The Missing Expedition: Lost Ruins of Arnak Expansion
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The Missing Expedition: Lost Ruins of Arnak Expansion

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Follow a trail to learn the fate of Professor Kutil and other missing explorers in Lost Ruins of Arnak: The Missing Expedition. In this expansion, you can test the strategies offered by two new leaders, explore new paths to knowledge on two new research tracks, and build your expedition team with new artifacts, items, and assistants. This expansion can simply be added to the Lost Ru…
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Category Tags , , SKU ZBG-CGE00067 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Two fantastic new leaders
  • A very well put together solo/coop campaign
  • Very well designed new research tracks

Might Not Like

  • To get the best out of this expansion, you’ll probably want Expedition Leaders too
  • Players not interested in the solo/coop campaign will be missing out on part of what’s on offer here
  • Players of the free web app campaign will see familiar elements built upon here
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Description

Follow a trail to learn the fate of Professor Kutil and other missing explorers in Lost Ruins of Arnak: The Missing Expedition.

In this expansion, you can test the strategies offered by two new leaders, explore new paths to knowledge on two new research tracks, and build your expedition team with new artifacts, items, and assistants.

This expansion can simply be added to the Lost Ruins of Arnak base game, or it can be discovered as part of a solo or two-player co-operative campaign that consists of six chapters, each with a different set of rules, goals, and achievements.

This expansion requires the Lost Ruins of Arnak base game and is fully compatible with the Expedition Leaders expansion.

Player Count: 1-4

Play Time: 30-120 mins

Age: 12+

Lost Ruins of Arnak has been a big hit since its release. It already has one expansion: Expedition Leaders introduced individual player boards and 2 new research tracks to mix up the gameplay, along with the always welcome additional cards, tiles and guardians. What then, is left to expand? The Missing Expedition certainly didn’t need releasing to fill in any deficits in content or gameplay, so what does it do? Let us brave the wilds of Arnak once more and find out.

A Manageable Campaign

I’ll begin with the titular Missing Expedition. This is a 6 part campaign that can be played solo or cooperatively with 2 players. Each of the 6 games provides a new twist to the classic Arnak gameplay. Story elements provide just enough flavour and tie in well with the missions, without being so prevalent that they slow down the game.

Performing well in the missions allows you to unlock new, unique items and artefacts. These are either gained mid game and are added to the general item deck for future games, or they are unlocked in between missions through the spending of acquired points. These items start in your personal deck for the next mission, giving you a nice boost.

I won’t spoil the campaign. Suffice to say I thought it was fantastic, is definitely replayable and would make this expansion worth it to a solo Arnak player, even if there were no further content. I thought the way it mixed up the gameplay was excellent and the 6 game length ideal to make the campaign manageable.

The slight downside to the campaign is that it is based on the free web campaign, The Search for Professor Kutil. This 4 mission campaign was well done, and The Missing Expedition develops and improves upon it. For me, the similarity in parts of the core narrative were not an issue, but I think potential purchasers need to be aware they are there.

A final nice touch for the campaign and solo play in general, is the inclusion of 6 red worker pieces. No longer do you need to rely on a menagerie of colour, as your rival utilises all of the spare workers; now they go out on the board as a pleasing, uniform red. This is a necessary addition if you were to play the campaign as a 2 player coop, a nice bonus if you are playing it solo.

New Leaders

The Missing Expedition also includes 2 new leaders for players to use, namely the Mechanic and the Journalist. Both of these are good additions to the Expedition Leader pantheon.

The Journalist offers a nice thematic touch in that he is the only character who allows the player to advance their notebook one space above their magnifying glass. The Journalist does not need to be aware of all the facts before writing them down you see!

This may not seem much, but does give a big advantage in terms of nabbing any choice research assistants before the other players.

The Journalist is also about writing articles. These are places on the sites at the start of the game and the Journalist can claim one by spending an additional travel icon when he goes to that site.

These article tokens then go on the Journalist board and provide more and more bonuses as he completes more and more of the newspaper.

This means the Journalist shines when exploring and/or visiting as many unlocked sites as possible. I’ve enjoyed using the Journalist and the additional value placed on travel icons to maximise their abilities makes them feel different from other leaders, without too much additional overhead.

The Mechanic on the other hand, is the leader to choose if you like a play style that requires you to plan in advance. Predicting what you will need later in the turn or in the next round is crucial to get the most out of the Mechanic, as the player board is focused on a large turning wheel. This offers a variety of bonuses… but you can only access the ones in the correct position.

Adding to this, are the additional gold widgets that you gather during the course of the game and insert to provide more powerful bonuses from your wheel. Turning the wheel isn’t an easy, arbitrary thing either so you need to always keep an eye on what’s coming up and how the provided resources or travel icons fit in with your plans.

At the start of round 3, the Mechanic gains an additional assistant – a monkey. Thus the Mechanic is the only leader in the game who can have 3 assistants. You’ll still only ever be able to upgrade 2 of them to the gold side. The monkey is a fine addition, as their ability ties in with the wheel, allowing for a turn and a silver level resource, or the gold option if the monkey is upgraded.

New Temples, New Tracks

The Missing Expedition provides 2 new temple tracks to research up. The Waterfall temple looks amazing, and provides and interesting couple of twists to flummox the most experienced of Arnak aficionados. I especially like the spaces where the research requirements change after each player passes through, so your plans may be scuppered if you don’t time it right.

The Tree temple provides idol chambers on route to the top. These provide bonuses for slotting in idols. Gathering them through exploring new dig sites is normally a good strategy anyway and all the more so when playing with this research track.

The tracks provide further variety to your games of Lost Ruins of Arnak, which is generally what is required from an expansion.

No Interest In Campaigns? No Problem!

There is plenty here for players who don’t play Lost Ruins of Arnak solo and/or have no interest in the campaign. In addition to the leaders and temple tracks mentioned above, The Missing Expedition provides new equipment, artifacts, site tiles, assistants and guardians that can be slotted immediately into the base game if you’re not playing the campaign.

An especially nice touch is that the new site tiles provide benefits using the campaign encounter cards. This means that almost all of the content within The Missing Expediiton can be used in one-off multiplayer games. Just be aware that you will need to separate the components out again if you decide to play the campaign at a later date.

Should You Strike Out For The Missing Expedition?

In short, yes. My only caveat is that to get the very best out of this expansion box, I think you also would want the Expedition Leaders expansion. I’m sure plenty of folks reading this have it already, but if not, I’d consider getting Expedition Leaders first, especially if the campaign part of this expansion is of secondary consideration.

The Missing Expedition is easy for me to recommend for fans of Lost Ruins of Arnak. All the more so if you are interested in the solo/coop campaign. It provides more of the good stuff in terms of content and I love the campaign scenarios and how they mix up the gameplay. For some Arnak fans, the inclusion of 2 new leaders is enough to make this a must-have. If that’s you, I’d encourage you to dive into the rest of the content here too. It’s a great time to be an Arnakologist!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Two fantastic new leaders
  • A very well put together solo/coop campaign
  • Very well designed new research tracks

Might not like

  • To get the best out of this expansion, youll probably want Expedition Leaders too
  • Players not interested in the solo/coop campaign will be missing out on part of whats on offer here
  • Players of the free web app campaign will see familiar elements built upon here