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Day 1 - Paleo A New Beginning

Set thousands of years after the events of the base game, your tribe of humans must overcome new obstacles and face new dangers in Paleo A New Beginning.

Gone are the tribal hunters of Paleo, in a New Beginning your humans are more civilised, discovering the benefits of farming and animal husbandry allowing them to plan for long term survival, rather than just making it to the end of the day.

Of course, with these added benefits come new dangers too. A dangerous tribe, nocturnal beasts and a mountain of fire all threaten your humans as they try to survive in this new world.

Paleo, A New Beginning then, feels less like an expansion and more like a reboot of the base game. The mechanics are all still the same but this expansion replaces the base game deck, changing the basic actions available in every game. Along with replacing the humans with a new deck, these new humans are more durable, having more hearts overall, but they also have more variation and more starting compensation.

As well as this the expansion adds a whole new section to the game, the farm board, which allows for long term planning. You can capture wild animals, saving them for future rounds, rather than slaughtering them immediately. Animals can then be used for repeated benefits, getting food and pelts by taking farm actions. You can also farm crops, which can be stored from round to round, giving you lots of options to plan for the future. All of this vastly expands your options and allows you customise how you want to play each game of Paleo.

Other changes are welcome too, such as the addition of craft actions on mountain cards and more varied options on camp cards.

And of course the expansion also has 6 new modules, which can be combined with all the other modules from the base game for a huge variety in the scenarios you can play. Overall the new scenarios skew towards the harder end of the difficulty scale, but each adds a new and interesting twist.

The Nocturnal module has you planning for the night phase by crafting traps to ward off night time predators, while the Dream Journey module sees you venturing into the spirit world to fight off spirits and preventing your humans from falling into the dream world permanently. The most difficult module in the box, Fire God's Wrath changes the victory conditions entirely, as you attempt to save your tribe from an erupting volcano.

A New Beginning then fundamentally changes the base game, but for me, those changes are all positive, making the game less punishing, giving you more options on each turn and allowing for long term planning, while also expanding the replayability with new and interesting scenarios. If you like Paleo but wanted a meatier, more robust experience, then I highly recommend A New Beginning. If, on the other hand you're just looking for more variety, perhaps look into one of the smaller promo packs instead.

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