Review – Broom Service
An action selection, push your luck, pick up and deliver game.
Title: Broom Service
Year Published: 2015
Designer: Andreas Pelikan, Alexander Pfister
Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH
Game Time: ~75 Mins
Set-up Time: >5 Mins
Mechanic: Simultaneous Action Selection, Pick up and Deliver
How to win: Score the most points by delivering potions.
Score the most victory points by delivering potions via Broom Service throughout the magical realm.
In the box comes all the bits for the Basic game and the Advanced game. I’ll cover the basic game here and mention the advanced game in the round up.
Place the board with the Red bannered castles (basic side of the board) face up.
Each player gets 10 role cards, 2 Pawns and VP marker of their colour. You also get 1 Potion of each colour. The oldest player starts and this start player and last player get 1 Wand each, everyone else gets 2. Like you’re not punished for being old enough 🙂
Put 1 heavy cloud (the ones with white stars) randomly face up on each cloud space on the board.
Shuffle the 10 event cards, deal 7 into a pile and return the other 3 to the box without looking at them.
With fewer than 5 players, shuffle the 10 role cards of an unused colour next to the event cards and reveal cards so that the number of these plus the number of players equals 5.
The game is played over 7 rounds with between 4-10 turns per round.
Each player chooses 4 of their role cards out of the 10 in their hand. The other 6 are put aside this for now and the start player plays a card face up. They will read out its name and will declare if they are choosing the brave or cowardly action.
If you take the Brave action – Wait until everyone has played this card.
If you take the Cowardly action – Perform that action immediately.
I’ll go through what each cards action does later…
After that player declares their card, in clockwise order players MUST follow that card if it is one of the 4 cards they selected. If you are holding that card, play it face up and declare which action you are taking in the same way. Again, if you take the brave action wait, choose the cowardly action and take it immediately.
If you did take the Brave action any previous player claiming the brave action is ‘Out’ and will not get any action from that card this round, oops!
After each player has claimed an action, the last player to declare the Brave action does it now and will become the start player for the next card. If no one played a Brave action, the start player stays the same, or passes clockwise if they do not have any cards left.
If the card you played is a Bewitched card for this round, you lose 3 victory points!
End of a Round
Play continues until everyone has played all 4 cards. If the Event is an End of Round event, resolve it now and reveal the event for the next round. If you’re playing with less than 5 players, replace the Bewitched cards with new ones.
Everyone picks 4 cards from their deck of 10 again and the start player is the last player to take a Brave action in the previous round.
Lets take a look at those roles now…
Gatherers – Gain Resources.
The cards show which resources you gain and a Brave Gatherer will get more stuff from the supply.
Witches – Move to adjacent regions and Deliver potions to towers.
If you select a Brave Witch, you move one pawn to an adjacent area with landscape matching the Witches type. To Deliver, you HAVE to move your Witch first and take the Brave action. A cowardly witch can move but not deliver.
You can move into an area with any number of pawns as long as it doesn’t have any clouds.
Choose one potion to deliver to an empty tower of that colour so if there is no matching empty tower, you cannot deliver a potion. Then, you gain points as specified in the supplied tower. Some towers give you bonus wands so if that tower awards them take them now.
There are two types of tower…
A circular tower can only be delivered to once per game, you put the delivered potion on it to show this has happened. The tower is now “occupied” and can no longer receive potions for the rest of the game.
A square tower is not delivered to the tower but back to the general supply so the tower remains open for the entire game. You get the number of victory points indicated by the tower in the same way.
Druids – Deliver potions to the region you’re in of the matching terrain.
For a druid, the same rules apply as a Witch except you don’t move a pawn. A Brave druid receives a bonus 3 victory points on top of the points scored by the tower as long as they actually deliver a potion.
Weather Fairy – Dispels Clouds in adjacent areas to allow for movement and end game scoring.
As I mentioned earlier you can’t move into an area with clouds, they must be removed first.
You play the Weather Fairy and a number of wands shown in the star on the cloud to dispel it. You keep the Cloud token as the Lightning shown on it is used for end game scoring.
A Brave Weather Fairy gets an additional 3 points assuming you’re able to dispel a cloud.
After 7 rounds the game ends. You gain victory points for Lightning tokens and sets of any Resources you have left over.
Most Points Wins.
The tie breaker is the player with the most leftover resources.
The advanced game, on the other side of the board, has a few extras things…
More complicated clouds, teleportation portals, bonus tokens, abilities etc It’s not more complex overall as the base game plays the same, there are just a couple of extra bits to look out for.
The game itself is fun… Picking your 4 cards is easy… except you look at other players and see where they are positioned and consider that you may not get to use the ability. Your Forest Witch will deliver you a potion if you pick it, but only one Brave Forest Witch can be played each round… How many others will pick it? Where will you be in turn order when it’s played? Will just moving benefit me if I need to be Cowardly?
You only play 28 actions per game at the very most so missing out on one is a killer 🙂
Turn order is VERY important… If you’re going last you’re GUARANTEED to be able to use the Brave ability on the card assuming you have it. But then you go first next round so if you pick Brave again, you really are Brave and potentially stupid 🙂
The Event cards are good… One MAKES you choose Brave if you go first, but you get a Magic Wand as compensation and probably miss out on your action… The player going last with this Event in play may not pick Brave to avoid going first next time 🙂
A good game I enjoy every so often, especially the advanced game.
I give it 6/10