Branch and Claw introduces several new elements to the base game of Spirit Island.
Branch and Claw adds events into the Invader phase of the game. These events are contained in a deck of cards and can change game play. The events can impact in ways which are either positive or negative for the players but, unlike fear cards in the base game, they do not have to be earned.
The expansion includes tokens which prevent the invaders from exploring, building or ravaging. There are also wild beasts which can be added to the land. There are new major and minor power cards which link in with the tokens, as well as new blight and fear cards. The addition of the new cards keeps the game feeling fresh. The expansion also adds a new adversary in France.
There are also two new spirits included in the expansion – Sharp Fangs Behind the Leaves and Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds which use some of the tokens. Keeper focuses on spreading wilds tokens which prevent the invaders from being able to explore certain areas. Sharp Fangs commands the wild beasts of the land savaging their invaders and damaging their settlements. Unlike in the base game you can pick two growth options for these new spirits which add more versatility in the use of their powers.
All of these new items add a level of variability to the game. The tokens mean that spirits can deal with the invaders in different ways and can change the effectiveness of certain spirit combinations. The events add randomness which was absent from the base game. The new spirits add more abilities and lead to more interesting interactions.
You will need the base game of Spirit Island to be able to play with this expansion.
Player Count: 1 – 4
Time: 90-120 minutes