Review: Wiz-War – magical havoc

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I’m not sure, what we’ve actually done. Today, however, we found ourselves in the infamous labyrinth. Its walls radiate with magical energy. This has its purpose: all wizards can show all their skills in here without any limitations. But I never thought, that I will try is for myself. Fight for survival. The rule is, that only one will come out of the maze whole and sane.

One of those trapped in such labyrinth will also be players in the board game , created by in and ranking among the classics of skirmish genre. It is thus following in the footsteps of other reprints, such as the recently published games Cave Troll or Drakon. The game is published by .

Indeed, we have in front of us eighth edition, which will come to you on back of a fireball. On the cover, we see a cartoon scene of wizard battle and everything is inside classical square box. New version brings with it a set of square map tiles filled square positions and black walls. You create a total maze out of them, on which will move only miniatures of the main characters – mages. Game also includes possible transformations of them into other creatures.

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Even some cardboard component are not missing, governed by two-piece wheels for watching life (with a hole through which we can see the actual number), then treasures, objects, portals, energy or hats. Game also includes tetrahedral dice and a set of magical cards, among which are not only spells, but also items. All are wearing text describing their capabilities.

At the beginning of the game, players create board randomly from several plates (depending on number of players) and connect its remote sides via magic portals. Only then each player chooses his hero, marks it with colored stand and each figurine will also receive a counter, hat and treasure pointer, all in their own colors.

Figurines are placed on the board, each in the middle of its own tile and designated areas will also receive their valuable treasures to fight for. The players then choose three schools of magic for their game and together with the universal white cards shuffle these into one deck. Each participant will receive a starting gear of five cards and other cards create supply. Players can even set their indicators of lives at number fifteen and everything can begin.

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From that momenton, real fight is  waiting for players. In each round, player will have the opportunity to move his wizard by three fields in any direction or even more, if he is willing to sacrifice energy card from his hand. However, movement can be used at any time, and may also be interrupted by using cards (activation of objects, use of neutral spells) and attacking the opponents (either by magic or with physical attacks). To do this, player selects his destination, plays any card and his opponent can respond by playing counterattack.

But magic is not so simple. Target must be within reach, that is listed on the card and also in sight. Not only attacks can then be improved by discarding energy cards. The cards then have different durations from immediate effects up to permanent ones. Magic cards played are counted towards hand limit.

During the game, players can attack not only on themself, but also on surrounding area. They can be damaging walls or doors, that are immediately equipped with token of cracks. When their number is high enough, the element is destroyed.

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Throughout the game, players try to collect victory points. They are gained primarily through capture of the opponent’s treasures. Hero must pick it up and take it back to his home territory. Caskets can alway be stolen by others away. Points can also be gathered, if player manages to kill the enemy wizard. Whoever gets two victory points first or becomes the sole survivor, wins.

Wiz-War is an uncompromising battle between several wizards. They got all the necessary ingredients, that mages need. They get weapons, spells and chance to get rid of all their competition and become the only real magician. At least until the moment, when other challengers come out of shadows in next match.

The entire game is surprisingly only little luck dependent. While players have their cards secret, they are often played publicly, activated and used later again. Moreover, points can be gained back. Well, if you haven’t been eliminated from the game due to a loss of vitality points. Even a wizard can end in cemetary and here comes the player elimination. This game is simply a must from this short description, although a few conflict haters may be discouraged.

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Basis for points is dragging for treasure chests. And that word „war“ is now clear – this game will be best in maximum of four rivals. In two vice versa, plays have to go for each other’s throats as stealing treasure is not the option. Both opponents have two chests together and it is therefore possible to win the other way, but it’s pretty unlikely to do so. And the absence of a possibility of this type of victory makes the duel experience weaker, although the sheer size of the board is tailored for game two and noticably smaller.

Pleasant is overall length of the game. It fits easily within thirty minutes, which makes this a great carving fun for every occasion. If you like a crazy battle for life. Spells are flying here and there, burn  your earlobes and fingertips, but you are not afraid. This is just your element full of unsettled accounts.

And then, there is of course something, that you probably won’t resist. Possibility to turn your sorcerer into one of the five other forms and thus completely change his parameters. Since then, his skills are governing by abilities on the specific card, which he add strength, but also might lose some speed.

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Players have spells, that last for a long time and affect another wizard. For this, the game needs hat tokens indicating, which players use to mark target of their spell. It’s a simple solution, that is perfectly sufficient.

Of course, the game can not be compared with the much tactically rich Mage Wars. This game has a tradition in history, where games did not insist on tactics and were played for pure entertainment and noone minded them being a little silly. And that was definitely transferred into present version as well.

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We have not yet stressed enough, that Wiz-War are actually two games in one. Like Merchants of Venus, also this game remains true to the original. One side of tiles is classical old one, while the second is devoted to new, revised, faster edition. Overall, it is something to cheer for, although whole processing is very colorful (for someone too much). However, miniatures and all those tokens/cards create a good atmosphere.

Game contains various small rules to keep your interest even after multiple matches. There’s a door, that are always closed, objects, fire walls and other horseplay. But what ensures versatility is not just the fact, that you punch nose of others always in halls assembled differently. We are talking primarily about schools of magic, that always bring another set of spells to the game. And you will explore their mutual relations gladly.

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Wiz-War is an elegant and simple skirmish game, that will not give you much space for anything else. You just fire spell after spell on opponents, trying to not be elminiated and not taking it seriously from beginning to end. In case you do not belong among those more thoughful players. Wiz-War is certainly an excellent choice for all, who like action and can entertain perfectly, if you search for possibility for a quick battle.

DesignerTom Jolly, Kevin Wilson
ArtistPhilip Dickenson, Javier Guzman, Bill Hallier, Christophe Madura, Denis Medri, Dallas Mehlhoff, Bob Renzas, Gabe Rose, Brian Schomburg, WiL Springer, Peter Wocken, Ben Zweifel
PublisherFantasy Flight Games, Edge Entertainment, Giochi Uniti, Heidelberger Spieleverlag, Wargames Club Publishing
Year Published2012
# of Players2 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4+ players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4 players
(81 voters)
Playing Time60
Mfg Suggested Ages14 and up
User Suggested Ages12 and up
(10 voters)
Language DependenceExtensive use of text - massive conversion needed to be playable
(22 voters)
CategoryFantasy, Fighting, Miniatures
MechanicDeck Construction, Dice Rolling, Grid Movement, Hand Management, Interrupts, Line of Sight, Map Deformation, Modular Board, Pick-up and Deliver, Player Elimination, Take That, Variable Set-up
ExpansionWiz-War: Bestial Forces, Wiz-War: Malefic Curses
FamilyComponents: Miniatures, Components: Polyhedral (not D6) dice, Creatures: Dragons, Creatures: Monsters
Primary NameWiz-War (Eighth Edition)
Alternate NamesWiz-War, Wiz-War: Krieg der Magier, 奪寶奇巫 Wiz-war (繁體版)

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Wiz-War – magical havoc
Final word
Wiz-War is a true game of wizards. None of them would have never missed an opportunity for the practical testing of his spells on other magicians. For this purpose, there is an explosive mix, where you just put some magicians in a labyrinth and they give each other, what they deserve. It does not matter, if the means is a spell or bare hands, only one might always win. But it is not only about destroying the others. There is also possibility to steal his treasures, and thus his strength. Games are different due to sufficient supply of cards. But even versatility did not save the game with two. Overall, however Wiz-War is really fun game for all combat-ready mages at the tables.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
crazy fighting
plenty of different cards spells
opportunity to transform your wizards
variability
fun of fighting
less emphasis on luck
chance of destroying the environment
Cons
with two (almost) missing one victory condition
player elimination
4
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