Game Overview: Lead three wizards into a magical battle set in the kingdom of Aldramere.  Each wizard on your team will have their own unique movement and spells to be cast upon the other wizards and onto the arena battlefield.  The modular arena battlefield can be set up in different ways along with whichever obstacles you choose, which will come into play during the battle.  If you come out victorious, you will be crowned the champion of Aldramere.

Box Contents:  The components for the game are just outstanding.  From the twelve very detailed wizard miniatures to the large oversized terrain tiles.  The terrain tiles are very thick, double sided, and come with eight full sized hexagon boards that measure nine inches at their widest point along with six trapezoids, which are used as starting areas.  They are very detailed with grass, rocks, flowers, roads, oceans, and streams.  Only the oceans and streams actually come into play during the game as they restrict or prevent movement.

In addition, multiple cardboard stand-ups are included that you put together that act as obstacles in the battlefield along with five eight-sided custom dice that are also included.

The player boards can’t be overlooked either, measuring 7 inches x 5 inches, allowing you to easily read the spells for any given wizard in play along with having the ability to track their health right on the board with a see through plastic clip that slides onto the board.   

The biggest issue is that there just isn’t enough room in the box once everything has been punched out and assembled.  To get everything back into the box, the trees, hydras, and spell totems had to be disassembled.  I took off the plastic health markers to flatten out the player boards and the lid still only goes down ¾ of the way onto the box.

I would prefer not having to put things together each time I play the game and I am not sure what the long term impact will be putting together trees and taking them apart each time the game is played.  I also have to be conscious of which games I might stack on top of the box as the only place I could fit the wizard miniatures onto the terrain, which pushes up against the box lid.  I don’t want too much weight pushing down on them.

Clarity of Rules: The 26 page rule book is very well done and does an excellent job in providing the detailed instructions that are needed for the game to resolve any questions that players have.  This includes a detailed description of each spell and magical ability that will be encountered during the game that you will refer to quite often until you have the game play down.

Game Play:  At the beginning of the game, players need to choose one of the four wizard teams they will play as.  Mixed throughout the teams you will find the Sorcerer, Sorceress, Arcane Knight, Druid, Shaman, and Shadow Weaver.  Although you will have some of the same characters and the same spell abilities across some of the teams, the mixture between the teams give them a unique feel.

Next you choose one of four different scenarios.

·   Battle Royale- An all out battle where the last player standing is the winner.

·   Crystal Sap- A crystal of your color is placed in each starting area for the other players.  Your goal is to get to your crystal(s), which provide a slight advantage, while preventing others from doing the same.  The first to sap all of their crystals wins.

·  Capture the Crystal- This is capture the flag where you need to get to your crystal and move it off of the board through your starting area.

·   Shifting Arena- Same rules as battle royale, except the arena will shift throughout the battle.

Players then agree on the arena they will be battling in.  The rules manual provides some suggested set up but players can build any battlefield arena map that they choose.  When setting up the arena, you can place additional items onto the board that act as obstacles.  These include walls and trees.  Some of these just fill up a spot on the board and others are there to provide a place to hide as they block the line of sight from the attacking wizards.


Players must place their wizards in their starting area of the arena battlefield using the hexes on the terrain tiles.

Each wizard has a player board that shows their movement abilities and all spell and magical abilities available to them.  They also have a place to track their current health.

Each spell will show the required range that you must be within, before they can be used.  It then shows how many dice you are allowed to roll along with any automatic hits.  For example, the Druid’s Tempest spell has a range of three and the target suffers one point of damage per hit.  You are allowed to roll two dice and includes two additional automatic wands (2D+2).  When attacking someone, you are attempting to roll the green wands that are found on the eight sided dice.  For this example, a minimum of two hits and up to four will be going to the wizard you are attacking.

As a defender, you identify the power source of the wizard attacking you.  Each wizard has a ward ability on the player board that matches the different types of power source.  These show the number dice that you can role as a defender and if there are any automatic wards.  When defending, you are attempting to roll the purple ward on the dice.  If you match or exceed the number of wands, then no damage is taken.

Some of the spells being cast are not directed at other wizards.  Instead they impact the playing area and require that you place tiles directly onto the arena.  Some examples are:

·   Fog Wall- Cannot be moved through by wizards on opposing teams and blocks their line of sight.

·   Power Circle- All spells cast from the Power Circle receive an additional +1 to their casting rolls.

·   Blaze- A circle of fire is placed on the board and impacts any wizard that enters the blaze.

Wizard movement and actions occur just once each round for each wizard.  The starting player uses one of their wizards and then turns over a token to show they have been used.  All other players do the same thing with one of their wizards.  You then do the same thing for your second wizard.  Once all players have gone through their three wizards, the tokens are turned face up and the first player begins again.  If at any time you have a wizard that is killed, you will miss your turns on the backside of your turn as you won’t have any additional wizards to move.

Play continues until the scenario rules have been accomplished by one of the players and the winning team is determined.

Replay Ability: With being able to set up the board differently each time by placing obstacles at different locations, you will find a lot of replay ability with this aspect of the game.  Because each team is locked into the same wizards with the same spells, I think eventually some people could tire of the repetition.

One area that helps with the replay ability, you can play through a campaign against other players where you earn points and experience tokens that can be turned in for one use items.  The rule book suggests that these campaigns last over four different battles, one for each scenario.

Where the game really shines is in its replay ability, is with the solo version that is included.  This is played out using two of the wizard teams.  The team you are opposing has a predetermined order of priority on who they will be attacking with a preferred foe being the first choice.  They also use specific spells which will have a set amount of wands along with wards when being attacked.  

At first, it seemed the opponents were going to be overpowering with the number of set wands and wards.  However, as I continued to play the solo version it quickly became obvious that you need to strategically use your magical abilities to become victorious and not just stand toe to toe in an all out battle.

Appropriate Audience: The game suggests 14+ to play the game.  You should be able to go down to 9 or 10 years of age to play this game since it is easy to pick up on the game mechanics.

What We Liked/Didn't Like: We really liked how easy it is to just jump into the game.  It is easy to sit someone down and to teach them the game.  On the outside it seems like it could be a difficult game to learn when in reality the movement and using the magical abilities is very easy to learn.  Figuring out the best way to use the spells you have for your three wizards is by far the most enjoyable part of the game and can lead to some very strategic battles as you maneuver your wizards around the battle field arena.

One thing that is always up for discussion in any game that uses hexes for movement as Incantris does, are you really in sight of the other player?  Some times it is obvious and other times, not so much.

We had a very unique experience at the different player levels when playing with the available scenarios.  We are still unsure what the ideal player level is.  It seems to vary based on the scenario.

With three players in the battle royale, it seemed that the first two players to engage each other were going to lose to the player that was now sitting back and not taking damage to any of their wizards.  This is something that we have seen in other 1 v 1 v 1 battling games.  You just don’t want to open yourself up to battle on two fronts, especially when you have just three wizards in play.

At the four player level, if three players gang up on a single player, for that single player it felt like you have no chance unless the other three players are all getting very bad dice rolls.  With it being 9 wizards versus 3 wizards, the odds are definitely in their favor no matter what you do.

We had the most fun with playing at a two player level in a one on one battle royale.  It was easier to come up with a strategy and get the spells into an area that benefited you the most.  The same can be said for the shifting arena.  However, this really amps up the strategy as you try to position yourself knowing that the board will be shifting from one spot to another.

For the Crystal Sap and Capture the Crystal scenarios, for a two player game it was sometimes just too easy to accomplish what was needed.  At times if felt it was just easier to do the same thing you do with the battle royale and just straight out beat your opponent into oblivion and then take care of the other requirements for that scenario.

At the three and four player level these two scenarios played out better for us as players can still gang up on the other players if they choose to.  However, that leaves those players that are hiding off to the side and not engaging anyone the chance to make a dash to win the game where all other players now must react or risk losing themselves.

When playing each scenario as a campaign, everything starts to come together for the game.  You are now awarded victory points for scenarios along with experience points for killing the other wizards, which really pushes the players to accomplish something in each and every scenario as you can then use those experience points to purchase one time use items.

We did run into a few issues though with the campaign.  Depending on what happens in the first three games, the leader may already be locked into winning the overall campaign which takes a little away from that final battle.  In addition, the experience tokens you get in the last campaign are useless.  You can only use them to purchase things between scenarios.  On that final battle, you may end up with a bunch of tokens that you can’t use.

Although at times you have the ability to mitigate the dice rolls, based on your wizard abilities, in the end the outcome of the battles is based solely on those dice rolls.  Although we have no problems with this as sometimes it is your day and others it just isn’t, some people who are not into the luck of the dice may want to avoid this game.

Add-ons/Other Releases:  n/a

          **A review copy was provided to us.