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It's fine, but not really necessary. You can easily proxy the best addition (governor). Other than that, I guess I can recommend it if you can find it cheap.
Lots of nice additions to the base game. I really enjoyed playing with the governor and using cocoa to influence dice or buy ships that offer a lot of points. Will probably never play without these modules now.
Santa Maria: American Kingdoms is in someways an incredibly impressive expansion. This expansion's greatest strength is the amount of depth added in exchange for small additions to the formula. The standard changes/additions to the base game, advanced shipping contracts, communal dice module, and governor (traveler) module, are all excelent inclusions. The specialists module, while mostly inoffensive, dilutes the strict economy, has round upkeep, and is more rules overhead than the module is fun playing. Despite my disappointment with the specialists, American Kingdom's modular approach allows groups to tailor which modules are included, to taste.
I would have to have an incredibly strong opinion in regards to a game's value proposition for it's price tag to be factored into my final ratting. Although I am not particularly phased about this board expense, where this expansion will falter for many is it's cost to content ratio. The 5th player module, which I have little interest in trying, is meant to be a good chunk of the price justification. Unless you crave the benefits of that module, it's hard to recommend American Kingdoms for the small amount of additions added to system; excellent as they may be.
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American Kingdoms, an expansion for Santa Maria, includes new buildings, scholars, bishops and shipping tiles, as well as several new modules, including:
The Mayan City: A new asymmetrical role for one player, with its own rules and goals (playable for 1-5 players)
—description from the publisher
Solo, 2 Players, 3 Players, 4 Players, 5 Players
45m – 90m
Eilif Svensson, Kristian Amundsen Østby
Set Collection, Variable Player Powers
City Building, Civilization, Expansion for Base-game
Aporta Games, Arrakis Games, Granna, Jumping Turtle Games, Lavka Games, PixieGames, Summon Games, Pegasus Spiele