Spiel 2013 Preview: Vikings: Warriors of the North

Posted by James (admin) on October 20th, 2013

Vikings Warriors of the North box

Vikings: Warriors of the North is a game of looting and pillaging as, from the name along, you would hope it would be.  Each turn players play cards to move their ship around the various islands and carry out actions, etc.  The first player to end their turn with 3 daughters of other thanes at their war camp wins.

At the start of their turn, a player draws 2 cards and has the opportunity to play add 1 hero card to their longship’s crew (maximum 3) which each add an on-going special ability.  Then, the player can use 1 of the 5 standard actions and play as many cards as they wish.

Wind cards allow players to move their ship (the cards specify the movement’s direction); and, Event cards carry out special actions which can also be used as wind cards instead.  The standard actions include attacking other players, attacking the sea monster, looting villages (taking thanes’ daughters), and sacrificing pairs of cards to draw new ones.

However, when a player plays an action card (on themself or another player) or uses a standard action, all players have the opportunity in turn order to play a card in response and these create a stack of cards.  When every player has passed in succession, the stack of cards is resolved from top to bottom.

Players need to reach other thane’s war camps and acquire their daughters.  These are not safe until they have been transported back to the player’s home war camp and they count towards the 3 crew limit in a longship too.  There are a few other elements like a sea monster that must be attacked if you want to move through its location (and it gets moved around during the game).

Vikings looks like a game with a lot of player interaction and interruptive play.  Players will need to need to expect, and react to, alterations to their plans, but they will also need to balance which cards they will use on themselves and which they will keep for use on others.  I expect the end game will have many players trying to stop the player who is close to winning which is a nice balancing mechanism – well, unless you’re the one who was about to win…

You can see some details of the game on Rebel.pl’s Vikings: Warriors of the North page and the English rules are on BGG.


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