Viticulture Board Game Moor Visitors Expansion Review
Viticulture: Moor Visitors
WBG Score: 8.5
Player Count: 1-6
You’ll like this if you like: Agricola, Architects of the West Kingdom, Lords of Waterdeep.
Published by: Stonemaier Games
Designed by: Uwe Rosenberg, Jamey Stegmaier, Alan Stone
Viticulture is often cited as one of the best Worker Placement games, and one of the most popular games produced by Stonemaier games. It made a lot of people's top 3 games. I would agree with all of these points. Tuscany is seen as the essential expansion to Viticulture, and for good reason. It is truly excellent. Viticulture World brought in a new cooperative variant, which is great fun. But if you are looking for something more simple to add some variety to the base game, Moor Visitors could be for you.
Moor Visitors is just that. More visitors! In this small box expansion are 42 new cards to shuffle in with the main game to add variation and some cool new powers to the game. There are 20 new spring cards, and 20 new winter cards. Plus two corrections. To play with this expansion, simple shuffle them into their respective decks and away you go.
The cards all integrate well with the base game, and it is somewhat intriguing to see what someone with the pedigree of Uwe Roseburg has done with a project like this. I mean, it's the guy behind Agricola, Le Havre, and many many more, putting in his two cents worth, or should that be two lira, into this modern classic from Jamey Stegmaier. What a treat!
I just wish they had done a little more than just cards. Although, that is what Tuscany is for. So, really I should just sit back and enjoy the ride.
There is one minor gripe with the main game of Viticulture, that I do not personally subscribe too. This is that you can win the game without fulfilling wine orders. Which is true. Some say it is better to play this way as it is quicker to build up your points other ways. This I don't totally agree with. But I like the choice of different ways to score and play. So, I am fine with it. This expansion does bring in new cards that offer new point scoring options, which does accentuate this issue. And also, potentially speed up the game. As such, this is one minor issue with this expansion. But if you like playing Viticulture this way, then it will only enhance your experience.
It's a bit like Splendor. There are two main ways to play. Build up our engine slowly and then reap the benefits with some powerful moves near the end. Or go for points early to try and end the game before your opponents have had time to get their engine running. Both are solid tactics. Both can work. This expansion helps with one more than the other. Personally., I agree with the sentiment that in a wine making game you should at least make some wine and fulfil some orders. So, we often house rule that at least one order needs to be fulfilled to win the game. It's an easy fix.
But there are some cards, such as the Draftsman above, and the Mill Operator below that help with your engine too. Encouraging players to develop more buildings, with discounts, rewards, and even the chance to pass this on to other players. More buildinngs means a more powerful engine, and hopefully, more chances to make wine and fulfil orders! Although, not all the time.
My cards are now shuffled into the base game, and I don't see myself ever splitting them out. I would not say this is an essential expansion as it just adds cards. But for the price, any fan of Viticulture would certainly enjoy what the added variation brings. And in terms of an expansion being used every time moving forward, in that regards, this could be considered as being close to essential as I will now never play without them.
If you play Viticulture a lot, the added variety is very much welcome. It all fits in the base game box without any issues, and the expansion cards need no extra rules explanation. So, this adds no extra time to the game set-up or teach. And maybe as discussed speeds up the main game with more ways to score points.
Overall, I am a big fan of this little expansion. It won't change your opinion of the base game, but if you like Viticulture then this certainly does develop the options, scope, and variety. Viticulture remains one of my favourite worker placement games in a very cluttered market place. It works well in all player counts, and is one of my go to gateway games when bringing new people to the hobby. Moor Visitors will remain shuffled in with the base game cards for the rest of my paying time, and comes highly recommend from WBG.