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Subject: A Game Built for Two: Fjords rss

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Kristen McCarty
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The beautiful fjords of Norway, crafted by ancient glaciers, fashion the setting for our next gaming adventure. You and a rival Viking Clan fight to claim the fertile land along the coast. In this game of "tactical settlement of an unknown land for two players," players must use the best tactics and a little luck to ensure the largest and most fertile claim for their clan.



Components

Fjords comes with 40 hexagonal landscape tiles, 4 wooden farms and 20 wooden fields in two player colors. It's small but packs in a lot of strategy and game play.



Set Up

Players choose their color and take their farms and fields. Three landscape tiles have a different colored back, they are the start tiles. The rulebook actually has a mistake. It shows the mirror image and the start tiles should be placed. This confused me the first time I played but luckily someone has caught the mistake and provided the picture below.



Goal of the Game:


Fjords is played over three rounds. Players score points each round for each field they place. At the end of three rounds the player with the most points wins.

Game Play:


During each of the three rounds there are two phases of play.
• Discovery
• Land Taking

Phase 1: Discovery

During the first phase players place tiles to discover the fjord region. Players alternate turns. They first draw a tile and then place it. If they cannot place the tile, they draw until they have one they can. The set aside pieces become open choices that may be used later.



Tiles have three possible landscapes on them: sea, mountain, and farmland. A tile must match the other landscapes to be placed. The second rule is that it must be placed adjacent to two sides of previous tiles. There may only be one single landmass. A sea may not separate two landmasses.

A player may draw or use one of the open choices. After placing a tile a player may place one farm on that tile. Tiles cannot be placed on the start tile or a tile with only mountains.

Phase Two: Land Taking

After the last face down tile has been draw and placed, or set aside, the first phase ends. Players now move on to land taking. Being first can be critical. The first player is decided this way. If the last drawn tile was played on the fjord region the player who did not place it goes first. If last drawn tile could not be placed in the region and is set aside among the open tiles the player who drew it plays first.



After determining the start player players place their fields. A player may not place a field next to another players farm or one of their fields. They can't be placed on mountains are seas. Players wan to block the other player and get as much land as possible for themselves. After all fields are placed, or no more can be placed players score.

Scoring

Whoever is placed the most fields is the winner for that round. Scores should be recorded. Then shuffle the tiles and begin the next round. The player with most points after three rounds wins. If both players are tied, whoever won two round wins. Otherwise "rejoice in your shared victory."



My Thoughts

Fjords is a light and quick tile placement game. It fulfills my love of tile placement games that create a beautiful picture when completed. And it does this three times in one game! I enjoy its mix of strategy, luck, and tension.

Each game, and each round, is different. You can't always employ the same strategy. You may also find yourself changing your strategy during a round, due to the tiles you draw and where your opponent places their farms and fields.

One essential step of the game has sometimes caused me trouble. I have forgotten or run out of time to place my farms during the first phase. I'm just always waiting for that perfect tile or not wanting to place the farms too early. So I caution players on this point, don't be afraid to place your farms! After all you are a Viking, and Vikings are rarely afraid of anything. But of course they rejoice in their shared victory when they tie.



Quick Stats:

Designer: Franz-Benno Delonge
Artists: Jörg Asselborn, Christof Tisch
Publisher: Rio Grande Games, 999 Games, Hans im Glük
Number of Players: 2
Play Time: 30 minutes

Photo Credits: Lieven Volckaert (Livinus), Andrew Lazar (valar12), Tim Mossman(IronMoss, Andrew Lazar (valar12), Ken Boone
(Hubajube, Jacek Nowak (ja_n), Matthias Kortleven(Matthias_K)


This review was originally posted on my blog: A Game Built for Two

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Roger Howell
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Reviews with photos rock, thank you, nicely done!
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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This is what I play.
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Great review. Now I have another for my wishlist!
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Jonathan C
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"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
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Wonderful review! I'd really like to own this game....but exactly how does one go about doing that?!?!
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Peter Brichs
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looleypalooley wrote:
Wonderful review! I'd really like to own this game....but exactly how does one go about doing that?!?!


I think you need to be lucky. It's been out of print for some years now, unfortunately.
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Mont Allen
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Please accept a geek gold tip for this lovely pictorial presentation of a game my wife and I love.
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Kristen McCarty
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Thanks everyone, I think it is out of print but I have seen some copies in the back corner of some a fewbig FLGS
out there.
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Roger Howell
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I should have a brand new sealed copy in a couple of weeks, if anyone is interested geek mail me. I need to do some research on the value, I see someone has it for sale for $75. I doubt I ask quite that much, maybe around $55.
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