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Witch Trial
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Store:  Family Games
Theme:  Humorous
Format:  Board Games

Witch Trial


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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 40 minutes 3-7

Designer(s): James Ernest

Manufacturer(s): Cheapass Games

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Product Description

Ah, the invigorating smells of Springtime. The damp, musky nose of the Courtroom. The smoky, sweaty aroma of the Guilty. And the sweet, sweet smell of our daily bread.

In a century where witchcraft runs rampant and American civil law is in its infancy, nothing could be more rewarding than being a trial lawyer.

In Witch Trial, you will do your best to persuade an unpredictable jury of the innocence and guilt of dozens of hard cases. Of course, it really doesn't matter who lives and who dies. Because like everything else, it's all about the money.

Game Synopsis: Every player is a lawyer in pseudo-colonial America. (Actually, the illustrations are about 100 years too modern, but they were free.) You draw from a deck of cards representing Suspects, Charges, Evidence, and Motions, and then play the part of either Prosecutor or Defender in a number of Witch Trials. The Jury's deliberation is represented by the roll of two 6-sided dice, modified by a number called the Jury Value, which you will spend the trial struggling to affect.

If you want, you can "plea bargain" rather than letting the Jury deliberate, and split the "prestige" of winning the case with your opponent. Otherwise it comes down to a roll of the dice, and let the better lawyer win.

Witch Trial is a hilarious romp through the precarious details of our legal system, designed by James Ernest and illustrated with entertaining Victorian clip art. A solid card game just like you've come to expect from Cheapass Games.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): James Ernest

  • Manufacturer(s): Cheapass Games

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 3 - 7

  • Time: 40 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 198 grams

  • In order to play Witch Trial, you will have to provide Play money, one Counter, and two Dice.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews

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by Eric
Hilarious and clever
January 01, 2004

When played as a role-playing game, this is one of my favorite Cheapass Games. Really hamming it up makes this one of the games where you will actually laugh yourself hoarse. If you just mechanically play this game without pretending to really believe everything that is going on (while winking loudly as you get paid for simultaneously ruining one poor old widow and defending another), it would be heinously dull. So don't play it if you aren't willing to do some acting. There's just something so satisfying about getting to put an orphan away for good for daring to practice heliotropism...

On top of all that, the mechanics are sound and interesting. The game is well balanced. The method of valuing cards (they become progressively cheaper the longer they sit around, basically) is intriguing. The various ways one can bias the jury in favor of the client or against is clever. Highly, highly recommended.

Leading the witness... to zany fun!
January 15, 2003

Witch Trial is certainly among the stronger titles in the Cheapass line. It combines their trademark wit and good humour with effective strategic elements and lively negotiating between players.

Like many good games, you find yourself making lots of quick decisions where each option has its pros and cons. Pay lots for a good card now, or wait and hope it's still there next time around for cheaper? Burn lots of cards in one trial, helping you now but depleting your resources, or save some for later and risk defeat? Or should you cut a deal and be happy with a portion of the money? (The decision to include 'plea bargaining' as part of the game was a wise one, and provides good devious enjoyment!)

For bonus fun, players can pretend to be characters from 'Law and Order' (also acceptable would be 'Law and Order: Special Victims Unit' and 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent', although strangely, not 'Law and Order: Crime and Punishment').

A fun and engaging treat!

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