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The object of this family game is to compose the most valuable elixir using 14 different ingredients. You need at least 3 of the same type before the elixir has any usable power.
Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews
My husband and I are keen game players, and being only two of us most of the time are always on the look-out for good two-player games. This one's great fun - simple and quick to play but still with a lot of strategy. On each move you have to decide whether to go for your own targets or take a card your opponent wants to frustrate.
One thing I didn't quite understand in the Counter review was the idea of standing on a card. We have a German edition and it's clear in the instructions that the counters move clockwise round the edge of the grid, so you're always standing at the end of a row/column and choosing a card, not on the cards themselves. Maybe something is lost in the translation! The drawback is that you can end up in a situation where you can only move from corner to corner (thus garnering no cards) if you have a 4 card on top of your cauldron pile and are trapped behind your opponent, as the rules state you have to jump over him.
Overall, good fun and enough tactics to keep it interesting.
Kupferkessel Co. is a perfect little filler for two. It's quick to set up, takes five minutes or less to explain, has attractive art, and plays in 20 to 30 minutes. It's about 70% tactics, 20% luck, and 10% strategy. The rules are clear with the exception of the one sentence explaining the 'witch hat and wand' cards. (All they needed to say was that these cards give you a second turn.)
It's important to remember that you don't have to take the last game-ending card in a row into your 'charm boiler, you can choose to discard it instead. Failing to remember this has cost my wife a couple of games as she has often drawn a card that is the only one in a set, consequently giving her a negative score card in her boiler.
I would recommend playing 4 or 5 basic games before taking on the prescription cards. We also allow players to look at all the cards in their boiler (without changing the order) rather than just the top one. Turning it into a memory game adds to the luck factor in my opinion.
Overall, I highly recommend this game as one of the more enjoyable two player games I've played, up there with Hera and Zeus, Ceasar and Cleopatra, Starship Catan, and Castle.
A quartet of cards, numbered from one to four; represents the types of goods. Deal a random, faceup 6 x 6 array. Your wizard starts in a corner and moves around the perimeter. The first card in your "kettle" is drawn from the facedown stack. The top card in your kettle (peeking at the ones below is forbidden) determines how far your wizard moves around the perimeter each turn. He picks a card in the row in which he stops, puts it on top of his kettle, and draws to replace. Some cards allow you another turn; others let you remove your adversary's top card. Play ends when the draw is exhausted, and the last card in any row has been picked. Having at least two of any given ingredient in your kettle earns points. Deduct the value of singletons collected; highest score wins. One highlight of this game is its memory element, which allows the skillful wizard to plan ahead by selecting his cards judiciously.
Gold Sieber have joined the 2 player procession with this orderly little tile-laying game.
The cards depict a variety of items (potions, apparently) found in Victorian kitchens (but did I spot a Faberg Egg?). Apart from the visual icon, all cards have a number which provides movement points.
The cards are laid in a grid, with two of the four corner cards providing the starting locations. Both players draw one ingredient card to start proceedings, and, in turn, move the number shown on this card. Once settled on a new site, the player may take any card from the adjacent row, thus furnishing the next possible range. However, the conundrum is provided by the ingredients available. A clever points scoring device will clarify your intentions. This works as follows:
- One card of a type will score a negative value.
- Two cards of a type will score 0.
- Three cards of a type will score their total value.
- Four cards of a type (All sets are of four cards only, rated 1-4)) score
- their total value (10) plus a bonus of 5 points.
So, whilst you need to beetle around grabbing as much as you can, you need to stake an early claim for the sets on offer.
Interaction is provided by blocking -- players have to jump over their opponent's pawn, occasionally frustrating an ideal move. It is also possible to force a player into a corner, where no card can be chosen. You may also invite this option having previously spied a tempting card with insufficient points to push you back on a straight.
There are two "Special" cards. The Exploding Kettle forces the top card on your adversary's pile to the draw pile, whilst the Magic Hat provides an extra turn.
Kupferkessel Co should take around 20 minutes. Those looking to prolong the action can introduce the 13 Recipe cards, a variant which provides points for particular tasks and allows some movement "tricks".
This is a lovely production which requires planning and a little tactical nous. Make time for it.
*NB. In the absence of an translated rules set, confusion has arisen as to when a row is empty. Theoretically, your pawn will still be standing on a card. Help!