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A Feast for Odin» Forums » Reviews

Subject: It’s a Viking thing: how my concerns panned out rss

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Matt
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That's my perp! Futsie, all right - crazy as a coot! He's got to be stopped!
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You can tell that getting to know Uwe Rosenberg’s latest magnum opus is going to be a daunting task as soon as you open bulky box. I had many concerns before deciding to invest my time and money, so in no particular order lets see how things turned out.

Over 60 Action placement spaces!

How am I ever going to get my head around all of these actions? How am I ever going to decide which ones to use, without my opponents growing Viking beards whilst they wait? The good news is that the actions are grouped together logically and many are enhanced versions of similar ones. At the start you may be at a loss as to what to do, but often your starting occupation and weapon cards will give you a bit of focus. The options tend to make sense thematically which helps, but explaining all of this to a first-time player is far from easy, especially confusing is that for some actions a high dice roll is good whilst for others it is bad.

A dozen game boards, how will this fit on my table?

This game has more boards than Shane’s Surf Shack. What with the player boards, resource boards, island boards, supply boards, action and phase boards, not to mention the tile trays we are talking a lot of table space. Thankfully none of the boards are that large and with a bit of planning (see it as practice for the games central tile placement mechanic) we managed to get a two-player game to fit a large coffee table. As we acquired islands and buildings we had to do a bit of jiggery-pokery but all in all it was fine.

£100 seems a bit steep

This concern will depend on where you live but with all those components you are probably going to have to pay a premium price. One way to save a few pennies is to consider a foreign language edition. The German edition can be found considerable cheaper in some countries. There is some German text to contend with, but many of the occupation cards can be worked out from their icons, and since all cards are numbered it isn’t too much of a chore to refer to the almanac for the more complex cards. Even with the English language cards you may still need to refer back to the almanac for a more comprehensive explanation in any case. As a bonus you learn a little German and get to pronounce the occupations in a “funny” accent.

I have enough real world worries without the pressure of my guys always being on the verge of starvation

I have never been a big fan of games where you are constantly trying to stave off starvation, I want to spend my game time doing more interesting things than putting food on the table. Thankfully the feasts in Odin seem a more relaxed, merrier affair and most rounds there are harvests to help you out, so supplying food never feels like your main concern.

Dice hate me

This is a tough one, so in Uwes owns words “Let us talk a little bit about the luck factor in this game. Rolling dice is frowned upon in development games—with good reason. In this game, failure is designed such that it is only marginally worse than, for example, taking 2 stone (compared to stone and long sword) or 2 wood from a mountain strip. When you fail, your next roll is more likely to succeed. Bad rolls do not prevent success, they just delay it a little. For me, it is an essential part of the game to provide that feeling of adventure.”

I think I agree, high-risk activities like hunting and plundering should come with a risk of failure but shouldn’t screw up your whole game. Of more concern to me is the random occupation card draw. I have found that a lucky draw at the right time can really put you at an advantage.

Yet, it is the diverse selection of occupations that should keep the game interesting and fresh. You never know when a set of uninspiring cards may actually combine to make a whole new strategy.

Looks like it will take an age to set up and put away

I would set aside a good hour to punch out and organize all of the tiles and then have a nights sleep before approaching anyone for a game. I know its sad but I quite enjoyed punching and sorting, but I would guess that I am probably in a minority of one.

Thankfully the two trays really help and the instruction book provides a guide on how to logically organise the components. The trays have alternating small and large compartments and when set up they not only save a load of time but also serve as a useful way of visualising how goods are upgraded.

The trays themselves feel a bit flimsy, like the ones you nan’s favourite soft-centres come in and you still end up having to dump everything else into the box willy-nilly. Without the trays the game would be pretty much unplayable, with them set up is a breeze but putting everything away is still a bit of a chore but tolerable.


12 Phases each and seven rounds, this must take an age to play?

A lot of these phases are resolved in seconds, getting cards, income bonuses etc, it is only really the worker placement phase that takes a significant amount of time. Even when it is not your turn you can spend time figuring out were to place your workers, how to fill your board and prepare your feast. The first few turns tend to wiz past once you know what you are doing, but as you acquire more workers and think about the end of the game progress slows. My first couple of two-player learning and teaching games were taking a scary amount of time (getting on for three hours). You can actually play a shorter six round version, but much as I really like the game the length could sadly be the thing that stops the game remaining in my collection.

Its not a problem for everyone, but from past experience I know that longer games can really be a barrier to getting them played and I can see us losing patience if things don’t speed up after a few more games. This is no reflection on the game itself, and hopefully we can get the game down to a more manageable 60 to 90 minutes.

101 Paths to Victory

I’m glad to say that actually playing Odin has put most of my fears to rest. It is a terrific game, the theme has been brilliantly integrated and there are just so many different strategies waiting to be explored. It is not a very interactive game, especially with just two as the choice of actions is so broad. I love the tile placement mechanism, it may be completely abstract but still does a wonderful job of focusing the other thematic aspects of the game.
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David Chapman
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Oh, alright - except for Codenames
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No, this is NOT my bloody "fursona"
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£100 is more than "a bit steep", it's a scalper's price. I got my English copy at Spiel for 60 Euro, but I saw German copies selling for as low as 52 Euro.
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W. Cracker
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Olmsted Township
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Jedit wrote:
£100 is more than "a bit steep", it's a scalper's price. I got my English copy at Spiel for 60 Euro, but I saw German copies selling for as low as 52 Euro.


That's because the Germans don't screw their own people, at least not in the last 70 years. More to the point, Uwe knocked it out of the park with AFFO.
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steve randall
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Loughton
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Jedit wrote:
£100 is more than "a bit steep", it's a scalper's price. I got my English copy at Spiel for 60 Euro, but I saw German copies selling for as low as 52 Euro.


I usually swap my old games, but when I do sell my games - I price them to clear - Scalper's price indeed. whistle

Scalper out
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Matthias Muthig
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The german version at essen was 70 Euro as far as I have seen.
It was the Dutch version that was available around 55 euro.
Considered it, but for the moment I wait for a retailer special offer.
U can currently order the german version online for 61 Euro.
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Joost Kleppe
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Quote:
I have enough real world worries without the pressure of my guys always being on the verge of starvation

I have never been a big fan of games where you are constantly trying to stave off starvation, I want to spend my game time doing more interesting things than putting food on the table. Thankfully the feasts in Odin seem a more relaxed, merrier affair and most rounds there are harvests to help you out, so supplying food never feels like your main concern.

Dice hate me

This is a tough one, so in Uwes owns words “Let us talk a little bit about the luck factor in this game. Rolling dice is frowned upon in development games—with good reason. In this game, failure is designed such that it is only marginally worse than, for example, taking 2 stone (compared to stone and long sword) or 2 wood from a mountain strip. When you fail, your next roll is more likely to succeed. Bad rolls do not prevent success, they just delay it a little. For me, it is an essential part of the game to provide that feeling of adventure.”

I think I agree, high-risk activities like hunting and plundering should come with a risk of failure but shouldn’t screw up your whole game. Of more concern to me is the random occupation card draw. I have found that a lucky draw at the right time can really put you at an advantage.


THE TIGHTNESS OF FEEDING IS ACTUALLY WHAT I MISS HERE, tightness and obligations make a game more exciting for me. (That's why Agricola and Gates of Loyang are so good.)

AND I LOVE THE DICE AND THE CARDS and the small portion of luck they add to the mechanisms. Please ultra-die-hard gamers.. go play Chess or Go if you want no luck at all. I want some fun and tension.

So each to his/ her taste. Thanks for writing this down. With all the rest of your thoughts I agree. The game is good, all be it a bit hard to teach. And I am not good at tetris-like puzzling.. gulp but the mechanism is integrated very well. Actually it almost feels like a very thematic Feld-salad (a point salad game,) this Feast for Odin.
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Steven Brooks
United States
Davie
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When you draw Occs, try drawing 3 and keeping 1. We played this way for the drawing of our starting occupation and plan to play this way for all occupation draws in the future.

Steven Brooks
 
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Murray Farrell
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Thatcham
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Futsie wrote:
I know its sad but I quite enjoyed punching and sorting, but I would guess that I am probably in a minority of one.


FWIW, I can happily tell you that you are in a minority of at least two on this front!
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