Raiding. Pillaging. Longboats. Axes. Beards. Braids. What is it about Norse men and women that keeps us so enthralled with this theme? One can’t deny that Viking society has a rich history and culture which game designers can draw upon for games as simple as providing a feast for a god, or building longboats or even mythical, and fantastical combat as the world ends.
Renegade Games Studios have had enormous success with the games in The North Sea Trilogy. Explorers of the North Sea: Rocks of Ruin is an expansion for both Explorers of the North Sea and The North Sea Saga. Designer, Shem Phillips, is adding new ways to score with players able to salvage shipwrecks, build structures, and raid fortresses. Salvaging shipwrecks provides provisions for extra actions, or timber to build structures, or battering rams to make raiding fortresses easier, or gold which is worth Victory Points. This expansion also adds a 5th player and features art by Mihajlo Dimitrievski. It’s expected to release April 2018.
In June, 2018, IELLO are releasing Raids. This viking themed game seems more combat oriented as players compete against each other as they try to retrieve treasure and earn glory. Players have ships which they sail from island to island to collect Vikings, Viking related paraphernalia, and fight monsters for points. Vikings can even board each other’s ships to attack one another. The game is designed by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert (who both designed Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time) with art by Biboun. Raids will support 2-4 players, aged 10+, and will play in roughly 40 mins.