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Subject: Voluspa base game review rss

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Mike Landers
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Summary of Gameplay:
Each player is dealt 5 random tiles. Each tile has a picture of a something from Norse mythology and a number 1-8. For example, Odin is 8, Thor is 7, Loki is 1, etc. Your turn consists of playing 1 tile, scoring your points for that tile, then drawing a new tile. You must play a tile orthogonally to an existing tile, and to receive points the played tile has to have the highest number in a line (a line being up to 7 tiles long). The number of points you receive for a turn is equal to the number of tiles in the 1 or 2 orthogonal lines that extend from your tile. Some tiles have a special power (mainly the lower value ones). For example, the wolf tile (#4) multiplies in value for each wolf in a line, so 2 wolves are worth 8, 3 wolves are worth 12 as far as being the highest value in a line is concerned. Therefore, 2 wolves beat Thor, and 3 wolves beat Odin.

Review of Voluspa:
I had Voluspa explained by the designer at Kublacon. He did a good job explaining the game, but I was immediately disappointed with how abstract the play mechanics were and how pasted-on the theme was. I really like Norse mythology as a theme, but this was as shallow as it gets as far as tying rules / gameplay into the theme. In my opinion, Voluspa has virtually no redeeming quality except that the art is attractive. Generally, I expect that new games improve upon existing mechanics in new and interesting ways, or that the designer came up with some unique board element or play mechanic. Voluspa doesn't do anything new or interesting at all. I give this game a solid 2/10 for geek rating: "Extremely annoying game, won't play this ever again." Additionally, I am aware that the base game includes some "expansion" tiles, but no amount of additional tiles would make Voluspa worth playing.
 
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thank you...I came really close to grabbing it yesterday, but now I will pass
 
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Ken Thibodeau
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Besides the pasted on theme, anything you didn't like specifically?

Your review isn't very informative...
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Mike Landers
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There's so little going on in Voluspa that there is simply not much else to say. I did mention that it is very abstract, in the way that chess is. I don't think that abstract games combine well with a high degree of randomness (the random tile drawing). As I mentioned, Voluspa doesn't do anything unique, so it's not interesting in that respect. I'd also say it has no depth, in that I don't think it would continue to be interesting after multiple plays even if you did like it the first time through. If you're looking for a Norse mythology themed abstract tile-laying game, then Voluspa may be exactly what you're looking for.

fardoche wrote:
Besides the pasted on theme, anything you didn't like specifically?

Your review isn't very informative...
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Gerry Daigle
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I agree with you Mike. This is a real miss of a game. The game just got to a points royale... There is nothing about it that felt enjoyable. The characters are great but thats it. The game is soooo flat. I got to borrow it from a friend and it saved me a lot because I probably would have bought it from the characters. The tile laying is great, but there is no way to block people so it really just gets to being a scoring frenzy.
 
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Ken Thibodeau
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Hagaf22 wrote:
there is no way to block people so it really just gets to being a scoring frenzy.


Here, I certainly don't agree. Blocking to prevent others from scoring big is as effective as setting up a good scoring plan for yourself.

Actually I find it very rewarding to block opponents:

- Put a troll to block adjacent tiles
- Place a Loki to "protect" a spot
- Place a tile besides a walkyrie to prevent bookends scoring
- Complete a row with a "useless" tile to prevent other from scoring 7 points

These examples don't even include the Hel tiles that can be a pain for your opponents or Hemrod that lets you string a couple moves.

I'm convinced that if you play more, you'll find some interesting combos/twists.
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Ken Thibodeau
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mjl9320 wrote:
There's so little going on in Voluspa that there is simply not much else to say. I did mention that it is very abstract, in the way that chess is. I don't think that abstract games combine well with a high degree of randomness (the random tile drawing). As I mentioned, Voluspa doesn't do anything unique, so it's not interesting in that respect. I'd also say it has no depth, in that I don't think it would continue to be interesting after multiple plays even if you did like it the first time through. If you're looking for a Norse mythology themed abstract tile-laying game, then Voluspa may be exactly what you're looking for.


As far as I'm concerned, Voluspa gives me a Carcassonne-like feeling. While it is true that Carc isn't a component/theme bonanza, it offers a genre that finds its niche in most players' shelves. And so is Voluspa.

Edit: And I would add that the fact you have 5 tiles in hand should give you enough flexibility to find an interesting move every turn. Or save a couple Skadis to pick the tile you wanted and didn't draw.
 
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Mike Landers
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I find Carcassonne to be light and fun, whereas Voluspa is a hollow number crunching game.

In Carcassonne, players have ownership of the tiles and work to complete something they have spent multiple turns on, which gives a sense of accomplishment. In Voluspa, there is no sense of accomplishment, but only a sense of scanning numbers in an algorithmic fashion (not fun).

fardoche wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, Voluspa gives me a Carcassonne-like feeling.
 
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