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Rating: 6.7 Good
Players: 2-4 players
Playing time: 120 minutes

Official Site: Alchemists game page — Czech Games Edition

Created by: Matúš Kotry, David Cochard

Published by: Arclight, Cranio Creations, Czech Games Edition

Alternate Names: Alchemicy, De Alchemist, Die Alchemisten, Alchimistes, Alchimisti


I received my new cauldron today. Finally, my laboratory is complete!

For days, I have been gathering and drying ingredients in anticipation. What shall I mix first? I have a strong hunch about raven's feather and mandrake root. And they say you can never go wrong with a toad.

But then, what do they know? This is my laboratory, my research! Once I have published my theories, the others will be coming to me! I am determined to prove that I have the greatest mind that ever studied alchemy.

So now, I shall light my fire, for it is time to get to work. Knowledge, wealth, and fame can all be found in the murky depths of the cauldron.

In Alchemists, two to four budding alchemists compete to discover the secrets of their mystical art. Points can be earned in various ways, but most points are earned by publishing theories - correct theories, that is - and therein lies the problem.

The game is played in six rounds. At the beginning of the round, players choose their play order. Those who choose to play later get more rewards.

Players declare all their actions by placing cubes on the various action spaces, then each action space is evaluated in order. Players gain knowledge by mixing ingredients and testing the results using a smartphone app (iOS, Android, and also Windows) that randomizes the rules of alchemy for each new game. And if the alchemists are longing for something even more special, they can always buy magical artifacts to get an extra push.

There are 9 of them (different for each game) and they are not only very powerful, but also very expensive. But money means nothing, when there's academic pride at stake! And the possession of these artifacts will definitely earn you some reputation too.

Players can also earn money by selling potions of questionable quality to adventurers, but money is just a means to an end. The alchemists don't want riches, after all. They want respect, and respect usually comes from publishing theories.

During play, players' reputations will go up and down. After six rounds and a final exhibition, reputation will be converted into points. Points will also be scored for artifacts and grants. Then the secrets of alchemy are revealed and players score points or lose points based on whether their theories were correct. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.

Flavor text: Mandrake root and scorpion tail; spongy mushroom and warty toad - these are the foundations of the alchemist's livelihood, science, and art.

But what arcane secrets do these strange ingredients hide? Now it is time to find out. Mix them into potions and drink them to determine their effects - or play it safe and test the concoction on a helpful assistant! Gain riches selling potions to wandering adventurers and invest these riches in powerful artifacts. As your knowledge grows, so will your reputation, as you publish your theories for all to see. Knowledge, wealth, and fame can all be found in the murky depths of the alchemist's cauldron.

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Two to four players take the role of alchemists competing to discover the secrets of their mystical art. Points can be earned in various ways, but most points are earned by publishing theories - correct theories. Therein lies the problem.

Players gain knowledge by mixing ingredients and testing the results using a card-scanning app on a tablet or smartphone. They deduce how to make potions that they can sell to adventurers.

Gold pieces can be spent on magical artifacts, which are very powerful but also very expensive. …

The Card Reader

To play Alchemists, you will need the Alchemists app on your smartphone or tablet. To get the app, scan this QR code. Or enter into your web browser. The app is free. You've already paid for the game.

(To play without the app, see the facing page).

Only one device is necessary. Players can share. Once you have downloaded the app, launch it and tap the button. Please enter this four-letter code: DEMO.

Mixing Potions

Ready? Wonderful! Now toss these ingredients into your cauldron and stir until the substance changes color. Alchemists mix potions by combining two different ingredients. Tap the button and scan these two cards with the camera: …

Five actions are available to you in the first round. We will cover these first:

1. Forage for Ingredient

To find the ingredient you want, sometimes you have to spend a little extra time in the forest. Be sure to bring a stout walking stick to ward off wolves, bears, and rival alchemists.

When it is your turn to forage for an ingredient, you may take either 1 face-up ingredient from the row or draw 1 random ingredient from the top of the deck. Cards in the row are not replaced, so players who play later may have a more limited choice. Once all the face-up cards are gone, your only choice is to draw from the top of the deck. (Or you can always decline the action and move your cube to the unused cubes space). …

After the first round, all actions are available and players have the full complement of action cubes. Hopefully, you learned something about the ingredients in the first round. Now it's time to put that knowledge to use.

1. Sell Potion

A speed potion for a swift attack, a splash of poison to eliminate an enemy - adventurers need potions of all kinds and they know where to buy them. Selling potions is a good way to make a lot of money if you know what you're doing. Or a little money if you think you can fake it. …

Selected Artifacts

Feather In Cap

For example, if you correctly predict the result of mixing toad and scorpion and then correctly predict the result of mixing toad and fern, you get 3 points because you used 3 different ingredients.

Special case: If you also have the Magic Mortar, a colleague will randomly choose 1 card to be set aside for Feather in Cap and the other will be returned to your hand. Once you know which card is returning to your hand, you can decide to not use the Magic Mortar and leave both cards set aside to be counted for Feather in Cap. …

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