Viking Games

17 Mar

Vikings are wonderful topics for board games. The mythology, the high adventure, the pillaging all lend themselves very favorably to being represented in board game form. Now, we’ve played Viking games before, so I won’t focus much on those that we played again that I’ve already written about. As usual, our first game of the day stretched the bounds of what a true “Viking” game is.

 Sports Illustrated FootballPaydirt / Bowl Bound

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The Minnesota Vikings are still Vikings. And we though the Oakland Raiders were an appropriate opponent.We kind of had to Frankenstein together this game between the three games we had, because none of them were fully complete. This is a pretty traditional 1970s era sports game. Each player chooses a play, rolls a couple of dice, and consults a chart to see the play result. We only played 1 half (which took us about an hour), but we had a great time. R&R Games’ “1st & Goal” might have done this style of game in a more clean fashion just a few years ago, but this system works extremely well. Our biggest problem was remembering to keep time throughout the game.

Vikings

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This Viking game is more of a set collection game with a unique economic system. On a  turn, players are buying sets: 1 viking, and 1 tile. Each player has a frame in which they try and place the tiles into island configurations, and if possible the viking piece they bought that turn. Each viking gains the player a certain number of coins or points during a scoring round, or they prevent you from being attacked by pirates.

This game is great. It’s very close, I feel, to becoming one of the classics that people will be playing for the next 20-30 years. If anything is going to hold it back, it’s the fact that the game never seems to stay in print very long. It’s not quite a gateway game, but it is a great next step up game, and has enough depth to keep expert players interested as well.

Asgard

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I’m going to have trouble talking about this game rationally. This game more than most others I have played recently made absolutely no sense after reading the rulebook…and remember, we just played a month of Stefan Feld games! By the end of our game, players were almost all checked out mentally, and those that weren’t were actually angry at the game.

In Asgard, players are trying to gain the favor of the various Norse Gods. They do this by building temples to the Gods, and then siding with them in the battles that will ultimately lead to Ragnarok. The rule book in the box is a hot mess to work through. There are updated rules that are supposed to help, and the company that made the game did make a nice tutorial video that helped as well.

My main complaint right now is probably that I didn’t feel like the elements of the game meshed that well. The individual actions are somewhat fiddly. One of the more annoying parts of the game is that there don’t seem to be enough components in the game for a full complement of players to be able to do things. There were several points when players just said “Why should I bother? I can’t get anything if I do the one action I can do anyway.”

Also, the battle of Ragnarok is supposed to be this epic battle between good and evil. In Asgard, you can play both sides of that battle. You don’t care about which side wins overall…just that you made sure that you on the right side at the exact moment your pieces are checked. And yes, you can play both sides.

I probably should play it again before I give a final opinion, but Asgard fell completely flat for our entire group. When I get another chance to play, I will update my thoughts.

We also played Champions of Midgard, which I discussed before. I still think this is a really fun worker placement game. I like the dice rolling aspect adding some randomness. I will note in this game we had one player that just could not miss a die roll, and nearly lapped the rest of us. A bit of an anti-climactic game, but still quite a bit of fun.

Next time we were mindful of the Ides of March. Games based around Rome…which of course means we played a game about restaurants.

 

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