The Battle of Wits has begun! …find out who is right…and who is dead.

Recommended Age:10+
Our Recommended Age:10+
Players:2-10
Cost:$20.00
Play Time:15 Minutes
Company Site:www.gamesalute.com
Contents:70 Character Wine/Poison Cards 12 Sicilian Wine/Poison Cards 10 Character Cards 10 Goblet Cards 1 Time Card Instructions
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The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorite movies so when Game Salute came out with games based off the movie I HAD to play them! In A Battle of Wits you are matching wits with other players to see who guessed correctly and gets to battle again and who guessed wrong and is now dead…well out of the game.

A Battle of Wits is quite literally a battle of wits against your friends…or at least the people you’re playing with. Sometimes you don’t know the people you game with…which makes this game even more interesting!

This is a card game so that’s all that’s in the box besides instructions. The box is a lift top kind and not very big but it doesn’t need to be. It does have that insert I love to keep things organized. Just a simple cardboard insert with one spot for the cards but it works well.

gsbattleofwitsreview (14)The cards are high quality cards but standard size which is great but the artwork is what I love. Well…more like photos…from the movie combined with original art that is beautiful…I want an Hour Glass like the one on the night picture….

Each character has a picture from the movie on both sides of their character card. These are brilliant and I’m not telling you what is on the other side, but the side you put face up at the start of the game is a color photo from the film of that character.

Original artwork acts as a frame for these photos and in the top right there is a symbol that represents that character. These symbols are used to identify whose cards are whose in the game….more on that later though.

The game is designed for two players up to 10. TEN players! We don’t usually have that large of a game night but we are going to have to very soon…Battle of Wits seems like the perfect game night game! My kids do not play this game…the Diva at nearly 6 is probably too young…for now although she is certainly cunning enough.

The Gentleman has not seen the movie yet and wants to before he tries the game. I can understand and respect that. Battle of Wits is recommended for ages 10+ but younger gamers could play it. However, there is a poison theme and the mechanics of the game are probably not the best for kids much younger than 10.

Being nearly 8 he is old enough to watch the movie just fine (the Diva will probably want to watch it as well) and he can handle the theme but the way the game is played, Bidding and Bluffing, are fairly new to him and we might start with a different but similar game before jumping into to Battle of Wits.

That said…it won’t be long before both of my children end up out-witting me in this game….let’s learn how to play, shall we?

gsbattleofwitsreview (1)Objective:

To not die…basically that is the goal. Anyone who is not dead at the end of the game (based on the goblets contents) is a winner! If there is only ONE person who is not dead…they are “no one to be trifled with” This was me ONE time…though I do not die more than die in this game…

Setup:

Find the Goblet cards and starting with A place one for every player there is in a row in the middle of the play area…guess it doesn’t need to be a table really.

Everyone chooses a Character (not everyone can be the Man in Black) and puts their card in front of them…colorful picture side up. Take the wine and poison cards that go with that Character in your hand but if you are playing with 6 or more people only takes numbers 3-7.

We keep the cards with the Character cards all in a row so we can find the whole setup easier. Just basically all the cards but Character and then their deck, then next Character and their Deck with the rest of the cards on top. Nothing fancy.

gsbattleofwitsreview (8)Whoever is wearing the darkest clothes, like all black but not a faded black…blend in the shadows, rogue type black will get to go first for the first game….or if no one is wearing black then whoever has the darkest color on.

If you play more than one game (which if you are like us you will) then the first player for the second game will be the person to the left of the very first player…or clockwise.

The Time Card is the hour glass card and it goes Day side up…not the dark one with Ravens…that is Night. Dealer shuffles the Sicilian cards, or if you can’t shuffle without bending the cards like me someone else shuffles them for you. Each player gets ONE of these face down which goes into their hand.

Put everything you are not using back in the box or out of the way. Extra Goblets, Characters and their decks go in the box but the Sicilian cards you might need again for more games so just set those aside. You should now have 8 cards in your hand…unless you have 6 or more players then you should have 6 cards. Now the player to the left of the Dealer goes first!

gsbattleofwitsreview (7)Play:

Starting with the first player everyone takes turns placing a card face-down either above a Goblet card in the Contents side or below the Goblet in the Bids side. The Contents are what goes IN the Goblet…poison or grapes for wine and the Bid side is who gets to drink from it.

The majority rules on either side. If there are more poison cards in the Goblet then whoever has the highest total sum in the Bids section drinks from it and would die. If there are more Grape/Wine cards then you would live! Yay! You can also place your Sicilian card on the Contents side or if it is one of the special ones you can place it face up in front of you.

The Sicilian cards are not allowed to placed as a Bid but those two special cards I mentioned are Immunity and Switch…but I won’t spoil the specifics. I will say that if you place these in the Content part of the Goblets you do not get the abilities on them. It’s a one or the other kind of thing.

After everyone places their cards where they want the Dealer flips the Time card to the Night side then everyone places another card. The Dealer then flips the Time Card back to day but also flips over the face-down cards closest to the Goblets on the Content side. You will get up to 3 in a regular game but only 2 is a game of 6 or more.

Winning:gsbattleofwitsreview (22)

Once everyone has placed all their cards flip over all the Bid cards one Goblet at a time…or draw it out of you wish. Just keep them in the same order so the closest to the Goblet remains so etc. Add up each players cards and whoever has the highest number wins that Goblet.

It IS possible for someone to win more than one Goblet. If this happens they have to choose ONE and if it happens with more than one person then alphabetical order goes first…but in Goblets so the winner of Goblets A and C would go before Goblets B and D winners.

Once the Goblets are divided up so that each player has won ONE Goblet everyone “drink” from it! Basically flip over the cards in each Goblet but again keep them in order and do this one Goblet at a time. Add up the numbers on the Wine Cards and then the numbers on the Poison Cards. Highest number is what the Contents of that Goblet are.

If you have been poisoned flip your Character card over…again not spoiling that side but I LOVE what they did here. You are dead and now need a Miracle Pill…see what they did there? Love it!

In the event of a tie between Wine and Poison cards then the one that is closest to the Goblet breaks the tie…so if it is a Wine card you live but if it is a poison card..you don’t…For those that had more Wine in your Goblets you are alive and the winners! Lucky you! and sometimes me…gsbattleofwitsreview (13)

In the, rare to us, event that only ONE person is left alive they get the title of “no one to be trifled with” and probably the rights to be the Man in Black until someone else claims the title…I mean the instructions don’t say but come on…it just should be that way…I think I found a new house rule…

The instructions do have Variants for determining a single winner if you want as well as Alternate Setup(put the Goblets in front of each player but play is the same…just more opportunity to say “Clearly I cannot choose the wine in front of you!” which is awesome!).

Team Play (same game play but the team with the most survivors wins), Luckless (remove Sicilian cards), and Odorless and Tasteless (No Time Token and no Content reveal during the game!) I highly recommend trying some of these…We had a blast saying “Clearly I cannot choose the wine in front of you!” or me…and “not even remotely” SO many wonderful lines! (with a lot printed on the cards!)

Battle of Wits was very well done and made so that both fans of the film would love it and people who have never seen the movie would enjoy the game and maybe want to see the movie.You don’t have to have ever seen the movie to play the game or enjoy it…it’ll just seem really fun and clever with some people you might recognize from other things.

Show us that you are not to be trifled with @MyGeeklings @GameSalute #BattleOfWits #PrincessBride

For the record (and my own amusement) the game we played with a friend for these pics I did not win..I in fact was the only one out of 3 to die…but the Comedian didn’t win more than her so that’s like a bonus…he technically lost based on Variant rules!gsbattleofwitsreview2

“I challenge you to a battle of wits.”
~ Man in Black – The Princess Bride

Author: sandyz