The Wizard King has been killed, his power stolen by a Black Wizard to fuel an evil ritual. As one of the heirs of the Wizard King you must stop the Black Wizard. Untrained, you must team up with the other heirs to complete this task, but don’t be fooled, though you need their help only one may become the new Wizard King.
Heirs of the Wizard King is hitting Kickstarter soon, and Jonathan was kind enough to send me a prototype of the game to preview for his campaign.
In Heirs of the Wizard King, each player takes the role of a Wizard trying to defeat the Black Wizard and take their rightful place as the new Wizard King. It’s a semi-cooperative where players are working to make sure the Black Wizard doesn’t complete his ritual, but also trying to score the most points to become the overall victor. Players take their turns, with the Black Wizard taking his own turn after each.
Players start with a Player Board, a set of 6 colored tokens, and a scoring token. The scoring token is placed on the “1” spot on the Player Board with the rest of the tokens set off to the side. Players then each draw 1 card to start their chains (explained later.) Cards then draw to form the player’s hand. The first player gets 1, the second 2, and so on. Once each player is set up the Black Wizard is set on the table with his token on the “1” slot of his board and a single card drawn for his chain.
During their turn, a player first takes 1 of the following actions:
- Command: Play a card from their hand for it’s printed ability and discard it
- Absorb: Discard a card to increase that color’s token by 1 on the Player Board
- Cast: Cast a color spell at its current level on the Player Board. The higher the level, the more powerful the spell
Next, the player has the opportunity to add cards to their chain. Cards may be placed to either side of the chain as long as the number or color matches. When the number of cards exceeds the player’s current score the chain ends, is discarded, and the player’s score token, along with any colored tokens on their Player Board, is increased by one.
The final step the player takes for themselves is to either discard down to the hand limit (if their hand size exceeds it) or to draw 2 cards. The draw phase may be altered by spells, so those actions are taken instead of the standard draw if activated earlier.
Now it’s time for the Black Wizard’s action. A card is drawn to the deck and added to his chain. Matching doesn’t matter at this point. Then, that card’s color token is increased by 1 on the Black Wizard Board and he casts that spell following the rules specific for the Black Wizard.
Play continues this way until a player’s score reaches the appropriate amount for the number of players or the Black Wizard’s score maxes out. The Black Wizard’s score token is increased every time the draw deck runs out of cards.
This is the most basic outline of play. For information on the different spells, their effects, Black Wizard casting, solo play, and more, check out the latest revision of the rules.
I can’t really comment much on the components of Heirs of the Wizard King since my copy is a prototype. I can say that the artwork, graphic design, and iconography I’ve seen so far is pretty on point.
Heirs of the Wizard King manages to pack an insane amount of depth into a fairly small package and low play time. It’s easy to learn/teach but is by no means quick to master. There are multiple routes to victory here with a good amount of choices that come up each turn. All the while players have to manage the Black Wizard while still trying to come out on top of their fellow players. The age range of the game says 12+, but I had no trouble playing with my 7-year-old. It took a few turns for him to fully grasp what was going on, but now he can hold his own against other players.
Heirs of the Wizard King is supposed to launch September 5th of Kickstarter, and a minimum pledge of $19 will secure you a copy of this most excellent card game. If you’re interested in getting a taste before hand, there’s a print-and-play available so you can try before you buy.
A prototype of Heirs of the Wizard King was provided free for preview by Jonathan Politis.