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So I have already written a fairly skookum preview for this game...



...but that preview was fairly general, and made many comparisons to Uwe Rosenberg's other games in order to communicate the idea of the game. If you didn't know those other titles, the preview was less valuable, and if you did know those games, you might have felt that the constant references were annoying.



This time around (a Part 2, if you will) I am going to zoom in on the Action Board so you can get a feel for what sort of choices you can make, which, in turn, should give you a decent idea of what kind of wild and woolly strategies are available to you!

But Before We Get Board...
We need to begin with what you begin with. Understanding the basics is just basic understanding! Without know what you start with, you won't know where you can go with it all.



You begin the game with:
- identical starting Game Boards (see above)
- 5 worker Vikings
- one of each weapon card, less Sword
- one Starter Occupation card (which can really bend your strategy)
- one Horn of Mead tile (red 1x2)


Each round, you will gain:
- a new Viking (so 6 Vikings in round 1, and 12 Vikings by the last, Round 7)
- a pre-set Harvest of orange basic vegetarian tiles (not all rounds, actually, but most rounds - see the orange legend under the Feast box in the Game Board above)
- a new, random weapon card (red card)
- silver income (after main phase worker placement is over)


Not bad, eh? This isn't Agricola or Caverna. Being a Viking means you get spammed with resources!




*crickets*

Riiiiight...

Um, so...well, here is what the Action Board offers you (i.e. what you can do). As we look at the different actions, you should be aware of some frequent mechanical references I will be making.
- -1's are pre-printed penalty boxes that show up on all kinds of things in this game. Cover them with tiles, ore, or coins, and they no longer count against you.
- Maximum score is a pre-printed value on many of the boards. At game end you get that amount of points for owning that board, but later on you will also have to subtract all those penalty points for that which you do not cover! Minimum score, then, is the pre-printed value minus the total number of penalty boxes.
- Goods Spaces are pre-printed squares that represent tiles or resources than can be part of your round-by-round income if they are surrounded on all sides and corners by tiles or board edges. So if you surrounded a pre-printed Horn of Mead square, you will get a red 1x2 tile every round.

Section 0: How Much Viking Can a Viking Vike if a Viking could Vike?

As you will see next section, each horizontal zone of the Action Board contains related actions grouped together. Those groups, however, are ordered left to right from least powerful to most powerful. The more powerful the action, the more Vikings it requires - which is what Row 0 of the Action board is depicting. Any action in the first (leftmost) action row requires you to place 1 Viking; any action in the second, 2; third, 3; fourth, 4. Once any action is taken, it cannot be used by anyone else for the duration of the current round (forcing players who wanted that action to do it weaker or stronger, or to do something else altogether).

Note though that placing 3 or 4 Vikings comes with added incentive! Placing 3 Vikings in the 3rd column (any action in that column whatsoever!) allows you to draw a new Occupation cards as a free bonus! Likewise, placing 4 Vikings in the 4th column allows you to lay down an Occupation as a free bonus!

So one of the meta-strategies to this game, beyond the strategy streams the game presents, is when and how to use these larger groups of Vikings to gain the bonus additional abilities that Occupations provide.

Section 1: Building Houses and Building Ships

This double row allows you to use wood and stone (acquired elsewhere) to build land structures and water vessels.

Build Houses
This is where you can spend Wood and Stone to construct buildings on which you can store goods to increase your VPs.

1 - Sheds are worth between 2 and 8 VPs, and will hold up to three extra Wood and three extra Stone resource pieces.
2 - Stone Houses are worth between 1 and 10 VPs, will hold one extra Wood and one extra stone, and will hold a very small amount of any color of tiles. There is one Bonus Good.
3 - Long Houses are worth between 2 and 17 VPs, and will hold a small amount of any colour tiles. There are three Bonus Goods, and two blocking spaces.
4 - Combines a Build Houses and a Build Ships action as shown.

You can see that these small buildings can form the basis for early Bonus tiles (no Income though!). They also provide lower-risk VP boards in contrast to the higher risk Exploration boards. Buildings also hold domestic (i.e. orange and red) tiles, unlike the main and island boards which only hold green and blue tiles. This could allow a smaller-scale domestics strategy that doesn't rely on frequent upgrading of goods. A player could focus more on the more easily-acquired orange and red tiles, only doing small scale trades for blues and greens in order to cover up the -1's on the main player board.

Build Ships
This is where you can spend Wood to construct ships with which you can perform Whaling, Trading, Raiding, Pillaging, Plundering, Exploring and Emigrations actions. (So, yeah, boats are important to Viking success! Who knew?) Note that the ships have pre-printed Ore and/or room for more Ore, which can make them more effective at Whaling, Raiding or Pillaging!

1 - Whaling boats are worth 3 VPs, and allow you to Whale, and explore the nearby Shetland Islands and Faroe Islands boards (but no other boards). They are pre-printed with one Ore, and have space for a second Ore.
2 - Knarrs are worth 5 VPs, and allow you to Trade, to Explore three more islands in addition to the two above, and to Emigrate for VPs.
3 - Longboats are worth 8 VPs, and allow you to Raid, Pillage, Plunder, to Explore any island tiles, and to Emigrate. There are three spaces for Ore.
4 - (see above)

Boats enable some very powerful actions. It allows powerful green-tile-to-blue-tile upgrading actions, which allows more flexibility for placement on the main and island boards. Boats allow Raiding/Pillaging/Plundering for large, powerful blue tiles. They also allow a player to acquire the higher-risk-higher-reward island boards, which can be filled more easily because of the more powerful maritime trade actions. Emigrating is a great way to gain VPs nearing game-end, and reduce the need for food during Feasting phase.

Section 2: Hunting and Whaling
This is the strategy for gamblers. Players come here ready to roll dice for success, adding in their (red) Weapon cards and/or Wood to supplement the rolls of the die. When performing these actions, the player rolls a die up to three times, and must get a ZERO in order to be successful. Each card played, wood spent, or (in the case of Whaling) ore on board, reduces the roll by one. Sounds tough? The rewards are probably worth it!


1 and 2 - Hunting actions are tied to Bow weapon cards. Success provides you with a green tile and a red tile for a total of 9 squares.
2 - Snaring action is tied to Snare weapon cards. Success provides you with a 2x4 green tile.
3 and 4 - Whaling actions are tied to Harpoon weapon cards and ore on board. Success provides you with a boatload (hahahahaha!) of goods - 17 squares worth! Good luck obtaining a 0 result with a d12 though... Better bring a fleet!

1 - Fish - See the Livestock market section.

As you can tell from this section, it can form the action backbone of a powerful gambling strategy. In order to do well here, players need lucky rolls, and/or a mittfull of the appropriate Weapon cards and supplemental hunting materials (wood/ore). Hunting is lower risk but brings no blue tiles in; Whaling is higher risk, with lots of rewards. Whaling seems designed to work well with the extra boards that come with the Explore action; more powerful yields allows you to cover all those -1's!

Section 3: Livestock Market
These actions are fairly straightforward and allow players to get a red-tile livestock strategy off the group. The weaker actions allow you to pay silver for livestock/goods; the stronger actions allow you to...uh...bully? rob?...the market at no cost! As you will see later, a pair of livestock can breed more livestock. Also, cattle and sheep are both worth victory points per tile, and they can potentially produce milk tiles (red) and wool tiles (green) respectively. This auto-increase of tiles, plus the printed VPs allows a decent supplemental strategy that could support domestic boards, and/or the red tiles could be the underlying goods for trades/upgrades.



Section 4: Weekly Market and Products
The top row in this section (and the second column in the bottom row) is another straightforward group of actions that provide a variety of goods tiles and a dash of silver. The bottom row (less the second column) is how you start putting a livestock strategy to work!


Products
1 - If you have one cow, you get one milk; if you have two, get two; three (or more), get three.
3 - Sheep produce wool in the same way cattle produce milk.
4 - A bit of milk, a bit of wool, plus a blue tile, and a silver!

You can see that Products 1 and 3 let you specialize a Cattle/Milk or Sheep/Wool strategy. Cattle produce the rather bulky milk tiles (hard to use well as placement tiles, since they only fit in the longhouse well), so you will probably upgrade these. Sheep produce the more useful green wool tiles, which can go on boards. Products 4 is a nice mixed bag that works with a smaller scale livestock approach.

5: Crafting

Up to this point, we've seen a lot of opportunities for tile acquisition - everything from orange all the way up to blue. These more-specialized crafting actions let you get serious about acquiring the tiles you really need to start really covering up all those spaces on your main and island boards.


Clothing
1 - top row - Convert Flax tile to Linen tile.
2 - top row - Convert a Fur tile and a Linen tile to a Clothing tile, with a silver bonus.

Smithing
1 - bottom row - Stone for a blue 1x2 tile, and one silver.
2 - bottom row - Wood/Ore for a blue 2x2 tile, and one silver.
3 - top row - Ore for any grey special tile with a tongs icon on it.
3 - bottom row - 2 Wood and 2 Stone for two blue 2x2's and two blue 1x2's.
4 - Four silver, and green Wool tile to Cloak tile, and blue 1x3 to blue 2x4.

Like Hunting/Whaling, this is obviously a specialized section that focuses on a particular game resource type: building resources (obtained in the Mountain actions) and Linen/Wool. At it's most powerful (column 4, which will work with a Sheep strategy), Crafting can be quite powerful.

Section 6: Mountains and Trade
Compared to the other sections, this one is a hot mess of building resources, upgrading, and maritime specific upgrading - with a dash of weapon acquisition thrown in.

The action spaces that show rectangular landscapes allow you to grab (starting at the leftmost available resource) the printed number of resources from one of these:

There are a variety of these strips, but they follow the general order of Wood, Stone, Ore, Silver.

Building resources should be an interesting area for competition as players try to time their acquisitions to get the more valuable resources (Ore and Silver) before other players can. These strips provide resources needed for a variety of strategies including Domestic Buildings boards, all Boats strategies, possible support for Hunting strategies (Wood), and general good play (Silver).

There are a number of straight Trading (upgrading) spaces, and a number of trading spaces coupled with other actions. For trading, the number on the left indicated the number of tiles you can select to upgrade; the number of arrows on the right indicates how many levels you can upgrade each good. These spaces can be important, especially to non-Whaling, non-attacking strategies that don't have easy access to blue tiles.

There are also some blue Trading spaces that require a Knarr and that allow a player to pay a silver to do a mass swap of disparate green goods to blue goods, or to buy the grey special tiles.

Section 7: Sailing
We are back to higher risk strategies again. Raiding and Pillaging have us rolling dice. Exploring island boards provides high risk/reward ratios.


Light-Pink Longboat actions
These actions having us aiming for high roll results (instead of the low roll results that Hunting, Snaring and Whaling wanted). Success requires a result of at least 6 in order to obtain grey special tiles. To acquire any given tile, you must reach a result equal to the sword number printed on the tile.
1 - You may not use boat ore to boost your result. You may use swords and stone.
2 and 3 - Like 1, but you may use boat ore.
4 - If you have two longboats, you may take a blue 3x4.

Orange Explore actions
This is how you use your boats to acquire risky, extra boards for tile placement. Remember that though they come with a lot of pre-printed points, printed Bonus goods, income, and all that, they also come with a lot of -1's! Earning extra income on these tiles is identical to the income rule for the main board (see rulebook, since I didn't explain it in this preview). Bigger boats allow you to get the riskier boards available in late game. (And those riskier boards are only available late in the game, which makes them even harder to complete!


Section 8: Emigration and Occupations
Two unrelated sections smooshed together, Emigration allows you to remove your own boats, and flip them for more VPs, placing them in your feast area, and lessening your food needs. Occupations allow you to acquire and/or play those special actions cards.


Yellow Emigration actions
2 and 3 - You may pay to flip a large boat, placing it in the feasting area.
4 - You may upgrade a Whaling boat to a Knarr AND pay to flip a boat and place in feasting area.

Occupation actions
These are the more focused versions of the bonus actions that are attached to the third and fourth columns.
1 - Take an Occupation and gain a silver.
1 - Stone/Ore to place an Occupation and gain a silver.
2 - Lay down up to two Occupations.
3 - Lay down up to four Occupations.

Some of the Occupations cards are better early game (allowing you to gain small bonuses from doing simple actions), and will probably be better placed using bonus actions. But other Occupations (yellows) work best when a lot of work has already been done by the player; these yellow cards could provide a massive boost when put down mid-/late-game, and several at once (column 3) could be a strategy in and of itself!



Um. So. That's it.



Yeah, I know. A lot of info, right? I tried to give you some ideas of the large-game strategies your could think about, but, really I haven't scratched the surface. Why? Because there are 190 Occupation cards. When you draw the Pirate card (Pay 1 Wood and 6 Silver for a blue Treasure Chest tile), suddenly you have a burning need to really get your income engine going to take advantage of all that treasure you dream of. On the other hand, the Cutter Operator will give you a one-time fish silver reward that gets better with more Knarr, so maybe you want to play it mid-game after building Knarr, and match it up with a Trading strategy.

Really, the possibilities are myriad and plentiful, and the Occupation cards will give you good reason to explore all the game has to offer.

This is my second preview, and perhaps my last preview. Maybe I could touch on the Occupation cards at greater length, but I don't really have the energy to 190 cards worth of preview. Let's just get this game released already! Then I can give you a full-on review!


edits on "bonus good" for section 1
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wilky
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Re: Annoying You with My Friendship: A Second Preview, which is essentially spamming you with awesome information, this time of the Board, and all its Possibilities
I like the cut of your jib. Excellent work.
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Wayne Walker
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Re: Annoying You with My Friendship: A Second Preview, which is essentially spamming you with awesome information, this time of the Board, and all its Possibilities
It's beautiful <sniff>.
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Re: Annoying You with My Friendship: A Second Preview, which is essentially spamming you with awesome information, this time of the Board, and all its Possibilities
Quote:
2 - Stone Houses are worth between 1 and 10 VPs, will hold ... There is one orange Bonus Good.
orange Bonus Good?
 
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Laura Blachek
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Excellent overview... Just one clarification, on the hunting action space, you say you get red and a green good for a total of 7 squares, but the image shows a 2x3 hunk of meat and a 1x3 fur, for a total of 9 squares.

I am definitely using this post to gauge interest from my group, since i think the rule book will scare them, but man am i excited for this one.
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Jeremy Avery
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slaybalj wrote:
Excellent overview... Just one clarification, on the hunting action space, you say you get red and a green good for a total of 7 squares, but the image shows a 2x3 hunk of meat and a 1x3 fur, for a total of 9 squares.

I am definitely using this post to gauge interest from my group, since i think the rule book will scare them, but man am i excited for this one.


Thanks! I will make that correction.

And I'm glad you can use it to see what your group thinks; I actually wrote it so that my gaming group could read it and respond to the game. I don't want to spend all this money for nothing!
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Jeremy Avery
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Crust wrote:
Quote:
2 - Stone Houses are worth between 1 and 10 VPs, will hold ... There is one orange Bonus Good.
orange Bonus Good?


I'm not sure what you are asking?

Do you disagree about calling that colour orange? I know some people see that as a shade of yellow, but if you look at the Feast track, it looks as if the chromatic intent of food is orange.

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Laura Blachek
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familygaming wrote:
slaybalj wrote:
Excellent overview... Just one clarification, on the hunting action space, you say you get red and a green good for a total of 7 squares, but the image shows a 2x3 hunk of meat and a 1x3 fur, for a total of 9 squares.

I am definitely using this post to gauge interest from my group, since i think the rule book will scare them, but man am i excited for this one.


Thanks! I will make that correction.

And I'm glad you can use it to see what your group thinks; I actually wrote it so that my gaming group could read it and respond to the game. I don't want to spend all this money for nothing! :)


Well, it looks like it might be fun solo, at least. :)
 
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familygaming wrote:
Crust wrote:
Quote:
2 - Stone Houses are worth between 1 and 10 VPs, will hold ... There is one orange Bonus Good.
orange Bonus Good?


I'm not sure what you are asking?

Do you disagree about calling that colour orange? I know some people see that as a shade of yellow, but if you look at the Feast track, it looks as if the chromatic intent of food is orange.


Not to mention the fact that the rule book specifically refers to them as orange goods, so calling them some other color would just be silly.

Great second preview, BTW!!
 
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Jeremy Avery
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grant5 wrote:
Great second preview, BTW!!


Thanks!

I do exhaustive research before buying new releases, so I thought I should just start turning my research into a resource that can benefit the community.

I've requested a few more rulebooks and review copies of games moving forward, and I have some new releases pre-ordered, so hopefully some more content like this in the near future.
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Laura Blachek
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grant5 wrote:
familygaming wrote:
Crust wrote:
Quote:
2 - Stone Houses are worth between 1 and 10 VPs, will hold ... There is one orange Bonus Good.
orange Bonus Good?


I'm not sure what you are asking?

Do you disagree about calling that colour orange? I know some people see that as a shade of yellow, but if you look at the Feast track, it looks as if the chromatic intent of food is orange. :)


Not to mention the fact that the rule book specifically refers to them as orange goods, so calling them some other color would just be silly.

Great second preview, BTW!!


But, in the relevant image, the stone house appears to be the one in the middle and the bonus good visible is a hide, which seems to be a green good....actually, that picture seems 'funny' to me, since that particular bonus good space doesnt seem to as colorful as the other bonus good spaces.

Am i missing something?
 
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Evan Dunn
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slaybalj wrote:
grant5 wrote:
familygaming wrote:
Crust wrote:
Quote:
2 - Stone Houses are worth between 1 and 10 VPs, will hold ... There is one orange Bonus Good.
orange Bonus Good?


I'm not sure what you are asking?

Do you disagree about calling that colour orange? I know some people see that as a shade of yellow, but if you look at the Feast track, it looks as if the chromatic intent of food is orange.


Not to mention the fact that the rule book specifically refers to them as orange goods, so calling them some other color would just be silly.

Great second preview, BTW!!


But, in the relevant image, the stone house appears to be the one in the middle and the bonus good visible is a hide, which seems to be a green good....actually, that picture seems 'funny' to me, since that particular bonus good space doesnt seem to as colorful as the other bonus good spaces.

Am i missing something?


In the Appendix, it's clearly stated that the Bonus good for a Stone House is a Hide. I think the coloring is just incorrect; instead of being a darker green like the other green Bonus tiles, it's just the same green as the board tiles.
 
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Grant
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slaybalj wrote:
grant5 wrote:
familygaming wrote:
Crust wrote:
Quote:
2 - Stone Houses are worth between 1 and 10 VPs, will hold ... There is one orange Bonus Good.
orange Bonus Good?


I'm not sure what you are asking?

Do you disagree about calling that colour orange? I know some people see that as a shade of yellow, but if you look at the Feast track, it looks as if the chromatic intent of food is orange.


Not to mention the fact that the rule book specifically refers to them as orange goods, so calling them some other color would just be silly.

Great second preview, BTW!!


But, in the relevant image, the stone house appears to be the one in the middle and the bonus good visible is a hide, which seems to be a green good....actually, that picture seems 'funny' to me, since that particular bonus good space doesnt seem to as colorful as the other bonus good spaces.

Am i missing something?

Oh yeah, I see what you mean. Like the OP, I too thought Crust was referring to the shade of orange looking more yellow, but I see that this specific example is a green good that looks less green than the other green goods. Odd.
 
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Laura Blachek
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grant5 wrote:

Oh yeah, I see what you mean. Like the OP, I too thought Crust was referring to the shade of orange looking more yellow, but I see that this specific example is a green good that looks less green than the other green goods. Odd.


I suspect this particular image came from a prototype or a misprinted tile perhaps? I noticed in the rule book and in preview other pictures that show the stone house seem to display the proper coloring.
 
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slaybalj wrote:
grant5 wrote:

Oh yeah, I see what you mean. Like the OP, I too thought Crust was referring to the shade of orange looking more yellow, but I see that this specific example is a green good that looks less green than the other green goods. Odd.


I suspect this particular image came from a prototype or a misprinted tile perhaps? I noticed in the rule book and in preview other pictures that show the stone house seem to display the proper coloring.


All the of-game images are directly sourced from the official rules PDF that Frank Heeren of Feuerland posted here on BGG. If there are later-version rulebooks floating around, I would love to see them.
 
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Laura Blachek
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familygaming wrote:
slaybalj wrote:
grant5 wrote:

Oh yeah, I see what you mean. Like the OP, I too thought Crust was referring to the shade of orange looking more yellow, but I see that this specific example is a green good that looks less green than the other green goods. Odd.


I suspect this particular image came from a prototype or a misprinted tile perhaps? I noticed in the rule book and in preview other pictures that show the stone house seem to display the proper coloring.


All the of-game images are directly sourced from the official rules PDF that Frank Heeren of Feuerland posted here on BGG. If there are later-version rulebooks floating around, I would love to see them.


Actually, i was referring to the image directly above it, where the image of the stone house on the level 4 action space seems to show the hide bonus good with a distinctly darker green background.
 
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Johannes Nelson
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Very nice preview, great job!
I'm simply addicted to this game, and it hasent been released yet!
I constantly scan the web for discussions and reviews of it, but it seem to be a distinct lack of any media covering it (or maybe my addiction is simply to big to satisfy)
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Steph
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wow great job! I finally finished reading all of that. I have had it opened on my browser since it was posted!

I am so excited to play!
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