Face the Dark Lord alone with new solo board game rules for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, released for free by publisher The Op to allow players to enjoy the deckbuilding game alone at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle is a co-op board game in which two to four players team up to take down a series of classic villains from the franchise in various locations across the wizarding world. A movie board game with artwork from the film series, Hogwarts Battle sees Harry, Ron, Hermoine and Neville face increasing dangers across seven years of their time at Hogwarts - each represented by a separate chapter with different cards and challenges.
As a deckbuilding game, players can use card spells such as Alohomora, Stupify and Incendio to gradually buy more powerful spells - as well as items and allies - and expand their deck. Starting out with allies like Hedwig and Crookshanks, each player can eventually build their deck into something capable of taking down even the mightiest foes such as Professor Quirrel, Lucius Malfoy and Voldemort.
Once all the enemies of each year have been defeated, players can move onto the next chapter, gaining access to more powerful cards and facing even more threatening enemies. Should the Death Eaters manage to take control of every location, the players lose and must start the year once again.
The solo board game mode for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle looks to accelerate gameplay by jumping the lone player straight to the very last year of the game, during which the team usually confronts He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named himself. Any character may be selected and Voldemort receives a random protector from the collection of villain cards featured in the game. Each villain must be defeated before Voldemort can be confronted, without the Death Eaters taking control of any of the locations.
Certain spells are removed from the villain deck - such as Imperio - and villain effects only target the player once, instead of multiple times. Other balancing elements make the game trickier, such as having to roll twice for Dark Arts events and having to place another Death Eater token on the active location each time the villain deck is reshuffled.
Finally, the player can save up influence equal to the lowest-value card in the market, minus one, which they can then use to purchase cards later on. For example, if the cheapest card in the market is worth three, the player may gain two influence tokens on their board to spend on the following turn.
Other Harry Potter-themed games from The Op include two-player board game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle - Defense Against the Dark Arts and family board game Harry Potter: House Cup Competition. The Op is also known for releasing party board game Telestrations and Disney board game Codenames: Disney Family Edition.
The publisher recently announced the next entry in its co-op board game Rising series, The Batman Who Laughs Rising, which follows other co-op board games instalments Star Wars: Dark Side Rising, Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War and the Harry Potter-themed Death Eaters Rising. The upcoming board game will have players facing off against a twisted version of the Dark Knight as iconic DC characters such as Wonder Woman and The Green Lantern.