Glastonbury Review

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Glastonbury is a game by Günter Burkhardt, published by franjos Spieleverlag. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players take on the role of wizards or witches that are out shopping for magical ingredients to create magical potions. They will be trying to collect as many of the same ingredients as possible. They will also be employing magical spells to help themself out. The player that can collect the best ingredients will be declared the winner.

To begin, all of the ingredient cards, Immuto spell cards, and regular spell cards are all shuffled together and placed facedown in a stack. 32 cards are drawn and placed face up in a 6 x 6 grid, leaving the corners empty. These 4 spots are filled with the 4 corner cards to complete the grid. Players each select one of the colored pawns and place it next to one of the corner cards. Players also receive an overview card and cauldron card of their pawn’s color. The cauldron card is placed face up in front of the player. The starting player is chosen and play now begins.

On a player’s turn, they must move their pawn, take a card and then turn over another card. Players begin by moving their pawn clockwise around the outside of the card grid. On the player’s first turn they will only move 2 spaces as indicated by the number on their cauldron. Afterwards they will move the number of spaces indicated on their top ingredient card which is placed on top of their cauldron.

The next thing that must be done is to take a card. The player chooses one of the cards from the row that is next to their pawn. If the player’s pawn is on a corner card, they do not collect anything and their turn ends. That is unless the player has a Declinatio spell. If the player takes an ingredient or Immuto card, they will then place it on top of their cauldron so that only the top card is visible. Later cards are placed on top of these. A player may not look at their stack of ingredients cards beneath the top card of the pile unless they use a Perlucco spell. If a spell card is chosen instead of an ingredient or Immuto card, these are placed to the side and are used at the appropriate time.
Once a player has chosen a card and placed it either beside or on top of their cauldron, a new card must be turned over. To do this, the player will draw a card from the stack and place it face up on the empty slot. Play then switches to the next player.

A few notes on spell cards. There are several different spells that a player might be able to choose. The Accio spell allows a player to choose any card face up in the play area instead of sticking to only the row that their pawn is beside. The Declinatio spell allows a player that lands on a corner card to move again the amount of spaces indicated by the top card on their cauldron. The Vanesco spell is immediate. This spell causes all other players to take the top card from their cauldron and place it on the bottom of the draw pile. The Perluceo spell is also immediate. It allows a player to look through all the cards in their cauldron.

The game continues until a player takes the last card from a row. The player can choose whether to keep that card or not. Scoring then takes place. Single cards score minus points. Two cards of the same ingredient score 0 points. Three cards of the same ingredient score points according to the number on the cards. Four cards of the same ingredient do the same thing but also score a bonus of 5 points. Players also score double point values for cards in their pawn’s color. Negative points are also doubled however the 5 point bonus for 4 cards is not. Players add up their points and the person with the most points is the winner.

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COMPONENTS
This game comes with lots of cards and some really unique pieces. All of the cards are square and have various ingredients, spells, corners and cauldrons on them. They look quite nice especially the cauldrons and ingredients. Everything is very brightly colored including the pawns. The pawns are large wooden pieces unlike anything I’ve ever seen. They are very sturdy and are around 4-5 inches tall. They were the first thing that I noticed when I opened the box. As a matter of fact, my first words upon seeing them were, “Whoa those things are HUGE”. Going back to the cards, they are a little thin but seem sturdy enough. I feel like there was something missing though, a reference card for the spells. Granted there are only a few spells to keep up with but a small reference card to tell what each one does would have been nice. Other than that, I’d say everything is pretty nice. Overall not bad.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is filled with lots of great stuff. There are some really good pictures including onse for set up, moving, scoring and spell cards. The examples are really well done and help to explain things quite well. The various spell cards are detailed really well. The rules also include a few variants. There is a variant for 2 players and for the recipe cards that are also included with the game. I didn’t cover these in the earlier sections. These basically are like bonus cards for fulfilling certain situations like having the least amount of ingredient cards or for using the least amount of spell cards. Everything is really easy to read and understand. It doesn’t take very long to read. Of course the first game or two you will probably need to look back at what each spell does and what it looks like. All in all, the rulebook is nicely done and looks good.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This game is pretty simple. It basically consists of moving, picking up a card and then replacing it. That sounds rather boring I know, kinda like playing Candy Land, but it’s not. There is a bit of strategy involved as well as some memory. You have to remember what you’ve already taken and plan out which card you want to take next. Of course getting cards in your color is great as long as you have enough to score positive points. You definitely don’t want to double your negative points, so planning is key. I found that I would look at which card that I wanted and then check the number on it to determine where it would move me to next before I chose a card. Missing an opportunity to take a card can be detrimental if you get stuck on the corner without a spell to move you on around. That was one reason that I’d count up the spaces first. This game is kinda hard for younger kids that might not be able to remember what ingredients they have already taken. It was sometimes hard for me to remember. Basically the game is a combination of set collection and memory. Not the most thrilling game ever but it’s a fun diversion for the 30 minutes it takes to play it.
7 out of 10

OVERALL
Glastonbury is a light card game of set collection with a memory twist. It’s not a very long game and can be played in about 30 minutes. The artwork is nice especially on the ingredient cards. The large wooden pawns are really amazing to behold and are really unique. I love how cool they look. The game isn’t very deep but it does have some strategy to it. You will find yourself thinking several moves ahead and planning accordingly. Younger players might have problems remember what cards they have already taken so I wouldn’t really recommend it for them without some scoring considerations. Players looking for an advanced way to play Memory or a pick up and move game might enjoy this one. Serious gamers will probably be turned off by the simpleness of it. As it is, it’s a fairly average game. Not bad but not as great as those pawns made me think it might be. With the right group it would probably be something I’d play again. In any case, I’d recommend giving this one a try first to see if it’s right for you.
7 out of 10

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For more information about this and other great games, please check out franjos Spieleverlag at their site.  The site is in German.

http://www.franjos.de/franjosd.htm

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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