Expansions to successful titles are always a topic worth talking about. Especially when there are several, the question arises as to whether they are all worthwhile, which is "the best" and which is best for whom. Three expansions are now available in German for the very popular worker placement and resource management game Everdell. Pearlbrook in the second edition and Spirecrest and Bellfaire are available for the first time as German-language editions. Here is a brief overview of all three extensions.

everdell is currently ranked 30th on BoardGameGeek. The combination of beautiful artwork, catchy rules and tactical depth is very well received by many players. It's not surprising that such a successful game has expansions coming out. In the case of Everdell, there are now three. Two have only been available in German-speaking countries for a few weeks. Especially with a game like Everdell, which fascinates family players as well as frequent players, it helps to be clear about which expansions add which elements. The expansions for Everdell are very versatile and they offer suitable additions for every level of player. After a brief overview of the three expansions, there is a conclusion at the end that should help in deciding which expansion is best suited for which gaming group. 

Everdell: Pearlbrook - An expansion with (game) flow

Everdell: Peralbrook was the first extension too everdell, which was published in German. The river is placed on the left side of the basic game board. There are new locations that can only be visited with the new Frog Ambassador character. In addition, a new resource type is brought into play with the pearl.

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The players travel to Pearlbrook with the frog ambassador. Image: Jonas Dahmen

Basically, nothing really changes in the game structure. The new cards from the expansion are shuffled into their respective decks. The river board is placed on the left side of the large game board. The pearls are placed at the “Shoal” location. Two river inhabitants and river locations are randomly placed face down on the other four locations of the river board. A bead is placed on top of this. All players receive the frog ambassador in their color. This can travel to the locations on the river board. In addition, everyone receives two personal pieces of jewellery, which bring special actions and victory points by paying for a pearl.
If you play with the expansion, the simple events of the basic game are covered with two small editions. Instead, the various wonders are placed there, which bring in a lot of victory points if you want to afford them.

The course of the game is also not fundamentally changed by the expansion. With the ambassador, everyone has another special worker that they can send to the river. It cannot travel to other locations and other workers cannot be placed on the river map. The four river locations all have different entry requirements based on the types of cards already played in their own city. When an ambassador visits such a place for the first time, the person receives the pearl placed there. Afterwards, the action of the visited river location can also be used. Above all, pearls can be collected here.

Playing the trinkets is a new action that you can choose on your turn as an additional option to the three options in the basic game. The cost is always one pearl. The jewels offer special effects such as reactivating one-time effects or activating the green production cards.

Building miracles is not very different from simple events. A worker must also be placed there. In addition, resources, cards and pearls must be paid for. The wonders offer between 10 and 25 points. In the final scoring, the remaining pearls each count for two points, the wonders their declared value and the pieces of jewelry count according to their individual conditions.

Everdell: Bellfaire - Celebrating 100 years of Everdell

The extension Bellfaire offers various smaller modules that can be added to the game in any combination. When setting up the game, the Bellfaire board can be placed on top of the large board. As a result, the 3D tree is no longer needed. Alternatively, Bellfaire's elements can be placed with individual tiles if one does not want to give up the tree. With this expansion, all players receive their own storage tray on which resources and other game material can be placed. These boards also provide a starting point for placing the cards so that you can build your own city in a more structured way. as well as in Pearlbrook available in Bellfaire also new forest location cards and new special events that can be easily added to the appropriate decks. The special events of Bellfaire slightly reduce the luck factor in meeting the requirements as they are less specific. For example, they require five common creatures or five green production cards.

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In Bellfaire it is time to celebrate 100 years of Everdell. Image: Jonas Dahmen

On the schedule of Bellfaire there are three new elements: the market, the royal award and the flower festival. The Flower Festival is a simple event that requires one of each card type to complete. Otherwise it is claimed according to the usual rules and offers four victory points at the end of the game.
The royal award refers to cards of a certain type. The person who has the most cards of this type at the end of the game gets six points. The second-placed person gets three points.
The market allows you to buy and sell resources. Initially, the four goods tokens are on the buy side. If you place a worker there, you can take the resources and the number of cards from one of these goods markers. The used Goods marker is then moved to the Sell side. If you place a worker on the market and pay for the resources and cards of a goods marker on the sell side, you receive any two resources and three victory points. The goods marker is then returned to the buy side.

The biggest impact on gameplay is in Bellfaire the skill cards. There are a total of 15 different cards. They complement the game with additional asymmetrical abilities for the individual players. For example, the owl allows a hand limit of nine. After placing a worker, a card may be discarded and/or drawn again. If you pass this on, you can draw two more cards. The mice allow, after a worker has been placed at a location, to receive another resource that is not already owned. If you use the ability cards, the players do not get any workers during the preparation for spring.

There are no changes in the final scoring. Only the royal award is additionally counted. The game material Bellfaire allows to play the game with up to 6 people.

Everdell: Spirecrest – Journey Through the Mountains

With spire crest there is the greatest plus in complexity. Here the players travel the mountains of Spirecrest. You are at the mercy of the weather, make discoveries and meet the inhabitants of the mountains and, with a bit of luck, even legendary giant creatures. It is also necessary to record the expedition through the mountains with map pieces.

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The Mountains Call in the Spirecrest expansion. Image: Jonas Dahmen

To Bellfaire and Pearlbrook only two sides of the game board are free. The mountains join in the south. All elements of the expansion are placed on the game board. The expansion does not bring any new places or events. The travelers begin their journey in the foothills. There is a weather map for each season. Map pieces and discoveries can be found on each section of the path. The giant creatures are placed next to the game board along with the saddles. All players receive an Everdell card piece and the exciting expedition can begin.

At the end of each season, the travelers continue their expedition in the mountains. After completing the usual preparation steps, the person selects one of the map pieces in the current mountain segment and adds it to the other map pieces of their own (the expedition). The card pieces show costs. At the end of the game, the traveler can start the expedition. To travel across the map pieces, the cost shown must be paid. In return, the players receive the corresponding victory points of the map piece they have traveled to.

When the expedition map piece is added, the travelers make a discovery. To do this, three cards from the discovery deck of the region in which the traveler is currently located are revealed. One of these three cards may now be chosen. The first card costs nothing, the second one resource or card, and the third two resources and/or cards. Travelers can discover towns or hiking trails that bring victory points at the end of the game. There are cards with permanent or instant effects, new locations or giant creatures. These giant beings replace one of your own workers. This can also be placed on the back of the large giant being figures with the help of a saddle. They offer special abilities when used according to their requirements.

After discovery, the traveler moves to the next mountain section or, in the case of autumn, to their own Everdell map piece. As a final step, the new weather card for the next season and the laid out card pieces are revealed. The weather map of the season in which the traveler of this person is currently applies to everyone. The weather influences make the game difficult. They reduce the resources you get at locations, block certain card effects, or otherwise limit them. At the end of the game, in addition to the normal rating, there is also the rating of the expedition and the towns and hiking trails.

Summary

You really can't go wrong with any of the three expansions. All add enough new elements to the base game and unique to each expansion that none feel forced. At first glance it is Bellfaire the expansion that brings the fewest new things with it. The big plus here is that the number of people can be increased to 6 people. The other modules of the game fit seamlessly into the base game without causing any major changes. Above all, the new special events stand out positively here. In the basic game, especially with smaller numbers of people, it can happen that none of the special events can be fulfilled in some games because the required cards were simply not available.
The market is a very interesting place that offers some interesting options. In combination with spire crest the merits of the market are even a little stronger. The clearly most striking element in Bellfaire are the ability cards. At the expense of a worker, you get the opportunity to design your strategy more individually without, however, ensuring that the goals of the individual players drift completely apart and the game loses interaction points.

The complexity increases with the addition of Bellfaire only insignificant.

The complexity increases noticeably with Pearlbrook. The new places and the ambassador integrate very well into the normal course of the individual seasons. However, in order to be able to use the ambassador sensibly at the beginning of the game, you need a bit of card luck in order to meet the requirements for one of the river locations with the limited options. With even more luck, you can even get a second pearl in the first season if you can also carry out the action of the revealed river location. Using the shoal is relatively expensive in comparison. The new tactical possibilities that come through Pearlbrook resulting are versatile. The 25 points awarded for the most expensive wonder may seem disproportionate, but the high resource cost balances that out nicely. Even if one person builds this wonder and the other person confines themselves to the benefits of the trinkets and victory points from the pearls and does not build any wonders, there will not be large gaps in the scores.
The effects of the jewels are helpful with good planning and can provide a rough direction for your own tactics.

Compared to the other two extensions works spire crest a little bit more "put on". This feeling is largely due to the fact that much of the expansion happens between seasons. Through the weather, the giant beings and other discoveries takes place spire crest but also during the normal course of the round a lot of influence on the game. Overall, here is the most to consider. Fulfilling the expedition goals requires good planning, paying attention to the influence of the weather, and discoveries also present the players with exciting decisions. The complexity is with spire crest the biggest. The timing factor is even more important here. Do you dare to go first into the new season in order to have more choices in the map pieces, but then maybe be exposed to weather influences that are less compatible with your plans than the weather of the current season. Maybe the weather is “better” there.

Like the base game, all of the expansions are visually excellent. Which extension of optical aspects is the personal favorite depends entirely on individual taste. It is no problem to use all Everdell extensions at the same time. Of course, the complexity then increases greatly. Of course, it can no longer be described as a beginner-friendly connoisseur's game. However, those who accept this challenge will be able to experience all facets of Everdell in fascinating depth.

If you want to slowly venture into the world of Everdell and don't want to start straight away with the complete package, you will find a brief overview of the key points of the individual expansions in the following table.

BellfairePearlbrookspire crest
persons1 – 61 – 41 – 4
playing time40-120 minutes40-80 minutes40-100 minutes
new complexitybarelymediumviel
Integrates...... seamless. The new modules extend what is known and add small innovations… Well. The new resource allows new tactical options without changing the process significantly.…noticeable. An extra phase at the end of each season and new elements that have a lot of impact.
Particularly suitable for:Players who want to increase Everdell a bit without increasing the complexity. Big groupsPlayers who want a little more complexity, but still want to keep the familiar flow.Players looking for the greatest possible challenge in Everdell.
Biggest plusincrease in the number of peopleNew resourceMost complex extension
Rating72%70%80%

Preview Product Rating Price
Pegasus Games 57603G Everdell: Spirecrest Pegasus Games 57603G Everdell: Spirecrest * 51,99 EUR

Preview Product Rating Price
Pegasus Games 57602G Everdell: Bellfaire Pegasus Games 57602G Everdell: Bellfaire * 49,71 EUR

Last updated on 26.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API