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Vikings: Warriors of the North» Forums » General

Subject: Vikings preview: the board play rss

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Maciej Teległow
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I wrote about basics of mechanics, now few words about board play.
The game may be driven by cards, but board is the place where the game is played.
Here it is, so you could look at it comfortably.



Every player starts at his harbor. For Red player it is a lowest space, with drakkar icon, on the board.
Red will have to sail to three villages (his is a space just above the harbor, two spaces away from harbor, one diagonally, marked with red borderings).
As you can see the shortest way to every other one is 6 spaces, but it goes directly through the big space in the middle with picture of sea monster.
The problem is, that the central space is easy to get to from most strategical points of the map.
So if you want to sail this trail, you have to be prepared for attacks of other players. It is also great space to wait for others to attack them.
You can sail around four big islands surrounding central space, but the way is 8 spaces. And as you have to go back with every daughter it makes 4 spaces longer then the shortest one.
The longest way is more safe and it can be great to use if you have some tools to sail (or move) more efficiently then other players.
You can for example have a navigator in your crew which makes your possible trails more open.



He may let you get back wind card after usage which is extremely usefull. Succes is the die roll 4+ (which can be modified by cards).

You can also get a rower.



Rowing is an action you can use once every turn. It let you move your drakkar one space in any chosen direction (along with icons on the space you are in) but finishes your turn. So you can not row to the village and pillage it ot to sea monster and attack it. But possibility to eventually row two times in a turn can give great escape speed.
As you can have only three heroes in your crew, they will make some options for you better or worse and remember that daughters are also crew.
The great addition to one of movement enhancers can be guard who can give you some better chances in defense.



As the game unfolds it would be obvious which jarls are at better position for win. Often when somebody sails with his last daughter to his harbor other players try to catch him together cause it is only chance to prevent him from winning. If you are quick and you prepared your hand, you can win even then, with the guard being your insurance if one of them catch you.

As the others can steal a hero from you only at attack roll 6 or higher, the guard is really great at helping you in your race for the crown.
These moments in the game are really great and full of fun. When one player go for the win and others try to stop him the game becomes even more tense and full of emotions. From tactic point of view it is really important to know when to start your attack for the crown. It depends what you have in your hand, where are other players and what is general position in the game. Going bravely for the win can be really risky and one the important things in the game is knowing when start it and when other players notice that you are going for the win which can (and should) be not the same.

I have seen many great moments in the endgame. Great attacks, chains of card play, defenses and sudden long sails giving win or opposite, super placed attacks stopping not well prepared attacker in last moments. These are really great moments giving a lot of fun at the table.

If we talk about board play, the sea monster comes to mind.
The beast does not attack by itself but is a blocker. It starts at the central space of the board and you can not move into his space unless you attack him. You roll the die and 4+ gives you success : 2 cards from action deck and you can place it wherever you want (not at spaces with drakkars and harbors). If you lose, you go back from you sailed and your one standard action for the turn is lost.
So you can try to overuse it, hoping to get 2 cards, especially if you can not make standard action during your turn. But if you lose, it really stops you.
Players can use sea monster as blocker for other players. It also gives them chance for two cards prize but always take standard action away which can be crucial as feast (giving daughters to your war camp) is also a standard action and can stop the escaper.

That all can be complemented (or comboed) with event card play.

The board off course give great chances to players who want to steal daughters from other players not sailing through all the sea. But I will show some possibilities for that kind of play next time.
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Tobias Sölvefjord
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Is there gonna be a different, more tight map for 3 players?

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Maciej Teległow
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supersiamesisk wrote:
Is there gonna be a different, more tight map for 3 players?



No.
We have tried to make a board for three players, thinking as you that it would be needed. But with every other test play it made clear for us, that this board is best choice even for three players game.
As you have to sail for three daughters even in 3P game, the symetrical nature of the board make it the same difficulty and give the same chances in 3P play. Believe me or not we have played at many different 3P board configurations and it always appeared that it is worse then play on standard board.
It is because the most important thing is the number of players not the board configuration.
I would compare it to Settlers of Catan. 3P game is less tight but it is still the same expirience especially if you know you have react little more quick to events during 3P game.
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Mark Aasted
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Yes, I spend Geek Gold on useless things like this.
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Gloria: [to Robot] I'm just scared I'll come home one day and find you screwing a toaster.
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Seeing all the components and reading each update this has now jumped to the top of my must have games!
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James Clarke
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Does this count as tokenistic exposure of flesh? You see, I'm not very good at judging on such matters.

Seriously, the quality of the artwork is first class.

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