Quacks of Quedlinburg Review: A Spellbinding Brew of Strategy and Fun


Quacks Of Quedlinburg Review

Have you ever considered what it’s like to live a day in the life of a charlatan doctor? Welcome to our Quacks of Quedlinburg review, where the line between quackery and genius is as thin as a cherry bomb fuse.

From my hours spent embroiled in the fantastical world of this game, I can assure you it’s a wild ride. The mix of high-stakes strategy and the sheer randomness of potion ingredients create an experience as exciting as it is unpredictable.

Why a Quacks of Quedlinburg review today? Well, let’s just say, a game about brewing potions seemed particularly fitting after my coffee machine decided to concoct its own version of an espresso this morning. Did somebody say explosive?

Ahead lies our deep dive into Quacks of Quedlinburg, a game that tantalizes with its charm and innovation, while also reminding us that even in fun, there can be a dash of frustration.

Just The Facts

Game TitleThe Quacks of Quedlinburg
DesignerWolfgang Warsch
PublisherSchmidt Spiele
ThemeMedieval, Potion Making, Quack Doctors
GenrePress Your Luck, Bag Building
Target AudienceFamilies, Casual and Experienced Gamers
Age Range10+
Number of Players2-4
Game Duration45 minutes
Complexity LevelMedium
Game ObjectiveEarn the most victory points
Difficulty LevelModerate
Similar GamesPotion Explosion, Alchemists
AwardsKennerspiel des Jahres 2018
Release Date2018

Game Overview

Imagine yourself as a quack doctor in the quaint town of Quedlinburg, brewing your magical potions with an assortment of peculiar ingredients, hoping they don’t explode in your face. That’s the world of The Quacks of Quedlinburg, an engaging push-your-luck board game designed by Wolfgang Warsch.

Each player begins with a personal brewing pot and a bag of ingredients, crafting a special brew that could garner victory points, money, or even additional ingredients. The goal of the game is to obtain the most victory points by the end of the 9th round. This is achieved by making the most potent potions and advancing furthest on your brewing track without letting your pot explode.

Ingredients are drawn from your bag one at a time, with each ingredient adding a certain number of spaces on the brewing track. However, if you draw too many cherry bombs – the volatile ingredient – your potion could explode, potentially hindering your progress. But in the world of quack doctors, where the line between genius and lunacy is razor-thin, sometimes you have to take that risk. After all, fortune favors the brave… and maybe the slightly foolish.

Components and Artwork

Unboxing The Quacks of Quedlinburg feels like opening a magical apothecary’s chest. The game is filled with a multitude of ingredient tokens that are bright, thick, and satisfying to hold. They have a durable quality that suggests they will last many game nights.

The individual player pots, on the other hand, are made of thin cardboard, which may wear over time. While the pots are essential to the game and could have benefitted from a sturdier material, the rest of the game components are robust and nicely made.

From a visual perspective, the artwork is whimsical and charming, capturing the essence of a medieval fair and the quirkiness of the quack doctors. The colors are vibrant and the illustrations are detailed, adding layers of depth to the theme. The graphic design is clear and concise, with each ingredient easily identifiable and the symbols easy to understand. The overall aesthetic experience is pleasing, immersing players into the world of potion brewing, quackery, and subtle chaos.

Gameplay Experience

The beauty of The Quacks of Quedlinburg lies in the elegant simplicity of its mechanics, juxtaposed with the nail-biting tension of the push-your-luck element. The game begins with each player drawing ingredient tokens from their bag and placing them in their pot, following a track spiraling from the center. With each ingredient drawn, the potion grows stronger, pushing players up their pot’s track and potentially closer to an explosion. If too many cherry bombs are drawn, your potion goes boom!

The level of complexity is surprisingly accessible, considering the game’s strategic depth. It’s the tactical choices – when to push your luck, which ingredients to buy to enhance your potion-making – that create a nuanced and engaging experience. While luck plays a part, strategic thinking and careful planning have a significant role, making each game a delicate dance between risk and reward.

Unique elements shine through in the game’s design. The book of potions that comes with the game offers variations on how each ingredient works, significantly altering the gameplay. It’s an innovative feature that keeps each game fresh and encourages players to adapt their strategies.

Theme and Immersion

The Quacks of Quedlinburg succeeds in offering a thematic experience that aligns beautifully with its mechanics. The uncertainty of concocting potions, the tension of pushing your luck, and the rewarding thrill when your strategy pays off; all these aspects amplify the theme of quack doctors trying to make the best of what they have.

Every ingredient drawn from the bag adds a layer to the story you’re building around your quack doctor. The ingredients aren’t just tokens; they’re narrative elements contributing to your unique tale of medieval quackery.

However, while the game thrives on its whimsical theme and mechanics, it lacks a strong narrative element. There isn’t a strong sense of progression or a narrative arc within the game, which could make the thematic immersion feel shallow for players seeking a more story-driven experience.


When it comes to replayability, The Quacks of Quedlinburg doesn’t disappoint. Its high replay value stems from the book of potions, offering numerous combinations of ingredient powers, each providing a distinct gameplay experience. This means that every game can feel different, requiring players to continually reassess and alter their strategies based on the ingredients’ changing abilities.

The inherent randomness of drawing ingredients from a bag also contributes to the replayability. No two games are the same because no two potions will ever be identical.

Yet, for those craving a more consistent challenge, the element of randomness could feel excessive. The reliance on luck and the sometimes fickle draw of the bag may turn off players seeking a purely strategic board game. However, for those who revel in uncertainty and are looking for a game that stays fresh after multiple playthroughs, The Quacks of Quedlinburg has a lot to offer.

Player Interaction and Engagement

The Quacks of Quedlinburg primarily pits players against their own potions, but it incorporates player interaction in a subtle and engaging manner. There’s a delicious anticipation watching other players push their luck, wondering if their potion might explode before yours. The shared suspense created around the table brings players together in a common narrative of tension, hilarity, and relief.

There’s a competitive spirit, as everyone aims to create the most potent potion, but no direct conflict. No player can interfere with another’s brew, which keeps the game’s social dynamics positive and friendly. However, for players who prefer their board games spiced with direct conflict or cooperation, the lack of such mechanisms in The Quacks of Quedlinburg might be a drawback.

Engagement remains high throughout the game. With every pull from the bag, the stakes get higher, keeping players invested in their potions’ fate. The balance between fear of the cherry bomb and the greed for advancing further keeps the game consistently entertaining and engaging.

Learning Curve and Accessibility

Despite its quirky theme and seemingly complex game board, The Quacks of Quedlinburg is surprisingly easy to learn and accessible. The rulebook is well-written and concise, making it easy for new players to grasp the mechanics. The game also includes handy player aids for a quick reference during the game.

The core concept of drawing ingredients and adding them to your pot is simple to understand, while the strategy and risk elements add depth for more experienced players. This combination of ease of entry and depth of gameplay makes The Quacks of Quedlinburg highly accessible to a wide range of ages and experience levels.

However, it’s worth noting that younger players might struggle with some of the more strategic aspects of the game, such as deciding which new ingredients to buy or when to stop drawing from their bag. The game also requires a good amount of table space, which might be a consideration for those with limited playing areas.

Strategies, Tactics and Tips

Brewing the perfect potion in The Quacks of Quedlinburg isn’t just about luck; it also requires strategy. Here are some tips to help you become the best quack in town:

  • Balancing Act: Don’t focus solely on getting ahead on the board. Having a balanced bag with a variety of ingredients will increase your chances of avoiding a potion explosion.
  • Risky Business: While drawing a lot of cherry bombs can lead to your pot’s demise, remember that pushing your luck can also lead to higher rewards. Risk management is key.
  • Ingredient Shopping: Spend your hard-earned coins wisely. Invest in ingredients that synergize well with your existing tokens to maximize your potions’ potential.
  • Adaptation is Key: With the changing rules for each ingredient based on the book of potions, it’s important to adapt your strategy based on the current game’s setup.

Remember, each game of The Quacks of Quedlinburg is a unique experience. The best strategy is to stay flexible, adapt, and not be afraid to take a few risks along the way.


Should you desire to deepen your potion brewing experience, The Quacks of Quedlinburg offers a few enticing expansions:

  • Herb Witches: This expansion adds more ingredient books, a fifth player option, and the Herb Witches themselves who offer powerful abilities that can be used once per game.
  • The Alchemists: Introducing a new ‘sixth’ ingredient and alchemical flasks with unique effects, this expansion adds another layer of complexity and strategy to your brewing business.

Each expansion provides a fresh twist to the base game, extending its replayability and enriching the strategic decision-making aspect.

Comparison to Similar Games

Comparatively speaking, The Quacks of Quedlinburg stands out in the crowd of similar bag-building games. Games such as Orléans and Automobiles also offer the excitement of pulling components from a bag and strategically planning around random elements, but The Quacks of Quedlinburg presents a unique blend of tension and light-hearted fun with its push-your-luck mechanism.

Orléans provides a heavier strategic experience, focusing on worker placement and resource management. Its historic theme and greater complexity may appeal to more seasoned gamers. Automobiles, with its racing theme, offers more direct competition and more tactical control over randomness.

While all three games have their strengths, The Quacks of Quedlinburg offers a unique balance of simplicity and depth, along with a whimsical theme that makes it an excellent choice for a broad range of players.

Hits and Misses


  • Accessible Gameplay: Despite its depth, The Quacks of Quedlinburg has simple, easy-to-grasp mechanics, making it welcoming for new and younger players.
  • Thematic Immersion: The game’s mechanics align beautifully with its theme, creating a narrative of tension, strategy, and occasional hilarity.
  • Replayability: With variable ingredient effects and the randomness of drawing from the bag, the game offers a fresh experience every time.


  • Limited Player Interaction: Although the game creates shared suspense, it lacks direct player interaction, which might disappoint those who prefer more confrontational or cooperative elements.
  • Randomness: The luck element can sometimes feel overpowering, especially when a few bad draws can lead to a potion explosion.
  • Lacks Narrative Progression: While the game has strong thematic elements, it doesn’t offer a story-driven experience or a sense of character progression.

Each of these factors contributes to the unique character of The Quacks of Quedlinburg, a game that, while not without its flaws, offers an engaging and enjoyable gameplay experience.

Quacks of Quedlinburg Review: Final Thoughts and Verdict

The Quacks of Quedlinburg is an engaging blend of push-your-luck and bag-building mechanics wrapped in a delightful potion-brewing theme. It offers a unique gameplay experience that is easy to learn yet rich with strategic depth, making it accessible and appealing to a broad range of players.

The game shines with its high replayability and tension-filled rounds. The thematic immersion and the suspense of drawing ingredients from your bag create a compelling narrative of risky decisions and high-stakes potion brewing.

That said, The Quacks of Quedlinburg might not appeal to everyone. Its high degree of randomness can sometimes feel frustrating, and the lack of direct player interaction may not satisfy those who prefer more confrontational or cooperative elements in their board games.

With these considerations in mind, The Quacks of Quedlinburg earns a solid 7.5/10. It’s a game that thrives in its simplicity yet offers enough depth to keep players engaged and invested. The game would suit families, casual gamers, and seasoned players looking for a lighter, fun-filled game for their collection. But for those who prefer more control over their fate or more intense player interaction, other titles might be a better fit.

Ultimately, The Quacks of Quedlinburg offers a unique and entertaining experience in the world of board games, reminding us all that sometimes, it’s okay to be a bit of a quack!

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