Rules for Witches’ Brew (HABA contest entry)

The game plays with 4 cats, 3 green witches, 2 yellow witches, and a single red witch. Here I’m showing the back of one of each color to show the type of dice rolls expected.

It’s a little known fact that witches are not brewing potions and poisons in their enormous vats but root beer. Unfortunately, they’re not very good at it. Can you help? Brew up the best batch and win the witch as an enthusiastic fan of your great brew!

Objective: Attract the most witches to your yummy brews.

Game Setup: Put the 10 red frogs in the center of the table. Hand each player a set of 6 dice. Leave the witches and cats (everyone knows witches can disguise themselves as cats) in the box or bag, hidden from view.

Game Play: Without looking, pick a random witch or cat from the box and put it in the middle of the table for all to see. All players play at the same time. Everyone has 3 rolls to get as close to the chosen witch’s magic dice combination as possible. Whoever wins the round, keeps the witch (and any potential frogs) as the reward. Move to the next round by selecting another witch.

Witches: The back of each witch shows you what you’re rolling for (see the picture above). Here’s an explanation of each witch type:

  • Green witch: Roll a straight — as many sequentially increasing numbers in a row as possible.
  • Yellow witch: Roll a set — as many of the same number as possible (not just 1’s).
  • Red witch: Roll pairs — exactly 2 of as many numbers as possible. That means if you roll a set of 3, you cannot use those dice.
  • Orange cat: You get to choose whichever of the above combinations matches what you rolled.

Determining who wins the witch:

  • Count the total number of dice that match the goal. Highest number of matches wins the round.
  • Example: A green witch is pulled and after 3 rolls, 2 players get “123356” and “223345”. The 2nd player wins since they have 4 numbers in a row while the 1st player only has 3.
  • For red witches, if you roll 3 of the same number, you cannot include those as matching. So “222335” only has 1 pair and only 2 dice that match the goal.
  • For orange cats, each player can roll to a different goal as they decide which kind of witch to use. Compare the number that match the selected witch to compare between different players.
  • Ties: If 2 or more players have the same score, ALL players re-roll. The winner of the tiebreaker gets a frog as well as the witch. If there is another tie, roll yet again and increase the frog count.

Frogs: Besides the frogs awarded for tiebreakers, you gain frogs any time you roll 3 or more of the same number in one roll. So if you already had a “4”, and rolled 2 more, you would NOT get a frog. But if you rolled 3 more “4”s, you would.

Spells: Frogs are used to cast spells to give you advantages during play:

  • At the beginning of a round, you can borrow one of another players’ die and add it to your own for the cost of 1 frog. You take the best 6 out of your dice while the other player has to make do with 5. You must return the die at the end of the round.
  • At any time, you can gain an additional roll for the cost of 1 frog.

The game ends when all witches and cats have been pulled from the box. The player with the most witches and cats wins. If there is a tie, the player with the most frogs wins. If there is still a tie, the youngest player wins.

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