Rodney Here, over the past few weeks we have decided to get back into board gaming with a few new board games. My first of those games to review is Harry Potter:Hogwarts Battle.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle is a 2-4 play co-operative deck building game for USAopoly.
As I am not a huge Harry Potter fan myself, I found this gem in a review from The Dice Tower and decided to give it a chance since my girlfriend is a huge Harry Potter fan. I was pleasantly surprised by this game from top to bottom. The components are very high quality. The price point is a tiny bit on the high side, but if you are a fan of the series this is a definite must buy. So let’s get into the details of how the game plays out and my thoughts.
The game is divided into 7 parts. If you have never played a deck building game before, this game starts you out with the bare bones basics and builds you up to final confrontation with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. In game 1 players are introduced to the game with basic character cards that have no abilities, and a turn sequence card. Each player also receives a board to keep track of their life totals, tokens collected, and deck/discard pile zones. Like many other deck building games each player starts with a character deck of 10 cards and draws 5 at the start of the game and end of each of their turns. As seen below in the top Right a Location Deck keeps track of the villains progress. The goal of the villains is to add the final doom token to the last location in the stack. If this happens player immediately lose the game. The heroes goal is to defeat all the villains before they complete their plans. The villain deck is placed below the location deck as seen Below and at the start of the game you reveal 1 villain at a time. On each turn a Dark Arts card is revealed from the smaller deck in the center of the table. This can cause various effects to happen and all are bad for the players. Some trigger villains special abilities while others simply cause players to lose life over the course of the game. To the right of the game board you see the Hogwarts deck and the items, spells, and allies available for purchase. On a players turn they will produce as many coins, and lightning bolts as possible. Once a player has produced tokens from the cards in their hand they have a few options. 1) They Can assign Damage to villains. Some cards trigger certain special effects if you are able to defeat a villain on your turn. 2) Purchase items, spells, or allies to be added to a players discard pile. Those are essentially the very basics of this game.
Now you may be saying to yourself this game sounds like every other deck builder out there and not very exciting on top of it. Well here is the twist about this game. Their are 7 mini Game Boxes inside the game.
After completing game one, players are instructed in box 2 how to set up the second game. Each game adds more mechanics to the game and raises the diffculty of the game. In games 1-2 you only face one villain at a time. When you reach game 3 you now reveal 2 villains at one time. In game 3 you have to reset your deck back to its starter cards, you gain a special ability, but the game gets drastically harder. More devastating villains are added to the decks, more Dark Arts are added to the schemes, and new friends spells and allies are added to the Hogwarts deck. Below is an example of how game 3 is set up different from game 1.
As you make it even further into the game you have to fight even more villains, and dice are even added to the game. In addition to other effects the dice will give you added benefits based on which house die you get to roll.
I will not spoil all of the game packs for you hear, but when you reach game 5-7 each adds a new mechanic to the game, but each ramps up the difficulty tenfold. So let’s wrap up this review.
Overall I have to rate this game about a 8/10
This game is very fun and takes a very unique twist to the classic deck-building genre. The components are fantastic quality. All of the tokens and game pieces are a nice thick card board and even includes metal tokens for the doom track.
I only have three major issues with this game. The first is that it doesn’t contain any cards that let you remove cards from your deck. This can be a huge pain when your deck starts to combo out by drawing card after card and hit a starter card that kills your turn. Many other deck-builders has a way to destroy cards from your player deck to streamline your strategy.
My other issue with this game is the price point is a little high. If you are a huge fan of the series I highly recommend spending $49.99 on this game as their are no other good Harry Potter based games out their that are not something like slapped on license. If you are not a huge fan of Harry Potter $49.99 can be a bit steep to pay for a basic deck building game. You get fantastic components, but other deck builders come in at around $35-40 and I believe this game would have got a perfect rating if it were in that price range.
My final small issue with this game is the limited character selection. The game only has 4 characters to chose from and only 1 is female. With all the personalities of the Harry Potter Universe I believe they could have included at least 2 more characters to this game even if the player count of 4 stayed the same.
Great game from USAopoly. I am not familiar with their other games, but this one gets a huge recommendation from me.
Be sure to check back next week. We will be reviewing Mansions of Madness Second Edition just in time for Halloween.
If you would like to purchase this game be sure to ask about it at Go 4 Games and see about ordering your copy today!