If you saw my post in the LATEST PURCHASE area of our Loner's Lounge, you'll know that yesterday my expansions for PARKS came in. 😁 I'm very happy to have these in my collection! I already loved PARKS. For me, the game was fun as is, yet after playing the Nightfall expansion yesterday it just got better!
You've probably already guessed, that in the Nightfall expansion, a new element comes into the hiking theme; camping! Woo! One of our family's favourite things. And now I can camp on my table!!
No really look! As if the hiker meeples aren't awesome enough in the base game, Nightfall gives you tents!!! Awesome!!!!
This addition to the game is very cool in my opinion. It creates more options for you to consider, and more ways to score VPs, and even allow you to visit more parks. 😀
Here (left) are the camping tiles. I don't know why, but this little addition and mechanism just makes me smile. These are double sided with different actions you can take when you camp, depending on the season.
I'll explain more about this in a minute. 🙂
You get 4-new wildlife tokens to add to the components with this expansion as well. I love the owl.
These are the new goal cards for the year-end. These cards are used whenever you play with the Nighfall expansion. It adds nice variety to the year end, but also adds even more of the fantastic artwork in this game. Just the back of these cards make me smile. I absolutely love the art in PARKS and it's expansions.
Speaking of art; Nightfall comes with 24 new parks to visit. YES!!!! Paired with new beautiful artwork, these new parks cards have instant benefits when you visit them. See the little lightening bolt on the card? To the left of that are the resources you need to visit that particular park (as in the base game), but to the right of that lightening bolt is your new instant reward for visiting. You may gather some water, have the ability to visit or reserve another park right away... It's a very cool new addition I think.
Here's a look at the solo setup for Nightfall...
I won't go through EVERYTHING that's added with this expansion because I want to focus on my favourite new mechanism; camping. First off, notice the tents along the trail (on the tiles just under the main board). In solo mode you only use 3 of the 4 tents. They're always placed on the section of the trail just before the trail end, and then on every other trail heading towards the trail head.
These create more decisions throughout your journey. When YOU land on that trail section, you can either CAMP (I'll get to that in a second) OR take the weather resource along with that trail section's action as per usual.
When playing solo against the Rangers, there's a couple things that can happen:
1) The Rangers like to keep the trail tidy. So if they pass over a trail section with a tent, they'll "clean up that site". Meaning they take the tent away, which takes away the option for you to use it.
2) If a Ranger lands on a trail section with a tent, YOU now decide which action the Ranger takes. Either he cleans up the site and takes the tent away OR he takes the weather resource and puts it on his tracker card. Honestly, when I read this in the rules I wasn't too big on the "you decide" concept. The first time this came up in the game though, I got it - and loved it. It's a tough decision for you! Sometimes, the Ranger taking the tent is no big deal because you don't plan to use it or you've already passed it. Sometimes the Ranger taking the tent prevents him from taking a "not so helpful action" from his tracker card filling up if he had taken the weather resource instead. Sometimes... both options work against you. 😂 I like that decision space.
NOW onto our campsites!!!
Below the trail in Nightfall is the camp board and sites. You shuffle the 5-campsite tiles during setup and only three are used. Each are double sided with a different artwork and action on each side depending on the season.
When you land on a trail section with a tent and choose to camp, this allows you to take the tent and place it on a campsite. Only one tent can be placed on a site per season. When you do so, you take the action on that site tile. This offers more options and new actions along your hike. You also can use your tent on the camp board and place it in the section beside the year-end goal cards. Only one can be placed there in a 1-3 player game (if I remember right). Doing this allows you to pay 3-sun resources to gain another year-end goal card (meaning more chances to gain VPs by visiting parks).
The picture above of the three campsites in my first playthrough show the simple mechanism that I just find so satisfying. I have no idea why. See the two numbers in the bottom left hand corner of the campsite tiles above? Those are the season numbers (first season, second season etc). During season 1 of your trip, you flip each campsite to whichever side shows number one in the bottom left corner. You do the same each season for the rest of the game. So the campsite options are always different. I love that!
I won't carry on (because I could), as I want to write a post about the Wildlife expansion before I get back to work. 🤓 I will also add though, that Nightfall comes with a couple little variants in the gameplay that you can add into your PARKS gameplay. I really like them. They're nice refreshing additions/changes, but nothing so significant that the game feels different, ya know?
For anyone who enjoys PARKS, this expansion should be on your shelf as well. 😎