In these Santorini: Golden Fleece impressions and notes, D and Will offer their thoughts on this expansion for the first game we ever played on our channel. Designed by Gordon Hamilton, Golden Fleece maintains the core gameplay while adding new components for two-player sessions. Take the golden ram, for instance, which changes up the way god powers can be used. Do these new components actually create meaningful gameplay moments? Find out the answer to that and more in the notes below.
D’s modest impressions of Santorini: Golden Fleece
(Author’s note: this review is meant to accompany our gameplay video and will not go in-depth on the game’s rules. If you’re interested in learning how the game is played, please watch the video. It’s not bad.)
Hello again, dear readers. In case you haven’t heard, we’re going to be stepping away from this website in January, which means that this era of Board Crazy ends how it began: with us talking about Santorini. Will recorded a video and wrote an article explaining the decision, but fear not, for our video content is not going anywhere. Sadly however, this will be our last written content for the foreseeable future. So, whether this is the first thing of ours that you’ve read or if you’ve been coming here since the beginning, I thank you for your support. Maybe someday if we start making some money from all of our efforts, we’ll start doing this again. But for now, let me talk about Santorini: Golden Fleece a little bit.
I wish I could have sent the website off with a glorious review, but I’m afraid that Golden Fleece doesn’t really warrant too much analysis. It’s a fairly minor expansion that gives you some new cards and ways to play Santorini if you’ve grown bored (crazy) with the options provided in the original version. The new, titular variant that we played in the video is pretty good. Having only one power in play, which is shared by both players, definitely makes for a more balanced experience, and the designer did a fine job of coming up with some neat new powers for this variant. A number of these new God powers come with unique components of their own, such as Aeolus’ wind token from the video, which is a feature exclusive to the expansion. Further consideration of balance is found throughout the rulebook, as only certain cards are approved for use with the Golden Fleece variant, and a number of card match-ups are banned for the sake of fairness in more traditional game modes. I suspect many designers and/or companies would leave it up to the players to figure out which cards pair well with one another, so I applaud the makers of Golden Fleece for going the extra mile in this regard.
Lina Cossette and David Forest, the original game’s artists, return here, and all of the new cards and components fit in perfectly. The cardboard components are all thick and feel sturdy, although popping some of them out was more trouble than it should have been. The new island board, which can be used in place of the original one, feels superfluous and frankly, less functional. And, as is often the case with board game expansions, the box is larger than it needs to be. The new components can be fit into the original game’s box somewhat easily and the original game, with references to the Golden Fleece content in its rulebook, was clearly designed with this expansion in mind. I know some people like having the boxes in their collection, but I would have preferred something more disposable and economical if it would’ve saved us a few dollars.
Should you buy Santorini‘s Golden Fleece expansion? If you love Santorini and play it regularly, then you definitely should. The new cards alone will be worth the price. If you only play it occasionally, then it may be worth it if you have money to spare. If this is a game you seldom play, I wouldn’t call this essential. It makes the game better by providing more content, but it doesn’t make it that much better, and the original game still has plenty of replayability on its own. So, that’s that. Thank you again for your time and keep your eyes peeled on our YouTube channel in 2019 for our thoughts on the games we play.
Will’s impressions of Santorini: Golden Fleece
Since this is the last thing I’m going to write for this site, I want it to be short and sweet. Also, D has already basically covered everything you need to know, so there’s little reason for me to amble on. My thoughts on Golden Fleece are this – it’s more of a good thing. That is, if you enjoy the base game. If you don’t, I feel there’s little reason for you to pick up this expansion. Essentially, this expansion deepens the 2-player experience of Santorini in a way that improves my overall opinion of the game. The golden ram mechanic is highly functional, although it’s not as engaging as I hoped it’d be. Some god cards are better suited to that mechanic than others, and learning which ones work best will come with trial and error. The new hero cards are also pretty cool, but they’re not that different from the god cards, other than that they’re one-time-use. Regardless of these minor nitpicks, the Golden Fleece expansion is more worthwhile than other expansions I’ve played, and I recommend checking it out if you enjoy Santorini.
So this is it, the end of the Board Crazy website era. A new dawn is upon us at the channel, and instead of being upset, I’m actually optimistic and eager. Most of the time, we prefer producing video content to written content, so this will give us the opportunity and means to expand our video content options. I have to say though – I’m going to miss writing for this website. At the end of the day, it was my baby in a way – I wrote and published the most articles on here, and for that reason this is probably hitting me the hardest. Still, I’m excited to see what the future holds for Board Crazy, and I hope you are as well.
Lastly, I want… no, I need to thank everyone who’s consumed and hopefully enjoyed our content up to this point, whether it be here or on our channel. It hasn’t even been two years, but I feel like there’s already a small community out there who appreciates what we’re trying to do, and that makes me so happy. The encouragement and feedback we’ve received from folks like you fuels us to keep going. This may be an expensive endeavor, and we may not be making money yet, but as long as our audience is there, we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing for as long as we’re able. Again, thank you so much! Enjoy your holidays, have a happy new year, and we’ll see you in 2019! On the channel, that is.