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Fire & Axe: A Viking Saga» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Themed fun rss

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Kevin Whitmore
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I played my new copy of Fire & Axe recently, and I had a great amount of fun. For me, of late I have been craving games that deliver a larger amount theme, but still offer clever play. I think Fire & Axe succeeds on several fronts:

Presentation: As others have mentioned, this game is beautiful. You get nicely sculpted plastic Vikings and a longboat. The map is an interesting stylized map. The cards and board are well made. And the rules are clear and beautifully illustrated.

Theme: The connection to theme is very good. You load your boat, either with warriors or trade goods, and then seek suitbale ports to visit. Some have complained that you cannot fight each other. Fair enough, but you get to sack foreign towns and conquer distant shores. While pursuing the Saga cards can be a little gamey, they add some nice historical flavor.

Game Play: The actual game play is easy. Turns wheel past with just a few pauses as other players consider their options. The movement rules are intuitive; and the concept of "safe sailing days per week" is nicely implemented. But mostly the game play is merely comfortable. Due to the strong connection to theme, actions come second nature. Load your boat, sail your boat, visit a port. There's nothing too complicated in the mechanics of a turn. So you can concentrate on your objectives and the interference of other Vikings.

Summing Up: Fire & Axe is a very good game. I liked it for its simple simulation. I could immerse myself in the goals of being a Viking. There is probably less "cleverness" in this game, and more "themed fun". If you need new game mechanics to have fun, this game may not suit you. But if some old fashioned campaigning with a couple twists suits you, you may enjoy lighting this fire and swinging this axe.
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