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Warlock: The Game of Dueling Wizards (1980)

Warlock: The Game of Dueling Wizards (1980) is an early game by Games Workshop. It is an uncomplicated game for up to six dueling wizards. Play is accomplished through casting spells (playing cards from your hand) to both attack and defend. It’s a pretty easy game to pick up, and fun enough, though there are a couple places the game can bog down into tedium. Those bits are easy enough to house rule.

Whatever the merits of the gameplay, there is no denying the game is lovely to look at. That cover painting is weird as hell, I think more for the prominence of the seagull than anything going on with the masked wizard. It’s nice enough though. I love the moody board with its circle of standing stones. But most of all, I love the card art, which is all done by the legendary Russ Nicholson. He really brings things to life, illustrating spell effects, retainers and the various summoned creatures. They’re so goooood. Look at Elric there! I can totally picture a wizard calling him out of a portal to fight that dragon while the witch flies overhead. Even though there isn’t any gore in these drawings, it’s like Russ’ stuff is just poised for violence. I love it.

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