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Village Crone board game review: The way of the witch is wicked fun

Just in time for Halloween, Fireside Games has released Village Crone, a board game for one to six players who take on the roles of village witches. In order to accomplish specific tasks to earn points, players will cast spells using worker placement and resource management. The player with the most points wins.

The theme of the game centers around a group of witches that have happened upon a village that doesn't have its crone and the witches will compete to become the village crone of Wikersby. Players earn points by completing the tasks on scheme cards from 1-3 points.

To begin, players build a modular board depicting the village of Wikersby. There are a number of ways to set it up. Will the forge by next to the mill or will the farm by close to the Lord's manor? Placement of the buildings can be strategic because players will control the villagers on the board and score points by getting them to the right locations.

Each witch (player) uses familiars on the board to gather resources to cast spells. Each location on the board such as the farm, forge, Lord's manor or Village green gives a specific resource for a spell. If a player has a familiar at a certain village location, he or she will collect a resource there allowing him or her to cast spells.

For example, to cast a love spell, a witch needs two fire resources. Fire resources are acquired in the village forge location. Gather the resources there using a familiar and then cast the spell of love over two villagers such as the priest, farmer, lord, miller or peasant. Be aware that the game allows two characters of the same gender to fall in love.

Spells included in the game allow switching the locations of villagers, summoning villagers to different parts of the village, changing villagers into frogs, causing villagers to fall in love, gathering resources, binding a location so no one can come or go or conjuring more workers to help. Part of casting the spell actually requires a player to speak an incantation or be penalized.

Scheme cards score points for doing such things as getting the farmer and peasant to fall in love, summoning the priest to the forge or conjuring an extra familiar. The more complicated the scheme card is, the more points it scores (1-3 points). The witch who scores 13 points wins.

Village Crone has a great theme and beautiful components. There is a fair amount of luck in the game as some scheme cards are easily accomplished because its requirements are already in play while others take multiple turns to accomplish. Sometimes its the luck of the draw.

If the theme of Village Crone sounds interesting, be sure to check it out. The game is simple enough to understand for younger players, and the length of the game is about one hour. Find out more at firesidegames.com.

rmorgenegg@desnews.com