Circadians: First Light Specialists Expansion Review
13.02.2024 - 14:28
I really enjoyed Circadians: First Light. At Gen Con this year, Renegade Games showed off several of their upcoming releases, one of which was an expansion for Circadians: First Light called Specialists.
I was intrigued. On one hand, Although I loved the base game, do we really need to expand EVERY board game? On the other hand, I have enjoyed almost every offering Shem Phillips and SJ Macdonald have worked on together.
Luckily, I was able to obtain a copy of the expansion around Christmas. Did I like it? Love it? Or is this another unneeded expansion? Here are my thoughts on the Specialists expansion.
The Specialists expansion adds a number of components to Circadian: First Light. The highlights include 2 new extensions to the Negotiations board and 4 Incident tokens, 2 new double sided Faction boards, 4 Outpost boards and tiles, 1 new Station board (the Temple), new Contract and Event cards, new Ship and Farm tiles, and 12 new Leader cards and the components that go with them.
The biggest change to the game is provided by the titular Specialists. They are placed on the outpost board, to the left of your research base. During the game, you can unlock Specialists, replacing one of your normal dice (note: you normally can only have one active Specialist, but unlocking the other two provide in game bonuses as well as end game scoring). There are no pips on the Specialist die. Yes, you determine their value when placing them on one of the boards. The also allow you access to the Outpost boards. These boards provide powerful actions (for example, exchange five water for one Ship tile available in the Foundry AND two algae), but only Specialists can be placed onto Outposts. In addition, you can place your Specialist on an opponent’s outpost; however, they receive a bonus for you utilizing their facilities.
I really enjoyed both the Specialists and their new Outpost boards. The Specialists grant you more flexibility without making the game significantly easier. You can unlock your Specialist, and then swap out a die from one of your farms, increasing the resources gained that turn (I am assuming you will declare its value a six….). They can then be placed in any value slot on Station boards in future turns. Meanwhile, the Outpost boards provide significant bonuses, however, you must activate them with a Specialist. So, do you use the Specialist at an Outpost, on your Research Base, or on a Station board? This new decision space is interesting yet does not overly complicate the game.
I love replay value, and the additional Contract, Leader and Event cards provide just that. The original game included 36 Contract cards, while the expansion provides an additional 26. That is a 72% increase in the number of