Review: Wicked Witches Way – broom racing

Wicked Witches Way - packaging

Maybe you know a small bedtime story from Czech Republic about a Little Witch. One day she tried to get to the nearby hill, because witch rally took place there. In fact, it was the traditional annual race in flying on a broomstick. Witchesare only safe to fly at night, so nobody could see them.Otherwise there is a risk, that somerandom passers-by knows them, and will require some sort of punishment for their magic.

Although their brooms are all the same, they must ensure proper incantations for their movement, and they must repeat it. But its different every time. Of course, they do not hesitateto use some witch spells,which will help them to finish first in the end. These races have gained a lot of supporters from different supernatural beings, and they have become a large event. This year, there is one space open for a novice.Black horse, you could say. Do you want to be that broomracer?

is a magical game for ordinary people without magical abilities, you could even say mudblood. Indeed charms are written on cards, so they may not even be able to learn the correct sequence from memory.

Wicked Witches Way - game is ready

So Wicked Witches Way is a board game published by and its authors are again our favorites and . These two have together created an outstanding card game Shadows over Camelot (review). Then Bruno Cathala himself is responsible for the emergence of Animalia (review) or Jamaica (review).

Wicked Witches Way is not just any game, that will be hiding among the piles of other boxes. This one is struggling hard for its place on the shelf, somewhere where it will be easy to see. Why? Its not about the game contents, but the appearance of the case itself. The box is manufactures as a book, it contains even a bookmark on the side and a latch, that some of the spells accidentaly do not run off, when you are not looking.

Box has a rounded back, which looks really nice and adds to that perfect looks the whole game has. When you open the book, just like you would any real one, you will discover two compartments inside – one in the left lid and the other in theright lid. But you cannot see both at the same time, because between them lies one turning page made from hard paper, with different illustration on each side. So you can look either on the left or right side, and you will see both open only in exceptional situations, when you are turning the page from one side to the other.

Wicked Witches Way - game in progress

And within these niches, of course, you will discover some of those small things, that allow you to play the game. Firstly dice. Even when you take them into your hand, they seem extraordinary. They are in fact made of wood to best match the theme of the board game, just like brooms are made of wood too. Witch did live in harmony with nature, obviously.

In total there are nine dice, that are wearing orange and black symbols of magical formulas. There is therefore necessary a spider, whose leg will you use in your magical formula, a hair, bones or old wives‘ ear. And all this in two colors, which distinguish two spells available for each race round. The colors in magic must be aligned, so be warned to combine them! You will not get through with these experiments!

But the dice are not nearly everything you get, of course, and so there are witches figurines waiting to be punched out of one small sheet. Their portraits are drawn on cardboard, enabling us to recall experience with King of Tokyo (review). We do not mind niggle, that there could be a miniature in the box instead. There is no reason. You must insert these witches into the prepared black plastic stands, so they can move on the board. Along with witches, you find in there only one curse token.

Wicked Witches Way - game in progress

Other components have a paper base and they are two decks of cards of different sizes. Greater in size of these two include special enchantments, that witches can collect along the way for a perfect conduction of movement spell. Such cards are drawn horizontally and are wearing big picture together withsome English text describing the capabilities of this particular card.

The second deck contains cards smaller in size and in six different colors – one set of nine magical words for each witch. When you properly assemble them, your broom can push a good bit farther on the route towards the finish line.

Now we are only with a relatively simple and short rules and of course the game board, on which will the entire race take place. You will easily find start position, from which the route runs two more spaces back to the numbers -1 and -2 in case something goes wrong with the witches and their magic spells. Yes, they could fly backwards instead of forwards. It is not difficult at all, because brooms have their own head and are stubborn little beasts, that must be tamed soon after birth.

Wicked Witches Way - game in progress

And just this start place is a point, where each player places his selected witch. The choice of those six portraits is difficult to do by sympathy, because they are far from pretty. But all witches have same spells, so it just depends on their appearance or your relationship to color. To his sorceress, player gets a set of cards of the same suit. He will use them in each round to cast spells and control his disobedient broom.

But place for game board is this time not in center of the table. You should put it on the side instead, but still in the place, where everyone can reach it. More important is the box of the game itself, which will also be part of the whole game! You open the book in a position, where all players can see it easily. Inside is a place, where you put all wooden dice. You shuffle action cards and place them near the board.

Now everything is ready. One of the players rolls the dice, so they all land in the open box lid. Then follows the most important part of the turn, which is common for all the competitors. Players try to find symbol pairs on the dice and eliminate them. They must find only those ones, which are not present in the second color. There may of course be several and both colors may have some symbols, which are not in the other. All the dice have both black and orange symbols.

Wicked Witches Way - cards

It is up to you, which color you select for your spell. You must try to remember all the unique symbols in this color. As soon as one of your opponents think, he remembers all icons, that interest him, he takes the page in the middle of the book and he covers dice with it.

Players will now attempt to compose correct spell out of his cards. This incantation should moves his witch forward. He must therefore select all symbols (incantatory words), which he thinks are unique in his chosen color. That is the right, perfect form of the spell. All competitors are doing it secretly, so that others could not copy their formula.

Once everyone is happy with his spell, they all turns their cards and reveal the value of the dice by turning the book page to the other side. The simplest way to find the correct formula is to group all symbols present in both colors into pairs. Then its enough to split other hexahedral creatures by color and you have the correct final form of both spells.

Wicked Witches Way

There are three situations, how could a player with his magic end up. He could succeed partially, but withoug playing any wrong card. But it is not compulsory to have all the symbols, that are in the correct incantation. In this case, the broom speed is lower – it corresponds to the number of cards, that you played correctly. You may then move your witch so many numbered boxes forward.

It often happens, that you choose a symbol present in both colors and you include this spell card. In this case, all the magic goes wrong and a broom began to do, what it wants. This means, that you must return exactly two boxes backwards, until you get your broom under control.

Ideal case is, when you manage to pronounce (all players read their spell to increase the atmosphere) perfect formula – all correct symbols. In this case, you get to move not only for so many spaces as cards – you also move two more boxes, when using orange spell color or draw an action card for black dice.

Wicked Witches Way - box

But because the organizers want this to be an interesting race until the very end, there is a curse imposed to the first place for the whole race. As a result of this damnation, leading player could not get these bonuses, even when he manages to do the perfect spell. He just moves the correct number of cards forward.

Action cards help you or harm opponents, you can play them at any time during your turn. It is best to retain this ability just before the finish line, when you can surprise your rivals with it and use it in a much better way. The winner is the witch, whose tip of the broom crosses the finish line as first. Its often a tight roll, in which decides the distance, which the characters cross the finish line.

Wicked Witches Way belongs again to our favorite dice games sector with basically no chance. But this time, there is not strategy in the first place to influencing your victory, but the speed and memory instead.

Wicked Witches Way - cards

Every roll of dice in the game is unique, because nine dice offer enormous flexibility. So you have to be constantly on guard, because each dice has sides half orange and half black. And different symbols. They contain alltogether nine symbols for only six sides of dice, so some symbols are not present on some dice. But in the end all have the same chance of rolling, as each is only on six dice of all nine.

You might often experience rounds, in which almost all orange or black sides fall. In this case, it is good to focus on finding the matching symbols of the color, which has less dice available. You easily eliminate symbols. All others are correct. In those situations, can strongly influence your effectivity a decisions, what color to choose at the beginning of each search. It is not time change in the middle of their choice, although it is a possibility.

Typically you are trying to detect pairs of symbols of two colors. But the dice and rush are malicious and there is much tension in being the first, so you easily miss some dice. In the best faith, you put this symbol on your incantation and it does not belong there.

Wicked Witches Way - game in progress

Overall, great game reminds tension of a race. Players try to remember symbols as quickly as possible to close the book and make more difficult situation for their opponents, who must guess or satisfy with partial formula. If we applied this to the real aerial race of witches, they would probably receive a signal from the ground for each correct incantation. They would try to read those symbols while flying, and who can do it first, he can start by spelling it right ahead.

The game is essentially focused on harming opponents quietly. Rivals close to each book, before others remember symbols on the dice. It often depends not only on speed, but also on the willingness to take risks – you can close it sooner. But you will face more penalty, if you do it wrong – this is how the game simply balanced danger, that some players might close the book at the round beginning. Really important, however, are special cards, that can wreak a lot of damage to enemies.

Processing is absolutely great. It begins already outside the box in the shape of a book, which is also used to play. The idea of a covering of thrown dice with a book page is simply great. Graphics of playing cards is interesting, as well that of magical symbols. Wooden dice may indeed wear out, if you play regularly, but that is also the reason, why the publisher supplies stickers. These can easily replace the original images on the dice, when needed.

Wicked Witches Way - game in progress

Wicked Witches Way is a great pleasure to play. There is no doubt about that. Action and perception racing game with a really smart mechanic. In addition, everything is thought out to the last detail and the game works exactly as it should. So if you want a little crazy racing game, then definitely reach out for this one.

DesignerBruno Cathala, Serge Laget
ArtistEckhard Freytag, Stéphane Poinsot
PublisherAsmodee, Editrice Giochi, Egmont Polska, Pro Ludo, University Games
Year Published
# of Players2 - 6
User Suggested # of Players Best with 6 players
Recommended with 3, 4, 5, 6 players
(17 voters)
Playing Time30
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
User Suggested Ages6 and up
(11 voters)
Language DependenceSome necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(12 voters)
CategoryDice, Fantasy, Humor, Memory, Real-time
MechanicCard Drafting, Dice Rolling, Memory, Pattern Recognition, Simultaneous Action Selection
ExpansionFlinke Feger: Die magischen Pentagramme, Flinke Feger: Gitty Geisterhand
FamilyAdmin: Better Description Needed!, Theme: Witches
Primary NameWicked Witches Way
Alternate NamesAbracadabra, Du Balai!, Flinke Feger, Streghe Volanti, Zlot Czarownic

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Wicked Witches Way – broom racing
Final word
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
box is part of the game
you really speak spells out loud
witch races!
game combines memory, speed and risk
stickers will easily correct worn-out dice
lots of fun
Cons
price
witches are sooo ugly, you have to choose by color
4
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