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Broom Service: The Card Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Little-and-Often Review: Broom Service - The Card Game rss

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Adam Taylor
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It is my intention to write a brief review (around 300 words) of every game that I play over the coming months. It won't quite be a random sample of games but there is likely to be quite a range; some will be games that I've played many times before, others will be first impressions of games that are new to me, some I will like, some I will hate, some I may be predisposed to like or hate before I even sit down to them. I make no apologies for this but I will lead with a rough number of plays and my rating.

Plays: 1
My rating: 4

Broom Service the card game could be thought of as the card game version of the board-game version of the card game Witches Brew - which I have always rather liked - so I was keen to try it but had mixed expectations. As it turns out, it was my fears rather than my hopes that were met.

In two senses, this game has virtually no substance. Firstly, within that relatively small box are two tiny decks of cards (the 68 by 45mm type) and nothing else. Aside from the fact that you have quite a large hand of them, I can't see any reason for the cards to be so small. It doesn't matter so much for the hand (character) cards, because they're basically just a colour, but the bonus scoring cards have quite a few symbols on them which needed a bit of squinting to discern.

This is mildly annoying but would at least make the game really portable (if you got rid of the box). However, BStCG is also severely lacking in substance in game-play terms. The scoring system is significantly simpler than Witches Brew; all of the cards do the same thing which is to get you some or one or no potions (depending on what everyone else plays) - potions score points and can also get you bonus points for the right combinations. There's no back and forth interaction like with the Klepto and Gimme cards in Witches Brew, the only player interaction is in the selection of cards and the timing and strength of playing them. Of course, this is the central mechanic that all three of these games are built on and it has previously been an interesting one - trying to figure out what your opponents want and what you'll be able to take unchallenged - however, in BStCG you don't have a free choice of which cards to take for each round, you choose three from a large but random hand. So, while you might be able to work out what your opponents want, there's no way of knowing if they have the cards to try for it - so luck is a much more significant factor. Simply playing the card that you want as brave and hoping for the best seems as good a strategy as any (and took me to a decisive win in the one game I played).

I might play this again if there was really nothing else on offer but I can't honestly imagine why that circumstance would arise.

In short: The Worst Witch.
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Alexander Pfister
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Sorry to hear you expected more "meat". Yes, it is light and also has some randomness. We designed the game to be a 15 minute fast and fun game (at least it was in our tests). The strategy here is: Focus on contracts or gather many potions of the same colour. And of course taking your opponents strategies into account.
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Adam Taylor
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It certainly is fast and light - for my tastes though it's just too light.

I don't like to write negative reviews but it was the point of the project to review every game - even those that don't appeal to me.
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David B
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If this and the previously released Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game are any indication of what is to come, I think Alea should perhaps consider discontinuing this particular line of small box games.
 
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Alexander Pfister
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David, I think many (maybe not so many on BGG) like light games such as 6 Nimmt. They are very successful.
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Nico
Germany
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But I don’t want to go among mad people
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Oh, you can’t help that, we’re all mad here.
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pfctsqr wrote:
If this and the previously released Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game are any indication of what is to come, I think Alea should perhaps consider discontinuing this particular line of small box games.


Mh I don't think so. Yeah, it's a very simple game but it's fast. The possibility to play the Witche's Brew mechanism as a filler game (I think both other games are too long as a filler, even Witche's Brew). I like it.
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David B
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AlexP wrote:
David, I think many (maybe not so many on BGG) like light games such as 6 Nimmt. They are very successful.



I love good light games, 6 Nimmt being among them. I admit I have not tried BS:tCG. But I have tried Castles of Burgundy:tCG and found it to be terrible. I hope your game is better.
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Dave S.
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That's too bad that you didn't like it. I've only had the chance to play it once with 6 people, but we liked it as it was a great transition game between heavier games.

None of us have played Witches Brew, or even the board version of Broom Service, so we didn't have any expectations going in. Maybe that helped us enjoy it a bit more.
 
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Alex Ansari
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I have played, and enjoyed, Broom Service, but not Witches Brew. My group loved Broom Service: The Card Game. In most cases, we can knock out 3-4 games in 15-20 minutes. It's been a fantastic closer for us and with the small box size, I can see taking this on my travels. Thanks for the review, though.
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Alexander Pfister
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Sir_Alex wrote:
I have played, and enjoyed, Broom Service, but not Witches Brew. My group loved Broom Service: The Card Game. In most cases, we can knock out 3-4 games in 15-20 minutes. It's been a fantastic closer for us and with the small box size, I can see taking this on my travels. Thanks for the review, though.

Thanks Sir Alex! Thats exactly what that game wants to be: fast (though 3 games in 15-20 minutes is very fast) and fun. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Joseph Maier
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pfctsqr wrote:
If this and the previously released Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game are any indication of what is to come, I think Alea should perhaps consider discontinuing this particular line of small box games.
I liked CoBTCG. It plays quick, and is less fiddly than its big brother. It's not as good, but I'd hardly call it bad.
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