I’m very happy that Cortnie got a pair of wins yesterday, but being fresh off a loss, I was ready to start my win streak again. Cortnie had other ideas, but I think my record speaks for itself. We’ve played nine different games, and I’ve won eight of them.
The other game I got for Father’s Day was Broom Service, winner of the 2015 kennerspiel des jahres. I read through the rules while Cortnie was on an errand, and it only took about five minutes to teach once she returned.
In Broom Service, each player controls two pawns on the board in an effort to make and deliver potions to those who need them. Each player has 10 role cards; there are four witches, three gatherers, two druids, and a fairy. Witches let players move to adjacent areas and delivery potions, Gatherers generate resources (such as potions) for the player, Druids deliver potions to the area one of the pawns is in, and the fairy charms the weather away. Points are scored by delivering potions to towers on the board.
Each card can be played in one of two ways. You can play it as a brave card, which is could allow someone to steal the action, leaving you doing nothing, or as a cowardly card, which is not as good, but is safe.
One of the mechanisms in the game is role selection. Each player secretly will select four roles they want to play this turn. Then the player who most recently played a brave card will play one of their cards. Each other person, in turn will either say “next” if they didn’t select that role, or they will play it cowardly or brave. Everyone who played cowardly gets to act, only the last person who plays the role as brave gets to act.
The last big piece to the game are event cards, one of which is played at the beginning of each round. The events effect play with things like forcing the first of each role to be played brave, offering a reward for resources at the end of the round, or having players lose points for being in certain types of terrain at the end of the round.
This is a high level overview of the game. There are advanced rules we didn’t play (yet!) and another side of the board for advanced play. Zee Garcia does a good job explaining the game here.
I took a round of play to really see the consequences of loosing an action from having someone play brave after you. This is when the head games began (at least from me). About every third time Cortnie would play a card, I would react before she got to say brave or cowardly. Eventually she would say say her choice before playing the card, but there were a few times, I forced a cowardly action for fear me playing brave on top of her. The best was when I didn’t actually have the role in question.
Cortnie played it strait. She never tried to bluff me into changing my courage mid play. She often stole my actions after I played. Cortnie was leading the game most of the time. There were a few moments I passed her, but they were short lived. That is until the end. On the last round of play, I shot ahead. I was feeling pretty confident as I watch Cortnie finish up the round scoring point after point, passing me and more. It wasn’t even close. My losing streak continues.
I think this game, with help, could be played by my six year old, but is certainly too much for my two younger girls. What surprised me though is that this passed Ticket to Ride as Cortnie’s favorite game. We’ll see if the newness wears off and Ticket to Ride returns to her favorite, only time will tell.