June 2020 was the month we could finally see people again in our own back garden. Albeit at a 2m safe social distance and with limited numbers, but this provided me with an opportunity to play games with ‘other’ people! Well, at least another couple. I established my garden table was over 6ft long and plugged in the patio heater for the chilly British Summer evening. I was ready. Well nearly.
The next challenge was to find a game that works at a social distance. Over lockdown I had played many games over Skype and Zoom. I hadn’t tired of the likes of Just One yet but wanted something with a bit more about it. It had to be a game that involves no passing of cards, dice or tokens. The game also couldn’t involve huddling around a single board – so that we could all stay safe. Although apparently staying alert is now more important, but I digress. So what did I choose I hear you ask?
The Quacks of Quedlinburg by Wolfgang Warsch was the game of choice. Each player has their own cauldron. I prepared a 50/50 split of tokens, bags and gems at either end of the table and we were away. We played and it was great fun. Potions exploded as we pushed our luck. Rat-tails and lucky dice rolls kept the game close until the final round. Everything flowed and it worked really well. So well in fact, we played it again the following weeks. Frankly, I think it will be my first choice ‘COVID secure’ game for the foreseeable future.
It is undoubtedly influenced by being able to actually play games again with friends, but playing Quacks of Quedlinburg was a really happy experience. Perhaps the gameplay is a little introverted but that’s what makes it work in this environment. It is calm and friendly enough that you can chat in between rounds too so you can be social and distanced! The push your luck element as you blindly draw ingredients from your bag is very satisfying and frustrating in equal measure and everyone loves a potion explosion. What’s more Father’s Day is in June and I got the Herb Witches expansion. I am really pleased to make The Quacks of Quedlinburg my game of the month!
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