In this week's Off The Shelf, we take a look at Knight Models' brand new Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game, based on the Wizarding World works of J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game brings your favorite Harry Potter characters to the tabletop and lets you pit them against each other and recreate famous battles from the series. In this article we'll unbox the core set, take a closer look at some of the miniatures and components, have a look at the rules, and also look at two expansion packs.
Our Off The Shelf series is always the first of two parts. Off The Shelf articles are followed up by On The Tabletop, where we take the game to the tabletop, with several gamers from different tabletop backgrounds to get a rounded first impressions of the game. Check back soon for the On The Tabletop article that follows this one.
Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game Core Set Unboxing[gallery size="large" ids="266574,266575,266576,266577,266578,266579,266580,266581,266582"]
The quality of the components for the Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game is very mixed. The miniatures are the extremely high quality that is to be expected of Knight Models as it is with their Batman Miniatures Game, but the cards and tokens are printed on extremely thin card and aren't the best quality.
The game boards also have some issues. The bleed around the edge of the boards means that some of the overlays don't fit exactly when placed across two boards. There's also a bend in the board to fit them in the box, but when the boards are laid one side up, they doesn't sit entirely flat and have to be weighted down to get the bend out.
The miniatures from the Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game core set include Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, 4 Death Eaters, 1 Acromantula and 5 Acromantula Swarms. Assembly is required, as can be seen from the unboxing photos and some of the resin is very fiddley. The cloaks are a very thin resin, some have split on the miniatures we received, but once together and repaired, they do look great and the detail level is exceptional.
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A quick read through the rulebook shows that play is relatively straight-forward. To cast a spell, three six sided dice (D6) are rolled, with each 3+ result giving a success. The total amount of successes has to equal more than the difficulty of the spell, and if it's a combat spell, the target of the attack also rolls a defence roll of three D6s. If the attacker rolls more successes than the target, the spell is a success.
Characters all have a multitude of different stats, and some are used for challenges during the game. The main stats are Cunning, which provides light or dark power to the power pool for the purpose of paying spell costs, Mastery which gives some automatic successes to magic rolls and the Defense stat, which gives some automatic successes to defence rolls.
All characters also have a host of other traits and abilities, which are explained in full in the rulebook and every character has either a fixed spell on their stat card, or an ability/attack.
Spells have an interesting mechanic in cooldown. Once a spell is cast, a counter is placed on the spell card and is rotated each turn until the cooldown clock is completed and the spell can be cast again, allowing you to keep track of what spells your characters have available.
Other cards provided in the core set are equipment and potion cards. These can be bought for your heroes when putting your group together, along with paying the heroes and spell costs. Event, Adventure and Quest cards are provided and are used throughout play to add variety in games. The Event cards provide effects that change each turn, the Adventure cards are available to players after the second activation, three of these are drawn and the player who activates a miniature can select one to use. The Quest cards provide players with an additional way to earn Victory Points (VPs) ontop of the scenario objectives. Also included in the Core Set are the Campaign Cards, which are used if the game is played in Co-operative play, to add extra depth against the AI magical creatures.
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One thing that struck me immediately with the Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game was how much the system was crying out for an AI mode. There is a co-operative mode that can be played solo, but it's really just a matter of fighting off monsters and meeting challenges. A comprehensive AI mode for the Death Eaters for Harry Potter and co to battle, or even AI for Harry Potter so that you can fight against them solo or cooperatively with the Death Eaters would have been incredible.
As a bonus preview, we were also sent two expansion packs, Dumbledore's Army Students Pack and the Slytherin Students Pack. Both packs add extra miniatures, their unit cards, as well as spells, potions and items, which can be seen in the gallery below. These packs, along with game board expansions and magical creatures can be added to the Core Set. Knight Models have also announced the Wizarding War expansion packs that add dueling to the Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game when they are released in the next few months.
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We haven't gone into too much detail about the rules, as this Off The Shelf preview of the Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game will be followed up by an On The Tabletop play-through where we look at the rules and gameplay in full. So make sure you come back to check that out for the full details on how the game plays.
The copy of the Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game used in this preview was provided by Asmodee UK.
Are you a Harry Potter fan? What do you think of the Miniatures Adventure Game miniatures? Have you played the Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.