Wizard Extreme

So, a little over a year ago, I had a gig in Germany and the participants very very graciously gave me a game as a gift. I was so touched, but I haven't played it yet because it came with instructions only in German.



I did try to get Google translate to let me know what the rules were by typing in a paragraph at a time. Sadly, a lot of the result looked like this:

And as if predicted of the passes would be not already difficult enough, gives it additionally still the figure of the incalculable Schwarzmagiers. It has the task, the play of the others associates to disturb. Who has the few points of punishing after several play rounds, is winner and to the Magier of the first stage is appointed.

Well, yesterday I finally took some time to sit down and sift through the rough translation and the card deck to see if I couldn't make a better go of the rules. The game has a structure similar to one my family played a lot when I was growing up. It was called Stab or Do Your Wife Dirt. It's a trick-taking game that requires some prediction and also has one player performing a spoiler role. In Stab, it is always the dealer playing the spoiler role. In this case, the role is voluntary. Since my friends are relatively nice, I'm betting we'll not see it played much.

Here are my interpretation of the rules (as first translated from German by Google and refined by me):



Wizard Extreme

Translated Game Rules

Caveat: keep in mind that I don't know German! This is a best guess. Also, I was pretty loose switching between calling each player a "player" and a "wizard."

The Task

The wizards at the magic academy face a new challenge. Each wizard must predict the number and color of tricks he/she will take. This would be difficult enough, but there is also the Black Wizard who has the job of disturbing the other wizards' plans.

Preparation

Shuffle and deal out the following cards, depending on the number of players:
  • 3 players: the 1-9 cards
  • 4 players: the 1-12 cards
  • 5 players: all 75 cards

Place the Black Wizard (Schwarzmagier) and 27 seals in the center of the table.

Play is divided into two sections: Prediction and Trick-taking

Prediction

Starting with the player to the right of the dealer and continuing clockwise, each player will either
  • Collect the number of each color of seals that represent the tricks the player thinks he/she will be able to win (it is allowed to take no seals; it is not allowed to take the white seals), OR
  • Take the Black Wizard (only one player can take the Black Wizard; the Black Wizard does not have to be taken)

The white seals act as jokers, but a player cannot take a white seal directly from the pot. White seals come into play when a player wants a certain number of colored seals, but there are not enough left in the pot. In this case, the player takes the number of colored seals he/she wants from another player and replaces that player's colored seals with white ones.

Trick-taking/Card Play

After the predictions are made, the player to the dealer's right can play any card from his/her hand. The next player clockwise will play a card from his/her hand. The played card must match the color of the first played card if the player has one. Otherwise, the player may play any card from his or her hand.

The red cards act as trump.

The trick is taken by the wizard who played the highest trump card. If no trump card was played, then the trick is taken by the wizard who played the highest card of the color that was lead.

The player who wins the trick puts a token of the lead color back into the pot and begins the next round with any card in his/her hand. If the hand was won with the red trump, then the player can put a red seal in or a seal of the lead color. If the wizard did not have an appropriately colored token (or joker), then the player must take a black token from the pot. The exception to this is the Black Wizard. The Black Wizard takes no seals. Keep in mind that there are only six black seals, so only six can be collected.

Scoring

Take score when all hands are empty. Players who did not take the Black Wizard are given:
  • 2 points per colored seal
  • 3 points per black seal
The Black Wizard player (if there is one), begins with 4 points. Subtract one point for each black seal another player ended with, to a minimum of 0. (The Black Wizard cannot be given a negative score.)

Deal moves in a clockwise direction.

Ending the Game

The game is ended after a set number of hands ( 6 rounds for 3 players, 4 rounds for 4 players, 5 rounds for 5 players ). The player with the fewest "points of punishing (Strafpunte)" wins.


I didn't type any of the alternate rules. I think I might suggest that the dealer always has to be the Black Mage, since everybody deals the same number of hands.

3 thoughtful messages from friendly readers:

Tom said...

Came across this while googling for play by email groups for this game. Just an FYI, this game is a straight repackage of another trick taking game called "Die Sieben Siegel". Translated rules for that are available online at Boardgamegeek.

AbbotOfUnreason said...

Thanks, Tom. It'll be interesting to see how close I got.

Anonymous said...

Great translation! I have a few things to add:

The role of the Black Wizard is to act in a way that other wizards cannot get rid of their seals or even have to take black seals.
Hint: The Black Wizard is useful if you have either very few or no cards of a certain color. Whoever takes it won´t get any seals in this round and has the job of disturbing the play of others by manipulating their tricks so that they will get points of punishing.

Keep in mind that there are only six black seals, so only six can be collected. The seventh / eighth… player to take a black seal is lucky.

The Points of Punishing
Take score when all hands are empty. Players who did not take the Black Wizard are given:
• 0 points of punishing to all the players who don´t have any seals anymore
• 2 points of punishing per colored seal
• 3 points of punishing per black seal
• 4 points of punishing per white joker
The Black Wizard player (if there is one), gets a maximum of 4 points of punishing. So he/she begins with 4 points. Subtract one point for each black seal another player ended with, to a minimum of 0. (The Black Wizard cannot be given a negative score.)
Depending on the number of players, the Black Wizard can be quite attractive, so it might be useful to adapt the points of punishing to 5 for the Black Wizard to begin with.

Have fun playing!