Recommend
24 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Asgard» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Asgard - a true EURO battle game! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Bing Hwang Tan
Malaysia
Sungai Dua, Penang
Penang
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb


Asgard - an epic Asgardian battle game by Pierluca Zizzi (Designer of Hyperborea) depicts players into the Asgard galaxy enabling players to influence Asgardian gods to wage war to gain control of worlds, building of temples to generate allegiance with the gods and finally the battle of Ragnarok brings about the end of the universe in an epic battle of the gods! This game is another hidden gem that holds great promise of a great game but was eluded due to many other Essen releases in year 2012. Although published by What's Your Game?, it was not well known among board gamers and also not widely available in stores maybe due to its lack of popularity.

Inside this game, its packed with many, many components which depicts many different special abilities of the gods, ancient weapons, temples, magical spells, rare stones, and many more. I was shocked to see the sheer amount of details that this game offers and is certainly not for those who are new to board gaming. This game is a gamer's game. Period. Not for light or party gamers definitely.



Now to the game play, there are 4 phases in this game: Planning phase, Action activation phase, Battle & Scoring phase, Maintenance phase. First and foremost during the planning phase, each player starts with 3 influence tokens and 10 cards (each card depicts an Asgard god/immortal). Each player chooses the number of cards out of 10 cards according to the number of influence tokens a player has, in this case 3 discs hence 3 cards are chosen. In turn order, each player reveals their card and plays their disc in the area of the revealed god card. There are the building of temple action or gathering of stones action. In the stone gathering action, there will be different advantages/benefits for those who picks first. The second player who picks that will not be given the extra benefit but is able to gather the stones. The rare stones are very limited for each god and requires timing in utilizing them. In this game, there's a rule against hoarders that when one player chooses the resource gathering action and there's no stone during that time, the player is able to steal one of the stone from the player that owns the most stone at that time! Not only stones can be stolen, your troops and special god-granted abilities can also be stolen as well if you don't use them! This makes the game very interactive and interesting because resources are scarce.

The planning phase ends when all players place all their action discs on the board and the activation phase begins. The player is able to choose which action to perform first from all his action discs and he/she need not follow the same precedence as how it was placed during the planning phase. This again offers plenty of strategies and tactical choices to either block other players from getting seals or steal other player's resources. Seals are used as the currency of the game and are rewarded when a player activates the first action of any god. Let's talk about the different gods and attributes they offer when you choose them; Frejya allows you to recruit 2 warriors/soldiers from Vahalla for free (usually it requires seals to recruit armies), Odin allows you to change the turn order of players, while Thor gives you the ability to play your action twice; Loki however offers you the power to steal armies from any gods you choose; and lots more!

There are also various types of temples that ranges from small - medium -large in size to be built that awards different values of VP throughout the game. The bigger the temple, the more resources it is required to be built and the temples enables you to score them every round after you build them so the earlier you build them, the more VP points you're able to gather. Besides that, it allows you to gain a god allegiance tile that comes with a random power to be placed into any universe on the Yggdrasil tree to represent that god would participate in battle with the population of the planet. Much more to be said about that later in the battle section.

Lastly, you would be able to go to Asgard as well if most of your plans are screwed up by other players. In Asgard, you'll be able to perform several actions: buying action discs, recruit armies, participate in battle, and draw a bonus help token from Asgard. Buying action discs enables you to either have more plays next round or participate in battles. Armies helps to boost your battles when you find yourself losing in a specific battle.

As you can see, there are many things to do and everything you do interwoven with each other!

Now, the part where I like the most: Battle phase!!
There are 7 worlds depicted in the middle of the tree and in each world there's 2 sides in battle. Good and evil. If you picked the Asgard action, you'll be able to participate in battle on any of the 7 worlds you pick. Then there's a battle score tile which is divided by good and evil deck which consists of 5 tiles each. These tiles also determines the number of rounds the game plays and the game ends after the 5th round. In these tiles, there are battle values ranged from 0-4 and will be opened. The battle is pretty direct as the highest battle value would win. It's just like how a football matches result board placed in front of you as there are no dice rolling unlike many other wargames. This is a very euro way to decide battles in my opinion. You'll be able to 'bet' or side which team you want and you can help them to win by spending your armies. Warrior/soldier are a power of 1 unit and Giants are a power of 2 unit. So the outcome of a battle is resolved by adding up all the battle values and the highest wins the battle. Different values of VP tiles are given according to the number of battles won each round. The accumulation of the VP tiles are cumulative which means that winning a battle will have an enduring value and its a viable strategy compared to the building of temples.

The last phase: maintenance phase is simply the common phase for all boardgames to replenish the board in preparation for the next round. A few things to note: new gods will be unlocked each round to provide additional depth to the game. Seals will be refreshed from the supply. If the supply runs out, the seals are taken from the player with the most seals! Again, no hoarding applied here!

Finally, after 5 rounds of intense battles, the battle of Ragnarok occurs. This phase plays differently from the normal battle phases as it enables PVP mode! The players will step into the battle itself with all the ancient weapons earned throughout the game against other players based on the gods they support. To make things clearer, the normal battle is like Player vs the board, and Ragnarok battle is like Player vs Player. There will be a different set of VP values to be awarded during the Ragnarok phase and careful planning will help secure those VP!



All in all, this game has alot going on and it provides much depth for those who seek for a rewarding gaming experience. I love how this game keeps everyone engaged all the time and this is the aspect of board gaming that should continue to stay true in order to keep interaction on the game. This game is definitely a keeper for me.

Game play: 5/5 (Perfectly designed for my liking!)
Theme: 4/5
Components: 4.5/5
Replayability: 4/5
Graphics: 4/5

24 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Stonewall
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for posting this review. I just bought this game a couple of days ago, and am anxious to give it a go. Looks like a steep learning curve, but hopefully the payoff will be great, similar to other WYG titles like Vinhos and Madeira.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Knauer
United States
Heathrow
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This one seems to have really flown under the radar.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bing Hwang Tan
Malaysia
Sungai Dua, Penang
Penang
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
pdxloki wrote:
Thanks for posting this review. I just bought this game a couple of days ago, and am anxious to give it a go. Looks like a steep learning curve, but hopefully the payoff will be great, similar to other WYG titles like Vinhos and Madeira.


You're welcome! I got this game from CoolStuffInc for 32.99 USD and I thought it was a good buy after reading how much Curt http://boardgamegeek.com/user/curtc praised it and recommended it very much. So I did some research on what he said and impressed when I saw how this game was played! This game deserves more attention than it is current having. I'm sure you'll enjoy it if you've enjoyed Vinhos and Madeira.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bing Hwang Tan
Malaysia
Sungai Dua, Penang
Penang
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
eknauer wrote:
This one seems to have really flown under the radar.


Definitely! Go ahead and try this game today! cool
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dustin Crenshaw
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Thematic Colors of Gaming Blog
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I know demoing it at my store made several people go buy it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sunday silence
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
What is a "football matches result board?"
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bing Hwang Tan
Malaysia
Sungai Dua, Penang
Penang
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That would be a score board between Good vs Evil. There are a stack of Ancient Weapons for the Good side and a stack for the Evil side so each round, one of them will be revealed and the scores are compared. Eg: Good - 3 Evil - 2. Something like that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anselm Keiser

Dickinson
Texas
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Some suppliers are dumping this game on the market to make room for the Gencon stuff coming out. I got my copy for 15.00 from my FLG as a promo, so look out for it. It's an awesome game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
servus wrote:
Some suppliers are dumping this game on the market to make room for the Gencon stuff coming out. I got my copy for 15.00 from my FLG as a promo, so look out for it. It's an awesome game.

I bought a second copy when I saw it for $15. But then I just bought two more backup/gift copies from Cardhaus for $11 each. It's getting kinda ridiculous.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
RIK FONTANA
United States
St. George
UT
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Still, despite the great price and some high praises, I would highly recommend you Play it first. I did this evening, 3-player with two of my favorite opponents, and was not really impressed. Perhaps it's the grognard in me but this was Not the fine mesh of combat and Euro and Worker Placement that I expected. It was fiddly & to me oddly unbalanced. The board and components are beautiful. But it is not an intuitive game at all. I did not find 'what your trying to accomplish' to be easy to understand or particularly logical. But it could have been more just my first play. After learning in the past couple months: A Study in Emerald, Drum Roll, Splendor, Descent, Dragon Petz, Madame Ching, Among the Stars, and Paths of Glory, for me, this was the first flat note in quite awhile.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rikolus wrote:
Perhaps it's the grognard in me but this was Not the fine mesh of combat and Euro and Worker Placement that I expected.

This is certainly not targeted at the grognards. While there is combat, it is highly indirect. There is no player versus player combat, except perhaps at the end, if players choose to back opposing gods.

Rikolus wrote:
It was fiddly & to me oddly unbalanced.

A bit fiddly, maybe, sure; but unbalanced? How so? The game is pretty much balanced by definition. Players have a symmetric start, and there is almost zero randomness.

Rikolus wrote:
But it is not an intuitive game at all. I did not find 'what your trying to accomplish' to be easy to understand or particularly logical.

That's for sure. But I consider that a GoodThingâ„¢.

That being said, no game is for everyone, so "play it first" is pretty universally good advice, for those unwilling to take a risk. Of the thousand or so different games I've played, I don't even like the #1 rated game on BGG. At all.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marius van der Merwe
United States
St. George
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As one of Rik's two opponents, I could add that that he was the only one of us three for whom the game fell flat. I loved the game, even though I ended up dead last on the final scoring. It is a game I definitely had to see from start to finish, especially the end-game Ragnarok battles, in order to see how the early and mid-game fit into the bigger picture. I am very excited to play again now that I have a better understanding of the consequences of early actions.

However, I can see how this is not going to be a game for everyone. As Rik said, the game is not particularly intuitive (straightforward?) and will take some effort and more than one play to grasp. For me this is also a positive and not a negative.

As a side note, we did get the set-up wrong for a 3 player game and it was entirely my fault. I was the one who read the rules and tried to teach it to the other two players. We played with a 4 player set-up, which mainly meant that resources were too abundant.

Overall I am very impressed with the games produced by What's Your Game so far. I have played Vasco da Gama, Madeira, and now Asgard, and all are excellent and beautifully made games. I just traded for Vinhos and I am very excited to give that one a first play soon. Given the quality of these titles I think that ZhanGuo is going to be an auto buy for me when it becomes available.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sciurus wrote:
Overall I am very impressed with the games produced by What's Your Game so far. I have played Vasco da Gama, Madeira, and now Asgard, and all are excellent and beautifully made games. I just traded for Vinhos and I am very excited to give that one a first play soon. Given the quality of these titles I think that ZhanGuo is going to be an auto buy for me when it becomes available.

Yup.

Also note that Panamax, while not by WYG, is by the Madeira designers, and is also quite good.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bing Hwang Tan
Malaysia
Sungai Dua, Penang
Penang
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
curtc wrote:
Sciurus wrote:
Overall I am very impressed with the games produced by What's Your Game so far. I have played Vasco da Gama, Madeira, and now Asgard, and all are excellent and beautifully made games. I just traded for Vinhos and I am very excited to give that one a first play soon. Given the quality of these titles I think that ZhanGuo is going to be an auto buy for me when it becomes available.

Yup.

Also note that Panamax, while not by WYG, is by the Madeira designers, and is also quite good.


Not to mention Zhanguo is another excellent production from What's Your Game. I was lucky enough to play it once last week and boy, it's an awesome game! The game is pretty straight forward, play a card each turn (6 times in a round) but I'm very impressed with the interaction that each card played had to offer. More plays is required to fully appreciate the game!

Curt, for your information, I bought Asgard because of you
One day, I was researching on what to buy based on what I like and I bumped into your profile. So I take a look at all the games which you've rated 9 and 10 and I find them quite similar to mine. Also I saw that you spoke highly about Asgard and I began to read on it. Couldn't find much info about it though due to the lack of publicity/marketing..(It's priced at 18.00 USD in Amazon! Crazy discount!) and no videos about the review/gameplay. So I took the risk to purchase this game and had no regrets after playing it! All thanks to you!! )
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.