The Herb Witches ( Quacks of Quedlinburg) Review | Zatu Games UK

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Awards

75%

Rating

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

You Might Like

  • New ingredients.
  • Overflow bowls for big scores.
  • Player five has entered the game.
  • Herb witches to add a little bit of last chance magic.
  • Doesnt change the game.

Might Not Like

  • No new fortune teller cards.
  • Loco Weed needs a bit of TLC.
  • Herb Witches are one hit wonders.
  • Board cutting is a bit off nobody likes torn counters.
  • Doesnt change the game.

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The Quacks of Quedlinburg: The Herb Witches Review

Quacks of Quedlinburg - The Herb Witches Review

The Quacks of Quedlinburg is great. There is no two ways about it. It has drama, humour, a fun push-your-luck dynamic, balance, plenty of replay value (with two ways to play in the box and plenty of variety in the ingredients), little black bags, a passing respect for the laws of probability, opportunity to combo the heck out of the mixing phase and a very clear end to the game. I guess the question is: What do you add the game that has everything? Another player, of course!

A Quacks Recap

There is a bit more to The Herb Witches Expansion than that, but for all those who haven’t played Quacks of Quedlinburg yet, here’s a quick/quack run down of what it’s all about.

Quacks is a game for two to four players. Each player takes on the role of potion pushers in the town of Quedlinburg. The winner is the person who has the most points at the end of nine rounds.

Each round consists of a mixing phase and a scoring/buying phase. In the mixing phase, players draw potions from their bag to place into their cauldron – each ingredient pushes you along a spiral tracker that gives you score and spendies. The further you travel, the more you get. But, players beware! Too many ‘cherry bombs’ and your potion will explode, and you will have to choose between points and prizes.

Players can also choose to stop before this eventuality, which takes them to the scoring/buying round, where players will score points (naturally) and buy new ingredients for their pot - these will have different effects on their progress and/or their start point and score.

Different rounds will introduce new ingredients, and player’s apothecaries develop from sorry states to cornucopias that Sir Isaac Newton would have been proud of (he was also an alchemist, don’t you know). As well as mixing, buying and scoring, if a player is lagging behind they can get a head start by adding rats tails to their potions – the number of tails between themselves and the lead player denotes how many spaces they can start ahead – and every round is also blessed by a fortune teller card, which can add special bonuses to that round like upping the explosion limit or allowing players to upgrade ingredients.

This all makes for a game that will usually always be a close-run thing, regardless of how many times a player blows up his cauldron (I blow up my cauldron a lot).

The Herb Witches Expansion - Game Components (Credit: Schmidt Spiele)

The Herb Witches

Everyone I have played this game with loves it, despite or because of their performance, so what could an expansion add to sweeten an already sweet deal? First off, you do get an extra cauldron (like I said) and all the extra tokens and things required to play it, but there are also some nice little additions that, although they don’t completely rethink the game, do give players a chance to really max out on those points and combos.

To start with, you get an overflow for your cauldron. Though I have only seen one person get to the end of the cauldron track, certain new ingredients do make this more attainable, so the new addition is a little side pot to keep putting ingredients in – cherry bombs still blow it up and ingredient effects no longer count, but you can score half the combined total of the pot at the end of the round. How to get there? Well, remember (if you’ve played it) how pumpkins are a bit lame (but useful)? How would you like a pumpkin that moves you on SIX spaces? They cost, of course, but this kind of big score counter makes ‘one more draw’ all the more tempting and utter failure all the more bitter. Perfect.

The other new ingredient is Loco Weed and I’m not too sure of it – it’s moves depend on previously laid ingredients, which is actually pretty good, but as it’s a new ingredient, it’s playing catch up with all the myriad variations of the other ingredients – and there are already six different ways of playing the ingredients, to which The Herb Witches adds another two (including a new way of playing black moths). Loco Weed only has two variations, so I guess it feels a little bit lightweight compared. Time will tell.

Finally, we have the titular Herb Witches themselves, and these are fun – not essential, but fun. There are three coins corresponding to three witches who can provide bonuses to drawing, scoring and spending. Each witch has four flavours, chosen at random, and coins can be spent at any time – for instance, one witch might be able to prevent your cauldron from exploding – pay your coin and take your chance, but once the coin is gone, it’s gone.

In essence, they act like your own personal fortune teller card (and I am a bit disappointed that none are added in this expansion) and could potentially swing things in your favour just at the last moment.  It would be nice to see an ingredient allow you the chance to win back a coin (garden spider, I’m looking at you) but this is only a first expansion. Will there be another expansion? The fortune teller has no answer to that.

Final Thoughts on The Herb Witches Expansion

The bottom line is this; is The Herb Witches expansion worth parting with your cash for? Look, if you’ve got this far, you’re probably looking for justification to press that button rather than reasoned argument so… go ahead; the extra player and SUPER-PUMPKINS make it worth that alone.

The other additions are nice little flourishes and definitely have potential, especially the Loco Weed, and, though I did have a problem punching this out than with the base game, it still looks really nice.

Maybe it could do with a few more fortune telling cards or even a plot (like Roll Player has just got or Shards of Infinity is about to get) but – eh, I regret nothing. Neither will you. Off you go; press the button.

You Might Like
New ingredients.
Overflow bowls for big scores.
Player five has entered the game.
Herb witches to add a little bit of last chance magic.
Doesn’t change the game.

You Might Not Like
No new fortune teller cards.
Loco Weed needs a bit of TLC.
Herb Witches are one hit wonders.
Board cutting is a bit off – nobody likes torn counters.
Doesn’t change the game.

Rating

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

You Might Like

Might Not Like

Zatu Score

75%
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here
Excellent
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Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
Zatu Games is rated 4.91 based on 9190
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Everything was fine, keep it up

Everything was fine, keep it up

Bought 3 great games at really competitive prices. Site really easy to navigate.

Bought 3 great games at really competitive prices. Site really easy to navigate.

Website was straightforward to use and games were competitively priced. It would be useful to have pictures of the items in the outlet store so that you know what you're buying but hopefully the components will be fine and then we'll all be super happy :)

Website was straightforward to use and games were competitively priced. It would be useful to have pictures of the items in the outlet store so that you know what you're buying but hopefully the components will be fine and then we'll all be super happy :)

Very good.

Very good.

Great customer service! Add an awesome selection of games at great prices and is a no brainer to shop here. Completely recommended!

Great customer service! Add an awesome selection of games at great prices and is a no brainer to shop here. Completely recommended!

Excellent service, items arrived very quickly. Will definitely be ordering with them again.

Excellent service, items arrived very quickly. Will definitely be ordering with them again.

I have already made a few purchases from Zatu Games. Very efficient service and fast delivery. Will be making my next board game purchases from here in the future. If a minimum amount for free delivery is offered to customers, that would be even better. Anyhow, recommended!

I have already made a few purchases from Zatu Games. Very efficient service and fast delivery. Will be making my next board game purchases from here in the future. If a minimum amount for free delivery is offered to customers, that would be even better. Anyhow, recommended!

Website is simple to navigate and use. Filters are easy and quick. Layout of pages clear and easy to follow. Shopping basket easy to modify and change items or quantities. Just placed an order so items not delivered yet. 4 stars, which I would change to 5 stars if delivered within time frame and all product and packaging is good.

Website is simple to navigate and use. Filters are easy and quick. Layout of pages clear and easy to follow. Shopping basket easy to modify and change items or quantities. Just placed an order so items not delivered yet. 4 stars, which I would change to 5 stars if delivered within time frame and all product and packaging is good.

Easy to use, fast and efficient

Easy to use, fast and efficient

Fantastic website, easy to use. Fast efficient delivery. Would highly recommend and would buy from them again.

Fantastic website, easy to use. Fast efficient delivery. Would highly recommend and would buy from them again.

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