them up if given the chance.
There’s 2 routes people take once they realize how overpowered Ravens are:
- Toss the Ravens out of the game due to the advantage they give.
- Use it to their advantage.
2: Catch Birds That Move
Any bird that moves between habitats is extremely useful. The key is knowing how to use them:
- Plan your next move out
- Move the bird to what your next action will be
Forward-thinking pays off here. If you do this right, you can chain a few different actions which are boosted by the bird(s) you move around.
On top of this, if you have no particularly good move for your birds, you could use them to score round goals.
3: Build Out 2 Habitats
At its core, Wingspan is an engine-building game.
In Wingspan that means not trying to build out every habitat available. Focusing on 2 habitats (or even 1 initially) is the most effective way to start a good engine that steamrolls into the late game.
Each habitat is focused on a different type of strategy, some of these habitats can be a little better at different stages. For instance, the forest habitat gains food so it can be useful to build out early in the game if you have the opportunity. Grasslands, on the other hand, are great for pumping out eggs at the end game.
Of course, the most useful habitat will depend on your cards so keep this flexible but definitely just choose a few habitats to build on.
4: Round Goals Can Ruin Strategy
The round goals can be a diversion that hurts you, especially in the early game. Chasing after a round goal will net you a few points at the end of a round but can sacrifice the engine you could have built.
Chasing after these goals later in the game can be a good strategy but focus on building the engine out early on. If you happen to get a round goal, that’s just a bonus.
5: Don’t Help/Rely On The Enemy
This may seem obvious but this game can make you rely on other players or inadvertently help them. That’s something we definitely want to avoid.
For instance, the Eastern Phoebe gives all players 1 type of food when activated. This can be good if you’re the only one that needs that particular food, usually, it will help someone else out and you just get to be one of the people that progress instead of the only person that gets to progress.
Conversely, relying on others is just as bad of a strategy, if not worse. These cards will likely cause other players to actively choose not to do those actions, specifically to keep you from progressing.
Some games push themselves into player interaction, the best strategy in this game is to interact as little as possible.