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Explorers of the North Sea» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Quick Impression on 2P game rss

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Poohdish Rattanavijai
Thailand
Bangkok
Bangkok
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Disclaimer: I have only played one game with my wife.


Impression is below, here's how the game went if you are interested.
The game went super smooth even though it was our first game. I drew Trader (2 VP for every 3 livestocks) as my Captain and her drew Watchman (extra VP per outpost on controlled island). I began my journey trying to capture as many livestocks as I can while her aim is controlling the islands. However, luck has it that she's the one having lots of tiles with livestock on it and I ended up with settlements. While I focus on moving the vikings while placing settlements in a reachable area, my wife focus on placing outpost to ensure islands control. Next she start to extend one island with her outpost to form a bigger island, here I pull sneaky move and steal some livestock from her islands. Although we began charting the sea in a different direction, it's only around middle of the game that our map started to bleed together and we are fighting for territory. Near the end of the game, I ventured in search of death at the hand of the enemy ship. My wife spreading her army out to several small islands that she placed earlier. At the end of the game I managed to edge her out at 61 to 56. I messed up two of her island so it couldn't be completed and I lost two vikings to the enemy and that's where the difference is I believe.

My impression
It was a great game! It's super easy to explain as well. Usually I had to go recheck the rules every now and then repeated to others several times during the game. Turn actions are super simplify if you want it to be. You place ocean tile, then your either a) Move/herd or B) Construct an Outpost. Sure there're a few details on moving but we find it easy enough to understand the rules. The only thing I had about this rule is the limitation of moving maximum of 2 Vikings per action whereas I can load 3 Vikings onto the boat in an action. It makes an interesting choice whether I should march to the other settlements on the same Island or load them onto the ship instead tho. Captain add extra bonus for the score but rather set a nice subtle goal to begin the game. It's still majorly up to the tile being drawn at the time though. The scoring criteria feels balance and diverse. Everything I did seems to contribute to the final score. Even the death from the enemy is something I seek for victory points instead of it being a risk/reward situation.

The art on the game is as gorgeous as the past if not more. Familiar faces on captain cards reminded us for the past games and provide quite nice continuity. Also having huge art of them on the card felt much more epic than Raider. Every tile feel different than another and the slightly different settlement designs are great touch. Placing two settlements next on the same island doesn't feel repetitive at all. Livestock art and token are nicely distinguishable with exception of cattle artwork which I have to stare because it looks kinda like horse. The color black and brown is enough to tell the different tho. In fact, all tokens are very distinguishable as well. Longship although a plastic but it has almost exactly the same color as the viking token and the stack design fit snuggly which make it even more awesome. Don't forget the beautiful winter token. If made out of steal, it could double as an awesome design bottle opener as well.

Playing until tiles are depleted has a nice effect of knowing exactly how many turn do I have left at the end of the game. Which I felt is just a tad bit too short and too spacious for 2 players.

That said with same limited number of tiles I feared the game will feel even shorter and more cutthroat with 4 players. That is remained to be seen and I'm eager to bring this for a session with more friends.

TL;DR;
It's not perfect. Felt a bit light and I like it.
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Mick Whyte
Australia
Gold Coast
Queensland
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Thanks for the review!

The wife and I are a little care bear-ish. How mean is the interaction? can you compare to any other game?
 
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Chris Watts
New Zealand
Hawera South Taranaki
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Compared to his other 2 viking games it's the least cut throat, I've just finished watching rahdo's run through and that is a point he makes very well.
 
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