Harry Potter Death Eaters Rising

RRP: £49.99

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RRP £49.99

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Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising captures the difficulties and terrors Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger face during their fifth year at Hogwarts as they scramble to persuade the wizarding world of Voldemort’s return. In Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising, each player must assemble teams of witches and wizards from the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Army…
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Category Tags , SKU ZBG-USODC010634 Availability 5+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Plenty of communication between players.
  • Great, quality components.
  • A challenge!
  • Saving the magical world.

Might Not Like

  • Decent amount of luck involved.
  • If Harry Potter isn’t your thing, you might not get full enjoyment out of the game.
  • The Dark Lord defeating you countless times.
  • Difficulty changing with player count
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Description

Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising captures the difficulties and terrors Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger face during their fifth year at Hogwarts as they scramble to persuade the wizarding world of Voldemort's return.

In Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising, each player must assemble teams of witches and wizards from the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore's Army, and Hogwarts to fight against the growing threat of the Dark Lord. Starting with either Harry Potter or Hermione Granger representing Dumbledore's Army, Minerva McGonagall or Albus Dumbledore from Hogwarts, or Nymphadora Tonks or Sirius Black from the Order of the Phoenix, players will be able to rally a variety of year-5 characters to their cause, such as Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Alastor Moody, Mrs. Norris, Severus Snape, and Rubeus Hagrid. The collective armies and players must then work together to stop the spread of dark influence throughout the wizarding world.

Players have to battle Dark Wizards Peter Pettigrew, Bellatrix Lestrange, Lucius Malfoy, and others who bear the dark mark for control of key wizarding world locations, including the Ministry of Magic, Diagon Alley, and Hogsmeade Village. To be successful, players must vanquish Voldemort's Death Eaters and eventually defeat You-Know-Who before they corrupt and take control the wizarding world.

 

Let it be known...I am a huge Harry Potter fan. Ever since the first book landed at my school’s read-a-thon when I was eight years old, I was hooked. So I must confess everything from the Harry Potter world is compelling to me. But with my strong love set aside, I still believe Harry Potter: Death Eater’s Rising is an interesting, challenging and enjoyable game.

Before we even begin I’d like to first point out the beautiful box design. It took me seeing the box a few times before I saw both images, and when I did...the joy. The stars and wandlight set in contrast to the dark hues really appeals to my cold, Slytherin nature. It’s so pretty and the box isn’t even open yet!

Set-Up

You’ve admired the box, you’re ready to dive in. Though Death Eater’s Rising isn’t the most complicated game you’ll find out there, there are a fair few components required to set up.

Inside you’ll find:

  • The board, in three pieces which slot together
  • 6 Headquarters cards (2 for each faction)
  • 6 Place cards (2 for each location)
  • 44 Character cards (Heroes, Villains & Voldemort
  • 1 Villain card (on which Voldemort’s card will eventually be placed)
  • 15 dice (14 Wizard and 1 Voldemort
  • 75 counters (60 damage and 15 corruption)
  • 30 Tokens (6 mission and 24 spell)
  • Lord Voldemort Himself

Firstly you’ll want to go ahead and piece your board together then place Voldemort facing a random location. Then find and place your locations randomly on the corresponding location (eg. The Atrium and the Department of Mysteries belong on top of the Ministry of Magic location).

Next select your affiliation (Hogwarts, Order of the Phoenix or Dumbledore’s Army), your starting character (depending on your affiliation - table of allowed Wizards in the rulebook) and your mission token. More than one player can choose the same affiliation.

Everything in its Place

Then you’ll prepare the character deck. First you must remove Voldemort’s card and shuffle all the remaining characters into a single draw pile. From that pile, draw three characters for each location, placing them face up. Once this is complete, place Voldemort’s card in the middle of the draw deck. Finally place the Villain card face up on the table with room around it. Defeated Wizards, Death Eaters and corrupted locations will be placed here throughout the game.

Place the damage counters, corruption counters and spell tokens (face-down) within easy reach of all players. And finally, also place the Wizard dice and Voldemort die on/near your table.

As you can see this game is a bit of a table hog, and this might not be the easiest way to set-up the game for you. As long as each player has some room to add to their team, access to the counters, tokens and dice, the characters are clearly at their locations and the Villain card has space around it, you can change up the placement to fit your table.

Right, all that done? Let’s move on.

Gameplay

Once everything is good to go, the first player is selected (the last one to watch a Harry Potter film....or however you want to decide) and they take their turn. Turns have four parts. Play then continues clockwise.

On your turn you must choose and travel to a location. Place your mission token there.

Next roll the Voldemort dice, you’ll either roll a left arrow, right arrow or the dark mark. If it’s left or right, turn Voldemort that way. If it’s the Dark Mark he doesn’t move. Whichever way he faces all Heroes at that location receive one damage counter. If your mission token is there, each Hero on your team also receives one damage counter. The location also gets one corruption counter.

If a left or right was rolled, and there are also Death Eaters at the location Voldemort faces, resolve their actions (but not their Dark Mark actions).

The Dark Mark

If a Dark Mark was rolled, after resolving any Death Eaters at the location that Voldemort faces, you must resolve every other Death Eater’s ability with the Dark Mark symbol next to it, even if they’re not at the current location.

This is done moving clockwise, starting with the Death Eater(s) at Voldemort’s location. You must also resolve any Dark Mark abilities on corrupted locations. Ouch…

Now all that suffering is over it’s time for THE FUN BIT! You now get to roll those pretty dice. Start by gathering the dice you are allowed to roll, as indicated by your affiliation card. Other Hero cards or spell tokens may let you add more to your pool. Once you have your dice you roll! Roll away! Now you must choose whether or not to assign dice to attempt to ‘attack’ the Death Eaters, recruit more team members or resolve Heroes/affiliation abilities. You assign dice by placing the die on that card. Heroes on your team and affiliation abilities can be actioned immediately.

You're a Wizard Harry

It’s unlikely, though possible, that you’ll roll everything you need on the first go. If you don’t roll what you need you may reroll, but there are conditions...

You must assign one die OR forfeit one die before you can reroll. This trips some players up, so once again, if you assign one die, you may reroll! If you do not wish to assign ANY die from that roll, you must forfeit one in order to reroll. Got it? Good! I lost so many dice playing this rule wrong in my first game!

Once all dice are assigned or forfeited move on to phase…

At the end of the turn if you rolled and assigned dice to Heroes and have all requirements, you recruit that Wizard to your team. Similarly, if you fulfill the requirement to attack a Death Eater, you assign one damage to that Death Eater (and receive a bonus spell token for the attack!).

Now you need to check your place cards and all characters. Any Heroes with full damage are placed next to the Villain card in the ‘Hogwarts Infirmary’ section. Death Eaters with full damage are placed in the ‘Azkaban’ section. Any fully corrupted places are placed in the lower section ‘Corrupted Actions’. Any defeated Wizards at locations are replaced using the draw pile. And then play continues with the next player, clockwise.

Winning

There is only one way to win Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising, and that’s to defeat the Dark Lord. There are caveats to how that can be done, which I’ll leave for you to discover.

Unfortunately, there are several ways for players to meet their demise. So players must work together efficiently to manage the various threats from the Death Eaters.

My Thoughts

Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising is a challenging, cooperative game that’s perfect for someone who loves the theme. It’s not the quickest game to set-up, and the first play through can feel a little taxing whilst you get your head around all of the rules, and the order of the phases of each turn (particularly if you’re used to lighter games).

Once you get stuck in though, it is an enjoyable game, in which you need to communicate with your fellow players to best plan your attacks, defend your locations and Wizards, and recruit the most efficient teams. 

Despite dice rolls being luck based, each dice does have a ‘theme’ which can skew the result in your favour. Each dice also has one face that has a small 2 next to the symbol, indicating that that roll counts for two of the ‘theme’. For example, if you needed two hats (knowledge) and two birds (loyalty), probability wise, you’d be best off rolling a red and blue die. This adds an element of strategy and, for me, is a big bonus.

Quality Wand

The components of the game are high quality and aesthetically pleasing, as you’d expect with a game from The OP, and like similarly themed games, you get a lot of game for the money...You get a Voldemort!

As with other Harry Potter themed games from The OP, all of the imagery used on the cards is from the movies. What’s nice about this game though is, with a couple of exceptions, the images used are from later in the film series, putting our Heroes and Villains at their more appropriate age for when the deadly battles took place. And boy can this be a deadly battle. (Difficulty seems to increase with the player count).

All in all, I would recommend this game. Once you’ve understood the rules, gameplay is relatively straight-forward. There’s a nice amount of communication needed in order to succeed, which for me is essential in a cooperative game. 

If you’re not into the Harry Potter world, however, this one might not be for you and there are similar games out there with different themes if you’re interested in the mechanics (Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War,  Star Wars: Dark Side Rising and it looks like a Batman one is also on the way, The Batman Who Laughs Rising!). Personally, I really enjoy taking Voldemort down, and it isn’t an easy feat. One roll can change everything. And that’s good risky fun!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Plenty of communication between players.
  • Great, quality components.
  • A challenge!
  • Saving the magical world.

Might not like

  • Decent amount of luck involved.
  • If Harry Potter isnt your thing, you might not get full enjoyment out of the game.
  • The Dark Lord defeating you countless times.
  • Difficulty changing with player count