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How To Make Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Better: House Rules and Legacy Campaign

Do you feel the same way as us, and love this game so much but wish it could be just a little better in terms of design and gameplay?  Hopefully, the tips, house rules, variants, and campaign we have curated together will make your games of Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle a bit more enjoyable.

Some of the rules and things we cover go over both expansions and all base game content, so if you wish to avoid spoilers, please stop reading here.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle House Rules and Variants

Feel free to mix and match these rules as you see fit, and figure out which ones make the game better for you and your fellow witches and wizards.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Hogwarts Cards House Rules and Variants

(Official) Clearing the Market Rule

Once per game, a player may choose to refresh the market by removing all 6 cards and replenishing them instead of purchasing a new card.  This used to be a house rule but has now become somewhat official (Clearing the market | BoardGameGeek) by the creators of the game.

This rule solves a lot of problems and should be enough to drastically improve most games.  It can alleviate players getting stuck with cards they can’t buy or allow them to move through the deck quicker and get to the cards they need.

Altered Market: Dividing Up the Hogwarts Cards

If you still aren’t totally satisfied with the market set up in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, many players like to arrange the cards into categories to make the variety of costs and types that show up a little better.  There are a few different ways you can choose to divvy up the Hogwarts Cards a little.

  • You can divide the Hogwarts Cards into cost ranges with each row representing a different range.  This makes it so there are always a couple of low, medium, and high cost cards available.
  • Alternatively, you can divide the cards into items, allies, and spells, with each row designated for each.  This works a little worse than dividing the cards by cost in our opinion but at least makes the variety of cards seen a little better.

Additional Hogwarts Card Market Column

Another way to ease the problems with the Hogwarts Card market is to just add another column.  This is another minor rule modification that can greatly increase the variety of cards players have available to buy.  

Stack Duplicate Hogwarts Cards

Okay, last house rule regarding the Hogwarts Cards, we promise.  This is another rule that is very easy to apply and doesn’t make the market overpowered but ensures players aren’t getting stuck with the same cards over and over again.  This can lead to a major stack of cards players will never be able to empty from the store, so if a stack ever reaches three or more identical cards players could decide to wipe that space if they so wish.

Altered Starting Villain Setup

When you first start the game, flip over one additional villain, and now as a group decide which of the 4 villains you want to shuffle back into the deck.  This rule seems insignificant but dramatically reduces those super difficult early games that make it almost impossible to win due to bad villain draws.  This rule is very easy to implement and doesn’t drastically change the game which is a good thing in our opinion.

Divide the Games Villains

If you still want to make the initial game a little easier you could also divide the villains into two piles based on difficulty.  This way the easier villains come out in the early game making it easier for players to purchase cards and get going.  

This rule takes a bit more work and might make the game a little too easy in our opinion, while also being very unpredictable in terms of its effects.  If you do decide to use this rule, it would probably work best if the easy pile of villains was only about 10-25% of the game’s total villains.

Mid-Game Voldemort

If you want to make the game feel more dynamic, and a little more difficult, add a weaker Voldemort to the middle of the villain deck who has to be defeated also.  Players can’t attack this Voldemort until all villains ahead of him are defeated, but villains after him can be attacked.  (This Voldemort should not require influence to defeat to avoid lengthening the game too much). 

If you want the game to be more thematic, also use the go to next location rule(below) here too to increase the tension and difficulty a bit more.

Voldemort’s Army

If you find the end game anticlimactic, this rule greatly fixes that making the potential for a last-minute loss possible.  Once Voldemort is flipped at the end of the game, go through all defeated villains, and determine which ones would be there during the final battle against the Dark Lord and shuffle them and add them back to the game.  

These villains that were previously defeated are now back in the fight to help Voldemort and activate just as usual.  These can be assigned bolts and defeated before defeating Voldemort.

Advancing Locations

This rule makes players advance to the next location during a specified time in the game.  This makes the game a bit more difficult but solves the problem of those very easy games where players never even get close to losing the first location.

This rule works best if you use the Mid-Game Voldemort rule above as the signal to advance locations in our opinion, but you could just put a reference card halfway through the villain deck to signal that you need to advance to the next location.  Players should advance locations after defeating the Mid-Game Voldemort, not once he appears.

 Advancing once per game is enough in our opinion to increase the tension of the latter half of the game, any more would be too much.  This rule can be implemented on a game-by-game basis.  If you get halfway through and it feels too easy, progress locations, if not, forgo doing it.

Altered Starting Deck

This rule should not be used without implementing some of the other house rules that increase the difficulty of the game as this change of starting cards can quickly make the players too powerful.  Below are some of the cards that we have experimented with adding to our games of Hogwarts Battle

  • Hogwarts a History: Having this card really helps players collaborate by contributing resources to each other, but also allows the players to work on encounters and Horcruxes right from the beginning of the game which greatly improves the game in our opinion.
  • Add another ally card of a playable character that isn’t you, preferably one not being used (especially helpful in two player games)

Minimize Player Stuns

When playing with 3 or 4 players, if you find yourself being stunned multiple times between turns you can ease this by making it so a player’s health doesn’t reset until their next turn.  In our opinion with many of the house rules above you shouldn’t need to use this rule as long as players somewhat focus on getting at least a few cards that can provide their fellow teammates with health.

Four Active Villains Instead of Three

If the game is still too easy for you, you can flip an additional fourth villain that can be assigned attack until it moves down from the villain pile.  This greatly increased the difficulty but could be implemented halfway through the game so as to not weaken the players too early on.  This could be combined with the Mid-Game Voldermort as the signal of when to introduce the fourth villain.

Ditch the Potions Ingredients Board

We were not fans of the added work of the potion ingredients board and instantly scrapped it but still liked the idea of Dark Arts cards that had ongoing effects for players, so we still used them.  A potions Dark Arts card still goes in front of the player who drew it, but now it just stays active until the player has taken two turns.  

Players can keep track using an ingredient token to mark how many turns they have had the card.  Hogwarts Cards such as potions kit can still be used to add ingredients and get rid of face-up potions Dark Arts cards.

The Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle House Rules We Use

Below is a list of the combination of house rules from above we use any time we play a game of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle.  All of these are used together, not just one at a time.  In our opinion these are enough to make the game more exciting, less frustrating, and overall just more enjoyable.

  • Clear the Market
  • Stack Duplicate Cards
  • Altered Villain Setup
  • Mid-Game Voldemort
  • Voldemort’s Army
  • Advancing Locations
  • Altered Starting Deck (Hogwarts a History)
  • Ditch Potions Ingredients Board

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle Ultimate Legacy Campaign 

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Legacy Campaign Story Mode

Want to make a thematic 7 game experience that follows the events of the movies as closely as possible, with all the content from the base game and expansions.  Below is an unofficial campaign mode we have created that we played through multiple times now, and in our opinion, it works fairly well. 

It uses a lot of the house rules from above and all of the content from the Monster Box of Monsters and Charms and Potions expansion.  The first time we played through we separated all the Hogwarts Cards into their respective books/movies in terms of appearance and it actually worked quite well, but was a lot of work, too much.

Every time we have played this campaign since we ignored separating the Hogwarts Deck and it worked just as well but was a little less thematic. So, it’s up to you whether you want to take the time to divide up the Hogwarts deck.  If you’re going full thematic then players should aim to play with the original four heroes.

Campaign Overarching Rules

  • The following house rules from above are always used:
    • Clear the Market
    • Stack Duplicate Cards
    • Altered Villain Setup
    • Mid-Game Voldemort
    • Voldemort’s Army
    • Advancing Locations
    • Altered Starting Deck (Hogwarts a History)
    • Ditch Potions Ingredients Board
  • Players can choose their characters, but proficiencies and charms are select two at random and pick one.
  • Encounters and Horcruxes have two separate stacks on the board and are both active at the same time. The locations, encounters, and Horcruxes are listed in their specified order of appearance, which should match the chronological order of the events and movies.
  • Players can keep one card (that they have purchased) after winning a game equal to one more than that game’s number, for example, players can keep a card with a value of 2 after completing game one.

You can download a free printable file of these Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Story Mode / Legacy Campaign Mode below

Game 1 

Setup:

  • Locations: Box 1 (1 & 2), Pack 1 (2)
  • Encounters & Horcruxes: Box 1 (2), Box 1 (3), Pack 1 (1)
  • Voldemort Setup: Game 5 Mid, Game 6 End
  • Villains & Creatures: Norbert, Fluffy, Troll, Centaur, Quirrell, Draco, Crabbe & Goyle, Scabbers, Marcus Flint, Pansy Parkinson
  • Heroes: Have proficiency but cannot use unique hero abilities (i.e. game 1 heroes)

Game 2

Setup

  • Locations: Game 2 (1), Box 3 (2), Game 2 (3)
  • Encounters & Horcruxes: Pack 1 (1), Box 3 (1), Diary
  • Voldemort Setup: Game 6 Mid, Game 5 End
  • Villains & Creatures: Aragog, Tom Riddle, Basilisk, Draco, Crabbe & Goyle, Lucius, Marcus Flint, Scabbers, Pansy Parkinson, Nagini (represents snake during duel)
  • Heroes: Have proficiency but cannot use unique hero abilities (i.e. game 1 heroes)

Game 3

Setup

  • Locations: Box 2 (1 & 2), Game 3 (2), Box 2 (3)
  • Encounters & Horcruxes: Box 1 (1), Box 2 (1, 2, & 3)
  • Voldemort Setup: Game 5 Mid, Game 6 End
  • Villains & Creatures: Cornish Pixies, Dementors (2), Boggart, Werewolf, Draco, Crabbe & Goyle, Lucius, Peter Pettigrew, Marcus Flint, Fudge, Scabbers, Pansy
  • Heroes: Game 3 Heros, Random Proficiency, and Patronus

Game 4

Setup

  • Locations: Box 4 (1, 2, 3, & 4)
  • Encounters & Horcruxes: Box 4 (1,2, & 3)
  • Voldemort Setup: Game 5 Mid, Game 7 End
  • Villains & Creatures: Grindylow, Mermaid, Barty Crouch, Draco, Crabbe & Goyle, Lucius, Peter Pettigrew, Death Eaters (2), Fudge, Rita Skeeter, Nagini, Dementors (2), Hungarian Horntail, Chinese Fireball, Swedish Short-Snout, Welsh Green. (Optional: Pansy, Boggart)
  • Heroes: Box 1/Game 3 Heros, Random Proficiency, Patronus, and Charm Ability

Game 5

Setup

  • Locations: Game 5 (2 & 3), Box 3 (3)
  • Encounters & Horcruxes: Pack 1 (1,2 & 3), Pack 2 (1)
  • Voldemort Setup: Game 7 Mid, Box 4 End
  • Villains & Creatures: Grawp, Pansy Parkinson, Draco, Crabbe & Goyle, Yaxley, Narcissa, Lucius, Dolores, Death Eaters (2), Fudge, Rita Skeeter, Belatrix, Centaur, Nagini, Dementors (2)
  • Heroes: Box 1/Game 3 Heros, Random Proficiency, Patronus, and Charm Ability

Game 6

Setup

  • Locations: Game 6 (2), Pack 3 (2 & 3)  (side 4-5 players)
  • Encounters & Horcruxes: Pack 4 (1), Pack 2 (2), Pack 3 (1,2 & 3), Ring
  • Voldemort Setup: Game 7 Mid, Box 4 End
  • Villains & Creatures: Inferi, Pansy, Draco, Crabbe & Goyle, Yaxley, Narcissa, Lucius, Alecto Carrow, Amycus Carrow, Rufus, Fenrir, Death Eaters (2), Belatrix, Nagini, Dementors, Tom Riddle, (Optional: Fudge)
  • Heroes: Box 1/Game 3 or Game 7 Heroes, Random Proficiency, Patronus, and Charm Ability

Game 7

Setup

  • Locations: Game 7 (2), Pack 4 (2 & 3)
  • Encounters & Horcruxes: Box 2 (2 & 3), Pack 4 (2 & 3), Locket, Cup, Diadem, Nagini
  • Voldemort Setup: Game 7 Mid, Box 4 End
  • Villains & Creatures: Pansy, Draco, Crabbe & Goyle, Yaxley, Narcissa, Lucius, Alecto Carrow, Amycus Carrow, Rufus, Fenrir, Peter Pettigrew, Pius, Dolores, Death Eaters (2), Rita, Belatrix, Centaur, Nagini, Dementors, Werewolf, Ukrainian IronBelly
  • Heroes: Box 1/Game 3 or Game 7 Heroes, Random Proficiency, Patronus, and Charm Ability
  • * If you’re up for the challenge and feel you have a powerful starting deck, consider keeping 4 active villains at all times here.   

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