Winner of the “Connoisseur Prize” at this year’s Spiel des Jahres (Germany’s tabletop equivalent to the Cannes Film Festival), The Quacks of Quedlinburg beat out Heaven & Ale and Ganz Schön Clever--pretty stiff competition--so you know it’s at least worth a look.
QQ is a combination push-your-luck and bag-management game for between two and four players competing to see who can brew the best patent medicines over nine rounds. Each player begins the game with the same combination of different-coloured ingredients, but over the course of the game players can purchase new ingredients which will change their bag-pulling strategies.
At the start of the turn a random event is revealed for that round that will benefit at least some of the players. Then there is a catch-up mechanic whereby players behind in VP get a boost for this turn. After this is the main part of the turn where players reach into their brew-bags for ingredient chits and add them to their mixtures. You can keep going as long as your mixture doesn’t explode; push your luck too far and you won’t get as much swag at the end of the turn.
There are plenty of ways to mitigate the luck of the draw, but ultimately each turn is a test of your resolve as you decide whether to add just one more ingredient. Whoever brews the best brew gets a bonus, but players can get other benefits depending on what they drew that round. Finally, players gain VP and can purchase new ingredients--the better the potion they brewed, the more they can get of both.
QQ has tons of replayability because there are several sets of “potion books” to choose from which determine the special abilities of each colour of ingredient. Furthermore, you can choose to flip your player boards over and play a slightly more complex variant which provides even more and different opportunities for bonuses.
There is no “take that” factor, and there are plenty of paths to victory--perfect for gamers looking for a less confrontational kind of game. And aside from a small amount of text on the event cards and potion books there is no reading involved, so QQ is quite suitable kids. The luck and suspense factors make for fun and tense moments all game long. Click here to order now!