$10.00
Recommend
31 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Year With Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
United States
Redford
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Castle Panic is a co-op game I got from a friend as a Christmas gift a couple years ago, and as is inevitable with all my games, when an expansion comes out, I pick it up.

This is an expansion which enhances the game quite a bit, and will probably always play with it from now on. Over the past year, I have played with this expansion 6 times.

The Wizard's Tower doesn't really change any of the core rules up at all, but simply adds to your options. I don't want to rehash too much from the base game here, so feel free to read my review, A Year With Castle Panic, to get my thoughts on the base game on its own.

The Premise:
Another onslaught of hideous monsters is preparing to attack the castle from all sides. However, it looks like this time, the usual orcs, goblins, and trolls have some extra help on their side. New monsters of all types can be spotted, some that can fly, some that can climb, some that are bigger than ever and can even breath fire. The castle prepares for another attack, and luckily, a wizard has taken up residence in one of the towers.

The Components:
The components in this game are of the same good quality material as what came in the base game. A whole new slew of monster tokens come with this expansion, which includes new types of basic monsters that get added to the draw pile, some imp tokens that are only brought onto the game board under special circumstances, and 6 new mega boss monsters that are four or five sided. Each mega boss also has a normal shaped proxy token, so that they can be added to the draw pile and not be recognized as a mega boss, and then the mega boss token gets added to the board once drawn. Fire tokens are also included, since fire effect from monsters and spells can affect monsters, walls, and towers.

Speaking of spells, the majority of cards included are the wizard's spells that make up the wizard deck. The wizard himself has his own tower which replaces one of the six regular towers. The rest of the cards are new options for the regular castle deck.

The coolest item is the monster draw bag, which is black and has the eyes and teeth of the monster on the base game box.

The Gameplay:
As I mentioned, the core of the game remains the same. When first setting up, there are some base game monster tokens that need to be removed, and most of the new ones added in to the draw bag. The players must draw a monster for each of the six spaces in the archer ring. Finally, three of the six mega boss monster proxy tokens will be added to the draw bag at random, so you never know which of the mega bosses you will have to deal with until it shows up.

The turn order remains the same, draw up to hand limit, discard a card to draw a new one, trade cards with another player, play cards, move monsters, drawn two more tokens. Discarding a card needs to be noted that it is the only way to get a wizard spell into your hand. As long as the wizard's tower is still standing, the wizard deck is available. When you discard a card, you can choose a card from either draw pile. It is usually advised to take a wizard spell.

The wizard spells are almost all very useful, and can do a wide range of things. Some spells let you hit more than one monster in an area, some will set a monster on fire, and several of the spells allow you to hit monsters that are in the forest ring or the castle ring. One even lets you rebuild a destroyed tower! A couple of the spells are very situational and mostly worthless, but the good definitely outweighs the bad here. Wizard spells can be traded amongst players just as normal castle cards. If the wizard tower gets destroyed, the wizard deck is no longer available, but any spells already held can still be used.

New castle cards have been added as well. There are a few new attacks represented by magic swords, and cards that can combine with the base game's hit cards to change their color or range. All of these new cards are going to be necessary to defeat the onslaught of new monster types included in this package.

It's these new monsters that really ramp up the decision making and tension beyond what the base game provided. There is now a four hit point ogre that needs to be dealt with quickly or will cause some destruction. The climbing trolls will ignore the walls and head right into the castle ring from the swordsman ring. Wolf riders move two spaces at once and also need to be dealt with quickly. A couple monster are flyers and can only be hit with archer cards no matter which ring they are in. A trio of monsters are each immune to attacks in one ring, take normal damage in another, and are instantly defeated in the third. And then there's the flaming boulders and trebuchet attacks to deal with...

The six mega boss monsters are also quite varied in their attacks, special powers, and movements. And with the regular set up, you never know which ones will be coming out.

Fire is also something that must be contended with, but can also be used as a tool. When the wall or towers are set on fire, a monster that runs into them will not take damage. Too much fire, and the tower or wall will be destroyed from the flames itself. However, monsters that are set on fire, either from spells, attacks, or running into flaming structures, will take a point of damage automatically each time they move. Monsters that are set on fire early enough can effectively be ignored as they will burn out before they can do anything.

Like before, the players win when every token from the bag and on the board has been drawn and dealt with while having at least one tower standing.

Final Thoughts:
I think this expansion improves the base game considerably. The new monsters alone turn the card play from an automatic "play everything you can" into something much less brainless. Needing certain cards to hit monsters at the right time makes holding onto, saving, and trading a much more thoughtful process. The new cards that add in extra options also add to the decision making, as well as making the game a little more difficult. Extra cards being added into the castle deck means cards like the barbarian that can destroy anything, or the brick and mortar to rebuild walls will come out less often overall. But the new ones should hold their own weight in a different way.

The wizards deck has some cool spells that are a lot more fun to use and plan around than the basic hit cards. But you have to make sure that wizard tower stays standing, or else you will be put at a disadvantage.

If I had to make a complaint, it would have to do with the fire rules. In some games, there is a lot of fire, and others very little, mostly depending on what mega boss monsters come out. But it seems like every time it comes up, I have to refer back to the rules to see which takes precedence over monster movement, taking a hit, and destroying a structure. It seems just a little too complicated for a game that overall is this simple to execute.

Otherwise, this is almost a very necessary purchase to turn Castle Panic into a slightly mindless activity into one much more meaningful. The game length increases a bit with all the extra tokens to deal with, but it is worth it if you enjoy the base game. Following the BGG guidelines, I rate this one a 7.5.

On a side note, we have not lost yet since adding in the Wizard's Tower. However, with just the base game, out wins our usually blowouts with very little to fear, and had been using the optional rules to make it harder (of which we have lost a few times). We may have won every time so far with the expansion, but I don't think we've ever had more than a single tower standing at the end. This definitely raises the difficulty level (a much needed raise, I might add), and includes even more variations to alter the difficulty.

Thanks for reading, and you can find my other reviews at A Year With My Games.
31 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Caleb
United States
Seminole
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Really been meaning to pick this up. We like CP but it does get a little 'samey' after a while. I think after the holidays I'm going to grab this.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dustin Crenshaw
United States
Shepherdsville
Kentucky
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
6 times over a year? I played it like 6 times the first day :)

honestly this is one of the best expansions for I game I've ever bought. Makes the game so much better.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We've owned this for well over half a year, but have yet to play it. The increased level of "fiddliness" always just seems too much of a turn-off when we pull the game out with the kids. I really do need to give this a shot.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Genesyx
Malaysia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
mrblueesq wrote:
We've owned this for well over half a year, but have yet to play it. The increased level of "fiddliness" always just seems too much of a turn-off when we pull the game out with the kids. I really do need to give this a shot.


Would you play this game with a group of older teenagers/ adults then?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Sanders
United States
Henderson
Texas
flag msg tools
DNA results: 50% West Europe; 19% Great Britain; 16% Ireland; 8% Scandinavian; 4% Iberian Peninsula; 2% Italy/Greece; 1% West Asia; -1% Middle East
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks a bunch for this review. Already enjoyed the base game but this would seem to make it more enjoybable.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Redford
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
SeerMagic wrote:
6 times over a year? I played it like 6 times the first day

honestly this is one of the best expansions for I game I've ever bought. Makes the game so much better.


I know. My early reviews had tons of plays in the first year, but as more games enter the rotation, they all suffer.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mike m
United States
Palisades Park
New Jersey
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
most reviews I hear about the base game, it sounds like everyone's winning all the time. but, we nearly always lose this game.

Is that bec it's always just 2 of us? Or more bec my older son always plays the overload? or do we just suck???

It has kept me from getting this expansion bec my older son will still always want to be the overlord, and so it will make a nearly impossible game completely impossible for me and my younger son.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Redford
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
SirWashington wrote:
most reviews I hear about the base game, it sounds like everyone's winning all the time. but, we nearly always lose this game.

Is that bec it's always just 2 of us? Or more bec my older son always plays the overload? or do we just suck???

It has kept me from getting this expansion bec my older son will still always want to be the overlord, and so it will make a nearly impossible game completely impossible for me and my younger son.


I've never played with a player being the overlord. Whenever I've played it, we just played it as a straight co-op, so we either all win or lose. We don't even worry about the master slayer with this expansion, but that's mostly because some monster bring back previously defeated monsters, so we bunch all the tokens together in a pile instead of keep the ones we kill.

So anyway, you should try it as a regular co-op and see how you do at it that way.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.