I concur with Sam Healy(The Dice Tower guy) when he says that this game has very poor utilization of the theme. It DOES feel really pasted on!
Don't get me wrong here, I love the game. This game was one of the gateway games for me! I feel Vikings is better than even base Carcassone!
I was pretty hopeful when a 2nd edition was announced about 3 years back. But my hopes were dashed when it came out with almost NO change to the game!
I took the issue to my hands! I used cardboards to make changes to the game art myself!
I personally think that BCG is the best place to get views and opinions about any ideas for a reprint/expansion/idea that I may have. Feel free to throw in your 2 cents!
I feel that just by changing a little bit of art, and a few words, we can make the theme fit beautifully. Here's my idea:
Names for capital city:
As you can see, I have only tweaked the game art. The game mechanic has a very minuscule change. (Placing of the black meeples)
If we use more descriptive or decorative art for the Viking settlements and European cities, this game would work really well. You would actually be able to go raiding and pillaging with a Jarl at the helm of your longship! That's what being a Viking should be all about!