Back in 1924, there was an expedition led by Percy Fawcett to look for an ancient city of Z. They thought the city was in the deep Amazon Forest. The expedition ended with the lost of entire team, none of them returned safely.
This story inspired a lot of different creative industry. It became a book which then a movie. There are a couple of tabletop games that used this story as their theme. One of them is The Lost Expedition by Peer Sylvester.
The designer tried to capture the experience that the team of explorers might face while going through the dangerous unknown forest. A lot of people love this game because of the theme and story they can find about that adventure.
So, what is this The Lost Expedition card game? How do we play the game? Is there a solo variant to play The Lost Expedition?
Those are probably just a few questions that came to mind after hearing about the game. Well, in this article, I’m going to share with you my The Lost Expedition Game Review based on my experience on playing the game and what I can find from the internet.
Hope this helps. Is The Lost Expedition going to be the best thematic card game out there?
Click or tab on any sections from the table of contents to jump right to that part. Use the red arrow button on the bottom right corner of the screen to head back to the top.
Table of Contents
Game’s Title: The Lost Expedition
Genre: Card Game, Competitive, Cooperative, Official Solo Variant, Hand Management, Exploration Theme, Survival Theme, Adventure Theme
Designer: Peer Sylvester
Artist: Garem Ewing
Publisher: Osprey Games
Number of Players: 1 – 5
Playing time: 30 – 50 minutes
Official Website: The Lost Expedition (ospreypublishing.com)
Release Year: 2017
Price: 25 GBP
28 Health Tokens
12 Ammunition Tokens
21 Food Tokens
1 Expedition Leader Token
1 Morning/ Evening Token
73 Cards (79 x 120 mm):
Explorer Cards (6)
Expedition Cards (9)
Adventure Cards (56)
Player Aids Cards (2)
Expansions and Accessories:
The Creature Promo Cards (2017)
The Lost World Promo Cards (2017)
The Cursed Idol Promo Cards (2017)
Percy Explorer Card (2018)
The Fountain of Youth & Other Adventures (2018)
Free Coloring Books Files
About The Lost Expedition Game
This story behind this game was inspired by a real story of Percy Harrison Fawcett. According to the Wikipedia page, he was a British Geographer who believed that there was an ancient lost city existed in deep rainforest of Amazon in South America.
In 1924, Fawcett with his son, Jack and Jack’s friend, Raleigh Rimell made what became the final attempt to find this Lost city of Z as what they called it. Almost 2 years since the team sent the last message, the team was declared as lost, never to return.
In 2009, David Grann released the nonfiction book called The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, based on the Percy Fawcett life and that final expedition. The book got a lot of awards and eventually inspired a movie called The Lost City of Z, released in 2016.
The Card Game
Peer Sylvester, the designer of this game put his design note on the second page in the rulebook. He shared how he got the inspiration to make a cooperative game based on that experience in that Brazilian jungle. If possible, he said that he used the original sources to depict the local tribes which can be either more aggressive or friendlier towards outsiders.
On the second to last page of the rulebook, he also mentioned that all characters and events depicted in the game are fictional. However, they are based on real historical figures and events.
The game itself is focus on that final expedition not exactly the research that Percy Fawcett did prior to that. In this game, players are trying to help the team reaches the Lost City of Z.
The goal of this game is just to advance even only one character to reach the final part of the Jungle track. These 3 characters as a team must go through various events, dangerous creatures, dealing with tribes. Players must make decision as how they should handle them. Some can give a reward to help the team survive longer and others will just challenge them.
The main gameplay mechanism is hand management. Each round, players will get a hand of these Adventure cards. They then must decide which card to play first and which to hold for later part of the round. Each round, there will be 2 phases, Morning and Evening. Both will have different restriction of how we can put those cards in order and resolve every one of them.
Just like that real expedition, the team consists only 3 persons with 3 different expertise. Fawcett believes that just small team he can travel lighter and get less notice from local tribes as some were hostile to outsiders.
Before this last expedition, Fawcett had gone through several expeditions. A lot of experience in travelling with just canned food, powdered milk, guns and some navigation tools. Even that small team was chosen for their health, skill and loyalty.
As reflection to that, in this game, players will get starting resources of food and ammunitions. Along the way, the characters may find a chance to pick up more in the jungle. The team will need food twice a day while ammunition is very rare and necessary for some events.
Health of the 3 characters are another resource we need to manage. Some events will require specific expertise in order to progress or gain reward. We may only need one character to reach the end to win but making sure that the expertise is still alive for the right event is also important.
While the game itself was designed mainly as a cooperative game for up to 5 players, the base game also includes rule to play competitively or for single player. In the year the game was released, it got nomination as the Best Card Game, Best Cooperative Game and Best Solo Game of Golden Geek Award.
The game of the Lost Expedition comes in a rather small box. This is actually a one piece box so we cannot remove the lid from the base. Maybe it tries to look like a book on a book shelf. The size itself is about 21.8 x 5.7 x 3.4 cm.
I noticed that there is an Italian version released in 2020 that uses standard square box in the same size as Ticket to Ride game. It seems this one can be considered as a big box, already with the expansion in it.
The front cover shows a great art depicting a team of 4 people, exploring the jungle. We can see some animals, presumably dangerous waiting among the trees.
On the back of the box we can see one more character and a couple of cards in this game. There is a bit of description explaining a bit about the story behind it, about who the players are and related to Percy Fawcett that inspired the expedition and this game.
It also tells a bit about the gameplay in thematic way, not mechanical terms. Then it ends by mentioning the designer and the artist. This is where I learnt about the artist being a popular comic artist.
The back box also has a bit of list of components briefly like just cards, tokens and pawns without the exact number for each. At the bottom, we can find more technical information about the game like the number of players, estimated playing time and the what age is the target audience, followed by the information about the publisher, Osprey Games and the printing company.
This English copy that I used to write this review is actually my friend’s copy. So, I cannot tell exactly how the package came inside this box but there are a couple of unboxing videos, such as the one below from Gamers Closet channel.
Inside the box, the inner wall has no art. We can only see a yellow or rather orange color, not sure what it represents. The box has transparent insert so the bold color actually helps highlight the components more.
Based on what shows from unboxing videos, we can find the rulebook, a sheet of cardboard, two sealed deck of cards and a leaflet, advertising other games from this publisher. Under one of the deck, we should find a small plastic zip lock bag for 2 pawns.
The thickness of the cardboard sheet is about 1mm. That applies to all of the tokens in this game.
The insert has just two wells for cards. One of them is deeper to store more cards while the top well can only hold cards for half of the other size. The bottom half has smaller spaces, where we can keep cardboard tokens in that area. Between the two, there is a hole for our fingers so we can lift the cards out of the insert.
While they divide the cards into 2 decks but the size are all the same, which is 79 x 120 mm, close to a Tarot size. The insert itself has bigger room for the cards to support card sleeve. However, the depth of the insert is not.
So, with sleeve, the deck will be higher than the insert while not pushing the lid. Actually, it seems some cards from the deeper well must be separated to the other part when using the sleeve.
Also, in the case of using sleeves, the cardboard sheet must be removed. Even if we won’t be using all of the components in any single session, we cannot keep them stay in the sheet. On top of that, the rulebook will help the other components stay in their designated position. Still, if we store the box standing without anything pushing the lid, the component might push the lid. Since the lid opens like a book, it can become messy. It seems using an elastic band to keep the cover close is recommended.
While there is extra space, especially if we remove the insert, I don’t think additional contents from any expansions can be stored in this base box. Unless they are just less than 10 cards or so. We probably will need that expansion box to keep future contents if any.
For this review, I used an English edition of the game. I don’t think they release an edition with multiple languages. So, it is always just a single language and usually from different local publishers. Based on the entry on BGG up to this point, The Lost Expedition has been released in English, Polish, Chinese, French, Spanish and Italian.
The main publisher, Osprey Games only has the English version rulebook on their website. We can also find that English file on BGG. For the other languages, the file section for the Lost Expedition has a couple unofficial translation like to Japanese, German, Russian and Spanish. The game itself can be considered as language independent.
This rulebook has 16 pages, with just slightly smaller size than the box. Here is the table of contents.
Cover (Page 1). The cover used a similar art as the cover on the box. No other information besides the designer and illustrator can be found from this cover.
Designer Notes (Page 2). This is where the designer shares how he got the inspiration to design this game. Since the game is not trying to represent the actual source material, the designer pointed out which parts of the material should be looked differently.
Contents and Components (Page 3). This page has the table of contents for the rulebook and a list of all components in the game. There is an illustration for each component, even though they only show one side of the component.
Game Overview (Page 4 – 7). This part explains a couple of terms and the way to resolve them during the game like resources and expertise. Then it continues with explaining all of the icons that we will find in the Adventure Cards and what we can do with them.
The last page of this section actually has example with some thematic explanation of what actually happens from the depicted events.
There are a couple of details we need to find in this section to play the game. Like the Explorers can have up to 4 health tokens even if they started less. No limit for the Food and Ammunition. We can spend health to replace the food when we are required to spend Food but have none.
Gaining and spending resources must be done with the tokens while the Expertise means taking and discarding the Adventure Card to and from inventory. Health token from the explorer with matching Expertise can replace the required expertise icon. We can also spend 2 health tokens from a different Explorer for that required expertise icon.
Cards with multiple gain expertise symbols can only be used and discarded once. Each symbol must be resolved in order from left to right. It is possible to win the game without resolving all of the symbols if one of the has an Advance in the middle which move the pawn to the last card.
Cooperative Rules (Page 8 -10). This is a rule for 2 to 5 players. Regardless of the player count, the gameplay is almost the same. The differences are mostly the amount of components used. Even those are mostly in 2 or 5 players. They pointed this in italic sentence among the paragraphs. Not that there are many notes but it is easy to miss.
This rulebook doesn’t show an illustration to show how the game was setup. Or showing what the table will look like during the game.
Solo Rules (Page 10 – 11). This solo rule is similar to the cooperative rule with a slight change in the Moring phase. The evening is significantly different. There is also a suggestion for scoring, assuming the player win the game.
Unlike the cooperative rule, the rule doesn’t say anything about different difficulty settings for this solo mode as if there is only one way to play. Even though it seems it can be easily customized.
Head-to-Head Rules (Page 12). This is a rule to play competitively for just 2 players. I think this mode is significantly different from the cooperative or solo rules, specifically about the Two Paths rule.
Basically, both players will play their cards to create two lines of Adventure cards while the other mode only has single path. One player will take one path allowing the opponent to take the other. Some cards will also be removed from the game as part of the setup.
The picture in that section is actually incorrect. There should be only a total of 6 cards in the two paths while the picture shows 12. The digital file on the publisher’s page still shows the incorrect picture, at the point of this writing.
Clarifications (Page 14). This section is more like an FAQ. There are only 6 questions and the answers on that page, which also includes the different mode to play. If we check on BGG page, we can find more questions that haven’t been answered on that page.
A Note on the Explorers & Credits (Page 15). Here we can see a bit of artist’s sketches for each of all 6 characters we can find in the game. The note is just saying that these characters are from historical figure but not necessarily related to the event of this expedition. So, it’s more like a reminder and they encourage us to find out more. I just wish I can see the name more clearly.
At the bottom of that page, we can find more info about Osprey Games like how to contact them. There is also an information about which printing the copy is which can help the publisher to find out bad printing.
Rules to Remember (Page 16). They use the last page for rule and icons summary. The icons themselves are the same as in the Player Aids. But I think the rule summary is more like detail things and tips when making decision.
This doesn’t have a summary for setup, number of cards in hand and when to draw cards from deck or play from hand. They are mostly for the cooperative play, which was the main design. So, reading that section is probably not enough when we come back after not playing the game for awhile. We still have to look inside the book.
While the rule seems to be very simple, there are a lot of discussion threads on BGG asking for clarifications. It seems some players interpret some of the rule as written differently.
Here are some notes from the discussion threads.
If there are multiple blue boxes or options, we can choose to trigger all or just some. We can resolve the order of different blue boxes in any way we want even though the action within the box has to be resolved from left to right.
The rule says that we cannot choose red box that requires an ammunition if we don’t have any. However, we can still choose a red box that requires spending a food even if we don’t have any food. Instead, we can pay with health tokens from the Explorers.
Icons are resolved separately for gains and spending. We can distribute 2 health tokens to different explorers we got from 1 card. Same goes with spending 2 health icons. If one character only has one health left, then the other character must spend the other required health.
The rule about maximum of 4 health tokens per explorers also works in any mode including the Solo mode. Even though the explorers start with just 3. A lot of people were asking about this.
One user interpreted that the expertise symbol only works when the expert is still alive. This is not correct. Thematically, the other expert can also learn and spend that icon.
Some people were confused about SWAP being optional as the other was mandatory. Similarly, also with the SKIP if there is no card left, we can just ignore it as written in the rulebook.
A lot of new players think that any resources are taken and tied to the Character instead of as the team’s resources. So, they assume if the character dies, the next question that comes to their mind is whether they also lose the resources.
I can see that there are some details in rules that people can easily miss. Especially if it’s something that almost never happens. For example like if we have to form a new deck from discard pile. In that case, we have to spend 1 food.
I also noticed that the rule extensively use bold fonts to point out important things like setup. This helps but there are minor inconsistency. Like they point out the number food, ammo and Expedition cards for solo mode with bold font but not the health for explorers.
Specifically, when playing the solo mode, I keep checking the order to play cards from hand and when to draw card from the deck in both morning and evening phase.
Morning: 2 from deck, 2 from hand, 1 from deck, 1 from hand.
Evening: 1 from hand then freely between hand and deck until 3 cards from each source.
I think one detail that people can miss is about gaining an Expertise card. In theory, that same card might require the same expertise symbol in the next caption box. However, we cannot spend them yet. We can only spend and Expertise card after it went into the team’s resources, which means after the card and all of the caption boxes have been resolved.
So, understanding the order of how to resolve the cards is crucial. This only matters if there are two caption boxes with different color where either red or yellow can give something and the blue requires it. However, I checked the cards from the base game and it seems none of them will have this issue.
The game itself is not that big and there are not that many rule. And yet it is easy for some people to miss a couple of rules. The rulebook seems to have more space that they can use for clarification. It works well explaining the general rule but it could have been better.
The game of The Lost Expeditions comes with 2 pawns or meeples in a small zip lock bag. They are made of wood and they are the only wooden component in this game. Their shapes are identical, but one has green color and yellow for the other. The overall size is about 1.5 cm width, 2 cm tall and about 1 cm thickness.
Both have a shape of a person with head, legs and arms but not in a real person proportion. The shape itself doesn’t have any affect to the gameplay. We can easily replace them with more generic pawns or game pieces if we somehow lose them.
The color doesn’t matter to be as they are specifically. We only need 2 different colors to represent the two competing players. As long as we can tell the difference, then any color is fine.
In this game, players are trying to move the characters from the starting point to the Lost City of Z or the finish line through a number of Expedition Cards. Everytime we can resolve an ADVANCE symbol during the game, we move this pawn one space closer to the last card or finish line.
The game itself is mainly a cooperative game and we will only use one pawn. We only use them both if we play the Head-to-head mode with another competing player. Each player will then use one pawn to track how far they are from the finish line. Whoever reaches the finish line first wins the game.
So, if we only play either solo or cooperative, we will only use one of these pawns. But it seems a lot of people are interested in this competitive variant.
Technically, if we only play solo or cooperatively in this game, we don’t even need the pawn. We can just flip the Expedition card to show how far we have advanced on the track.
The yellow one is fine but I’m not sure about the green color. The Expedition cards where we will place the pawn on will show a map of a jungle, mostly with green color. So, I feel like the green pawn would blend in with the card. Not that it really matters but I thought non green color is better.
If they want to stay thematic, they can still use white, gray, light brown. Again, it’s not a big deal but I will mostly use the yellow because of this reason.
Morning / Evening Token
We get to the first cardboard component. This is one of the circular token that says MORNING on one side and EVENING on the other. The diameter is about 3.5 cm. On both sides, we can also see a turkey leg icon that represents a Food.
In this game, one round represent a day. Each day, players will go through 2 phases, Morning and Evening and always start the game in the Morning.
Once we have resolved the Morning phase, we flip the token to the Evening side. We flip again when the evening is over to the Morning side until the game ends.
The food icon on either side is a reminder that at the end of each phase, we have to lose or spend 1 Food. It’s possible that we will not have Food at all at any given time during the game. In that case, when we get to flip this token with no food, the one of the Character will lose 1 health token instead.
That can be a good decision but for the most part, Health token on character have multiple uses. Food token has similar use but less flexible than health. We also need at least one character with 1 health to win the game, even without having any Food.
The first time I played this game, I missed that rule where we need to spend Food token at the end of each phase. I guess, in a way, this token is a good reminder.
The thing is, the token is not necessary to remind us about which phase we are currently in. We can tell that from the remaining cards in hand. So, for me, the token is specifically a reminder to spend the Food.
If I do have enough Food, usually I will place one Food on this circular token. Of course, I can take it off before the end of the phase and spend the Food, if necessary.
I still think that they need to have better suggestion as where or how to place this token on the table where we won’t forget to flip and spend the Food. It feels like the game is perfectly fine if players skip that part, which will make the game significantly easier.
I guess, whoever is the current expedition leader of the round must be the one to remind the others to flip this token and spend the food. That means that player must also hold or at least place this token in front of them. Then, at the end of each round, that player pass this token along with the Leader token.
Well, it doesn’t really solve the issue in solo mode.
Expedition Leader Token
This is the other circular cardboard token. The size is the same with the Morning / Evening Token. On one side it says EXPEDITION LEADER and on the other side we can see a compass icon. None of the sides affect the gameplay. We can easily replace it with other game pieces.
This one is necessary when playing with multiple players. The starting player will have this and at the end of each round, that player pass it to the player next to them.
Whoever has this token will play the cards from their hand first, followed by the next player, one card at a time. Well, since the rule doesn’t allow players to reveal any information about the cards in the player’s hand, it doesn’t really matter.
The cooperation between players is about discussing how to resolve each card when the cards are already played on the table, not when playing the card itself. Each card may offer different way to resolve and that’s what will be discussed by the players.
That means, players cannot really make decision based on what the other players have in their hand. What they will or should play next, they don’t know about it. They can suggest what kind of cards should be played now or keep for later but not specifically which card first.
Players also get their new hand of cards at the start of each round and play all cards in the same round. There is no switching hand of cards between players or something like that.
With that rule, it doesn’t really matter as which player go first. The rule only suggests that if there is a debate of how to resolve the cards, the current leader gets to make the final decision.
Obviously, we don’t use this in solo at all. However, in the competitive mode, head-to-head between 2 players, this token becomes necessary.
In this mode, the leader will still play first and so the two players will take turns between rounds as the leader. Later in each round, the leader gets to decide whether to choose one of the two Paths for them or let the opponent choose first.
In this case, the token helps in giving each player equal turns or almost equal. The game can still end early, not in even number of rounds.
So, the token is almost unnecessary, especially if we don’t play with this competitive mode.
The rest of the tokens from the cardboard sheet are the Resources Tokens. There are 3 different resources in this game: HEALTH, FOOD and AMMUNITION. Each of them is represented by token with different shapes, icons and colors.
Health token has a square shape with red color and the cross icon, usually used in medic, about 1.4 cm in size. The Food token has a circular shape, smaller than the Leader and Morning/Evening token with yellow color and the turkey leg icon, about 1.4 cm in diameter. For the Ammunition, the token has a bullet shape and icon with blue color, about 1 x 1,7 cm.
There should be 28 Health Tokens, 21 Food Tokens and 12 Ammunition Tokens. These many tokens are mostly to support the competitive mode where 2 players will use their own set of resources.
In this game, the team will have 3 Explorers and each will have up to 4 Health tokens. That means with 2 competing players, each with 3 explorers, they will only use up to 24 Health Tokens. The publisher said that the extra is just replacement if somehow we lose them.
To use the Health token, we place the tokens on the Explorer Cards which represents the health of that Explorers. At any point the explorers lose all of their Health, the Explorers is considered as dead. If all 3 explorers are dead then player lose the game immediately.
As for Food and Ammunition, the rule says that there is no maximum that any team can have. In any game mode, players will start with 3 Ammunitions and between 3 or 4 Food tokens. As the game progresses, players can find more resources but also must spend them to survive.
For these two, the team will have their own supply, separated from the game’s general supply. Everytime we gain more of these 2, we take the token from general supply and put them in the team’s supply. If we have to spend the resources, we take the token from the team’s supply and put them back to the general supply.
With the way we use them in the game, we can easily replace them with other tokens. Maybe like cubes as long as we use 3 different colors. Of course, the thematic touch from the shape and icon helps.
According to the discussion in this forum thread, from all 56 Adventure Cards in the base game, players can get a total of 29 Food, 4 Ammunitions and 8 Health. Of course, we are not going to get all of them.
Some will be available in the same cards as options. We can take one but not the others. There is a chance that we have to skip some cards or the cards with those resources may not show up at all because of the random order of cards.
Without knowing how many of them are required by the Adventure cards to spend, we can tell that Health and Ammunition is probably the most valuable resources. They are very rare to get. However, I think Health is more important as we need them to keep the explorers alive to reach the finish line.
Having ammunition is still good. They can give flexibility. But focusing too much to get them doesn’t seem necessary. There is a chance that the game already ends before we spend all of the ammunition.
The insert of this base box has enough space to keep all of these tokens in separate small zip lock bags. Since we will rarely use every token, usually I only take out what’s necessary. Maybe even less than half and just add more as the game progresses.
From my plays, we will constantly gain and spend them. Additional 3 to 5 from the starting resources is probably enough. This also only applies for the Food but not the other 2. There was one session where I got a lot of Food very early but in subsequent phases, I immediately had to spend them.
These are the 9 cards with one giant number on the back from 1 to 9. They are called the Expedition Cards.
On the front side each of them may look like a map of a jungle. Almost every single one of them will look similar to each other except for the number 9 but all of them are unique. The number nine shows what is supposed to be the Lost City of Z, the hidden destination behind all of these expeditions that inspired the game design.
As we can see, the Lost City of Z looks to have a couple of buildings or temples with a lake in the middle. Unlike the other cards that mostly shows trees and probably the Amazon river, the city has more empty space with a couple of trees.
Of course, the design itself is fictional. Not sure if there are accurate inspiration behind each element shown by the card.
As part of setup for this game, we are supposed to lay out these cards face up in ascending number. If the orientation is correct then between each card, we should see the connecting element like river. These cards will create a track.
On these cards we will place one or both pawns, starting from the card number 1. As the game progresses, we will find options to advance the pawn to the higher number card. If players can advance the pawn and reach the last card of this track, they win the game. In the competitive mode, the player who manage to move their pawn to the last card first wins.
What is shown by the card doesn’t affect anything to the gameplay. They are purely just aesthetics. Technically, we don’t even need to lay them out in ascending order as long as we can tell that we have advanced the pawn a number of spaces.
Like I said above, we can even use the other side of the card because this is really just a track. Maybe still keep the last card. Depending on the difficulty, we may even remove some of them from the game to make the game easier.
So, it really doesn’t matter. It’s not like the card has symbol which will trigger some random events or so. Also, the movement is only one way. There is no way from the game to push back the pawn from the current position. That means we can just remove the lower number cards after the pawn has passed through it.
We can even just stack these. If we actually use the side with numbers then it is easy to tell how many Advance action we need.
Well, of course the arts are nice, maybe help the immersion for the player into the setting. For me, personally, it’s just a reminder how much farther I need to win the game.
I guess as a complaint, this setup with the rule as written is not as flexible as what one can expect from a card game. We need a table with like about 72 cm long just to place them as a track.
Luckily, the other part of the components might take just 2 or 3 more rows of cards with this size, which is about 12 cm x 4 in total. Of course, if we already understand that the track doesn’t really need to be in straight line, then it will be more flexible. They will still occupy the same area.
I get that they chose to use just one size for all cards, maybe to help reduce the production cost. It’s just if the card for these was smaller, then I think it still works the same but with smaller table space. Whoever is interested in buying or playing this game, they might need bigger table than they expect.
These are the 6 cards with Characters on it. All 6 of them are different characters, 3 males and 3 females. On the front, we can see the top half of the character with full color with the jungle as the background. The backside only shows smaller picture of the character’s face.
In this game, the characters will have health, represented by the token. If the character runs out of health, they are considered as dead and will be removed from the game. In that case, we flip the card to this back side. So, the back side looks like a memory for these dead characters.
On the front side, we can also find the name of each character at the bottom of the card. At the top left corner, we can see one of 3 possible icons. These icons represent the 3 different types of Expertise:
Jungle, represented by the leaf icon
Navigation, represented by the compass icon
Camping, represented by the tent icon
Each type will have 2 different characters, one male and one female. To play the game, the team will always start with just 3 characters, with one type of expertise each.
Other than the representing characters, if they have the same expertise, they work the same. This is not a game with variable player power based on different characters.
During the game, players might have to face certain challenges. The challenges might require spending the corresponding expertise in order to resolve them.
Spending the expertise means the associated character will lose 1 health. If that said character already dead before the challenge, the other character can take the damage but it will take 2 Health instead of one.
As mentioned before, players win the game by successfully help even just 1 character to reach the Lost City of Z. Along the way, players can gain more expertise symbols that they can keep and spend in subsequent turns.
Even if the associated character is already dead, we can still keep those expertise symbols. The designer said that thematically, the other characters can learn how the other expertise work from the event on the cards.
So, the game is about managing different resources, expertise and health from the characters. They may have multiple uses but depending on the situation, we might not have them at all.
We probably have to sacrifice one to keep the other. But one character must stay alive in order to win. Which one we should let die first?
As stated in the second to last page of the rulebook, these characters are inspired by real historical figures. But they are not related to the actual event of Percy Fawcett’s expedition to find the ancient city. Other than on these Character cards, we will still see more of these characters on the Adventure cards.
The six characters that we can find in the Lost Expedition game are:
Isabelle Eberhart, a Swiss Explorer (Navigation)
Ynex Mexia, a Mexican-American Botanist (Jungle)
Cándido Rondon, a Brazillian Explorer (Navigation)
Roy Chapman Andrews, an American Explorer (Jungle)
Bessie Coleman, an American Aviator (Camping)
Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th President of United States (Camping).
Since we can only bring 1 character per expertise, Teddy and Bessie are not going to be in the same team. The same goes to the other pairs.
These are the 2 identical cards that have a summary of icons and what they mean. We will find these icons from the Adventure Cards as the main component of the game, which will be explained after this section.
One side with vertical orientation will show all of the Resources types and the Expertise Types and their icons. As we can see from the card, if the icon is filled with black color, that indicates we gain that Expertise or Resources.
On the other hand, if the icon is blank or has white color, it means the card requires spending that resources or expertise from the team’s inventory. By doing so, we can resolve that card’s challenge which will allow us to proceed to the next challenge, next card or next phase of the game.
If we choose the Resources, we have to take the corresponding token. For the other, we will take the card with this icon, after resolving the card as part of our inventory. In subsequent turns, we can then spend either of them.
On the back of the card, we will find another list of icons. This part has icons that allows us to manipulate the Adventure Cards, the pawns and the characters.
In this game, we have to play the Adventure Cards in certain order and try to resolve them one by one following that order. While doing so, we have to make sure that at least one of our characters survive the challenge from those cards.
Thematically, by lining those cards, we create a path which the team will go through. Because some can have very difficult obstacle, we will try to avoid them or at least resolve the other first to gain the necessary resources for the difficult one.
That’s what we can do to the card. We can SKIP, SWAP, REMOVE or ADD more cards from or to that line of cards. All cards must be played and no discarding from hand. But we can still hold cards to the next phase if we think we have better chance to survive.
The last two icons are ADVANCE and DEATH. Advance is how we can move the pawn from one Expedition card to the next. This is the only way we can win the game, by moving the pawn to the last Expedition card.
If we choose the Death icon, we have to remove one of the remaining explorers from the game, losing their expertise. Basically, we let them die even if the character still has one or more health tokens. As mentioned before, it’s not going to eliminate players from the game, unless it is the last character.
So, these 2 cards are to support 2 players. They work well as a reminder for the icons. However, after a couple of plays, I think it is not that hard to remember. I think I already mentioned above that there are other things that I still need to check the rule. Like how many cards in hand and who is going to play the card first instead of these icons.
I feel like one card is enough. Although, with 2 cards, I can use them both one for each side. I mean, especially since the game is mainly to play cooperatively. Players can just discuss what they mean.
Even when playing competitively, I feel like the competing players can still talk about it. This is not really a complex game that asking the other player will take their time for planning their turns. The important part is still about which card in other player’s hand.
Not to mention that the last page of the rulebook has this exact summary on a single page. There is extra information even that these 2 cards don’t have.
Alternatively, they can keep the card but use the last page for something else. Again, it’s not totally a waste but I keep thinking that maybe there are better ways to utilize these components as a whole.
This is the last type of component in The Lost Expedition game. They are called the Adventure Cards and they are the most important part of the game.
These are the cards with an illustration that depicts an event happening in this expedition on the front side of the card. They will tell us the title, a number and some icons at the top. Each card is unique, including the art, the number from 1 to 56 and the series of icons.
On the back of the card, all of them will have a big compass icon, similar to the back of the Expedition Leader token, surrounded by leaves of the jungle. In this game, these cards will create a single deck face down. We shuffle them as part of the setup so the order of how they will come out will be random.
In cooperative mode, players will draw a number of these cards and become their hand of cards. Players will then have to take turns playing one card to create the path. In Solo mode, the deck becomes the other player to play their cards which is completely random.
This line of cards is the Path that the team of explorers will go through, facing all of the encounters stated by these cards.
Each round, there will be 2 different phases, Morning and Evening. In the Morning Phase, the played cards will be rearranged automatically in ascending order. While in the Evening, the order follows as when the card is played but always played to the right side of the previous cards. So, the specific number is important for the Morning but not so in the evening.
Once the necessary cards are played on the table, players will resolve them from the leftmost card to the right most. Players will keep doing this until they trigger the end of the game, whether win or lose.
Along the way, icons on the card may add or remove more cards to the Path. Additional cards for this come directly from the deck which should be random. If it removes the card, only the last card but not the current one will get removed.
Determining the best order to resolve the cards in each phase is the main gameplay of the Lost Expedition. To win is to trigger the ADVANCE symbols a number of times until the pawn reaches the last Expedition card.
The top of each card can have multiple captions. Captions are series of events or challenge represented by 1 or more icons. Players will have to resolve the icons from each Caption from left to right. These icons will define what will happen to the explorers. The explorers may gain resources / expertise or have to spend them.
Each caption can have one of 3 different background colors. The colors indicate whether the captions are mandatory, choices or optional.
Yellow Captions are Events and players must resolve them. At most each card will only have 1. but the rule implies that future content may have multiple Yellow captions on a card and players must resolve all of them.
Red Captions are Choices. Players must also resolve but only one of them. Each card can have no Red Captions, at least 2 up to 4 Captions per card. The border of the captions is jagged compared to the Yellow.
Blue Captions are Optional, with curling border. Each card from the base game can have 0 up to 2 Blue Captions. Players can choose to ignore or resolve any of them as individual option.
If the card has multiple types of Captions, players must resolve the Yellow first, then the Red and finally Blue. Once every caption has been resolved, players can proceed to the next card or phase.
Based on the explanation from the developer, it seems there is a thematic story behind these icons, related to the title of the card. Of course, they tweaked some of them to make the game balance. Unfortunately, they don’t actually share the design notes for each card.
There are a couple of the Red captions that seem to be illogical choice that no players will ever take, like the single Death icon (#2 and #14). Depending on the situation there is a possibility that the other options give no better result while very unlikely.
Captions are probably the most important part of this component. While it can tell some story by relating them to the picture and the title, I personally can ignore it. For me, the game really is just these series of icons and probably numbers.
Detail of Adventure Cards
#1 Abandoned Camp!
1st Red: Gain Navigation / Jungle / Camping
2nd Red: Gain Ammunition (x2)
Getting Ammunition is probably the best option from this. Unless the pawn is close enough to the finish line and usually those other Expertise symbols are more useful.
The art shows that the explorers found the camp of previous explorers. They found some ammunition, luckily for the same gun and learnt some skills maybe like from notes.
1st Red: Spend Ammunition, Gain Camping, Swap Action
2nd Red: Spend Health (x2), Advance Action
3rd Red: DEATH
It’s really hard to justify spending the ammunition just to gain Camping. But of course, there are exceptions in certain situations. Choosing one of the explorers to die doesn’t really help usually. So, the second option is the best.
Based on the art, I guess the local tribe managed to scare the explorers away. Or if we spend the ammunition, the explorers scare the local people away. Is that mean, they have better chance to create Camping?
1st Red: Gain Food
2nd Red: Skip Action
3rd Red: Gain Navigation / Jungle
I think getting the Navigation symbol is the best option for this one. Then maybe getting Food is the next one. In some critical situation then we should consider using this for the Skip action.
Based on the art and these icons, it seems this is the friendly tribe. They even help us provide food and supplies. The skip action means maybe better direction to pursue.
1st Blue: Spend Camping, Gain Food (x2)
2nd Blue: Spend Camping, Gain Health
Since these 2 are Blue, they can be both ignored or triggered. If then we have only 1 Camping expertise, going for 2 Food is probably the better option. Unless of course, we already have enough Food. But then again 1:1 exchange means we spend the Health from the camping explorer and give the Health back.
Based on the art, it seems the story is that the explorers took the camp. They probably try to check the surroundings and see if they can find something as food or just rest.
#5 The Path Ahead
1st Yellow: Add Card Action
1st Blue: Spend Navigation, Advance Action
2nd Blue: Spend Ammunition, Gain Food
I think this is the card we should try to trigger not avoid. Mostly for the Advance action with that Navigation symbol. I don’t think the second blue caption is worth it. The additional card is just inevitable.
Based on the art, it seems one of the explorers climbed to the top of the tree. There he saw some place that inspired them to go to that direction.
1st Red: Spend Health (x2), Skip Action
2nd Red: Spend Ammunition, Gain Jungle
If we have an ammunition, then the second option is probably the best. Ideally, we want to save the ammo for something else and just skip this one. Jungle is the least useful anyway.
Well I guess the sound of a gunshot scared the other animal as well so the Jungle part can help the explorers later. As alternative story, the explorers got hurt when running away from the Jaguar. They also missed the next destination, which was the next card that got skipped.
#7 Thick Fog
1st Yellow: Spend Navigation, Swap Action, Skip Action
Ideally, we should skip this one to avoid spending the Navigation. Maybe hold it until the evening where we have better control as when to play this.
Thematically, the explorers seems to get lost in the fog. They probably used any of their tools to find a way out. Along the way they missed their next destination with the Skip action part.
1st Red: Skip Action, Advance Action
2nd Red: Gain Food (x3)
Both options on this card are good. In general I probably choose to Advance over the Food, assuming this will not skip anything important. Getting Food helps survive longer but the longer it gets, the less chance to win.
Well, thematically, I guess the footprints help the explorers find better way. The Skip could mean avoiding traps or just lead to secret passage. Or the footprints lead the explorers to some food source.
#9 Vampire Bats
1st yellow: Gain Food
1st Red: Spend Camping
2nd Red: Spend Health (x2)
For the red captions, it’s better to just lose 1 Camping instead of 2 Health. Unless of course the Camping expert is about to die. This card is basically converting a resource into a Food. With just 1 Camping we get 1:1 ratio.
Thematically, I’m not sure about how explorers get Food from Vampire Bats. They do eat blood. So, either the explorers get hurt or they have to set a camp to avoid these bats.
#10 Healing Herbs
1st Yellow: Skip Action
1st Blue: Spend Jungle, Gain Health (x2), Add Card Action
The blue caption is nice. With 1 Jungle we can get 2 Health while the additional card can go either help or hurt. Even if we don’t have any Jungle Expertise to spend, the Skip part can be useful. If this is a starting hand of the round, we can use the morning phase to gain Jungle first and then use this in the evening to both Skip and rest.
Thematically, we do need the skill related to Jungle in order to process those leaves into herbs. Maybe skipping just means that the explorers take a rest and let the dangerous animals pass.
#11 Old Pathway
1st Red: Advance Action, Add Card Action
2nd Red: Gain Jungle / Camping
In general, I still think Advancing is better than getting more resources to stay longer. Even if the additional card after it might hurt. So, I prefer the first option but if I know that using either expertise can be very beneficial, like #10, then maybe evaluate that option.
The title is Old Pathway. This assume that previous explorers have been on that position and left behind some signs or even resources, similar to #1 Abandoned Camp. The signs help give the explorers advancing. Not sure why it cannot be both options other than gameplay balancing.
1st Red: Spend Ammunition, Gain Food
2nd Red: Spend Ammunition, Gain Navigation
3rd Red: Spend Health (x2)
From these options, we definitely want to avoid the 3rd one. I think the other two can be equal but I prefer the 2nd one as Navigation Expertise is required for triggering a lot of Advance symbols. So, probably we shouldn’t skip this either, unless we don’t have the ammunition.
Thematically, the third option is rather obvious that the Anaconda is attacking the explorers. While the other two seem to imply that we either shoot the Anaconda to kill it and it becomes food or we scare it off. Maybe the direction where the Anaconda is running to give some information as where to go. More like where to avoid.
1st Red: Spend Food, Gain Camping
2nd Red: Spend Ammunition, Swap Action
3rd Red: Spend Health (x2)
From these options, we also want to avoid the 3rd options. The second can be handy for the Swap but not sure it justify spending precious ammunition. So, the best option in my opinion is the first. At least we get 1:1 trade. Maybe we should just skip this card if possible.
Thematically, the options seem to imply that either we give the local tribe some food so they allow us to rest, they will hurt us? Or at least, we have to do more effort to find shelter. Not sure about the second option. Maybe we just take a shot so they will stop chasing?
1st Red: Spend Health, Gain Navigation
2nd Red: Spend Food (x2), Advance Action
3rd Red: Spend Ammunition, Skip Action (x2)
4th Red: DEATH
In general, there is no way we should choose the 4th option. Even if we have to let one of the explorers die, then the 1st option has a result at least. In very specific situation, spending an ammunition to skip twice might be good.
Ideally, I prefer the 2nd option. We have to spend 2 Food which can be health or expertise to Advance. It’s a bit more expensive. If we cannot afford that, then the 1st option is the next one.
Thematically, I assume this is another tribe, even though the illustration only depicts a single person. So, if we give him food, this person helps us to Advance. Not sure what happened by losing 1 Health to get Navigation. Or we can open a gunshot and scare him? Well the Death option is probably the explorers didn’t realize that somebody would suddenly shoot an arrow from unknown direction.
1st Red: Spend Food (x2), Advance Action
2nd Red: Advance Action, Spend Health
Even though this seems like a dangerous card, this actually can be very helpful to win the game. The second option is still the best as we only need to lose 1 Health. If that Advance is reaching the last Expedition card, we might not even need to spend that Health. 2 Food can be replaced with 2 Health.
I can see the thematic reasoning behind the first option. We throw a food which the piranhas start chasing and ignore us leaving some free path. Not sure about the second then. Maybe the explorers take a risk and just run pass the water. They made it through but then realize a piranha manage to bite them.
#16 Poisonous Frog
1st Yellow: Spend Health, Skip Action
1st Blue: Spend Navigation, Gain Jungle
In general, I don’t think spending a Navigation to gain a Jungle is a good idea. Maybe in specific situation, this can help. But usually having Navigations has better chance to Advance. That is also after spending a Health from the Yellow caption which will make it trade 2 for 1. So, unless the Skip is necessary then maybe we should even skip this one.
I’m not sure how this one works as the theme. Since it says Poisonous and not Venomous, then the explorers tried to eat the frog? So, they lost some health and had to rest and skip some event. The blue caption is even more confusing. I get that the poison makes them lose direction but not sure how then they get Jungle expertise? Maybe the explorers got an idea how to use the frog for future purpose.
1st Yellow: Spend Health, Add Card Action, Skip Action
1st Red: Spend Health
2nd Red: Spend Jungle (x2)
I think it’s better to just Skip this one if we can. Even if this card itself allows us to skip another card, the cost is too expensive. That one health red caption is a better option than 2 Jungle.
Thematically, this is a bit confusing. If they got ambushed, then they have to do a bit of fight back. Even the illustration shows that one character about to pull out the gun. But the captions seem to be about only getting hurt and probably run with the add card and skip. I guess the explorers made it even if they took a lot of damage.
1st Red: Spend Navigation, Advance Action
2nd Red: Spend Navigation, Gain Food (x2)
3rd Red: Spend Jungle, Gain Food (x2)
4th Red: Gain Health
This one is the exact opposite of #17. Even the characters on the illustration show that they are having a lovely journey, not showing any kind of struggle. Maybe they get to a part of the forest where they find a lot of food source.
If possible then I think the 1st option is the best one. We might even want to try preventing this to get skipped. Getting 2 Food for 1 Expertise is a nice trade, maybe early in the game but in general advancing is how we win. That health with no cost is also a good option actually.
#19 Steep Path
1st Red: Spend Health (x2), Skip Action, Advance Action
2nd Red: Spend Food, Gain Navigation
This one is a tricky to decide. I keep mentioning that any option with Advance symbol is probably the best one which in this one the 1st option. Especially if we can utilize the Skip action. Otherwise the 2 Health seems too much as a cost. Could be worth it still. I can also see how the 2nd option is viable, mostly because Navigation also helps us in Advancing. This is just 1 to 1 trade.
Thematically, I don’t actually get the 2nd one. What is the correlation between spending Food and this Steep Path? Maybe the lose some food while trying to climb the path and at the top they get better direction. On the other hand, the top option seems to imply that they fell down from this steep path, got hurt but helped them skip some other dangerous event and even advancing their position.
1st Red: Spend Ammunition, Gain Food
2nd Red: Spend Health (x2)
This is the one we should also skip if we can. Otherwise, we want to save some ammunition for this. Spending ammunition to prevent losing 2 Health while still getting 1 Food is better than just spend 2 Health. This is similar to Anaconda #12 but that one is better as we can get Navigation as another option. So, if we can choose, it’s better to spend the ammunition for that and not this.
Apparently, if we search for Bushmaster on the internet, it will show some type of gun. We actually have to search for Bushmaster Snake. According to the Wikipedia page, this snake is probably one of the largest vipers. It is also venomous but seems to be weak compared to other vipers. At least not poisonous so maybe the explorers can eat the snake safely.
1st Yellow: Spend Camping, Add Card Action, Swap Action
Another card that hopefully we can skip. But at least the Swap is nice, especially after adding card. If that card is bad, then maybe the Swap can help mitigate that. Otherwise, if it’s a good card, then maybe we can utilize it.
Thematically, the illustration seems to imply that the explorers already tried to rest in a camp. But then some scorpions got into their tent. I thought that they had to set a tent to avoid the scorpions.
1st Red: Spend Food, Gain Camping
2nd Red: Spend Navigation, Advance Action
3rd Red: DEATH, Advance Action
As usual, anything that allows us to Advance is probably a good option, better than just getting some supply. So, the 2nd option is the best. Even the 3rd one can be equally good. Maybe we can sacrifice the other explorers while the Navigator can keep their health. Or if we don’t have any Navigation expertise and have to spend 2 of the other expertise which kills the expertise.
1 Food for 1 Camping is not bad but unless we know that we can use it, then the other option might be better.
The illustration shows that Teddy was pulling out one of their food supply in a can. Like other friendly tribes from previous cards, it seems by offering some food, they allow us to rest or get some camping supply.
1st Red: Spend Camping
2nd Red: Spend Health
Nothing good from this so we should skip it if we have the choice. If not, I probably will take the health from the Jungle explorer before the camping itself. But both of them are the same, just 1 expertise / resources.
From the illustration, I guess either they hide in a camp or they have to do something to get rid of that Swarm.
1st Yellow: Skip Action (x2)
1st Blue: Spend Health, Gain Food (x2)
This is actually not bad. Those 2 Skip actions can be very useful if we get really bad hand of cards. By losing just 1 Health, we can then gain 2 Food. Definitely should not skip this blue caption.
Thematically, maybe the explores found some food sources with a lot of ants. They thought the food was still fresh and try to salvage it by getting rid of the ants first.
1st Red: Spend Ammunition, Gain Food (x2)
2nd Red: Add Card Action (x2)
This is probably the best use of the ammunition for the event related to dangerous animals. We get 2 Food instead of 1. Sadly, this will still come out randomly. The thing is, even the other option is probably not bad. It’s like the game encourages us to spend the Ammunition for the other animal but take the 2nd option from this.
Thematically, they also eat the Crocodile after killing it. But I thought crocodile won’t be alone like those vipers. Unless, they spend a lot of ammunition to kill the others, I don’t see they can safely take the remains as food. Crocodile is bigger so getting 2 Food is probably accurate.
#26 Pounding Rain
1st Yellow: Spend Camping, Spend food, Swap Action, Skip Action
No option here but I probably prefer skipping this if I can. The Skip action itself is nice but the cost is a bit high.
Thematically, because it was raining, they had to take shelter in camp. I guess they couldn’t progress and took the chance to eat. At the same time maybe they evaluated their situation, changed their plan going forwards.
#27 Venomous Spider
1st Yellow: Swap Action
1st Red: Spend Camping
2nd Red: DEATH
Another card we should try to skip. At least the Swap is cheap, not free as we have to pay at least 1 Camping which could be 2 health if we don’t have any. That Death is not really a good choice but could offer the same result.
Thematically, they had to rest after one of them got bitten from the spider. Or they chose to keep moving and let the victim died. I guess the Swap means they had to change their priority because of that event.
#28 Infected Wound
1st Yellow: Spend Health, Gain Camping
1st Red: Spend Health
2nd Red: Spend Navigation
Also another one we should try to skip. While we can get a Camp but basically, we have to lose like 2 Health or 1 Health plus 1 Navigation. Since Navigation is required by a lot of captions to trigger the Advance option, spending health from other explorers is probably a better one.
The illustration shows that Isabelle character was wounded, probably broken arm. We can see the arm looks reddish from the infection. I understand the losing Health part but not sure about getting Camping supply or so from this event.
1st Red: Spend Food, Add Card Action, Advance Action
2nd Red: Spend Food, Spend Navigation, Advance Action
1st Blue: Spend Jungle, Swap Action (x2)
This one I think we should try to resolve instead of Skip. We get 2 options, both can trigger the Advance. Both require a Food which can be health. One caption requires a Navigation while the other only will just Add Card. I personally think maybe the Add card is a better option.
Of course, it depends on what card will show up. I think that is why the Blue caption is there. With one Jungle we have a chance to Swap twice. So, if we do have a Jungle left and the new card is bad, this is a chance to mitigate that. I guess just make sure that this is not the last card in the path.
I honestly get no correlation between the title, the illustration and the actions from those captions. Sure, the rapids and the rivers probably give them better indication as where they are and where it leads to so that leads to the Advance action. Rapids means some dangerous part of the river so they have to do more effort in order to cross that river by walk. In that case, I thought Health is a more accurate requirement. Well at least, we have an option to lose Health to for Spending Food.
1st Red: Spend Ammunition, Gain Navigation
2nd Red: Spend Jungle
Another animal where we can spend Ammunition to get something. Otherwise, like the other animals, we have to lose something instead. However, instead of 2 Health, we can just lose 1 Jungle, which could still be 2 Health if we don’t have any. Since getting more Navigations helps in winning the game, then maybe we should spend the ammunition, assuming we still have any.
However, from the thematic reasoning, not sure why we get Navigation from shooting a cougar. Spending the Jungle could mean using some equipment to avoid the Cougar.
#31 Hook Worms
1st Red: Spend Camping
2nd Red: Spend Health
3rd Red: Spend Ammunition
Well, we definitely want to skip this. We gain nothing from spending resource to resolve this one. From the 3 options, we definitely don’t want to spend the Ammunition in general. Between the other 2, maybe spending a Health because spending a Camping could mean 2 health.
So, thematically, one of the explorers got infected by the parasitic hookworms as shown by the left hand from the illustration. I don’t get the correlation between spending ammunition or even breaking that ammunition has anything to do with this infection. Sure they have to lose a camp to rest or just lose their health to recover.
1st Yellow: Spend Food, Remove Card Action (x2)
1st Blue: Spend Health, Spend Navigation, Advance Action
2nd Blue: Spend Food, Spend Navigation, Advance Action
This is a tricky one. On one hand, we have 2 Blue captions that both can trigger the Advance action. For only triggering the Advance, we need 2 resources of different type which is like the standard cost. However, we still have to lose at least 1 food.
If we can trigger both, that one extra food is not a bad deal as we only need to resolve it once. For triggering just one, maybe this one is a bit too expensive. The problem is, it is very unlikely that we have the luxury of all resources required by the time this card shows up.
The yellow can also remove something necessary or bad. So, it’s a bit situational.
Based on the illustration and the name, it seems the explorers have found something that looks like a wall of an ancient building. Maybe they got close to the Lost City of Z. I guess they got motivated to keep Advancing after finding this. Maybe they thought this was actually the City they have been looking for.
So, they spent the night, took the meal and decided to ignore their plan further, which brings to the Remove Actions. The Blue captions could mean they found a different sign from the ruins as where they should go instead and they Advanced based on that information.
1st Yellow: Spend Camping, Spend Health (x2)
1st Blue: Spend Jungle, Gain Food (x2)
Another card that we should try to Skip. While we can get 2 Food which could be equal to 2 Health, by that point, we have already spent equal to 4 health tokens at least. I guess if we do have to resolve this, instead of just losing 3, we can lose 4 and gain 2 back.
The illustration shows one of the explorers got injured, probably a broken leg this time. It seemed to show some blood as well. That person then had to use a stick to help them walk. I think thematically, the 2 Health spent symbols should come first before the Camping, if the Camping means taking a rest. While the injured took a rest then the other with their supply or equipment tried to gain some food near their tent.
1st Red: Add Card Action (x2), Gain Camping, Skip Action
2nd Red: Spend Navigation (x2), Advance Action
From the 2 options, I probably prefer the second that allows us to Advance. Even though the cost is probably higher than the other. The other options while giving 1 Camp and Skip action for free, it’s just going to make the game longer. Additional 2 cards could be anything. Mostly bad, especially if we have no control for it.
At least if this is the last card from the path, two cards and one of them will get skipped. So, I guess it depends on what card is the next.
The illustration shows the 3 explorers, not 4, get into an intersection. They don’t know which way to go. So, the choices here is either letting them get lost or find a way using all of the tools they have.
1st Yellow: Skip Action (x2)
1st Red: Spend Health
2nd Red: Spend Camping
This one can be very powerful if we have a bad hand of cards. Those Skip twice can help us a lot with the cost of just 1 Health or 1 Camping. It’s best if we can get this into our hand and keep it until the evening phase. Playing it during the morning could end up just skipping a good cards, 2 even.
The rulebook actually explains the theme on page 7. During the thunderstorm, the explorers must take shelter. I guess they tried to run away, skipping events, and then either take shelter or get injured.
1st Yellow: Spend Navigation, Skip Action, Gain Jungle, Remove Card Action
This is a bit tricky to decide. Especially because we have to spend a Navigation for this. At least we get a Jungle so it’s like a free trade. On top of that, we can still Skip the next event and lose a card in the end. If we can play this during the evening, this could mean Skip x2, which is powerful like #35.
The illustration seems to depict that the explorers got to an insect nest. Then the insets started to swarm towards the explorers. Based on the captions, it seems that they took alternative route, trying to avoid the area with the insects and along the way find something for future use in the jungle.
#37 Electric Eels
1st Yellow: Add Card Action
1st Blue: Spend Health, Gain Food (x2)
I consider this as a good card not to skip. While the additional card can be something bad but the blue caption is a good deal. We can get 2 Food by spending just 1 Health. Unless of course we already have enough food to reach the end.
Well, I guess the explorers took the risk dealing with the eels. They got injured a bit but got also the food as the reward. Not sure why that add card in the path.
#38 Faulty Kit
1st Yellow: Swap Action
1st Red: Spend Camping
2nd Red: Spend Health
3rd Red: Spend Ammunition
Basically this is a Swap action that we can trigger by paying 1 Health, 1 Camping or 1 Ammunition. The 3rd one should be the last resort, assuming we still have any. 1 Health or 1 Camping is not a good deal, just standard to trigger the action.
I still think Swap is a bit situational to take advantage of. We have to wait for the entire path. In general, I probably just skip this. Otherwise, this is just like losing 1 Health with no benefit.
The art shows that they left behind some equipment and supplies. As the title says, those are Faulty Kits. I guess they discovered that some of the supplies is not working and they have to reevaluate their plan.
#39 River Crossing
1st Yellow: Skip Action
1st Red: Gain Navigation
2nd Red: Spend Navigation, Advance Action
3rd Red: Advance Action, Spend Health
This is not the one to miss as it has two options to Advance. I guess we can always Advance by spending just any leftover explorer’s health. That is even after the Advance. It’s possible that the Advance already won them the game, no need to spend it.
Of course, if it’s not the last Expedition card, then maybe spending the Navigation could be a choice. Depends on what we have left. I don’t see the reason for getting the navigation symbol though. I mean, if then the purpose of that is to trigger another Advance action later on different card, then why not trigger it with this card? The other symbols that can be triggered by spending a Navigation is either for getting Food or Jungle, which will just make the game longer.
The illustration seems to depict that the local tribe was helping the team crossing the river. I guess the Skip action part means, instead of going the road way, they decided to skip by crossing the river. The red captions could mean either they just take direction or take and spend the help or they do it themselves and got injured.
#40 Black Panther
1st Yellow: Gain Jungle
1st Red: Spend Ammunition, Gain Food
2nd Red: Spend Food (x2)
3rd Red: Spend Health (x2)
Ideally, this is another card where we have to spend Ammunition in order to prevent losing more. One Ammunition for one food is standard, almost the same as the other animal related cards. But this one also give us a Jungle symbol. Technically, the other 2 red are about the same result. We will lose 2 things, either health or Food.
I guess, thematically, that means, we have to shoot the Black Panther and turn it into a food. Or we have to spend our food so the panther won’t attack us. Well, the last one is we get injured for not having any of them.
1st Yellow: Gain Navigation, Skip Action
1st Red: Spend Food
2nd Red: Spend Jungle, Gain Food (x2)
3rd Red: Spend Ammunition, Gain Food (x2)
This is another animal we should not miss. For one, we get a Navigation which can help us win the game. If then we have ammunition or Jungle we can get 2 Food instead of 1 like the other animals. Even if we don’t have any of them, we can just lose 1 Food or 1 Health.
Well, thematically, I guess they found a good food source from this animal.
1st Red: Gain Navigation
2nd Red: Spend Food, Gain Health
3rd Red: Spend Food, Advance Action
Another tribe that can give us clue or direction or navigation. Or we can just spend 1 Food or 1 Health to Advance. Trading Food to health can be good if we are about to reach the last Expedition card. But in general, if it’s just the same one step away, why not use the Advance now?
It seems that this is a friendly tribe. Like the other, if we give them food, they allow us to get something. In this case, they help us treat injury. Or we can give them food and just let them show the way to the finish line.
1st Yellow: Spend Health, Swap Action
1st Red: Spend Health
2nd Red: Spend Camping
This is another card we should try to skip. The Swap action could be useful but we have to spend 2 Health or equal to that amount.
The illustration seems to show that the character Teddy got a fever and needed some rest. So, they already lost their health and probably needed to change their plan, hence, the Swap. They needed longer time to rest to recover, so they took the camp or just lost more health.
#44 Hi’ Aito’ Ihi
1st Red: Spend Ammunition, Spend Health, Advance Action
2nd Red: DEATH, Advance Action
3rd Red: Spend Health, Gain Navigation / Camping
Usually, I will say to choose any option that allows us to Advance. However, it seems the 1st one is a bit too expensive. Not only we have to spend 1 Health but also 1 Ammunition which could worth 2 Food. The second option is a bit situational. The Death could mean at least 1 Health. If it means just 1 Health, then maybe it’s not a bad deal. In general, I probably choose the 3rd one as the first one. Spend 1 Health to gain one of the Expertise is not bad, especially one of them is Navigation.
Based on the illustration, it seems this tribe is not very friendly and they even brought spears. So the options were either one of the explorers got killed, forcing them to Advance. Or they just got injured and had to take a shot to scare them which also force to Advance.
I’m not sure how to interpret the third one. Maybe the tribe successfully injured one of the explorers but somehow they felt sorry for doing so. In return, they offered some help like direction or anything for Camping.
1st Yellow: Swap Action
1st Red: Spend Health
2nd Red: Spend Jungle
This basically means, we have to spend 1 Health or equal in order to activate the Swap Action. Unless we can find some use for the Swap, then we probably should try to just Skip it.
I did a quick search on the internet for Nightshades. It shows a family of plant with white flower and poisonous berries as depicted by the illustration. Other popular plants from this family include potato, tomato and even tobacco. They contains some alkaloids which is used to create some medicines like morphine and quinine.
#46 Deserted Outpost
1st Yellow: Add Card Action
1st Red: Gain Ammunition (x2)
2nd Red: Gain Health, Gain Camping
Theoretically, getting ammunition can give more benefit. Even 1 Ammunition could mean getting 1 expertise or 1 Food instead of losing 2 health. So, with 2 Ammunition that can mean saving 4 Health tokens. So, in general, the 1st option seems to be an obvious choice.
However, I had experience where I won the game without getting any additional Ammunition. There is always a chance to just skip any event that requires spending an Ammunition. So, unless we really run out of ammunition, maybe the other options will have better uses.
In the case of #46, we actually get 2, 1 Health + 1 Camping. Health can be used for a lot of things but Camping is probably a bit limited. I guess that Add Card from Yellow caption should be a deciding factor. What does that additional card require in order to get resolved while staying survive. Maybe the cards in between can help process either the Ammunition, health or Camping into something that the additional card require.
Thematically, this is similar to #1. The illustration shows a well built outpost, instead of a temporary tent. It’s just #1 doesn’t give Health but more equipment related to different expertise. So, I guess in this one, the explorers took some rest and find more Camping equipment.
I don’t know the likelihood that the leftover ammunition works with the gun the explorers brought along. Maybe just assume that they found the gun as well.
1st Yellow: Spend Food, Gain Camping
1st Blue: Spend Navigation, Gain Health, Remove Card Action
This one is not bad but also not very helpful in my opinion. We have to spend 1 Food to Gain 1 Camping. So, it’s not we lose anything. The Blue caption is not great since it requires Navigation which is more useful to Advance. But it could be useful in certain situation to remove cards if the current phase is not going to be the last one. At least we gain 1 Health back so if we spend the Health from the navigator, it’s like we don’t lose anything.
Based on the illustration, the event involves a local tribe. Like other cards related to tribes, it seems we can offer them some food and they help us with something in return. In this case, a Camping equipment.
I checked online for the word “Kapok”. It seems this is something similar to a Cotton that grows around the seed of Ceiba tree. So, the illustration depicts this Ceiba tree. Not sure how that helps the expedition though or the relevancy with this jungle as the setting.
#48 Vantage Point
1st Yellow: Spend Health, Swap Action, Gain Jungle
1st Blue: Spend Ammunition, Gain Food
In general, I probably choose to skip this one if I can but the lowest priority. At least with the Yellow, we spend 1 and gain 1 back with the Swap action as extra bonus. It’s almost like we don’t lose anything. Just spend the Health from this jungle expert and give the Health back.
The Blue caption though, is not a bad deal but I think there are better use oaf Ammunition for almost the same result with other cards. So, unless we are about to win the game and have nothing else to spend the Ammunition with, we should just keep them for later.
The illustration seems to show the character, Roy, who is an expert in Jungle is climbing the Tree to gain that VANTAGE POINT. I guess by doing so, the explorers find better paths to explore. They also found a Food, hanging on the tree so they have to shoot it to fall.
1st Red: Spend Jungle, Advance Action
2nd Red: Spend Navigation, Gain Jungle
3rd Red: Spend Jungle, Gain Health
As usual, my first choice would be the 1st as it allows me to Advance. Spending Navigation for Jungle or the 2nd option is probably the last to choose. I did have experience where I had more than enough Jungle and I needed to keep the Navigator stay alive a bit longer. In that case, Advancing with the 1st option wasn’t enough and I had to take a chance with the next round, hoping that the cards offer more Advance.
I assume the name is another local tribe’s name. The illustration doesn’t seem to depict a friendly one as it only shows the local person, with a bow, ready to shoot. I guess thematically, the explorers took this chance to kind of hide using their Jungle expertise from getting shot. This then helped them to recover or advance.
#50 Rope Bridge
1st Yellow: Swap Action
1st Red: Spend Navigation, Advance Action
2nd Red: Advance Action, DEATH
3rd Red: Add Card Action
Since the Swap action from Yellow caption is not mandatory the real choices were from the red captions. The 1st Red caption should be the main idea, spending a Navigation to Advance.
I mean if we play by that idea, then we probably have some Navigation icons to spend or the explorer with that expertise would be the last person in the team. That way, the 1st option should be affordable. The 2nd one could be good if we are about to reach the last Expedition card.
The last option is if that Navigator is the last person and we have no other resources to spend. Hopefully the additional card can help. The Swap is before this option. So, if there is a chance to move a card with a Skip before the additional card, then we can just assume the additional card is bad.
Thematically, the last option means they took alternative route. The 2nd option means they took the risk to cross the bridge but one of them fell down and died. While the 1st option could mean they used any of their equipment to make sure they can cross it safely.
1st Yellow: Spend Food, Gain Navigation / Jungle
This is not necessarily bad card, especially we can just spend Health instead of Food. So, if it’s a health from either expertise, it’s like we spend 1 for 1, maybe more flexible to use. I probably trade health from either Camping or Jungle explorers.
I guess thematically, we feed the monkey with food and somehow the monkey gives something back. Not sure how it works if we choose to spend health instead though.
1st Yellow: Spend Health, Spend Food, Swap Action
1st Red: Spend Health
2nd Red: Spend Camping
This is another card we should definitely skip. We will lose at least 3 of the health just for Swap action by resolving this.
The illustration depicts that the character, Teddy, accidentally stepped on a mudslide and he was falling down. Not only he got injured but one of the food supply fell down. The team then had to take shelter or let him suffer even further.
1st Yellow: Spend Health, Spend Food, Remove Card Action
Also another card we should try to skip. We have to spend at least 2 Health or equal to that just to activate Remove Action. Not as bad as the previous card. It can even be good if then the last card on the Path is even worse.
The illustration shows that one of the character, Candido was swarmed by Leeches all over his body. As a result, not only he lost his health but also need to eat to recover. The Remove action part could mean that they lost the chance to trigger some events.
1st Red: Spend Camping (x2)
2nd Red: Add Card Action (x2)
Another bad card but this one offers other options. Instead of losing 2 Camping like 2 Health, we can just Add 2 Cards. Of course, those two cards can be either good or bad. Losing 2 Health tokens for nothing should be avoided and maybe we can get lucky with the new cards.
This time the character, Bessie Coleman seems to suffer some severe dehydration and passed out on the ground. Of course the team then had to take a long rest but also find some water. I guess, the add 2 cards means they took a risk exploring other routes without proper plan.
#55 Spoiled Supplies
1st Yellow: Spend Food
This is also a bad card. However, compared to other previous cards, we only lose 1 Food which can be 1 Health. Maybe it’s not bad to just resolve this one while skip the worse.
The illustration shows that they opened one of they food supply and found that the food was already spoiled. It was supposed to be a canned food. Maybe this one was food that they found along the way.
1st Yellow: Add Card Action
1st Red: Spend Navigation
2nd Red: Spend Health (x2)
This is not exactly a bad card but I probably will just skip it. If we follow the idea to hoard Navigations to Advance, maybe we will only lose 1 from this instead of 2 Health. As before, the Add card can be either good and helpful or bad.
The illustration just depicts a Swamp area. From the actions, I guess the team had to take another route or they tried to go through, got injured and lost to an unexpected area.
Somebody on BGG already made a summary of how many of these icons showed up on all of the cards, including cards from the expansion. We can find the detail and some discussion on this thread.
I tried to break them down even further. Let me start with the Advance Action as this is the most important part to win the game.
There are 24 total icons for Advance Actions, distributed in 17 different cards. 7 of those cards have 2 red captions with 1 Advance Action each. Since we can only trigger one of the red captions, they count as only 7 icons. 8 cards have 1 Advance Action in just 1 Red Captions. On the last 2 cards, the Advance Action is in Blue Captions.
One of them even have 2 Blue Captions with 1 Advance Action each. We can trigger both of them, assuming we have the resources. So, there are a total of 18 chances to trigger this action which is more than enough to advance 8 times and reach the last Expedition cards.
Of course, we probably won’t see all of the cards. Some that show up might even get skipped. Other times we might need the other resources or expertise to survive from different Red Captions. Or we cannot just afford to trigger that action because of the cost.
#2 Red: Spend Health (x2)
#5 Blue: Spend Navigation (plus Add Card Action from Yellow)
#8 Red: Skip Action vs Gain Food x3 but no Advance
#11 Red: Add Card Action after Advance vs Gain 2 different Expertise no Advance
#14 Red: Spend Food x2
#15 Red: Spend Food x2 vs Spend Health after Advance
#18 Red: Spend Navigation vs Gain different set of resources but no Advance
#19 Red: Spend Health x2, Skip Action
#22 Red: Spend Navigation vs DEATH
#29 Red: Spend Food, Add Card vs Spend Food and Navigation
#32 Blue (1): Spend Food (Yellow) then Spend Health, Spend Navigation
#32 Blue (2): Spend Food (Yellow) then Spend Food, Spend Camping
#34 Red: Spend Navigation x2 vs Gain Camping no Advance
#39 Red: Skip Action (Yellow) then either Spend Navigation to Advance or Advance and Spend Health, or Gain Navigation no Advance
#42 Red: Spend Food vs Gain Navigation no Advance
#44 Red: Spend Ammunition and Health vs DEATH
#49 Red: Spend Jungle
#50 Red: Spend Navigation to Advance vs Advance to DEATH
As we can see, most of them require spending either 2 Food or 2 Health. We can also consider this as spending 2 Expertise. That means if we only need to spend 1 of the required Expertise, it is a better deal. Even if we don’t have that expertise, that is equal to spending 2 Health of the other expertise, which is the standard.
From the detail above, we can see that no Advance Action is free. We will spend something. But it seems one type of things to spend has better chance to trigger this Advance Action more. Here is the breakdown.
Spend Navigation to Advance:
#32 (+Food + Health),
Spend Jungle to Advance:
Spend Ammunition to Advance:
Spend Food to Advance:
#29 (+Action) or (+Navigation),
#32 (x2 + Camping) or (+Navigation +Health),
Spend Health to Advance:
#32 (+Food, +Navigation)
Spend DEATH to or after Advance:
Action before or After Advance:
#11 Add Card
Clearly that having Navigation expertise gives more chance to win the game. That means if we have to save one of the explorer, maybe the one with this expertise should be the last one standing.
The next one to keep is either Food or Health. Health can become Navigation itself from the explorer. The same goes with Food which we can always replace with Health.
There are a couple of choices between Advancing and gaining more resources / expertise. From my experience, it seems gaining anything is just making the game longer. It is not always but more often than not, we have less chance to win the longer we play.
According to that same thread, from all 56 cards, there will be 11 Gain Navigation Symbols and 17 Spending Navigation Symbols. Here are the cards.
#1 (Gain, Red),
#3 (Gain, Red),
#5 (Spend to Advance, Blue)
#7 (Spend, Yellow)
#12 (Gain, Red after Spend Ammunition),
#14 (Gain, Red, after Spend Health),
#16 (Spend, Blue to Gain Jungle),
#18 (Spend to Advance or Spend for Food x2),
#19 (Gain, after Spend Food, Red)
#22 (Spend to Advance, Red),
#28 (Spend, Red, after Spend Health and Gain Camping, Yellow),
#29 (Spend to Advance, after Spend Food),
#30 (Gain, Red, after Spend Ammunition)
#32 (Spend to Advance, Blue after Spending Food, Yellow and Health),
#34 (Spend x2 to Advance, Red),
#36 (Spend, Yellow, Gain Jungle),
#39 (Gain, Red, after Skip, Yellow) or (Spend to Advance, Red),
#41 (Gain, Yellow, then Spend either Food, Ammunition or Jungle, Red),
#42 (Gain, Red) vs (Spend Food to Advance),
#44 (Gain + Camping, Red, after Spend Health)
#47 (Spend to gain Health, Blue, after Spend Food and Gain Camping, Yellow),
#49 (Spend to Gain Jungle, Red) vs (Spend Jungle to Advance, Red),
#50 (Spend to Advance, Red) vs (Advance + Death, Red),
#51 (Gain +Jungle, Yellow, after Spend Food),
#56 (Spend, Red, after Add card, Yellow)
From the detail above, there are indeed 11 cards that can give us Navigation. 3 of them are free, 3 by spending Food, 2 by Spending Health, 3 by spending Ammunition, and 1 by Spending Jungle.
For Spending, there are 16 cards where we can or have to spend Navigation. Only 7 of them will lead to Advance Action. I think 2 of them for nothing and 3 of them are trade to different expertise or resources.
From all 56 Adventure cards, 24 of them have at least 1 Camping symbol. Spend Camping symbol shows up 16 times with 2 cards having 2 symbols, one in the same caption and the other separately. Gain Camping shows up 10 times with none of them on the same card. Here are the cards.
#1 Gain + Navigation / Jungle vs Gain Ammunition (Red)
#2 Gain after Spend Ammunition vs Spend Health x2 to Advance vs Death (Red)
#11 Gain + Jungle vs Advance + Add Card
#13 Gain after Spend Food vs Spend Food x2 vs Spend Ammunition to Swap (Red)
#22 Gain after Spend Food vs Spend Navigation to Advance vs Death to Advance (red)
#28 Gain after Spend Health (Yellow) then Spend Health vs Spend Navigation (Red)
#34 Gain after Add Card x2 then Skip vs Spend Navigation x2 to Advance (red)
#44 Gain + Navigation after Spend Health vs Spend Ammunition + Spend Health to Advance vs Death to Advance (red)
#46 Gain + Health vs Gain Ammunition x2 (Red) after Add Card (Yellow)
#47 Gain after Spend Food
#4 Spend to Gain Food x2 and Spend to Gain Health (Blue)
#9 Spend vs Spend Health x2 (Red) after Gain Food (Yellow)
#21 Spend + Add Card + Swap
#23 Spend vs Spend Health (Red)
#26 Spend + Food then Swap + Skip (Yellow)
#27 Spend vs Death (red) after Swap (Yellow)
#31 Spend vs Spend Health vs Spend Ammunition
#32 Spend to Advance after Spend Food (Blue), after Spend Food + Remove x2 (Yellow)
#33 Spend + Health x2
#35 Spend vs Spend Health (Red) after Skip x2 (Yellow)
#38 Spend vs Spend health vs Spend Ammunition (Red) after Swap (Yellow)
#43 Spend vs Spend Health (Red) after Spend Health + Swap (Yellow)
#52 Spend vs Spend Health (red) after Spend Health + Spend Food + Swap
#54 Spend x2 vs Add Card x2
It seems there are a lot of cards that demand this Expertise and the best is to avoid or skip them. However, it’s probably impossible to skip them all. Some of them are yellow so, we need to have some Camping or we have to pay more. I think if we have a choice, we probably should spend the Health, especially from the Jungle Explorer and save the Camping for cards with Yellow captions.
From all 56 cards, 10 of them have Gain Jungle symbols. Spend Jungle symbols show up 11 times. Two cards have 2 of them. Here are the cards.
#1 Gain vs Gain Ammunition x2
#3 Gain + Navigation vs Gain Food vs Skip Action
#6 Gain, after Spend Ammunition vs Spend Health x2, Skip Action
#11 Gain + Camping vs Advance + Add Card
#16 Gain after Spend Navigation (Blue), after Spend Health + Skip Action (Yellow)
#36 Gain after Spend Navigation + Skip then Remove
#40 Gain (Yellow)
#48 Gain after Spend Health + Swap (Yellow)
#49 Gain after Spend Navigation
#51 Gain + Navigation after Spend Food
#10 Spend to Gain Health x2 + Add Card (Blue) after Skip (Yellow)
#17 Spend x2 vs Spend Health (red) after Spend Health + Add Card + Skip (Yellow)
#18 Spend to Gain Food x2, vs Gain Health vs Spend Navigation to Advance vs Spend Navigation to Gain Food x2
#29 Spend to Swap x2 (Blue)
#30 Spend vs Spend Ammunition to Gain Navigation
#33 Spend to Gain Food x2 after Spend Camping, Spend Health x2
#41 Spend to Gain Food x2 (red) after Gain Navigation + Skip (yellow)
#45 Spend (Red) after Swap (Yellow)
#49 Spend to Advance vs Spend to Gain Health
It seems like having Jungle Expertise can help gain Food or Health. We can get two of either if we spend Jungle at the right time. Even some of them are optional with Blue color or we can choose another red which can be as good or better.
Ammunition is the rarest resources. From 56 cards, there are only 16 cards with at least 1 Ammunition symbol. Only 2 of them from we will gain 2 Ammunitions each and the other 14 cards are where we have to spend.
#1 (Gain 2, Red, vs Gain any of the Expertise),
#46 (Gain 2, Red vs Gain Health + Camping).
#2 (Spend to gain Camping, Red, vs Spend Health x2 to Advance),
#5 (Spend to Gain Food, Blue),
#6 (Spend to Gain Jungle, Red vs Spend Health x2)
#12 (Spend to Gain Food vs Spend to Gain Navigation vs Spend Health x2),
#13 (Spend to Swap vs Spend Food to Gain Camping vs Spend Health x2),
#14 (Spend to Skip x2 vs Spend Health to Gain Navigation vs Death vs Spend Food x2 to Advance),
#20 (Spend to gain Food vs Spend Health x2),
#25 (Spend to gain Food x2 vs Add Card x2),
#31 (Spend vs Spend health vs Spend Camping),
#38 (Spend vs Spend health vs Spend Camping),
#40 (Spend to Gain Food, vs Spend Food x2 vs Spend Health x2),
#41 (Spend to Gain Food x2 vs Spend Jungle to gain Food x2 vs Spend Food),
#44 (Spend + Health to Advance vs Death to Advance vs Spend Health to Gain Navigation / Camping),
#48 (Spend to Gain Food, Blue)
Based on the detail above, the choices are usually either Spend 1 Ammunition to Gain 1 Resource / Expertise or Spend health x2. There are about 6 cards with this kind of choice: #2, #6, #12, #13, #20, #25, #40, #41. Almost every single one of them is related to animals.
In this case, it’s always better to spend the ammunition. Instead of losing 2, we just convert with 1:1 ratio and it’s like gaining 3 for 1.
I guess that means Gain Ammunition x2 is a better option from #1 and #46. But I think we also need to consider the situation. If we are already close enough to the finish line, maybe we don’t need the extra ammunition.
Related to Food Resources, from 56 Adventure cards, 27 of them have at least 1 Food symbol. Gain Food symbol shows up 28 times. Some can have multiple captions with at least 1 Food and one caption can even have up to 3 Food symbols. There are about 19 Spend Food symbols from those 27 cards. Here are the cards.
#3 Gain vs Skip vs Gain Navigation / Jungle (Red)
#4 Gain x2 after Spend Camping (Blue)
#5 Gain after Spend Ammunition (Blue), after Add Card (Yellow)
#8 Gain Food x3 vs Skip to Advance (Red)
#9 Gain Food (Yellow) then Spend Camping vs Spend Health x2 (Red)
#12 Gain Food after Spend Ammunition vs Spend Ammunition to Gain Navigation vs Spend Health x2
#18 Gain x2 after Spend Navigation vs Gain x2 after Spend Jungle vs Gain Health vs Spend Navigation to Advance
#20 Gain after Spend Ammunition vs Spend Healthx2
#24 Gain x2 after Spend Health (Blue) after Skip x2 (Yellow)
#25 Gain x2 after Spend Ammunition vs Add Card x2 (Red)
#33 Gain x2 after Spend Jungle (Blue) after Spend Navigation + Health x2 (Yellow)
#37 Gain x2 after Spend Health (Blue), after Add Card (Yellow)
#40 Gain after Spend Ammunition vs Spend x2 vs Spend Health x2
#41 Gain x2 after Spend Jungle vs Gain x2 after Spend Ammunition vs Spend (Red)
#48 Gain after Spend Ammunition (Blue) after Spend Health + Swap + Gain Jungle (Yellow)
#14 Spend x2 to Advance vs Spend Health to Gain Navigation vs Spend Ammunition to Skip x2 vs Death
#15 Spend Food x2 to Advance vs Advance + Spend Health
#19 Spend to Gain Navigation vs Spend Healthx2 to Skip + Advance
#22 Spend to Gain Camping vs Spend navigation to Advance vs Death to Advance
#26 Spend after Spend Navigation to Swap + Skip (Yellow)
#29 Spend to Add Card + Advance vs Spend + Navigation to Advance
#32 Spend to Remove x2 (Yellow) then Spend + Camping to Advance (Blue)
#40 Gain after Spend Ammunition vs Spend x2 vs Spend Health x2
#41 Gain x2 after Spend Jungle vs Gain x2 after Spend Ammunition vs Spend (Red)
#42 Spend to Gain Health vs Spend to Advance vs Gain Navigation
#47 Spend to Gain Camping
#51 Spend to Gain Navigation / Jungle
#52 Spend + Health to Swap (yellow) then Spend Health vs Spend Navigation (red)
#53 Spend + Health to Remove (yellow)
#55 Spend (Yellow)
Assuming we are in the ideal situation on every Adventure card, we only need to spend 2 Food on #42 and #51. The other cards seem to have better options, assuming we have the requirements. Of course, there are others that we might want to skip.
I guess we also need to remember that we need about 6 Food for the Morning and Evening Phase for 3 days. We can always spend Health to replace the Food anyway.
Related to Health Resources, from 56 Adventure cards, 36 of them have at least 1 Health symbol. Spend Health symbols showed up 44 times in various color. 5 pairs of those show up in a single caption of a card. The Gain Health symbols show up 8 times. One Blue caption has 2 on a card. Here are the cards.
#2 Spend x2 to Advance vs Death vs Spend Ammunition to Gain Camping + Swap
#6 Spend x2 to Skip vs Spend Ammunition to Gain Jungle (Red)
#9 Spend x2 vs Spend Camping (Red) after Gain Food (Yellow)
#12 Spend x2 vs Spend Ammunition to Gain Food vs Spend Ammunition to Gain Navigation
#13 Spend x2 vs Spend Food to Gain Camping vs Spend Ammunition to Swap (Red)
#14 Spend to Gain Navigation vs Spend Food x2 to Advance vs Spend Ammunition to Skip x2 vs Death
#15 Spend after Advance (Red)
#16 Spend to Skip (Yellow)
#17 Spend to Add Card + Skip (Yellow) then Spend vs Spend Jungle x2 (Red)
#19 Spend x 2 to Skip + Advance vs Spend Food to Gain Navigation (Red)
#20 Spend x2 vs Spend Ammunition to Gain Food
#23 Spend vs Spend Camping
#24 Spend to Gain Food x2 (Blue) after Skip x2 (Yellow)
#28 Spend to Gain Camping (Yellow) then Spend vs Spend Navigation (Red)
#29 Spend vs Spend Camping vs Spend Ammunition
#32 Spend + Navigation to Advance (Blue) after Spend Food + Remove x2 (Yellow)
#33 Spend x2 after Spend Camping (Yellow)
#35 Spend vs Spend Camping (red) after Skip x2 (Yellow)
#37 Spend to Gain Food x2 (Blue) after Add Card (Yellow)
#38 Spend vs Spend Camping vs Spend Ammunition (Red) after Swap (Yellow)
#39 Spend after Advance vs Gain Navigation vs Spend Navigation to Advance (red) after Skip (Yellow)
#40 Spend x2 vs Spend Ammunition to Gain Food vs Spend Food x2 (Red) after Gain Jungle (Yellow)
#42 Spend to Swap (Yellow) then Spend vs Spend Camping (red)
#44 Spend + Ammunition to Advance vs Death to Advance vs Spend to Gain Navigation / Camping (Red)
#45 Spend vs Spend Jungle (Red) after Swap (Yellow)
#48 Spend to Swap + Gain Jungle (Yellow)
#52 Spend + Food to Swap (Yellow) then Spend vs Spend Camping (Red)
#53 Spend + Food to Remove (Yellow)
#56 Spend x2 vs Spend Navigation (Red) after Add Card (Yellow)
#4 Gain after Spending Camping (Blue) vs Gain Food x2 after Spending Camping (Blue)
#10 Gain x2 then Add Card after Spend Jungle (Blue), after Skip (Yellow)
#18 Gain vs Spend Navigation to Advance vs Spend Navigation to Gain Food x2 vs Spend Jungle to Gain Food x2 (Red)
#42 Gain after Spend Food vs Gain Navigation vs Spend Food to Advance (Red)
#46 Gain + Camping vs Gain Ammunition x2 (Red) after Add Card (Yellow)
#47 Gain + Add Card after Spend Navigation (Blue) after Spend Food to Gain Camping (Yellow)
#49 Gain after Spend Jungle vs Spend Jungle to Advance vs Spend Navigation to Gain Jungle (Red)
Based on the detail above, the options in Bold Font are what I consider the best option in ideal situation. Assuming that was true then we probably need to spend Health on 7 cards and only can gain 2. So, if all explorers starts with 3 Health and a total 9, we need to skip at least one of them. That is assuming the other captions that required an Expertise doesn’t take any health.
It is very tight. There are a lot of cards we need to skip and some that we need might not show up at all.
Path Action Symbols + Death
The remaining symbols on the captions are related to PATH actions plus the Death actions. Skip Action symbols appear on 16 cards. Swap action symbols appear on 13 cards. Remove Card actions appear on 4 cards. Add Card actions appear on 12 cards. DEATH symbols appear on 6 cards.
Skip actions are probably very crucial. Basically there are a lot of cards we will try to avoid from resolving them at all. For that, we need to utilize these Skip actions. We might even want to Skip some cards with Skip actions.
The way the card will get rearranged differently in both Morning and Evening phase plays important role of how we can use this action. We will have more control in the Evening. While in the morning the rearrange happens automatically. That way in the Morning, it may even skip the cards that we actually need considering that Skip is still mandatory.
Cards with Skip Action
#6 After Spend Health x2 (Red)
#7 After Spend Navigation + Swap (Yellow)
#8 Before Advance vs Gain Food x3 (Red)
#14 x2 after Spend Ammunition vs Spend Food x2 to Advance (Red)
#16 after Spend Health (Yellow)
#17 after Spend Health + Add Card (Yellow) then (Red)
#19 after Spend healthx2, then Advance (Red) vs Spend Food to Gain Navigation (Red)
#24 x2 (Yellow) then (Blue)
#26 after Spend Camping + Food + Swap (Yellow)
#34 after Add card x2 + Gain Camping (red)
#35 x2 then (Red)
#36 after Spend Navigation, then Gain Jungle + Remove (Yellow)
#39 (Yellow) then (Red)
#41 after Gain Navigation (Yellow then (Red)
Swap action is the only one that is not mandatory. From my experience, I rarely use this action. But there were moments where it can offer an opportunity depending on the rest of the played cards in that phase. This is also a chance to rearrange the order of the card again, especially during Morning phase.
The problem with Swap action is that some of them have a cost that we are trying to avoid considering that the resource is already tight. Maybe not necessarily in the same caption but usually we have to resolve a Yellow caption before or another Red right after that.
So, most of the time, we activate it because we want the other action. Turns out, this optional action can give better benefit if we activate it as well instead of ignoring it.
Usually when we are about to lose the game, then we will start consider different options that might appear by rearranging the cards using this action. This action will then force us to stop and reevaluate the entire line of cards, instead of resolving them individually.
Cards with Swap Action
#2 Spend Ammunition and Gain Camping to trigger (Red)
#7 After Spend navigation, then Skip (Yellow)
#13 After Spend Ammunition (red)
#21 after Spend Camping + Add Card (Yellow)
#26 after Spend Camping + Food, then Skip (Yellow)
#27 (Yellow) then (Red)
#29 x2 after Spend Jungle (Blue). after (Red)
#38 (Yellow) then (Red)
#43 after Spend Health (Yellow) then (Red)
#45 (Yellow) then (Red)
#48 after Spend Health then Gain Jungle(Yellow) then (Blue)
#50 (Yellow) then (Red)
#52 after Spend Health + Food (Yellow) then (Red)
Remove card action is a bit similar to Skip action. It can be both beneficial or make things worse. It can remove the card that we actually need especially during the Morning Phase. This might even force us to utilize the Swap, assuming we have access to it before the cards with the Remove action.
The symbols themselves only appear on 4 cards. Even those are cards that it better if we can avoid or skip them.
Cards with this Remove Action
#32 x2 after Spend Food (Yellow)
#36 after Spend Navigation + Skip + Gain Jungle (Yellow)
#47 after Spend Navigation + Gain Health (Blue) after (Yellow)
#53 after Spend Health + Food (Yellow)
Add Card Action is like a push your luck mechanism in this game. We don’t know what’s the next card will be. Only after triggering them then we know whether it’s good or bad. I think it’s good they can help us trigger the Advance Actions sooner, assuming we can afford the cost.
Well, if the new cards have Skip action then maybe it can help prevent the next additional cards. I think it’s very rare trying to chase this action alone. Unless we really have a bad hand of cards and getting more cards seems to give better opportunity.
Cards with Add Action
#11 after Advance (Red)
#17 after Spend Health, then Skip (Yellow) then (Red)
#21 after Spend Camping, then Swap (Yellow)
#25 x2 vs Spend Ammunition to Gain Food x2 (Red)
#29 after Spend Food then Advance (Red)
#34 x2 then Gain Camping + Skip vs Spend Navigation x2 to Advance (Red)
#37 (Yellow) then (Blue)
#46 (Yellow) then (Red)
#50 vs Spend Navigation to Advance vs Advance to Death (Red) after Swap (Yellow)
#54 x2 vs Spend Camping x2 (Red)
#56 (yellow) then (Red)
The last icon is the DEATH. We have to lose one Explorer for triggering this one even if the Explorer still have more than 1 Health. This one is actually very tricky.
Of course, most of the time we will choose the alternative to keep the explorer stay longer. But then if it can help us gain Advance action and the explorer is already going to die anyway, then this is a viable option. It’s weird thematically to just sacrifice a teammate but this is the game.
Some of these Death icons even show up as a single action on 1 Caption that doesn’t really help anything. The developer said that the icon is there because of thematic reason. It’s possible the event kills one of the explorers.
Cards with Death
#22 Before Advance (Red)
#27 after Swap (Yellow) then (Red)
#44 Before Advance (Red)
#50 After Advance vs Spend Navigation to Advance vs Add Card (Red) after Swap (Yellow)
Well, that’s all of the components we will be using to play The Lost Expedition game. Now we can learn how to play the game using these components.
How to Play
The Lost Expedition game is meant to be a cooperative game for 2 to 5 players. In the base game, there is an official way to play with just single player and also a competitive play between just 2 players.
Different player counts in cooperative mode doesn’t change the gameplay. We will just using different number of components. From that basic rule, the solo is similar with a slight change while the competitive mode has more additional rules.
This next video is a tutorial from What It Played channel for how to play The Lost Expedition.
1st. Take 1 EXPLORER CARD from EACH EXPERTISE. Put them on the table to form a team. In cooperative mode, all players are making decision for this same one team.
It’s recommended to leave some space next to this team for their EXPERTISE CARDS that players may get during the game.
2nd. Take 3 AMMUNITION TOKENS and 4 FOOD TOKENS from the supply and place them on the table next to the Team Area. This will be the supply for the whole team not just for a character.
If playing with 5 players, Remove 1 Food Token from the Team Supply.
3rd. Shuffle all 56 ADVENTURE CARDS. Deal 4 cards to every player and put the rest as a deck face down in the middle of the table. If playing with 2 players, deal 6 cards to each player.
Players should keep their cards as a secret to the other players. They are not allowed to reveal any detail of the cards in hand to their teammate.
4th. If we play with Easy or Normal difficulty, place 4 HEALTH TOKENS on EACH EXPLORER CARD.
For Hard difficulty, place 3 HEALTH TOKENS on each card PLUS 1 FOOD TOKEN to the team supply.
5th. If we play with Easy, use 7 EXPEDITION CARDS.
For Normal and Hard, we use all 9 EXPEDITION CARDS.
Place them on the table to create a single row of cards face up, ending with card number 9 or the one that depicts the Lost City. Besides this card number 9 as the final card, the other card doesn’t really have to be in the ascending order.
6th. Place 1 PAWN on the first Expedition card on the opposite end from the Lost City. Return the other pawn to the box as it will not be used in coopeartive mode.
7th. Place the MORNING / EVENING TOKEN on the table with the Morning side face up.
8th. Place the rest of Health, Ammunition and Food Tokens on the table to create a GENERAL SUPPLY.
9th. Choose the Starting Player or the Leader and give that player the EXPEDITION LEADER TOKEN.
That’s the setup and we are ready to play The Lost Expedition.
The game of The Lost Expedition is played over several rounds until players have triggered the end of the game. Each round consists of Morning Phase followed by Evening Phase.
In each phase, players will play their cards on the table to create a PATH. After creating the Path, they will then resolve the cards one by one from left to right. When players have finished resolving the last card of the path, players have to spend 1 Food from the team supply and that will be the end of the phase.
To create a path in this phase, players will take turns playing 1 card from their hand, starting with the Leader, going clockwise until each player has played 2 cards. Place these cards on the table to create a single row.
If playing with 2 players, do it until each player has played 3 cards each.
Once this is done, then REARRANGE THE CARDS IN NUMERICAL ORDER FROM THE LOWEST TO THE HIGHEST. Or we can rearrange it as we play the card.
Now, resolve each card one by one from left to right. Read the next subsection below of how to resolve cards and captions. After resolving all cards from this phase, that is the end of Morning Phase.
Players have to SPEND 1 FOOD from the team supply. Then flip the Morning token to the Evening side face up and begin the Evening Phase if the end of the game hasn’t been triggered.
This part works the same in either Morning and Evening Phase.
Players must resolve all of the mandatory Captions on the card before moving on to the next card. Each card has one or more Captions at the top, which is a set of icons.
There are 3 types of Captions indicated by their color. Players must resolve the Yellow ones first, then one of the Red and finally the optional Blue Captions. or ignore the Blue.
If the Caption has Yellow background color, players have to resolve all of them. That means if there are more than 1 Yellow Captions, resolve the left captions first then resolve the next Yellow one.
If the Caption has Red background color, usually there will be more than 1 captions. We need to resolve ONLY ONE of the Red captions and ignore the rest.
If the Caption has Blue background color, we can choose to ignore or resolve them. With multiple Blue Captions on the same card, we can decide each of them individually whether to resolve or ignore.
After all captions has been resolved, the card can either go to the Discard Pile or it can become an Expertise card depending on the player’s choice. For the latter, place the card in the team’s area for Expertise cards. Only after then, that card can be used to resolve captions on the subsequent cards.
At this point, players can either resolve the next card or move on to the next phase if the end game hasn’t been triggered.
This also works the same for Resolving any Adventure cards. Each caption has one or more Symbols.
Every Symbol on the Caption must be resolved individually, one by one from left to right, individually. By individually means, if there are 2 same symbols next to each other, each one works on its own.
Only after the entire symbols of 1 caption has been resolved, players can proceed to either the next caption or the next card.
There are 4 groups of symbols that works differently: RESOURCE, EXPERTISE, PATH and EXPEDITION symbols.
Resource Symbols includes symbols for HEALTH, FOOD and AMMUNITION. All of them are represented by their own tokens. Any of these symbols can either show up on card to indicate either GAIN (filled with black color) or SPEND (blank and only the shape) the corresponding resources.
If we get to GAIN RESOURCE symbols, we take the matching token from the General Supply and place it to the Team supply for Ammunition and Food. For Health token, if we gain something, we can place it on any Explorer card with less than 4 Health tokens.
If we get to SPEND RESOURCE symbols, we take the matching token either from the Team’s supply or the Explorer Card and place them to the general suppy.
For SPEND FOOD symbol, we can choose to spend the Health token from one of the Explorer cards. But it doesn’t work the other way around. If we have to Spend Health, we must spend Health.
If any Explorer has lost all of their Health tokens, we FLIP THE EXPLORER CARD. The explorer is considered as dead. We can no longer add Health afterwards or use their health to spend Expertise. However, we can still gain Expertise Card even without the matching explorer.
Expertise Symbols are similar to Resources Symbols in terms of GAIN (filled with black) and SPEND (blank and just shape). Expertise symbols include JUNGLE, NAVIGATION and CAMPING symbols.
If we get to any GAIN EXPERTISE symbols on the Caption, after resolving the rest of the symbols and captions, we can take the card and place it to the Team Supply.
That means the Adventure card becomes an Expertise Card. If that caption has multiple Gain Expertise symbols, the card can be used for multiple symbols but only once.
If we get to any SPEND EXPERTISE symbols, there are 3 ways to pay. One is by using the Expertise Cards we gained previously and already in the team supply. Two is by Spending Health from the Explorer with the matching expertise symbols.
Three is by spending 2 Health from the Explorer with the other Expertise symbols. So, it’s either 1 health of the matching expertise or 2 Health from a different one. The 2 Health must come from 1 Explorer not 2 separately.
If any Explorer has lost all of their Health tokens, we FLIP THE EXPLORER CARD. The explorer is considered as dead. We can no longer add Health afterwards or use their health to spend Expertise. However, we can still gain Expertise Card even without the matching explorer.
Path Symbols are symbols that can manipulate the Path. This includes SKIP, SWAP, REMOVE and ADD symbols.
SKIP symbol means we have to discard the next card in the path on the right of the current card. Place the discarded card on to the discard pile. Mandatory.
SWAP symbol means we may swap the position of 2 Adventure cards after the current card in the path. Swap is Optional.
REMOVE symbol means, we have to discard the last card in the path. This does not include the current card. If there is no other card after the current one, ignore it. Otherwise, place the removed card to the discard pile.
ADD symbol means, we draw a card from the deck and add it to the end of the Path. This new card must be resolved as well unless we manage to use Skip symbol before that card. Mandatory.
Then there are 2 more symbols: ADVANCE and DEATH.
If we get to ADVANCE symbol, we move the Pawn on the EXPEDITION CARD to the next one 1 space closer to the Lost City of Z.
Once the pawn reaches the last card, the game ends immediately in a win. Even if the caption itself still has more icons or even if the card has more captions to be resolved. It doesn’t matter.
If we get to the DEATH symbol, we have to remove one alive Explorer on the team out of the game.
Those are all of the symbols we can find on any Caption. After resolving all symbols on a caption, we can proceed to resolve the next caption or resolve the next Adventure card or proceed to the next phase if the end game hasn’t been triggered.
This phase is actually similar to Morning Phase where players will play their cards to create Path of single line of cards, with 2 exceptions. One, players do not draw more cards and just play all of the remaining cards from their hand. Two, there is no rearranging to ascending order but instead the card will stay in the same order as how they are played.
Each card is added to the right of the previous card. They are not rearranged by number.
Starts with the current leader, followed by player in clockwise order, play 1 card until all cards are played. Then, resolve the card from left to right, one by one, just like in the Morning Phase.
After resolving all cards from this phase, that is the end of Evening Phase. Players have to SPEND 1 FOOD from the team supply and flip the Evening token to the Morning side again. That will be the end of the current round.
If players have no Food, they can choose to lose Health from one of the remaining explorers.
End of the Round
At the end of every round, pass the Leader token to the next player in clockwise order. Each player then draw a new hand of 4 cards from the Adventure Deck. For playing with just 2 players, each player draws 6. Players can start the new round with Morning Phase again.
If the Adventure deck is empty, the team loses 1 Food, then shuffle the discard pile to create a new Adventure Deck face down. If players have no Food, they can choose to lose Health from one of the remaining explorers.
When the deck is empty for the second time of the game, players immediately lose the game.
Ending the Game
There are 3 ways to end the game of The Lost Expedition.
One. The moment the pawn gets to the Lost City of Z, the players win. Even if the card or the caption hasn’t been resolved completely.
Two. If all 3 Explorers are dead then the players lose.
Three. If the Adventure Deck runs out of card for the second time, players lose.
We can also play The Lost Expedition as a single player. The solo rule is similar to the cooperative mode but with some tweak.
As setup, we still use a team of 3 different Expertise with 3 Health Tokens each. The team starts with 3 Ammunition and 3 Food Tokens. Place all 9 Expedition Cards and lay them as single row ending in the Lost City (number 9). Place the Pawn on the First Expedition Card.
Shuffle the Adventure Deck and deal 6 cards as the starting hand. That’s the setup. In solo mode, the rules for Morning and Evening Phase are slightly different while Resolving Cards or Captions remain the same as in cooperative mode.
Morning Phase (Solo)
In solo mode, we are still creating a Path by playing cards in a single row and rearrange them in ascending order. However, the cards come from both the hand and from the top of the deck.
1st. Starts with drawing 2 cards from the top of the deck, rearranged.
2nd. Play 2 cards from the hand to the path, rearranged.
3rd. Draw 1 card from the top of the deck and add it to the path, rearranged.
4th. Play 1 more card from the hand to the path, rearranged.
That means, the path should have a total of 6 cards with 3 cards left in the hand.
Resolve all of the cards on the Path from left to right, one by one as in cooperative mode. At the end of this phase, SPEND 1 FOOD or lose 1 Health as replacement.
Evening Phase (Solo)
In this phase, we are also creating Path by playing the remaining cards from hand and 3 more from the deck. The difference is, we can either play the card at the start or at the end of the Path.
First, play 1 Card from hand to form the Path. After this the next card can either come from hand or the top of the deck. Place one by one to the left or the right of the path.
Repeat this until all 3 cards from hand plus 3 cards from the deck have been played to form the Path. Then resolve the card, one by one, from left to right.
After all cards have been resolved, SPEND 1 FOOD or lose 1 Health and that will be the end of the Evening Phase.
Ending the Game and Scoring
The solo game of The Lost Expedition can end in the same way as in the cooperative mode. Win when the moment the pawn reaches the last Expedition card. Lose if all 3 Explorers are dead or the deck is empty for the 2nd time of the session.
In addition to that, there is a suggestion to count score from this Solo mode.
Final Score: (1 point per remaining Food token, Ammunition token and Expertise Card in the team’s supply + 5 points if the deck hasn’t been shuffled), multiplied by the number of surviving explorers.
There is also a rule to play The Lost Expedition competitively between just 2 players. In this mode, the player who can reach the Lost City first or survive the longest will win the game.
As part of the setup, REMOVE Adventure cards #1, #8, #17, #33, #41 and #52. These cards will have exclamation mark in the title.
Each player will have their own team with 3 Explorers of 3 different areas of Expertise. Both start with 3 Ammunition, 3 Food and 4 Health each.
Lay out 7 EXPEDITION CARDS in the center of the table, ending in The Lost City. Place both Pawns on the First Expedition Card.
Shuffle the Adventure Deck and deal 6 cards for each player. Decide who will be the first expedition leader of the 2.
Like the other modes to play this game, the head-to-head variant will also have Morning and Evening Phase. They will resolve cards and have to Spend 1 Food at the end of each phase.
In the Morning, the cards will be rearranged in ascending order, while in the Evening, the card order is the same as they are played.
The difference is that in both phases, both players have a choice of playing their cards on 2 Paths or 2 rows of cards. One Path will be created on top side of the Expedition cards and the other on the bottom side of the Expedition cards.
There is no limit to the number of cards that each player can add to any of the 2 Paths. That means one Path can have 0 card while the other can have the rest. In that case, one player can will get to resolve and possibly win or lose the game while the other player will just stay still.
After each player has played 3 cards from their hand to either of the 2 Paths, one player will resolve one path and the opponent will take the other path. But they don’t know which path they will take yet.
At this point, the Leader gets to choose. Either pick a Path or allow the other player to pick the Path first and take the other. Whoever chooses the path will resolve their Path first and then wait for the opponent to finish resolving the other paths.
When the round ends, draw 6 cards to each player from the deck and pass the Leader token to the other player.
Ending the Game (Competitive)
This game mode can end in 3 ways.
One. If a pawn reaches the Final Expedition Card.
Two. If all 3 explorers from a single team are dead.
Three. If the Adventure Deck runs out for the second time.
But this doesn’t determine the winner yet. If one player ends the game, the other player should complete the game or the current path.
After this point, there are 3 possible ways to determine the winner.
Ending 1. If one player reaches the lost city, that player wins. In the case both reach the Lost city in the same phase, the player with the most surviving explorer wins. If it’s a tie then the player with more cards left in the path wins. And if it’s still a tie, the player who started as the Leader of that round loses.
Ending 2. If all of 1 player’s explorers die, that player loses. In the case all explorers are dead then the player closest to the Lost City wins. If it’s a tie then the leader of the round loses.
Ending 3. If the Adventure deck runs out of cards for the 2nd time of the game, the player closest to the Lost City wins. If this is a tie, then the player with the most surviving explorers wins. And if it’s still a tie, the leader of the round loses.
That is it with how to play The Lost Expedition in various different modes.
My Experience & Thoughts
I have only played The Lost Expedition mostly solo. Maybe one time 2-handed as part of the learning. Like a lot of other people, I lost a lot in this game. It wasn’t even close to the last Expedition card. With 9 Expedition cards, I’ve only reached like the 5th one in the first couple of sessions.
So, it was frustrating. And yet, this game was in the top 200 Solo games, voted by the community for a couple of years. A lot of people clearly love this while there are others that hate the game for being too difficult.
I can see that maybe people love this game for the theme. The story that people find by playing the game from the pictures on each card and every action they chose for the characters. Then players become sentimental that those characters die in the process.
Players will try to keep them alive until the end. They make sure they get enough resources, to keep them going for any number of days. Sadly, people will feel that the randomness will get in the way. We will get bad cards and it seems it’s not going to help much.
The game feels unfair. People keep saying that they give up the game after keep losing. Some even mentioned that they won like maybe once or twice if ever. Those who are still willing to try then considered getting expansions as it makes the game less random.
On the other hand, based on the real story that inspired the game, the explorers didn’t survive. Nobody knows where they were, let alone reaching that destination. So, in a way, losing the game seems pretty accurate.
However, this is still a game. People will and should try to win. I personally not really into the theme. Usually I look for the gameplay first and if I enjoy the game to keep playing it, the theme will eventually come through. With a lot of those losses, I cannot really say that I enjoy the game to a point that I will care enough for the theme.
So, I thought, that was just the way the game is and I need to accept that. But then some people who try to defend the game keep saying that their win ratio gets better. I was curious so I did more research, hopefully to find some strategy to get better.
Turns out, there were a couple of strategy discussion on BGG. Even until today, there are only 6 threads under the Strategy section. One of them shows the distribution of each icon, the number we can get and the number we have to spend from all cards.
Food is the highest while Ammunition and Health are the lowest chance we can get. From that, even I assume that Ammunition and Health is the most valuable one and any chance we get, we should probably choose options with this reward.
I checked the cards slightly then realized that Navigations are more important to win. A lot of Advance actions require Navigation more than the other 2 expertise. Clearly, if we have to sacrifice an explorer, the one with Navigation should be the last one.
Then I saw that there are 24 Advance symbols. We only need 8 of them. To be fair, 24 was from all cards where cards can have 2 on the same card, both in red captions that we can only choose. But the chances to just keep pushing to win is definitely better.
Some people even pointed out that for the most part, the game probably only up to 3 rounds or less. Shuffling rarely happens, let alone getting to the 2nd time. Either we already won or died when we get to the new deck. I was really surprised that from the discussion, some people say that the game was not that difficult to win.
So, if we divide 8 into 3 days, we can expect to move like 3 times per day. Maybe 2 and 1 in either phase or all 3 in 1 phase. I guess that is how I got better idea of the scope or size of the game.
This is not a game that we can make sure that everybody will safe. Somebody said that it can still happen that all 3 explorers might make it to the end. That can happens like one time out of multiple plays.
The key is that we only need one explorer to reach the end to win. Which means, sacrificing probably the other 2 along the way. This is also not a game where we can play safe, wait until we get the right card, hopefully positive one before we push it.
That is not going to happen. The chances of negative effect is higher. Staying still will only deplete any resources for no result. So, the only way is to push forward.
Of course, there will be moments where we have to wait because there are just no good cards. Maybe even no Advance symbol at all. But then in the next round, we definitely will get more.
It’s just that, to win the game, we need to shift the idea from “I will get more Advance symbol later” to “I have to find any way to trigger it now” as the main mindset. With this idea then the next to consider is to make sure that those cards with Advance symbols won’t get skipped.
After I started using this keep pushing idea, I got better result, even won twice so far. Even if I lost, I got to 7th or 8th card. For me personally, this is enough to change my few about the game from totally frustrating to decently enjoyable.
But I still can get frustrated by the luck of card draw. Another thing was that the game really has no margin of error. This was not bad as we can just be more careful.
However, from my most recent play, I thought I made it. Then I checked the picture I took from every phase and realized I made a mistake. I should have lost one resources on second day but I forgot to spend one and kept moving and I thought I won. So, it was kind of disappointing.
Maybe I should find a better feel as when to push and when to slow it down. I think I tend to just keep pushing it until I’m close to lose. Then again, with very tiny margin, combined with the random bad card, it doesn’t seem I get a good result.
That is also after I wrote the analysis part of this review above. Where I examine all cards and figure out what is the best action to pick for each card. That definitely helped but I still lost.
My strategy is, basically, holding cards to the evening phase is the key. Just make sure that we have cards that we can use to skip and all the bad cards to skip. Of course, there is a chance that we get more bad cards that the skip actions that we can trigger.
What’s weird is that, with the idea of skipping that moves forward to the next card on the right, I actually forgot that we can play card to the left in solo mode.
I haven’t tried the expansion even though I have access to it. It’s just I don’t think it is necessary. There is enough decision space but maybe not big enough for me.
Also from what I read, the expansion seems to turn the game from being thematically grounded or realistic to become in fantasy setting. At least, using the Were beast module.
Another player suggests using one additional character or start with 4 Health to make the game easier. Not really sure why the solo doesn’t have different difficulty setting like the cooperative mode.
Even if I can win, I’m having a hard time, enjoying the theme. In fact, maybe in order to win, I want to suggest ignoring the theme and just look them as number and resources. This includes consider the explorers like nothing but resources we can sacrifice.
I can see that a lot of other people will actually do the opposite. They will have hard time not being attached to the theme.
Even if let’s say I’m willing to work on following the theme, I’m not sure who I am in this game. Why do I have to set the Path and knowing what will happen. Then suddenly I become part of the team of explorers and make decision from that point of view.
I mean in other cooperative games, the game will set the challenge. As player, I just have to deal with them. In that case I have better idea of what my role is.
As a game mechanism, it makes the game interesting, for sure. Well, maybe those who don’t overthink something like that can enjoy the game more than I do.
I don’t have any experience playing this with other player, let alone multiple of them. So, I cannot say much whether this will be a good experience or not. It seems that this is a kind of game that will be easier when multiple players understand how to win. When they know why they should hold card, know about skipping cards, when to play good and bad cards, then the team will have better chance to win.
Otherwise, it’s going to be very difficult to plan anything. I guess higher player count will make things harder. My question is, where is the actual game when playing in cooperative? We cannot really talk about cards in hand so it has to be about resolving them after they are played.
Again, maybe because I don’t have any experience. It feels like resolving just means figuring out the best outcome from what’s already there. Since it goes down to one decision, I thought experienced player will just take over during the resolving. Like an Alpha gamer issue.
Of course, people can just say, it’s player problem for not behaving good to the others. But at the same time, I can also see that the player with less experience can just say “up to you. You know better than me about this game. Make decision.”
The only random part that can be added during that time is if we encounter add cards. But even single player can decide on that. Not really have to rely on their partner.
I haven’t tried the competitive mode. Not sure I will. There are definitely some interesting twists to the basic game. Is it better than the multiplayer cooperative mode? It could be. At least when both players are equally good in this game. Otherwise, the other player might feel left out, getting crushed by the more experience one. That’s just my assumption.
Overall, especially as solo game, this is not that bad. A lot of solo players have expressed their love for this game from the annual voting for the best solo games.
I probably still want to play if I have the chance. But again, this is not really the type of game that I really seek out. Especially with that randomness and low margin of error.
Also the disconnect between the gameplay and the theme, at least for me. The theme only works during resolving the card. For me, it’s still mostly about creating a story based on icons. Not really experience the theme ourselves.
I can also see that the base game doesn’t have that much replay value. Sure, random card order might run the game differently but there are only 56 cards. Most of them we will try to skip if we have the chance. The more we play the more familiar with all cards, it seems.
Expansions and Accessories
It has been a couple of years since the base game of The Lost Expedition was released. At this point, there was at least 1 major expansions and a couple of promo cards to expand the game. The idea behind the game itself was limited. It doesn’t seem to be getting more expansions but here are the available ones for now.
The Cursed Idol Promo Cards (2017)
This set of 4 cards, including the card for the rule are designed for the solo mode primarily. They can also be used in cooperative mode. This promo cards were offered during UK Games Expo 2017.
To play with them, we can just shuffle these 3 new Adventure Cards to the deck. The 3 Cards are POSSESSED! (20.5), GOLDEN IDOL (40.5) and ANCIENT TRAP! (99.5).
Possessed! allows us to gain a lot of resources but we will have to sacrifice one of the characters. Golden Idol can give any of the Expertise and Health after spending Food. Ancient Traps allows us to Advance a couple of times if we choose to sacrifice one of the explorers.
At the time of this writing, the product is available on BGG Store for 5 USD. The main publisher doesn’t seem to have it on their webstore.
The Lost World Promo Cards (2017)
This is also a set of 3 cards, mainly for cooperative mode of The Lost Expedition. All of them are new Adventure Cards that we can just shuffle in the deck and play.
The 3 new cards from this set are HUGE NEST! (0.5), DINO ATTACK! (10.5) and CLEVER GIRLS! (50.5). Huge Nest is probably the first Adventure card to have 2 Yellow Captions. The second one allows us to Skip the next 4 cards in the Path.
Dino Attack will force us to lose 2 Health to trigger all of the Path Actions. Then if we choose to spend 2 Ammunition, we can gain Food and one of two expert symbols. Clever Girls can be very challenging. We have to lose a lot only to gain 1 Jungle.
Currently, this promo pack is also available on BGG Store for 5 USD. Nothing on the publisher’s webstore.
The Creature Promo Cards (2017)
This is also a set of 3 cards. They were offered as part of the Boardgame Advent Calendar 2017, which was an event releasing 1 promo set of one game each day from December 1st to 24th in 2017. The Lost Expedition promo was released on day 14.
The 3 new cards from this set are LAIR! (5.5), MUIRAQUITTÁ! (25.5) and MAPINGUARI! (30.5). Lair! would be another card that can give more Ammunition after spending Food and Health or we can just take a Jungle.
Muiraquittá can give Camping plus 2 Health if we choose to spend 1 Navigation. With Mapinguari, if we can spend 3 Food, we can gain any of 3 Expertise. Otherwise we have to lose 1 Camping and 1 Jungle.
The rule says that it is recommended to use this in competitive mode. However, they also work in any other game mode.
This set used to be available on BGG store as well. Unfortunately, only the Geekmarket has one offer left at this moment.
Percy Explorer Cards (2018)
In October 2018, Tabletop Gaming Magazine issue 23 released this Explorer card. This is based on Percy Fawcett which is the person behind the real exploration story of the Lost City of Z that inspired this game.
There is no additional rule or rule change when using this card as one of the Explorer Card. This one has Camping Expertise. Without additional rule, BGG only has this on the LINKED ITEMS instead of Expansion section.
Garen Ewing, the illustrator of this game also created 3 alternative explorer cards using the characters from Adventure of Julius Chancer series. He shared the file for free so anybody can print and play with the copy of the Lost Expedition game. We can find more about this here on his blog.
Free Coloring Books
The publisher of this game, Osprey Games released several free Coloring Book files related to the Lost Expedition Game. We can find the files on this page.
Basically, these are illustration of several cards from the game without any color. We can print them or add color digitally.
The Fountain of Youth & Other Adventures (2018)
Below is an interview video with the publisher, discussing the content of this expansion during GenCon 2018 by BGG channel. This expansion comes in an even smaller box with 32 new cards in it to add several modules to the base game individually or altogether.
First, there is ENDURANCE RULE when playing with any of the modules to either solo or cooperative mode. With this rule when the deck of Adventure cards runs out, we don’t create a new deck using cards from the discard pile.
If then we have to add cards to the Path, we immediately lose the game. During the start of a new round, if there are not enough cards as the starting hand for both phase, we can just deal enough cards for the Morning phase. We have to win the game at the end of the Morning Phase. If there are not enough cards even just for the morning phase, then we lose the game.
I’m going to talk about the last one mentioned in the book. We will get 3 NEW EXPLORER CARDS the NEW FRIENDS module. They are not just new characters but they introduced different expertise that each of them can have.
These characters are considered as COMPANIONS. Instead of replacing any of the regular 3 explorers with their expertise, we will add one companion to the team.
The first new character is VULCANA, a strongwoman. She has NO EXPERTISE but she starts the game with 5 Health.
The second new character is COMATSI. He is a native guide and a specialist in all 3 areas of expertise.
The last one is RINTY. She is a war dog with no expertise. However, she has access to one of the Path action: REMOVE CARD. At any point in a phase, we can spend 1 Health from Rinty to remove the last card unless it is the current card. Also, we cannot use Rinty to resolve DEATH action.
The next module from this expansion is called THE FOUNTAIN. To play with this module we should add 12 NEW ADVENTURE CARDS with a skull icon behind the number.
This doesn’t exactly introduce new gameplay feature. They just new card with new story elements. Basically, the forest was haunted by a band of conquistradors from the late 16th century. They were trying to find the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH that gave them eternal life but not eternal youth. So, now, they are trying to get rid of any intruders or the explorers.
The rule says that this module will increase the difficulty and they suggest also using the NEW FRIENDS module when playing.
The third module from this expansion is called THE MARK. With this module, one of the explorers can be cursed along the way and there is a chance that the explorer might become a WERE-BEAST.
So, there will be 6 new Adventure cards to play with this module. Each of them will have a new MARK symbol that players can choose to activate. When activating any of them for the first time, we will choose one of the explorers that will get the MARK. We then slide this new WERE BEAST CARD below that explorer card, revealing just the name of the Were Beast.
Then, the second time we trigger the Mark Action, this marked explorer will turn into the Were Beast. Were Beast works like regular Explorers but Were Beast has Ammunition symbol as their Expertise.
Anytime we have to spend an Ammunition, we can instead spend 1 Health from this Were Beast. The problem is that the expertise of that explorers is no longer working. So, we cannot spend 2 Health to pay a different expertise from this Were Beast.
If the marked explorer dies before turning into the Were Beast, then the other explorers will gain that Mark. But if the Were Beast dies, any other Mark symbols will do nothing.
The last module is THE MOUNTAIN. From this module, we will get 10 NEW EXPEDITION CARDS, which will replace the Expedition cards from the base game, except for the last one that shows the Lost City of Z.
There will be 3 types of new Expedition Cards now. One is BASE CAMP CARD, one other is the PEAK CARD and the rest will be called the SLOPE CARDS.
The idea is that the team of explorers will start from the BASE CAMP, proceeds through a number of Slope Cards before reaching the PEAK. From the Peak, explorers will be going through a number of Slope cards again before reaching the Lost City of Z.
The New Cards may or may not have Captions with symbols that we need to resolve similar to Adventure Cards with 3 colors. Players have to resolve the Caption from the Expedition cards first before resolving the Adventure Cards.
The thing is that the Slope Cards will be facing down and randomize at the start of the game. Only when the pawn advances to the card, we will flip the Slope Card face up. Except when the pawn reaches the PEAK CARD and the remaining of the Slope cards to the Lost City of Z will be revealed.
These new Expedition Cards introduce new symbol or action: SCOUT with the binocular icon. This action allows players to reveal 3 top cards from the Adventure Deck.
After that, players can choose to either return them all in the order of their choice to the deck. Or they can discard them all but not partially. Exception for the solo mode, player cannot rearrange the card after revealing them but player can still discard them all.
Some people say that playing with all modules will make the game easier and more strategic. The only challenge seems to come only from the Fountain module.
Session Reports and Pictures
Usually, I share a session report of playing a game on BGG. Here are the links of each session for this game. Here is the link to my BGG Blog to find out more of other session reports for various games.
I also put turn-by-turn pictures of a session and unboxing pictures for every game on my collection that anybody can find on my Instagram. For this game, search for #TheLostExpeditionAtHomeOfMark on IG for all of the sessions.
The Lost Expedition is a card game inspired by Percy Fawcett’s real expedition to find the Lost City of Z. We can play the game mostly cooperatively with up to 5 players. However, there is an official suggestion to play the game with single player or competitively with just 2 players.
In this game, we are controlling a team of 3 explorers trying to survive while going through a lot of hazards in the jungle. Hopefully at least one of them can reach the Lost City of Z.
Every round there will be 2 phases, Morning and Evening Phase. At the start of each round, players will get a hand of Adventure cards. They have to play half of them for the Morning and the other half for the evening. These will create the Path that the team will go through. One card at a time from left to right.
Each card we play will have one or more Captions which is a series of symbols that players need to resolve before moving to the next card.
The Captions can have one of 3 colors which indicates whether the caption is a mandatory, a choice or options. If it is mandatory or has yellow color, then we have to resolve them with whatever the consequences are. For red color captions, usually it comes with more than one captions that we can choose one. If it is blue, then we can choose to ignore or resolve the entire caption if we want.
There are definitely a lot more negative cards compared to the positive one. Some of the symbols can also alter the current line of cards like skipping the entire card, or swap position between 2. There are also a symbol to add more card at the end of the line or remove the last card of the line.
We don’t know which card will show up next so adding card can mean pushing our luck. Even if not so positive, especially if we can swap position that can help. Remove can of course remove bad card, but can also remove a good one.
Part of the game is hand management. Sometimes we have to hold cards and play them later in the Evening phase. During Morning phase, cards that we play to create the path will be rearranged automatically so they will be in ascending numerical order. While in the evening, the cards we play will stay in the order the cards were played.
So, we have more control of what will happen during the evening. The thing is, there is still a chance that all cards will be bad. I think the point is still to minimize the bad result. But if we can survive that day / round, maybe the rest will be easier.
These symbols on Captions represent the event, create a story that revolves around the explorers during the expedition. On the background of each card, we can see a very beautiful illustration related to those captions, that may help the players tell the story.
The symbols can mean something positive that will give the team resources, expertise or to advance on the Expedition track. On the other hand, they can also show symbols that becomes a requirement. The team will then have to spend or lose some of their supply, including the explorer’s health. If all 3 of them lost all of their up to 4 health tokens, the players lose.
The health on different explorers can be spent for different cost. Other than for health itself, it can also pay the expertise requirement that is matching with the explorer’s expertise. We can also just lose health to replace Food but it doesn’t work the other way around. If the game ask for Health, we cannot replace it with Food or the Expertise symbols.
With that idea, the game is a resource management game while we have to trade one type of resources to another. Understanding the priority between type of symbols and how we can use them in different ways can definitely help.
While the theme is survival, but staying longer, waiting for the right moment to get the good card doesn’t seem to work. If anything, it seems like just keep pushing, triggering the Advance option anytime will give better result. We may still lose but it is closer to the finish line while if we wait, we just lose supply for no return.
I think a lot of people expect that they can do well by playing more carefully and longer. It’s possible that the game can take more than 3 rounds but more likely than not the game will end sooner. The fact that there is a rule about reshuffle the deck and we immediately lose if it happens the 2nd time, seems to give a wrong impression. In reality, shuffling will not happen at all. 3 rounds means we will only play like about 18 to 24 cards out of 56.
I think this game is better as a solo game. Even the cooperation with multiple players is just about how to resolve the cards mostly. Players are not allowed to reveal any detail about the cards in their hand.
Of course, players can still discuss about what kind of card that will be better in the current situation before the next player play their card. Like saying we need a card to skip this existing one or so. The next card will be better if it is not a bad one. Or something like that.
The thing is that the game is already punishing enough. We will not win the game with a lot of margin for mistakes. It’s possible to suddenly lose the game completely because of multiple bad cards. Maybe even by just looking the cards, before resolving, we already know that we cannot win. The only additional random input at that point would be to trigger the Add Card action.
With a slim margin of error, then the experience player will kind of expect the other players to have the level of understanding the strategy. This is not a cooperative game where if one player messes up, the other player can cover it. That can lead to some frustrations, possibly even blaming the other player when they reveal the cards that they didn’t play. Maybe it’s not that bad but the potential is there.
Unless the game is less punishing and has more room for mistakes, playing the game alone is probably a better way. Luckily, for cooperative mode, there is a difficulty setting to make the game easier or harder.
I haven’t tried the competitive mode but it seems that both players should be equally good. Otherwise, the one with more experience can just take advantage of the other one.
The Lost Expedition is considered as a Thematic Game. Some people don’t even care about winning and just enjoy the story that can happen.
I personally think there is a disconnect. The immersion of the theme only happens while resolving the cards. When player becomes the explorers and have to go through each card. It’s still a good one though.
As to how we make decision to create the path then play the card, it feels like we are having a different role. Like maybe becoming a God that creates the Path for these humans.
Each card may have multiple options that we can choose later. We can expect things to happen based on the current situation. But they may or may not happen, especially with the possibility to skip some cards.
Mechanically, that is an interesting gameplay of hand management. It’s like we are making the challenge ourselves and then switch position to deal with that challenge. With other games, usually the game has their own mechanism to set the next situation and we can just stay as the character and deal with them.
Maybe other people don’t have that issue with that two roles. But I do have one more aspect that kind of breaks the immersion. The game is so challenging but there is a decent chance to win. However, even for that decent chance, maybe it’s easier if we ignore the theme and just look at them as nothing but symbols.
This way the character becomes just another type of resources that we can spend or sacrifice. It’s not a game that we can try to safe everybody with occasionally bad luck that leads to the demise of one random character. Maybe we even decide from the start, that the explorer with this expertise to die first or similar to that.
I personally look more for the game and not the theme or story. But this one has a good story and a good game that I feel kind of against each other. I have to choose one and very rarely can enjoy both.
I also think that the game doesn’t have staying power that much. We are still playing with the same 56 cards from the base game. While the order can make things different but most of them will just get skipped or avoided.
It’s a game that we can play a couple of sessions once in a while. I don’t mind playing it again but I probably won’t find anything more from it.
More Similar Games
There are many tabletop games out there whether a board or card game that might share some similarities with The Lost Expedition. Some people may look for those similarities that they enjoy. It can be the mechanism or even just the same theme or setting.
Usually, a board game will have a lot of elements. It is kind of difficult find another game where everything is similar. Which is why, in this section, I try to break them into things that I enjoy from the game and point out games that share the same experience.
These next games are just some games that I have tried, played and written a review for them, up to this point. Check out the link to each article to find out more and also check this Complete list for more games.
I think one of the best thing about The Lost Expedition is how thematic the game is. Some people will try to enjoy the story and what happen to the character but for me, I only see the survival theme.
In this game, we may feel that the game is too punishing. It seems we will always run out of resources or anything we need. Sometimes it comes to a very tough decision. Sacrifice something seems inevitable and may lead into sacrificing the characters. There are not a lot of rooms for mistakes. But all of them is necessary in order to win.
Here are games that I’ve played and maybe can give a bit of that experience. So far, none of these have the same gameplay mechanism and setting with The Lost Expedition.
The first one is probably The Big Book of Madness. This is a cooperative deck building game in the wizarding world setting. In this one, players will be fighting against several monsters and try to seal them back in this Big Book of Madness.
Each monster is accompanied by several curses that we also need to deal with. However, we have a choice between trying to beat each curse or Monster and trying to build up our magic power and suffer the consequences of the earlier curses.
Building up the magic is necessary to beat the final boss. So, it’s like we have to lose the battle a bit in order to win the war. We only have so little time and yet we also need to survive those curses.
If we look for games with survival theme, I think games with Tower Defense style can offer that experience. Enemies will keep coming and we need to stay to protect the last line of defense. Eventually the final boss will show up and we can try to make the last push to beat the boss and end the game.
For a tower defense games, I’ve played Goblins vs Zombies. This is like Plants vs Zombies but instead of playing a plant, we play as the Goblins. The Zombies will keep coming and attack the Goblin’s village.
This is also a card game with a bit of hand management mechanism similar to The Lost Expedition. The challenge in this one is that we can only deploy 3 Goblins at a time. Each Goblin has their own specialty like getting more cards, attacking long range or flying zombies.
With that limited space, we have to constantly switch the type of Goblins in the line of defense depending on the different type of Zombies that are coming. If we play with the Boss mode and not just the survival mode, after a couple of rounds, the boss will show up and we have to try to beat the boss to end the stream of zombies.
Another Tower Defense game that I’ve played is Tiny Epic Defenders. The game is set in medieval fantasy setting where players will be controlling characters of different races like Elfs, Dwarfs, Humans and many other, each with their own classes like Knight, Ranger, Cleric and many more.
Players will be trying to protect the Castle surrounded by 6 adjacent locations from the enemy’s attack. Each player will get a number of Action Points that they can spend for various action like moving, attacking, securing, activating abilities.
We need to protect the Castle long enough until the big boss shows up. Then we will shift our focus from protecting to defeating the boss in order to end the game.
The last game that I can recommend with survival theme is Maquis. In this one, the single player will control a Resistance Group during WWII trying to complete a mission while avoiding the government cops using worker placement mechanism.
We will be sending the worker to different part of the cities to gain different kind of resources like food and gun. The challenge is that at the end of each round, the worker must have an escape route back to their HQ. Otherwise, the worker will get captured by the government and it will become more difficult to win with less workers.
Another challenge is that there is a time limit for completing those missions. There will be moments where we have to take a bit of risk because we know that the chance for the guard to be in that position is very low. Other times we have to stay low and wait for another time.
Lining Up Cards, 1D Spatial Puzzle
Maybe there are some people like me who doesn’t really see the theme in The Lost Expedition. If we remove the story and the illustration, then the game becomes nothing but lining up cards. Each card will have their own unique abilities or action that we can activate.
In The Lost Expedition, some cards are very bad and we will try to avoid them using the Skip Action. We can also Swap their position instead of letting them stay in ascending order. So, it has a bit of spatial puzzle, even if just 1 dimensional.
One game about lining up cards that I’ve played is Finished!. This is a single player only card game. In this one, we will try to sort the card to be in ascending order after we shuffle the deck as a setup. We will go through the deck a number of times without shuffling while trying to sort them out following the game rules.
Like The Lost Expedition, each card has special power that we can activate. Some can generate resources that we need to activate them. Others can help us change position. The difference is that any power is optional. We still have to do a bit of resource management but it doesn’t feel like surviving for having lack of resources.
Another game with this idea of lining cards is Solar Draft. This is also a card game but mostly for competitive play. Thematically, players are trying to create their own solar system by lining up Planet Cards.
Each Planet card doesn’t have any power but it has different scoring conditions based on their position in the solar system and their interaction to the other planets. One planet might want to be closer to the sun or the 5th from the sun. Another wants to be the smallest planet or the only red planet or can get score from the other planet with certain color or if they have rings.
We can only play them from left most or closer to the sun to the right of this single line. There is a way to change them later but that might affect the scoring for another planet. Like in The Lost Expedition, there will be moment where we have to hold cards for later position.
Aside from planets, there are also Moons that we can attach to the planet to change the scoring. We can also play some Comets between planets so the other planets in our hand can go to farther position.
I guess Streets can be considered to have this idea as well. This is a tile laying game where we will create multiple lines of Streets filled with buildings. Each building tile has different scoring condition that can also interact with the other buildings mostly on the same street.
This is also a competitive game where multiple players can share the same streets. So, players can actually take advantage of the other buildings owned by other players.
With that same idea, I think maybe OddVille also counts. This is another tile laying game about building a city collectively with other players using cards. Each card has its own building and scoring elements. The wa we place them can be 2 dimensional but a lot of scoring are usually in one dimensional.
Lastly, I think Imperial Settlers also have this aspect but only if we play with one of the expansion, We didn’t Start the Fire. In the base game, everytime we build a location, it doesn’t matter where we place them . The position of 3 different types is just to help us organize those cards.
Using this expansion, the order of which building to build first becomes more important. The opponent can steal the one from the outermost position from the board way easier than those closer to the board.
That is all I can share with you about The Lost Expedition, a thematic card game based on real expedition story. I don’t usually look for thematic games like this but I did enjoy this game.
I may have missed something that I should have discussed regarding the game. Please don’t hesitate to point that out and share what you know related to this game and I will update this article.
I keep saying that these tabletop games can be a good way to spend some time without looking at the screen of our gadget. If we do have someone close, that we can play with, there are other games where we can play cooperatively or competitively but with a lot of player interaction.
The game can be very fast or like a filler type or it can take hours to play. Some games can also be played in solitaire mode and they are still more engaging than other entertainment activity. Some may say, it’s like a workout for the gray matter of our brain.
So, what is your experience on playing this game? If you know other games similar or even better than this, please do share via the comment section below. I would love to learn and play that game, assuming I can get a copy.
This article is just my notes about what I can find from the internet. Hopefully this can help anybody who reads it.
Thanks for reading.