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Subject: Blood Rage: When You Have So Much Rage And Nothing To Do With It rss

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Alex S
United States
Missouri
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Context

I’ve played Blood Rage about ten times, mostly with two players but occasionally with four players. I’ve actually never played it with three players but the gameplay is similar in each scenario.

Rules & Game Mechanisms

Blood Rage does a great job of combining the mechanisms of drafting and area control to create a game that’s compelling, fast paced, and never leaves anyone completely out. The game takes place over three rounds or ‘ages’. Each round starts with drafting and then has the players taking actions which include playing cards, placing minis, and initiating combat. It’s straightforward and easy to learn but with a lot of opportunities for creative gameplay.

The game does two things extremely well which combine to make it really stand out. First of all, everything you do has increased victory point values from round to round, at just the right amounts to make it so that previous rounds are valuable but even players with fewer points in an earlier round still can come back in a later round. Secondly, there are many avenues to victory including losing battles. That means that you can lose and be right back in the fight by slightly changing your strategy and while someone may have an advantage after one round, there’s plenty of opportunity for them to be overpowered by the other players in the following round.

The one complaint I will level at this game is that while the game tends to be very close, the final score often has a much wider spread. After a lot of posturing and moving around, it’s common that one or two battles determine who gets their points in the final round and who doesn’t, leading to the victor of those battles to shoot ahead in final scoring.

Art, Theme, & Components

The art of this game is quite good. It’s not my personal favorite art style ever but plenty of people like Adrian Smith’s work and it’s definitely evocative of the experience players are having in the game. While I don’t have any of the kickstarter components, the cardboard is just fine quality and the miniatures are the excellent, highly detailed quality you would expect from any CMON game. All in all, it’s all top notch.

There is one major complaint I have with the art and theme of this game and it’s gender balance. In this game there is one all female clan and three to five all male clans, depending on whether you include the 5th player expansion and kickstarter exclusive clans. We dealt with this by evenly balancing the models between the four different clans and painting them appropriate clan colors. However, this definitely kept me from being interested in ever having either of the other two clans and even without them the gender balance still isn’t great, just better. CMON did slightly better at this with Rising Sun but other companies are doing a much better job than they are still, despite the game’s designer, Eric Lang, being such a huge proponent of encouraging equality in gaming.

Strategy & Replayability

Blood Rage does a great job of having lots of potential strategy and replayability options. As I mentioned earlier, there are just a lot of different avenues to win. I’ve won through completing quests, sacrificing myself to Ragnarok, and more traditional area control means. I do think that the strategy becomes more interesting with more than two players so there is a limit there, but even with two it’s interesting and thinky with enough options to make each game a bit different.

Final Thoughts

Blood Rage
is a great game that’s easy to get into with interesting strategy. It’s slightly plagued with issues of gender parity, making the 5th player content that much less attractive, but it is an excellent game and a lot of fun. And honestly, the miniatures are really cool, especially if you take the time to paint them like we did!

Thanks for taking the time to read my review
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Colin Nordstrom
United States
Emeryville
California
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This game has entrenched itself as my #1 all time. I've never not had fun playing it. Thanks for the review!
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ace hawkster
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How did this get through as a review ?? Biggest paragraph is a soapbox about gender equality in games,
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Kurt McNab
United States
Katy
Texas
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While most archaeological and historical evidence corroborates the long held belief that the majority of Scandinavian raiders and warriors were male, there are known grave sites of wealthy, possibly militant female Vikings. However, Blood Rage has almost no factual basis in 10th century Northern Europe and probably shouldn't be held to the same expectations as an authentic war game.

That said, it's fantasy, pure and unashamed. Could they have thrown in a few more female characters in each clan? Sure, it's fantasy and why not. Should the lack of female characters be such an ordeal that one must swap figurines between clans to create a more gender balanced force? Not for me, but do whatever you must with your own game.

All in all, Blood Rage is awesome and glad you enjoyed it.
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Matthew Auchtung
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acehawkster1973 wrote:
How did this get through as a review ?? Biggest paragraph is a soapbox about gender equality in games,


Agreed. Keep your politics and your moral crusade to yourself Alex S. There are places dedicated to discussing one’s attempts at fixing our fallen world. This isn’t one of them.

Good game. Good review. Let’s leave it at that.
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Edu Avalon
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Go for Lagertha!!!!

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mike mcalister

Watertown
Wisconsin
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Agreed!! I thought the same thing.

I just googled "viking women gender role" and the top hits seem to contradict the assertion in the above game review.

If you are going to assert things as fact, please a) do so in the appropriate place (maybe NOT a game review?) and b) footnote the experts that support such assertions. Just a suggestion.

I do appreciate the time it takes to write up a review. The game is my current favorite as well. We played it 6 times this past weekend with 4 and 5 players (our usual group is 3 player). I think the game shines at 4 to 5 players.

I just wish there were more male monsters... The gender equality of the monsters appears heavily female.




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sean Rumples
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all the swowflakes getting their panties in a bunch because of gender imbalance in a boardgame? Silly people. If they wanted it all male and no females , there is noth
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Matthew M
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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Antagonistic, hateful, insulting, or otherwise disruptive comments ARE NOT welcome here.

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Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
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The statement below is false.
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The statement above is correct.
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I like this review, and I like how it talks about an important aspect of the game that is so often overlooked in board games.
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Andrzej Bloch
Poland
Sopot
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I'm insulted that there are no vikings of color in this little plastic miniature toy-game. It's a fantasy world right? WHERE ARE MY ASIAN AND BLACK VIKINGS, or even INDIAN ONES ?
People like the op are why this world is going more and more into the crazy.

 
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