Sunday, June 1, 2014

Game Profile: Vikings

As leaders of Viking tribes you are tasked with the scouting and settling of undiscovered islands.

Mechanics Tile Placement, Set Collection, Auction/Bidding
Publication Z-Man Games, 2014
Ages 10+
Time 60
Players 2 - 4

Vikings was originally released in 2007.  It made the Spiel des Jahres recommended list that year.  Now Z-Man Games has reprinted this excellent strategy game.

Vikings is played over 6 rounds.  In each round 12 combinations of an island tile and a Viking pawn will be purchased and placed on players’ individual mainland game boards.  Island tiles come in 3 shapes: left end, middle, and right end.  Ship tiles come in 4 colors which can cause different problems in scoring based on color. Vikings come in 6 colors with each color representing a specific use on the island.

The game mechanics are straight forward. On each player’s turn they will buy one of the island tile/Viking combinations and place them on their player mainland board.  These island tile/Viking combinations are purchased from a roundel where in the standard game there is an easy to follow method used to match up tiles with Vikings.  In the advanced game there is more player interaction in setting up the rondel including an auction for first player.  The price for purchasing the individual island tile/Viking combinations is based on its position on the rondel at the time of purchase.  After rounds 1, 3, & 5 gold is awarded based on the position of ships and Vikings on each player’s game board.  After rounds 2, 4, & 6 points and gold are awarded again based on the position of your ships and Vikings.  At end of game each player’s ships will have a final scoring.  Additionally,  victory points are awarded for gold, the most boatswain Vikings, most completed islands, the longest island, and a plus &/or negative points for fisherman Vikings.

Vikings is a board game that is accessible to players ages 10 and up, but also has enough decision-making to keep even the most avid gamer engaged.  As soon as you finish your first game you will be saying I have to play that again.

Watch this video for a game overview of Vikings.

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