top of page

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

WBG Score: 8

Player Count: 1-6

You’ll like this if you like: Scythe, Innovation, Dune Imperium.

Published by: Stonemaier Games

Designed by: Jamey Stegmaier

This is a free review copy. See our review policy here.

I have reviewed the main game here, where you can also get an understanding for how to set-up and play the game. This review will focus purely on the new expansion, what it adds, and our thoughts on these additions.

Expeditions first came out in 2023. Billed as the sequel to Scythe, one of the biggest games in the industry, it received a mixed reaction. Some, expecting simply more Scythe, were a little disappointed. Others, more open to judging the game by its own merits, praised the game's clever but simple mechanics, ruleset, and structure. I was and remain a big fan of the game, but there are a few things that could be fixed and made better in my opinion. Does this first expansion do this? Well, lets it get it to the table and see how it plays.

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

What's New With Expeditions: Gears of Corruption

  • Two new Mechs to play with.

  • 7 mech mats (2 new mats and 5 dual-layered mats to replace the originals)

  • 16 new map tokens (each with a secret bonus on the face-down side)

  • 6 new Hero (wild) workers

  • 8 new starting cards

  • 6 new discovery cards

  • 7 new mech cards

  • 12 new corruption cards and 1 corrupted mech reference card

  • 6th player components: power, guile, glory, and action tokens

  • 6 silkscreen printed corruption tiles

  • A new Automa solo mode (5 progress cards, 1 corrupted mech reference card, 1 rulebook)

How To Set Up Expeditions: Gears of Corruption

Set up as you usually would with the main game with a few changes. First, replace the old map tokens with the new ones, being sure to place them face down on the board. Keep the old tokens for using in the main game, still. You will use the normal ones when you gain one through any other means other than exploring. But exploring new tiles now gives you these new benefits.

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

Also, replace all the old player boards with the new ones. The new boards are duel layered so all the tokens fit nicely and snug inside now. No more sliding about. Not that it happened a lot, to be honest. But it does help when you lif the board to slide and tuck cards underneath. You can now also randomly select which mech each player will play as by shuffling and then dealing out the mech cards.

You will also need to replace a few elements from the base game permanently. Tile 16 used in the base game should be permanently removed and replaced with a new one provided here. Also, item card 011. These fix some minor errors on the original print.

The six new corruption tokens should be added to the corruption bag, ready to be used in all games. Then shuffle the new item cards and character cards into their respective decks.

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

If you are using the new Corrupted mech module, place the corrupted mech reference card on the Basecamp glory track, showing the “Corrupted Mech Arrival” side, then shuffle the 12 corruption cards and set them nearby.

Finally, each player now starts with one wild Hero worker. This can be used as any worker during the game. You will only have one throughout, you cannot get any more. You are now ready to play.

How To Play Expeditions: Gears of Corruption

Play as usual, but now when you explore a new tile, the map token will grant an immediate bonus. Flip the token, and gain whatever is shown on the reverse side.

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

The corrupted mech is used to add a dummy extra player into the game. It first appears when a player places the first glory token. At the end of that player’s turn, any unused mech miniature is chosen and placed onto a revealed, unoccupied location. Now, flip the corrupted mech reference card to show “Corrupted Mech Turn” and place it to the right of that player. Next, deal five corruption cards face up in a pile next to the reference card so their corruption costs are all visible. Place the remaining corruption cards face down to form a deck beside this pile.

From now on the corrupted mech will take a turn before the player that activated it takes their turn. To do this, deal a new corruption card face up to the top of the pile. If the deck of corruption cards is empty, move the bottom card of the pile to the top.

If there is an open space in the specified direction on the new card, the mech will advance one space in that direction. Face-down spaces are considered open. Any map token is removed, the space is revealed if previously hidden, corruption tokens are placed on it, and the corrupted mech is moved onto it. Spaces already occupied by other mechs are not considered available. However, if the corrupted mech tries to move onto an occupied space, the player occupying that space will face the penalty described on the card. If there are no available spaces in the specified direction, the mech will attempt the next direction clockwise (and continue in this manner until it moves). If there are no available spaces in any direction, the mech will stop trying after checking all six directions and will not move. If the top card displays a second direction icon, the mech will attempt to move once more.

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

Players can utilise the Vanquish ability to eliminate corruption cards when their mech is next to the corrupted mech just like you would vanquish a corruption token. They must pay the cost indicated at the bottom of the top corruption card to acquire it. This action can be repeated to acquire multiple corruption cards in a single Vanquish ability.

Should a player take away the final corruption card that was revealed, the corrupted mech is removed from the game, regardless of whether there are still unrevealed corruption cards left. Place all the remaining corruption cards, the corrupted mech reference card, and the mech miniature back into the box.

Is It Fun? Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Board Game Review

I would get this expansion for the duel-layered player boards alone! Not that there was a real issue with the originals. I just love duel-layered player boards and feel it always makes the experience smoother, more luxurious, and obviously safer from knocks and cat attacks! The new boards in this expansion are wonderful and certainly make the experience better. But is this enough for a first expansion?

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

Well, if you want to play this game with six players, I would say it is a must-have. But for me, the game shines with three or four players. I am not sure if a sixth player will ever be important to me. But it's perfect if that is your preferred player count.

The other components included are nice add-ons, and I have found that the new exploration tokens do encourage people to explore a lot more in their first few games with them. But outside of that, there are no real new strategies needed here to play the game with what is added. But with that comes no added rules or complexity to the teach for new players.

However, I love the two new mechs. They bring more variety, and it is nice to have the mech cards to choose your character from as well, especially with players all familiar with the game.

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

But the star of this expansion for me is the new corrupted mech module. In two-player, how I play this the most, the game can become a little isolating. Players go off and do their own thing and rarely encounter each other, staying at opposite ends of the board. The new corrupted mech module fixes this with an incredibly simple extra dummy player, but in such a cool way. They are not there from the beginning, they can be removed, and the movement and control of them is so simple. It brings a more dynamic player board, with obviously more chances of encountering other mechs, and just makes it a better game. It is a simple touch, but one that I really enjoy. I won't play without it again at two-player. I am unsure if I will use it for higher player counts; maybe the odd three-player game will see this included if players have not used it before and are curious.

But in four player or higher, I am unsure if I would use this as the board is already busy enough. I would suggest. But of course, it is a nice option to have.

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

If you are a fan of the base game, this is a great addition. If you did not enjoy the original, this will not change your mind. But it certainly does help with the main gameplay issue I previously had about the lack of player interaction. However, it did not address the main issue I have with the tiles being easily exposed to the odd nudge and displacement. Tile holders would do the trick here, as seen in the demo game Ecolapse. These are available on Etsy as an unofficial upgrade, but I would love to see an official Stonemaier version of these in a future expansion.

But, does it all fit in the box? Well, yes. Really quite well. And you can finally use the final two spaces for extra mechs, which is all rather satisfying. And there are a few new bags to sort the money out. Ahhhhh! Much better. All is right with the world again.

Expeditions: Gears of Corruption Expansion Board Game Review

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page