Player count: 1-6 players Play time: 60-90 miuntes Designers: Tido Lorenz & Jamey Stegmaier Publisher: Stonemaier Games
Visits from the Rhine Valley is an expansion to the successful wine making worker placement game, Viticulture. Viticulture is a one to six player worker placement game from designer Morten Monrad Pedersen, Alan Stone and Jamey Stegmaier and published by Stonemaier Games. Check out the review of Viticulture. This expansion is a brand new set of eighty visitor cards that replaces the existing visitor cards in the base game.
For someone who is a fan of Viticulture this expansion is a welcome addition to mix up the core game. This expansion contains new sets of visitor cards for summer and winter visitors. These new sets of visitor cards don't add any new rules or mechanisms in to the game but rather give players alternate means of performing various actions to help them produce wine and build their engine. The cards allow players to gain grapes and wine as well as well as harvest and plant vines. This expansion feels more closely tied with the wine making theme whereas some of the cards in the core set where more about gaining victory points.
The visitors in this expansion give players more options and more varied ways of doing things. They are not more complex, per see, but more involved. They invoke a feeling of "outside of the box" thinking, to coin a phrase.
The expansion is not gaming changing or a must have expansion. But if you are a fan of Viticulture or are looking to mix up the core game then I think the Visits from the Rhine Valley is a fantastic addition to your Viticulture core game. It adds new cards and different ways to play. A lot of the cards are fun and quite funky and they all seem powerful, yet balanced. I can see myself swapping between the core game visitors and this expansion on a frequent basis.