Gameday First Play – Broom Service
Zooming Brooms put Potions in Motion…
That’s from the box, not me.
Score the most victory points by delivering potions via Broom Service throughout the magical realm.
Not the most descriptive box blurb…
But, what you are doing is playing cards to move your Witches around the board to deliver potions to castles.
Everyone has a matching deck of 10 cards. 4 Witches, 3 Gatherers, 2 Druids and a Weather Fairy. You pick four of these cards to use each round, then the start player chooses one of them and places it in front of them.
When played, the player chooses Brave, or Cowardly. If you take the cowardly option you take the action now and play continues. If you choose the Brave action, you wait…
In turn order, players either pass if they did not pick that card in their set of 4, or reveal it and choose Cowardly or Brave again. Only the LAST player to pick Brave gets to take the action with everyone else picking Brave losing out.
Obviously, the Brave option is better than the Cowardly one.
This card play is the main part of the game and reminds be a bit of Glass Road in a way.
So what do these roles do?
A Witch lets you move into an adjacent region and deliver a potion. Your Witch must match the destination terrain and you need a potion that matches a colour of a castle in that region. A Brave Witch can move and deliver, a Cowardly witch can only move. When you deliver a potion you score points.
If you want to deliver a potion in the Region you’re in, a Druid will let you do that even if you take the Cowardly option. Taking the Brave options gives you a bonus 3 points on top of the points you score for delivering the potion.
Gatherers let you get Potions and Magic Wands with the Brave gatherer getting 3 resources and a Cowardly one only getting 1.
There are clouds on the board you need to dispel to move into or through those areas. The Weather Fairy lets you do this by paying Magic Wands. A Brave Weather Fairy gets a bonus 3 points.
Once everyone has taken their action, the player who was ‘Brave’ starts the next round. When everyone has played all 4 cards the round ends, 7 rounds and the game ends.
End game scoring occurs…
You get points for the number of Lightning Bolts on Clouds you dispelled, sets of resources and Amulets you collected. Most points wins.
Amulets come from an optional expansion that adds tokens to certain regions on the board for additional effects and difficulty. There are also Storm Clouds that have additional abilities but are usually harder to dispel than normal clouds but .
These mini expansions are included on the base game and the board is double sided to add complexity too.
It’s actually a fun game. It plays really quickly too even though we had one very slow player.
Each round has a random event card which can really change your plans. One particularly harsh one FORCED you to go Brave if you went first… What that card is really saying is if you go first, you probably won’t get an action…
While they were fun, you only use 7 each game but there are only 10 in total so they will lose something after a few plays. But, the game won the Kennerspiel Des Jahres so I would assume expansions are on the way?
I’ve managed to get it played twice this week and the second game was with 3 players and you have the ‘Bewitched’ rule…
When playing with less than the full 5 players you take one of the unused decks, give it a shuffle and lay a few cards out each round depending on the player count.
If you play one of the revealed cards you lose 3 points, if you take the action or not. I thought this was quite harsh and potentially unfun… But as players are less likely to play these cards for that round, you may lose 3 points but you have a higher chance of taking the Brave action… Nice balance really.
Still, looking forward to playing it more…