Wizard Dodgeball is a tactical battling 2 player board game that is currently on Kickstarter by Mind Gap Studios (Peter Newland). Players take turns throwing balls at their opponents as well as casting spells on themselves and other wizards. The board is set as a square grid, on a dodgeball court. Players each control five wizards that have different movement, magic, and dice rolls for attacking, casting, dodging, and resisting.
Each player controls 5 wizards, which take turns alternating between players. The wizards can take two actions on their turn in any order or combination. Actions include: movement, casting spells, throwing balls at opponents, and passing balls at teammates. Picking up and dropping balls are free actions. Wizards can move straight or diagonal up to their movement (between 3-5 spaces). For throwing balls and casting magic at opponents, players must roll the respective attack or magic dice as shown on their wizard card. While this adds some randomness to the game, players can mitigate this by the spell cards. There are also 5 dodgeballs placed in the center of the court, in the neutral area (no spells can be cast on wizards or balls in neutral area). The dodgeballs are my favorite component piece of the game. They has a cool feel to them, and gives the players a distinctive sports theme when they play.
Wizard Dodgeball combines a sport theme with a fantasy theme much like Blood Bowl. It boasts a tactical turn based battling system, similar to Krosmaster. Each wizard you control has movement costs, and different dice rolls based on their type. Some Wizards favor physical and have good attack (throwing a ball at a wizard) and dodge rolls (dodging a thrown ball). Other Wizards have good magic and resist rolls. Each colored die has a different strength, which is used to determine the rolls a wizard might do to throw, cast magic, dodge, or resist magic. Once players know which dice are weakest and strongest, they can target their opponents more effectively.
Wizards can also cast spells during their turn, which can help their own teammates and hinder their opponents. For example, a Wizard may cast “strong” on their teammates (with an area effect of magic stat on bottom of card). This gives the wizards a white die to roll in addition to their normal attack dice rolls. Alternatively, a Wizard may cast “weak” on their opponents, which takes away a die from their dodge rolls. The spell stays into affect until the casting wizard’s next end of turn. Casting spells gives Wizard Dodgeball such a great fantasy feel, for those who have bad memories from dodgeball in gym class. You can just imagine the wizards running around, casting spells, dodging balls, in an epic battle for bragging rights.
Players continue the game until all of one team’s wizards have been eliminated. In classic dodgeball style, a ball can be caught which eliminates the thrower and brings back an eliminated player of dodger’s team. This happens if the dodging player rolls doubles (or triples if that applies) on their dodge roll and is not currently holding a ball. This can drastically change the pace of the game, so players shouldn’t lose hope if they have only a few wizards left in the court.
Overall, Wizard Dodgeball is a fantastic gateway game into the tactical battling genre. The fantasy theme will intrigue gamers who are hesitant toward a sports theme. Wizard Dodgeball has a good pace (30-60 minutes per game) and fun battling system. Check out the Kickstarter now!
I received a demo copy for the sake of this review.