We always have so much fun getting our favorite little ducks in tow and feeding them some yummy seeds. Today, let’s treat them to some bugs and slugs too! With our new bug jars in hand, we can collect plenty of bugs in no time at all. Let’s take a walk with the ducks!
What Is It?
Ducks in Tow is a pattern building game where players are using a pick-up-and-deliver mechanism to take ducks to their favorite locations in the park, on a modular board, trying to complete location cards and score points based on their longest contiguous line of each color of duck in the tableau. Players can also adopt ducks to fill in any gaps in their lines.
This expansion adds in bug tokens, which can be collected when players disperse their ducks at the end of a turn. Then, they can be placed on the new player boards and duck cards to gain additional end game scoring bonuses for their ducks, and in-game abilities such as a free movement action or feeding ducks from an adjacent location. The player boards also have ongoing variable player abilities like being able to swap ducks on the board, which players have from the start of the game and do not need to use bug tokens to earn.
Who Is It For?
- 1 -4 Players –The game is good at any player count, but I will say that I wasn’t huge on using this expansion with the solo game
- Ages 12+ – I’d say the game itself is for 8+, but the expansion adds a bit more strategy, which seems better for slightly older players
- Fans of the Ducks in Tow base game who want to add in a little more decision and strategy to the game without over complicating it
- Fans of pick-up and deliver, set collection, pattern building, and variable player powers
Solo – I think the solo mode of the base game is very interesting because it’s only 9 rounds and you need to finish the 3 available formation cards in order to win and score. So in general, I enjoy the solo. However, I don’t think this expansion really added to the solo experience, for me. It added more upkeep (fill the Automa’s duck card with a bug token each round, give them new duck cards when full, etc). but because you’re so focused on formations, it’s difficult to spend a lot of time focusing on the bugs in my opinion, so I felt like I probably wouldn’t add it into future solo plays. But, if you’re looking for that additional element/challenge, you might like it more than me!
- Easy to integrate into the base game
- Reference cards are clear and helpful
- Provides more opportunity for scoring
- The additional abilities that you start with (player boards) and can earn (duck cards) add a lot of potential for strategy
- I thought the bug tokens made the act of dispersing at the end of your turn so much more valuable because you’re trying to secure certain bugs, so I really liked that change
- Additional set-up
- I’d say it might be a little bit too much for younger players because of that additional strategy and variable abilities
I really liked this expansion! The original game is already great, and I think it’s good for families as an intro game, as well as more seasoned gamers. This expansion adds a bit of strategy which really elevates the gameplay.
In the original game, I always felt like it didn’t matter much where you dispersed your ducks, because players were never super far from what they needed anyway. This makes that action so much more important because it allows you to pick up bugs to get more scoring options and those additional abilities. I think the abilities themselves can be game changers and allow for some really good turns.
While I do think the abilities might be a little bit much for some of the younger players of the game, I definitely recommend this expansion to fans of the game who are looking for more.
My Final Rating – 7/10
*I was provided a prototype copy of this game to do this preview*
*All components shown are subject to change*
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