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Villainous Vikings (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: 2nd game, second impression of the 2nd edition rss

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tim allen
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Despite having the second ed. of VV since it was first published, I have only managed to play it twice, with two different groups of first time players. So far I like it more on the second outing, but I must say I am still puzzled by some parts. After first reading the rules, I thought the game would have more interaction, particularly since there are rules for Viking VS Viking action. But so far after two games, combat between vikings has only taken place once. It just seems too risky. And some cards are still causing confusion- for instance the Loki's Mischief card says to "Swap your dice roll with another roll..." swap with who? How? Do you swap the dice themselves or the results? Can you do this anytime, even during Ragnarok? And when a static ability of a merc. says "vs captains and warriors" what does that mean? Obviously you cant use them in viking vs viking combat, but when would you be only facing warriors? Also, Ragnarok seemed like an odd way to end the game. And what the heck is with that bonus for the player with the least number of Victory Points? Why on earth are we giving a bonus for coming in Last? That just seems needlessly gamey.

Since we are all newbies, picking a captain was pointless- we had no idea how to play or what (if any) strategy can be used to win. I sense that this is that sort of game that rewards repeated, goal oriented play. But mostly me and my gaming buddies are experiential players- we play for the fun of the game and winning is secondary. If this is a game where getting the most out of it means playing it until different strategies emerge with different viking captains, then I am afraid I will never get to play it enough to get there.

Questions like this slowed down the second game to a crawl and I dont know if I can get these guys to play again, despite the overall good time we had.
 
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Jeremy Stoltzfus
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Tim,

Sorry your experience was rough. I'll address what I can.

TimAllen wrote:
But so far after two games, combat between vikings has only taken place once. It just seems too risky.


It's situational, I suppose. If you're sitting on something I want, it's sometimes worth it for me to move to your Region and hope you will run away without a fight. For you, since you have to pay to flee, it's sometimes cheaper for you to stick around and fight. It's a risk in either case, sometimes it's worth the reward - sometimes it's not.

TimAllen wrote:
And some cards are still causing confusion- for instance the Loki's Mischief card says to "Swap your dice roll with another roll..." swap with who? How? Do you swap the dice themselves or the results? Can you do this anytime, even during Ragnarok?


Loki's Mischief has you swapping the actual dice of your opponent during any battle, even Ragnarok.

TimAllen wrote:
And when a static ability of a merc. says "vs captains and warriors" what does that mean? Obviously you cant use them in viking vs viking combat, but when would you be only facing warriors?


It means if there is a Captain or a Warrior on the opposing side of this battle, you gain an extra sword. You would be facing Warriors alone in the case of Heroes and Sovereigns at Locations.

Edit: You definitely can use them in viking vs viking combat, but I suspect your "can't" was just a typo?

TimAllen wrote:
Also, Ragnarok seemed like an odd way to end the game.


In what way? Just curious.

TimAllen wrote:
And what the heck is with that bonus for the player with the least number of Victory Points? Why on earth are we giving a bonus for coming in Last? That just seems needlessly gamey.


This is meant to create an alternate strategy. If you spend your time gearing up for Ragnarok gathering Gold and Warriors, you can snag both for 10 VP and a possible win.

TimAllen wrote:

Since we are all newbies, picking a captain was pointless- we had no idea how to play or what (if any) strategy can be used to win. I sense that this is that sort of game that rewards repeated, goal oriented play. But mostly me and my gaming buddies are experiential players- we play for the fun of the game and winning is secondary. If this is a game where getting the most out of it means playing it until different strategies emerge with different viking captains, then I am afraid I will never get to play it enough to get there.


The different captains are supposed to encourage different play styles that will become apparent as you use them. Naturally, with more plays you'll be able to use them more effectively. No worries if that's not your group's style

Thanks for giving it a shot,
Jeremy
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Bob Wooster
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I introduced VV to my group, and we had a similar experience in our first play. We had some rules questions and had some difficulty carrying Ragnarok efficiently. However we had fun with the basic mechanics, and had a lot of player vs player combat, mostly because of me devil.

I have found BGG very useful to get answers to rules questions and play tips for carrying out Ragnarok, and as you can see, the designer Jeremy is very active and helpful!

As far as not knowing which captains to pick. Of course you wouldn't, it's your first game! If you play a few more times, you will find that you will play very differently if you're Eric the Red than if you're Bjorn Ironside.

And as your group gets more competitive, you will see more captain vs. captain combat. We go after the leader pretty aggressively, and we don't let anyone "camp" down in Russia and collect a bunch of high VP colonies, especially in Age III.

If you play for the fun, with winning secondary, I think your group will end up liking the game quite a bit. Even though I lost horribly in my first few games, scoring only in the low single digits, I had fun. The game has a great theme and it's fun to trade, raid, and pillage and all sorts of "Viking" things. Four people in my group have now gotten the game and it is one we play regularly. It may not end up being your cup of tea, but consider the possibility that you may be judging it too quickly.
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tim allen
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Thanx for the replies! I do like the game and in fact liked it the second time more than the first. But the rest of the group seemed only luk-warm to it so I dont think I will be able to get to the point of knowing which captain works for what strategy...or even what a good strategy would be. A good case in point would be your comment about going after the leader aggressively. At no point in either game did Anyone know who the leader was! I suppose we should have been keeping track of everyones VP, but honestly that never occurred to me to do. That may also be why Ragnarok seemed anticlimactic...no one knew who needed the 7 points it was worth, so know one was willing to do much for it, like sacrificing cards. Why throw away VP by sacrificing when you dont even know if you are going to get the Ragnarok card in return?

And...even if you do get the card, you can still easily loose. Whats up with that? You win Ragnarok, are sitting at the right side of Odin, and you still loose the game?
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Serious? Lee
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jerdude wrote:
TimAllen wrote:
And some cards are still causing confusion- for instance the Loki's Mischief card says to "Swap your dice roll with another roll..." swap with who? How? Do you swap the dice themselves or the results? Can you do this anytime, even during Ragnarok?


Loki's Mischief has you swapping the actual dice of your opponent during any battle, even Ragnarok.

Jeremy, just to clarify... all dice are swapped between players, correct? For instance, I could use Loki's Mischief to exchange all the dice I rolled for all the dice rolled by my opponent. (At first I thought dice might be selectively swapped, but it seems like all dice are swapped from one player to the next regardless of how many each person rolled.)
 
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Jeremy Stoltzfus
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Yep, all dice are swapped regardless of how many were rolled on either side. So if you're cruising around with 2 damaged ship sections and Loki's Mischief, you're suddenly quite dangerous arrrh
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