Casting the Spell

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What fun would a game about witches be without spell-casting? Don’t worry, The Village Crone, is chock full of this kind of fun!

You main objective in The Village Crone is to score 13 points first by completing Witch’s Schemes. To do so, you will be sending out your Familiars to harvest Ingredients you need to cast a variety of spells to achieve the objectives on your Witch’s Scheme cards.

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There are 8 different spell types you can cast, each requiring a different mix of Ingredients and a special incantation. We have provided incantations for you, but you are permitted to make up your own if you are feeling particularly witchy while playing.

Pages 4 & 5 of the rule book go into detail about each spell, giving examples of how they work and how they affect the Villagers, and possibly your Familiars.

Let’s take a look at a specific spell-casting scenario: Continue reading Casting the Spell

Reaping the Rewards – Harvesting Ingredients

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village-crone-ingredients

We’ve recently discussed the importance of using your Familiars to gather the Ingredients you need to cast Spells in The Village Crone. Let’s take a closer look at the Ingredients and how you will be using them.

There are five types of Ingredients: Fire, Flour, Silver, Soil, and Eye of Newt.

Fire is created at the Forge, Flour at the Mill, Silver is found at the Lord’s Manor, and Soil is harvested at the Farm. Eye of Newt is a wild card and can be used in place of any of the other Ingredients to complete your Spells.

Three Eye of Newt cards are shuffled into each of the other Ingredient decks at the beginning of the game. These will be drawn at random during the Harvest phase, so you may or may not end up with one.

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You receive 2 Ingredient cards from each location in which you have a Familiar. If you have more than one Familiar in the same location, you get 2 cards for EACH Familiar.

You receive Ingredients during the Harvest phase of a round. Remember, you only get Ingredients from locations in which you have a Familiar during the Harvest phase. If you do not have any Familiars in a location to receive Ingredients, you may take 3 Ingredients from the Tithe Barn as charity. There is also a rule that allows witches to trade Ingredients during the Move & Cast Spells phase, but the rate of trade is negotiated between players. You may be able to “buy” an Ingredient you need from another player, but it can cost you!

When you cast a Spell, you discard those Ingredients. If another player blocks your Spell with a Protection Spell, you still lose those Ingredients.

Don’t forget to consult your Book of Spells often to remember the Ingredients you will need to be collecting to cast the Spells on your Witch’s Scheme cards. And remember there are multiple ways to achieve some of your Schemes, so get creative and use your resources wisely!

Happy Casting!

Getting Familiar with The Village Crone

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Beasts that Crawl, Fly, Slither, & Stalk

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What witch could succeed without the assistance of her Familiar breed? In The Village Crone, you command your Familiars to assist you in the completion of your Witch’s Schemes.

Each witch has their own set of Familiar tokens that represent their animal minions. The choices you have are cats, bats, rats, snakes, spiders, and crows. If you have a personal affinity towards a particular animal it may bring you luck!

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You will get 5 tokens displaying your Familiar’s likeness, you will place 3 of them on the board at the beginning of the game. In order to put the other two in play, you must use the Conjuring Spell.

The Familiars are placed on the board in various locations around the Village for several strategic purposes.

A vital function of your Familiars is harvesting of Ingredients you need to cast Spells. During the Harvest Ingredients phase of a round, you will receive two Ingredient cards for each Familiar you have in a given location. For instance, if you have one Familiar at the Lord’s Manor, you will receive two Silver. If you have two Familiars at the Farm, you will receive four Soil (two for each Familiar).

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You may also want to move your Familiars around using your Movement Phase if you need to change the Ingredients you have been gathering to cast different Spells. This strategy will depend upon the Spells required to complete your Witch’s Schemes.

There are spells that require a Familiar to be present in a location to affect that space, such as Summoning or Switching.

An overcrowding of Familiars can occur, triggering a Scatter effect and kicking Familiars out of a specific location. For more details on Scattering, check your rule book page 3.

Whether you prefer cat-like reflexes, a bird’s eye view, or the creepy-crawly vibe of an eight-legged friend, your Familiars will be a most valued resource as you vie to be The Village Crone!

 

 

Which Witch is Which? Look Inside the Book of Spells

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What is inside the Book of Spells?

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Each player in The Village Crone will choose a Book of Spells at the beginning of the game. You will use this as a privacy screen to keep your Schemes away from the prying eyes of the other witches and it acts as a handy reference guide for the Spells you will be casting and some of the rules for gameplay.

The book you choose determines which Familiar becomes yours to command. The image of your Familiar is displayed on the outside facing portion of your Book of Spells so the other witches know whose Familiars are whose.

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Inside the Book of Spells you will find a handy chart of the Spells you will be casting. The chart includes a description of what the Spell does, the Ingredients required to cast it, and the Incantation you must say to give power to your spell. You may also choose to make up your own incantations, which can lead to some really funny moments in the game!

There is also a reference guide for Order of Play when you are first learning to play the game or have new players joining you, and a helpful reminder list for some of the rules you will want to keep in mind without having to look them up in the rule book once you get going.

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Don’t forget to make sure you have the latest version of the rules with the correction to the Unbinding spell. You can also print out a patch for your Books of Spells Charts.

 

Unbinding Unbound

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We want to extend a big “Thank You” to everyone who has been spreading their love for The Village Crone through your reviews, blogs, posts, and tweets.

As you are enjoying the game, we want to let you know about an error in the Unbinding Spell that affects the rulebook and Book of Spells. Binding a location requires 2 Soil cards, but the Ingredients required to Unbind a location should be 2 of the same of ANY ingredient, not just Soil.

Visit The Village Crone info page to download the latest version of the rules with the ingredient fix.

We have updated the rules PDF (which is available online), provided a small patch for the Book of Spells (which can be downloaded and printed), and will be including an errata sheet with all games purchased after the publication of this post.

Download and a print the patch sheet for the Book of Spells quick reference guide to update your game.

The Village Crone releases September 30, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more bewitching good times. Happy casting!

Bears! Trail Mix’d Available Now!

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Bears! Trail Mix'd game contents

The latest threat to your woodland fun isn’t marching toward the Castle, it’s invading your campsite, and game stores everywhere, today. The brand new expansion to Bears! is now available!

Bears! Trail Mix’d is a single die expansion to our fast-paced, dice-pairing game Bears! and changes up the game play by introducing 6 new rules to shake up your strategy and keep you on your toes.

This expansion easily fits into the base game box and is fully transportable to your next summer picnic or bonfire. Be sure to pick up your copy before the July 4th family reunion and get the whole family involved in the frantic, fun, and addictive experience of gaming.

Bears! Trail Mix’d is rated for ages 7 and up, retails for $4.95, and requires Bears! to play. Ask about it at your Friendly Local Game Store.

Want to have a little extra fun? Write your own product announcement with our silly fill-in-the-blank word game, or download and print your own score sheets for the game!

Write the Product Announcement – Word Game
Download & print your own score sheets!

A Little Help With Fighting The Dark Titan

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We’ve been playing the new Castle Panic expansion, The Dark Titan, a lot recently with the official release date, the launch party, and International TableTop Day. We’ve noticed some players appreciate having a little help keeping some of the new rules in mind when they face one of the new Monsters.

We totally understand, these new threats are scary! To help you out we have more than just the Cavalier and Support Tokens. We have How to Play videos!

The official The Dark Titan How to Play video covers it all, but if you need some specific help check out these handy break-out videos dedicated to specific topics. You can also review the rulebook on the pages listed below for each new element.

1. Support Tokens – want a quick overview of how these guys work for you? Check out pages 8-9 of the rulebook and watch this:

2. The Cavalier – this fancy new defender has several special rules that apply to him. You can learn more in the rulebook on pages 4-5 and in this video:

3. The Boom Troll – support is all well and good, but what about those new threats? Learn what the Boom Troll will do in this video and on page 7 of the rules:

4. The Dark Sorceress – She’s one tough lady! Her effects are lasting. You can read about her on page 8 and in this video:

5. Agranok, The Dark Titan himself! – No matter which of the 5 levels of Agranok you face, he is sure to make your day a little tougher. He and his heralds are covered on pages 6-7 in the rulebook and by Justin in this video:

Just in case you want even more panic in your game, you CAN play The Dark Titan with The Wizard’s Tower expansion! That’s a lot of Monsters, but you can do it. We believe in you. For instructions on how to incorporate both expansions in your Castle Panic gameplay watch Justin’s video on playing the two together:

Monsters, Monsters Everywhere!–New Monsters in The Wizard’s Tower

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We’ve covered magic (Wizard cards) and fire. What’s left? MONSTERS!

There are many new threats in The Wizard’s Tower box, and they will test your mettle to its limits.

In this video, Justin talks about the new, standard Monsters that join the fight from Centaurs to Ogres, and Imps to Gargoyles.

You will be removing some of the base game Monsters and replacing them with these new Monsters. (See page 3 of The Wizard’s Tower rulebook for the new Monster “recipe.”) Some of these Monsters have special immunities and special vulnerabilities. Some will only spawn alongside other Monsters. Some are just really hard to kill with higher health points than you may be used to!

Flying Monsters

In the expansion there are even Monsters who fly! You have to use Archer cards to hit these Monsters. Knights and Swordsmen are useless against them. They are also immune to the perils of the Giant Boulder! Justin explains how you fight them in this video.

Mega Boss Monsters

Last, but certainly not least, are the Mega Boss Monsters. These Monsters are so big, they aren’t just Bosses, they are MEGA! Four- and five-points make these guys tough to kill, plus they come with extra abilities that stay in effect as long as they are alive. They can also move in unpredictable ways, so you’ll need to stay alert to properly strategize their demise. Mega Boss Monsters are covered on pages 13 & 14 of the rulebook. The game also comes with handy reference cards players can easily refer to when a new Monster is drawn.

You can learn more about all the Monsters in the videos shared above, as well as in the rulebook (pages 11-14). Be sure to also check out our FAQ page for specific Monster effect questions and those occasional scenarios that give you pause.

Happy Hunting! May your Wizard’s Tower remain standing & the cards be on your side!

For the complete playlist of The Wizard’s Tower videos, check out our YouTube Channel, or past blog posts.

Bringing the Heat–How Fire Works in The Wizard’s Tower

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If you’ve been following this week’s blog series on The Wizard’s Tower expansion for Castle Panic, you know how to set up the game by removing certain Monsters and replacing them with new ones, swapping a Tower, and shuffling in the new Castle cards. You’ve also discovered the Wizard deck and all the wondrous magic it holds.

Today we are going to teach you about FIRE!

With this expansion you will encounter Monsters who breathe fire and can catch your Castle structures on fire! But don’t worry, there are ways to put the fire out and even use it to your advantage. You are now able to catch Monsters on fire as well! After all, Dragons are only flame retardant on the INSIDE.

Watch the video for a full explanation of the different ways fire will play a key role in your game play.

How to Set Monsters on Fire

Some of the Wizard cards allow you to set Monsters on fire. When on fire, Monsters will take 1 point of damage for each flame token on it during the Move Monsters Phase of a player’s turn. You can use this new mechanic as part of your strategy by catching Monsters on fire while they are in the Archer ring and letting them burn themselves out before reaching your Castle.

What Happens When the Castle Is on Fire

Among the new Monsters included in The Wizard’s Tower expansion are a few Monsters who can breathe fire and will catch your Castle on fire! Castle structures on fire are weakened and can be destroyed with no damage to the Monsters (they will not take damage when hitting a flaming structure) on that turn. However, a Monster knocking down a flaming Wall will take on that flame token and on his NEXT movement he will take fire damage.

Your Castle structures can handle up to 2 fire tokens and remain standing. However, the third fire attack by a Monster will destroy the Wall or Tower automatically. No Monsters are injured.

How to Put out Burning Castle Structures

Players are able to extinguish flaming structures by playing 1 Brick or 1 Mortar card on their turn for each flame token on the structure. If there are multiple flame tokens on a Wall, you will need multiple Bricks or Mortars to put out all the flames. You may also use the Fortify Wall card to extinguish all flame on a Wall, but you do not get to also fortify that wall.

For more details on how you will be interacting with Fire see pages 7 & 8 in the The Wizard’s Tower Rulebook.

You can also check our FAQs page for The Wizard’s Tower if you have questions about other mechanics and situations.

Wizard Cards in Castle Panic: The Wizard’s Tower

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One of the biggest changes to Castle Panic when you add The Wizard’s Tower expansion is the addition of the Wizard deck of cards that infuse the game with magic and new abilities for the players.

How Do You Get Wizard Cards?

Players can obtain Wizard cards during Phase 2 of their turn: Discard and Draw 1 Card. You can only get one Wizard card per turn this way. You cannot draw up to your full hand in Phase 1 from the Wizard deck. You may also obtain a Wizard card during your Trade cards phase if another player is willing to trade you one from their hand.

The Wizard deck is only available to players while the Wizard’s Tower is still standing on the board. If the Wizard’s Tower is knocked down by the Monsters, you lose access to that deck of cards and all the magic within.

What is in the Wizard Deck?

The Wizard cards include new ways to attack Monsters, including cards that you can play against Monsters that are still in the Wizard Card examplesForest. Remember, in the base game, you cannot attack Monsters until they enter the Archer ring. The cards with Forest play options have a tree symbol on them to help remind you. There are also some new cards with the Castle symbol you will recognize from the base game as indicating you can use them against Monsters that have entered the Castle ring.

Some Wizard cards require you to play them with another card such as a Hit card or to “pay” to use the card with an additional card. An example of this is Mystical Manufacturing, which requires you to play a brick or mortar card with the Wizard card to be able to rebuild a Tower.

Oh, yes, you can rebuild a Tower! You need the Mystical Manufacturing card to be able to do so, but this gives you an additional chance at survival by allowing you to recover from a lost Tower.

Watch this video for a quick overview of the Wizard deck and what you get when you add The Wizard’s Tower expansion!

Of course, the expansion doesn’t just make the game easier, we’ve added lots of new Monsters with new abilities and movement effects. Stay tuned for further videos that explain the mayhem that comes with the expansion. You can see a full list of the Wizard cards, as well as the Monsters and new Castle cards, in The Wizard’s Tower Rulebook.

Need replacement pieces? We’ve got you covered if a Troll has gone missing or your cards are showing wear. Check out our webshop where you can get new pieces and the special Castle Panic Promo Pack of past promotional game pieces with in-game effects, as well as some extra fun swag!

The Wizard’s Tower–How to Set Up the First Expansion to Castle Panic

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You are pretty sure you have mastered Monster slaying and are looking for a challenge.

You’ve check our guide for How To Tell if You’re Ready for The Wizard’s Tower and decided to take the plunge.

Here’s a helpful video on getting the expansion to Castle Panic set up with the base game.

You will be removing some of the old Monsters and adding new, including Mega Boss Monsters! You get new Castle cards and a whole new deck of Wizard cards. You also get to upgrade one of your standard Castle Towers.

A helpful tip: All The Wizard’s Tower pieces (and cards) have a little wizard hat icon on them so you can easily switch back to the base game if you need a win to boost your morale.

Have a question about the rules? Check out our FAQ page for The Wizard’s Tower. Remember, a lot of the rules for the base game carry over, so if you don’t see it in The Wizard’s Tower rulebook double check the Castle Panic rules.

If you have any advice for new expansion players, share it in the comments. We’re all in this together, after all!

Can You Handle the Heat?

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So, you’ve been playing Castle Panic for a while now. You still have a good time, but you are wondering if there is more. Well, I’m here to tell you there is SO MUCH MORE! The Wizard’s Tower is the first expansion to Castle Panic and it really amps up the excitement and challenge of the game. There’s also the not-so-little matter of The Dark Titan, the second expansion that is due out in the Spring of 2015, which brings all new threats and some fun new twists.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Not everyone is ready to tackle the Mega-Bosses right out of the gate. It is a good idea to hone your Monster-slaying skills before taking the leap. If you need some help mastering Castle Panic, check out our How To Play videos in the How to Defend Your Castle post for some pointers from the designer, Justin De Witt.

“How do I know if I’m ready?” you may ask. We’ve put together this helpful guide.

How to Know if You’re Ready for The Wizard’s Tower:

1. You win more often than you lose (if you lose at all anymore), and you often have all or almost all of your Towers still standing.

2. Somebody in your gaming group says, “Castle Panic? Isn’t that a kid’s game?” and you want to shake them up a bit.

3. Fire has always held an allure for you and you want a fun way to play with it without actually getting burned.

4. You find yourself saying, “Oh, it’s just a 3-point Troll” when placing Monsters and long for more variety in your trophies.

5. You wish you had magical powers and have always wanted to face off against a mythical Monster such as a Dragon or a Chimera.

If any of these describe you, you may be ready for The Wizard’s Tower. But be warned, the forest is full of dark and dangerous things and the Castle will be depending on you.

Already playing The Wizard’s Tower? Tell us how/when you knew you were ready to advance. What is your favorite addition to the game from The Wizard’s Tower? Tell us in the comments.

If you are interested in purchasing The Wizard’s Tower, you can do so at your Friendly Local Game Store or through our web store.

How to Defend Your Castle

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How To Play Castle Panic

Been wondering what this Castle Panic game is all about? Now you can satisfy your curiosity with our Official Overview video where Justin gives you a succinct explanation of the objective, the mechanics, and what you need to do to win.

This is also a great video to share with your friends to if you are already a fan of the game and want to get them into it. It does some of the preliminary teaching for you, so you can get straight into playing the game with them on your next game night!

Is your interest piqued? Then may we suggest further viewing satisfaction with our Official How To Play video. In this video, Justin takes you through game setup, the order of play on a player’s turn, and some special Monster tokens that affect how the Monsters behave and even some tokens that interact with the Castle differently than Monsters.

After watching these videos you should be fully prepared to band together with your friends and defend the Castle!

Once you’ve mastered the base game of Castle Panic, you’ll want to consider adding The Wizard’s Tower expansion! It adds magic, fire and more Monsters!

 

Castle Panic vs Dead Panic vs Munchkin Panic – How They Differ

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What’s the difference between the Panic Line games? We get that question A LOT. To help explain the differences we put together a couple of videos.

When Dead Panic came out a lot of people just assumed it was “Castle Panic with zombies.” If you played the game that way you were probably confused and, most likely, didn’t survive the zombie onslaught.

We covered some of the common mistakes made in our video 5 Ways You May Be Playing Dead Panic Wrong, but we wanted to give a good side-by-side comparison so you can easily grasp the major (and a few minor) differences that make these games stand apart from each other.

In this video Justin does just that, even having the games laid out next to each other so he can easily show you how each phase of each game either differs or follows the same basic principles.

With Munchkin Panic, the games still look very similar, but the do actually differ in gameplay. If you are familiar with Castle Panic you will likely recognize the overall mechanics, but we add new twists and layers on top of those mechanics.

The main change in Munchkin Panic is the addition of the competitive edge you seek with your negotiation with other players (instead of straight up trades) and the use of Treasure to boost your personal interests over those of the Castle proper.

There are extra steps you take and additional considerations you have to make when taking your turn in Munchkin Panic, plus you have to be on your toes even when it isn’t your turn to ward off Curses from the other players seeking their own advantage!

Anne-Marie explains the top differences between Castle Panic and Munchkin Panic in this video. Along with the differences between Munchkin Panic and Munchkin®.

For more in-depth How To Play videos for Dead Panic and Munchkin Panic, be sure to check out our YouTube Channel for a comprehensive array of instructional videos.

We hope that helps clear up some of the misconceptions about the Panic Line games being the same and clarifies some gameplay questions you may have.

They do all share one major trait in common – they’re a blast to play!

Top 5 Ways you May be Playing Dead Panic Wrong

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Dead Panic is a lot of fun, but it definitely isn’t just Castle Panic with zombies. If you are having trouble surviving or find the game way too easy, you may be overlooking some important rules.

You can watch our video overview or you can scroll down for the list and see if you are making any of these common mistakes.

Top 5 Ways You May Be Playing Dead Panic Wrong

5. Forgetting Radio pieces take up space in your hand.

Each item you hold counts towards your hand limit of 5 (6, if you are Barbara). If you have all three Radio pieces and they are not yet assembled, they take up 3 slots in your hand, leaving you only 2 slots for Cabin Cards. Assembled Radio pieces count as 1 item and free up those other spots for other resources. (Don’t forget it takes an action to assemble the Radio, and a separate action to call for help!)

4. Putting Survivor tokens back in the bag.

Once a Survivor has turned into a Zombie and is killed, it is not placed back in the Zombie draw bag like the other Zombies. Each Survivor token is only in play once per game. Of course, all the other Zombies you kill go back in the bag creating an unending horde of the undead. Good times!

3. Using items more than once.

All items (Cabin Cards that are not weapons) are single use only. Once they are used, they have to be discarded. These items include things like the Rope and the First Aid Kit. Remember: the Cabin Deck does not get reshuffled once depleted, so manage your resources wisely to maximum your chance of survival.

2. Not moving Survivors first on the Move Zombies phase.

When a Survivor token is in play and the Survivor is still alive, be sure to move the Survivor token first as it may affect how other zombies move. For instance, Zombies move toward living beings they can see, so they may move clockwise or counter clockwise toward a Survivor instead of forward toward the Cabin.

And the Number 1 way you may be playing Dead Panic wrong

1. Drawing an Event Card after one player has performed their 2 actions.

Event Cards are drawn after ALL players have performed their 2 actions. Event Cards are drawn once per ROUND, not once per TURN. The Event Card signifies how many Zombies are placed on the board that round and may affect Zombie movement.

So, there you have it. Are you guilty of any of these transgressions? Have suggestions for other players for how to survive? Share your strategies in the comments!

Dead Panic: Characters & The Van

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More helpful hints on playing Dead Panic!

First up, we have an explanation of the Characters you can play, their special abilities, and what happens when your Character gets turned into a zombie. It is important to understand your ability and those of your fellow players. You may need to remind your teammates to use their ability to help the group.

Next, we have an overview of the Van, a key component to winning to the game. Once you’ve achieved the objective of collecting the radio pieces and calling for help, the Van arrives and your objective becomes “Get in the Van!” The Van has special movement rules and affects your Character’s abilities once you make it to safety. (Hint: You can still help other players, but with limitations.)

We’ll be sharing info on Event Cards soon, so be sure to check back in the next few days!

You can watch the entire Dead Panic “How To” Playlist on our YouTube channel.

Happy Gaming!