Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Charms and Potions Expansion Review

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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Charms and Potions Expansion is an expansion for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, published by USAopoly, the Op. It is for 2-5 players. This expansion adds 4 new boxes of content to expand the game with, including a new playable character, Ginny Weasley.

For more information on Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle and how to play the game, please follow the link below.

https://jlnelson73.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/harry-potter-hogwarts-battle-review/

In this new expansion, players can expect to see a lot more content. Without spoiling anything, it includes 4 new boxes worth of content. These include new Locations, Dark Arts, Hogwarts and Hero cards. There are also new additions in the the other cards as well. As I mentioned above, this expansion also introduces a new playable character, Ginny Weasley. She comes with her own starting deck of hero cards, as well as a Patronous card. It also introduces the new Charm boards which allow players to use the Charm abilities. Of course I would suggested that you finish the contents of the original game before using any of the contents of this expansion. With that said, I can now explain how setting up the game works with these new additions included.

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To begin, Pack 1 should be opened up and all the contents sorted and distributed. If playing with less than 5 players, the additional player board and heart token won’t be necessary. The Influence tokens are added to the pool beside the board. The Pack 1 Locations should be stacked face up in order on the side that corresponds to the number of players. The new Dark Arts cards should be shuffled together with those from the original core game. The Encounters are stacked face up in order in the center of the board. The 4 Villains cards are shuffled together with the Draco Malfoy, Crabbe & Goyle, Lucius Malfoy and Dolores Umbridge cards, along with 4 randomly chosen Villains or Creatures. The cards are then placed face down on top of the Game 5 Lord Voldemort card, which is placed face up on the bottom of the stack. The top 3 cards are revealed onto the board. The Hogwarts cards are shuffled together with the other Hogwarts cards. The top 6 cards are then revealed onto the board, stacking any duplicates on top of each other. The rest of setup is exactly the same as the core game.

The game is very much the same as the original game. Each player’s turn consists of 4 steps. First the player will reveal and resolve Dark Arts events and the Encounter. The Dark Arts event is resolved first, followed by the Encounter. Each Encounter has an effect that normally triggers when certain conditions are met. With these new cards, the Neighbor term refers to the player’s to the left and right of the active player. Next the player resolves the villains and creature abilities by following each card’s text. In some cases, there will be certain Encounters that will be triggered during this step. Next the player will play Hogwarts cards and take Hero actions. Like with most deck builders, the player will play the cards from their hand to gain resources and generate effects. Some cards will allow a player to banish a card by removing a card from their deck for the rest of the game and placing it in the discard pile. Banished Detention cards are returned to the Detention stack. Once resources have been gained, they may be used to attack villains with and buy Hogwarts cards with. It should be noted that some creature cards require Influence to defeat them. However unlike attack tokens, only one Influence token may be placed on a Creature each turn. New to this expansion, players may also use their new Charm ability. Charm abilities can only be used once per turn and rely on a player’s health. The lower the health, the better the effect. Finally, the player ends their turn. In some cases, Encounters will trigger certain effects during this final step. Before any of the cards may be replaced at the end of the turn, the player should check to see if the Encounter has been completed. If so, then the player claims the card and may use the reward on a later turn. Play then passes to the next player.

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The game continues until one of two things happen. If the players have completed all the Encounters and all the creatures and villains have been defeated, then the players win. They are then able to move on to the next pack. If the villains and creatures control all the locations, then the players lose and must reset the game and try again.

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COMPONENTS
As with the original game, this expansion adds lots of new challenges to an already great game. The quality of all the cards and extras is excellent. This expansion adds 4 new packs full of cards and tokens. All of the cards have that same great photo quality that was used in the original game. All of the cardboard tokens are very thick and sturdy and look very cool. I really like there are new character cards to be used with this game including the new playable character, Ginny Weasley. Speaking of which, if she’s used as a player character, her ally card is removed from the Hogwarts deck, just like Luna’s cards were in the last expansion. The expansion also has some sorting cards that work with the original games boxes in the first game. These make it possible to store all of the components of both this expansion and the base game together in the main box. However I will say that I haven’t actually tried to get everything stored together yet…so I’m not 100% sure that it’s possible. I’ll definitely have to try that out. To be honest, I’m really impressed with the look and feel of this expansion and am extremely excited to have Ginny as a player character. I really felt that we were missing out without her. This is an expansion that I feel fans of Harry Potter will love. Everything feels very thematic and fits in great with the other pieces and parts of the core game and expansion. I’m very happy with everything here. Overall, this looks fantastic. I love it.
10 out of 10

RULEBOOK
Exactly like the original rulebook, this rulebook also evolves as you play the game. The back cover of the book is a bit thicker and has specialized slots for the smaller rulebooks that come in packs 2 through 4. These little rulebooks are small folded up sheets that show you which components to use and explain the new cards and tokens that are introduced to the game as you play. Every set of rules from the main book to the smaller rulebooks has some great pictures and examples that show how the game is played. I still really like the uniqueness of these designs. Apart from that, there’s not a lot to say. If you liked the original game and expansion rulebooks, then you’ll like this one too. Overall, I like the look and feel of everything here and think that this just adds to the joy of the game.
10 out of 10

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GAMEPLAY
I love this game. I love the first expansion. I also love this expansion. Each expansion builds on top of a game and mechanic that I truly enjoy. This expansion especially has lots to love. The gameplay isn’t as difficult as in the previous expansion but still gives a great challenge to those players looking for some excitement. I have to say that I really like the new cards and how they change up the game and how things work. It adds new ways to look at the game and new options to explore. I like the new Charms mechanic and how that it makes it where you might not always want to have full health. Sometimes you may want to lose a few hearts to be able to use that special ability. I also love having Ginny Weasley to be able to play. Between her, Hermione and Luna, my daughter and wife have plenty to choose from. One more thing I should mention, as you start opening the later packs, you’ll really find some new additions that continue to change up the gameplay. I won’t talk about them here, but will leave them for you to discover as you play the expansion. Needless to say, it adds a new dimension to the game and is a ton of fun. For me, this expansion is a great addition to an already amazing co-op family game. Families that already enjoy the world of Harry Potter should really love this expansion. For others this is still a highly enjoyable expansion. For me it is a must have expansion. This is one that I highly recommend and can’t wait to break out and play again.
10 out of 10

OVERALL
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Charms and Potions Expansion is an expansion for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle that adds 4 boxes worth of new content that includes a new playable character. The expansion doesn’t add a lot of additional play time to the game. Most game sessions still last around an hour. Just like with the original game, the artwork and theme of the game are fully integrated into every piece, token and card. The artwork is almost all photo quality images and looks amazing. The few items and pieces that aren’t photo quality still fit well with the theme and don’t distract from the gameplay. The expansion adds a good bit of new content and introduces players to the Charms and Potions portions of Hogwarts. Fans of the Harry Potter universe will definitely enjoy the addition of fan favorite, Ginny Weasley. This was one of my wishes with the last expansion and a welcome addition here. Fans of the original game will truly enjoy this expansion. This is one that I highly recommend. For me it’s a must have. Your little wizards and witches will love this one.
10 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out USAopoly, the Op at their site.

https://theop.games/

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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