Alexandre Limoges
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To those in whom the will has turned and has denied itself, this our world, which is so real, with all its suns and milky-ways — is nothing. [A.Schopenhauer]
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I am a bit on the edge about this one, maybe because contrary to many people, I did not like Blood Rage and its "Valhalla mechanism".

Let me explain...

I do think that having some form of token when you lose dice in combat is a good idea, since in the basic game, monsters were often a bit of an all-or-nothing proposition (like "win and get 15 VP, 3 gold and a horn OR lose the fight and also lose 2 dice while getting nothing at all"). The idea that you would get a way to turn a catastrophic loss into something maybe a little less terrible was one I found interesting.

But, reading the rules, it seems this expansion might get farther than this. It may (or not, I can't be sure) make possible a strategy consisting in voluntarily losing all dice in order to get to Valhalla. I found that weird in Blood Rage. I mean, sure, there is glory in death while fighting, I get it, but getting into a fight only to lose it on purpose and turn tokens to defeat better foes sounds strange to me...

So I am asking those who tried the game with this extension:

Do you still fight monsters to win, and by win, I mean defeat the foe AND protect your dice with shields if you can? at least most of the time?

Is the Valhalla board more like a way to turn a terrible loss into something a little better, or an actual strategy, i.e. some players try to lose all/most of their dice in combat because they want to score VPs in Valhalla instead/also?


Answers here might help me decide If I get the extension or not...
 
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If you liked the base-game, and don't mind a longer game then the Valhalla expansion is almost a must.

it creates long term planning, getting an epic monster or even a valkerie card requires some careful planning, which dice to get when, which enemy to fight (since the earlier you fight the enemy the quicker your turn to buy stuff is - also an enemy needs to have the ability to kill enough of your dice)

With the expansion beating the enemy is 98% the priority, in fact losing when you thought you were going to win is just as devastating as it was in the base-game.
luck is cruel sometimes.

however the aftermath of the battle is also important, and careful planning of which dice you recruited can gain you quite a few points. often getting that extra swordsmen is better than an axe-men....yeah i know weird.

In all 4 games i have played players did choose to not use shields so that some of their dice die, it is a little wonky, and it works at certain moments in the game, but more often than not it will hinder you, dice are the main resource in the game, without them you won't score much.

to respond to your Subject: Does it really makes the game better or different in an interesting manner?
it does both! the game is better because it has a new layer of strategy added to it, a player can ignore it, but it won't work out great for them i think. as always finding the right balance is key.

i strongly recommend it.
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Mitch Lavender
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I can't say that I ever found players overly concerned with protecting their dice in the base game but we were most interested in defeating the foe. We are Vikings, after all. Regardless of how defensively you play, there will be inevitable losses and Valhalla extends the original gameplay by making those losses mean something beyond the initial sacrifices to attain a goal (or a loss).

It's true that players may be compelled to take a loss of a black or red dice rather than a white one (for example) to meet criteria for a goal in Valhalla but that is only a new dimension to the game play, not a bastardization of it, in my opinion.

It's a solid expansion and coupled with Dark Mountains (which is the only way I have played it) has been a lot of fun for us.

Drawbacks are that the games can run longer and yes, the original gameplay is changed by the new opportunities offered by Valhalla. If that bothers you, expansions are probably not going to be something you would be interested in.
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Alexandre Limoges
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To those in whom the will has turned and has denied itself, this our world, which is so real, with all its suns and milky-ways — is nothing. [A.Schopenhauer]
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Thanks a lot. I am often unsure about expansions, I am often disappointed when they do something else than add cards or maps, but I think Valhalla will be fine...
 
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MitchLav wrote:


It's true that players may be compelled to take a loss of a black or red dice rather than a white one (for example) to meet criteria for a goal in Valhalla but that is only a new dimension to the game play, not a bastardization of it, in my opinion.


in my last game, i sent an extra white dice to purposefully die in battle so that I would trade a black and white die and instead buy a Valkyrie that give a leader a pink and a yellow dice. so it is a great tradeoff sometimes.
 
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Nigel Harris
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not had many plays of the game and expansions, but in the ones we've had so far, the winner was the person that pushed their luck furthest. I think the Valhalla expansion reinforces this further. Am looking forward to my next game where I'm going all out into battle with my warriors!
 
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