Quacks of Quedlinburg

 

Personal Ranking: NEW

 

Time to Play (in my experience): 45 minutes

 

Age Level: Probably as young as 7 or 8 could play this

 

Difficulty Level: 2 ((5-10 minutes to teach, less than 90 minutes to play)

 

Type of Game: Push-Your-Luck/Bag Building. In a push-your-luck game, you see how far you can go without busting (Blackjack would be a classic example). In “bag-building” games you acquire pieces that go into your own personal bag from which you will draw. 

 

Game Setting: Medieval Germany???

 

Brief overview of how to play: All players simultaneously draw pieces out of their bags and place them in their cauldrons at the appropriate spot until they wish to stop. The one who goes the furthest along the circular tracks without busting gets a chance to roll a bonus die. Players receive points and then currency to spend on new chips to put into their bags. If you bust, you get only one or the other. All the chips are collected from the cauldrons and put back in the bag until 9 rounds of play are played. The person with the most points at the end is the winner.

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The cauldron where you place your chips. I love the artwork too. It looks 3 dimensional.

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How many players does it play?: 2-4

 

Ideal number?: 3 or 4 (though 2 is fine)

 

Why do I love/recommend this game?:

 

Super casual game: Most of the games I play do not allow for much conversation while playing, because people have to focus on their moves or cards or whatever. This game does not require much brain power when drawing chips out of the bag. You just draw and see what you get and place it in the appropriate place. There are also generally cheers or groans as the fate of the random draw plays out.

 

Super variable game: The chips mean different things depending on which set you play with. It is a super clever way to introduce variety, but keep the same basic components. There is a standard “first game set-up”, but you can mix them up however you like. There is also a more advanced cauldron on the back side, which gives for some more decision making.

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Most of the books are double sided, meaning that the chips do different things in each game

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Fun event cards: At the beginning of every round, an event card is drawn. Unlike most games that use event cards, I think that every card in this game gives some sort of bonus to players. I don’t think that there are any negative effect event cards in the game that penalize you in any way.

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Examples of event cards. All of them are benefits

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Delayed introduction of components. You can’t purchase yellow or purple chips until rounds 2 and 3, respectively. This means that you don’t have to cover all the effects at the beginning of the game, but teach the new elements as they come into the game.

 

Simultaneous play. The main part of the game, drawing chips out of your bag, is done simultaneously. This keeps the game moving along. 

 

Busting is not devastating. Sometimes in these push-your-luck games, if you bust, you walk away with nothing. In “Quacks” if you bust, you can only take the currency or the points. And usually, that’s a pretty easy decision. In the beginning of the game, you will likely take the currency (to build your bag and do better next time) and in the end of the game you will likely take the points (to hopefully win). I have never played a game of this where I have not busted at least once.

 

Is there anything offensive in this game? Anything at all?: The theme is making potions, which could seem to have a remote connection with witchcraft. But you are called the “Quacks”…so…

 

Final word: Because of the variable set-ups and relaxed, yet strategic, gameplay, the Quacks of Quedlinburg is perhaps my favorite in the push-your-luck genre. It is not a game to take too seriously, but the combos that you can pull off can be super fun. 

 

 

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