Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Let's continue to defend Hogwarts™ in Harry Potter™: Hogwarts™ Battle – The Charms and Potions Expansion! May I remind anyone reading this that you will require the base game in order to play.
Trouble is brewing, so only by working together will you be able to protect the Wizarding World from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named thanks to the new spells, items, and allies you'll find in the four new packs of content.
Players: 2-5 Ages: 11+ Game Time: 60-120 mins
What you get in this expansion is the following:
158 cards (38 small, 93 regular, 27 oversized)
4 game packs
1 player board (Ginny Weasley)
1 health tracker
12 influence tokens
10 charms boards
This second expansion to Hogwarts™ Battle increases the player count to five heroes thanks to the newest playable character - Ginny Weasley™! While I've not tried out the higher player count my concern is that it could affect the balance of certain features as experience from the base game was that the difficulty changes dramatically with player count. However, as in the first expansion (The Monster Box of Monsters) they have again not designed her to be compatible with the base game.
Enhance your gameplay experience with charm abilities to aid you as you battle new villains, such as Pansy Parkinson and Marcus Flint, and encounter even more challenges.
You can see to the right that some of the new villains have some interesting dark powers to overcome, which combined with the existing villains and Dark Arts events will make the gameplay much harder!
As with previous expansions, new tactics and strategies emerge. I'll not go into these here, I'll let you discover them for yourselves.
Usopoly (The OP) have done a great homage to the Harry Potter™ brand, other board games have come and gone but this is steadily proving a great deal for the game designer.
Getting back on track, this game even has the ability to be played over Zoom (or your video conferencing service of choice), especially if you're familiar with the cards. Since it's a cooperative game of you against the game, open-hand mechanics make it possible.
The replayability of this is quite vast, as different villain combinations alongside the Dark Arts event deck are ample and the difficulty gets harder as you progress through the seven years of Hogwarts™
With this in mind, it is one of those games where it helps to be a fan of the Harry Potter™ franchise. So bear this in mind, but I can say it is easy to pick up and the cards are clear once you are familiar with the mechanics. It combines co-operative and deck-building games, but by the time you may have honed your deck with spells and using your character abilities to overcome the villains and dark arts events, your deck resets and you have the starting cards again, and this is what I like!
The graphics and quality of this game have without a doubt captured the charm of the Hogwarts™ universe and meets my expectations as a Harry Potter™ fan. My only criticism is that whilst the dark mark tokens are really nice and weighty, it feels like a tease as the remaining tokens in the game are made from punch card. It would have been much better if they could have made all the other tokens metal and a little better in quality as the card pieces soon get the wear and tear you'd expect with cardboard tokens, but this doesn't affect the playability of this fantastic game.
I am giving this a solid 4 out of 6. The cardboard tokens really let it down, but otherwise, it is a great game with fantastic replayability and is playable with current Covid restrictions due to the cooperative nature as it can be played over Zoom or other video conferencing solutions.
Mr Chris - The Founder