Saturday, 24 October 2015

Blood Rage : Ragnarok

The 'viking' game we played on Thursday at the Perth club was Blood Rage: Ragnarok.  It's a recent kickstarter boardgame with very nice miniatures.  I took a few photos, but my shaky hand meant only a few were decent.

The game was a blast. We had great fun. The basic game is 4 player but we played with a 5th player expansion set.  Simple mechanics but a much more complex strategy involved in gaining glory and winning battles. The game has cards to modify combats, go off on quests and do other stuff.  There's a wonderfully unique way of dealing out cards to each player at the start of a turn (essentially you get 6 cards, keep 1 and pass 5 on to the player on your left. This process is then repeated; keep 1 card and pass the rest on, until you build up a deck of 6 cards).  

Each player commands a group or tribe of nice minis, and the can recruit more.  Movement and combat is fairly simple, and actually winning a combat may not mean you gain the most glory (a glorious death means you can steal 'glory' from the winner of the combat).  All combat deaths go off to Valhalla and are resurrected next turn.  Each turn - it's only a 3 turn game - a piece of land is destroyed as Ragnarok approaches, so there's slightly less to fight over.  Each turn a new and more powerful set of cards is dealt to each player.  In our game, we had 3 players tied for first place. 

Here's the table from my perspective. The game card for my faction, the girls of the snake clan, is at the bottom.  The red bar in the middle is 'rage' point and these are used to do stuff. Extra cards go at the top, and the red, blue and grey circles are where you mark your increase in figures and stuff.

Do you see the dirty big troll with the hammer in the middle. Well - the first time he enters play he kills everyone in that area. Full stop. After that he's less strong. Bah humbug - I lost several minis in my faction when he arrived.  In the top right of the picture are other monsters that can come on - there's giants, a sea monster, dark elves and dwarves. 
Here's the table at a later turn, and more from above. Very nice looking game. The 'glory' track is around the outside, and at this point, green is in the lead and my yellow faction is second. 
At the end, I'd say it's a very good Euro-game with a Viking mythology theme rather than a dark ages Viking game. But great fun to play and one we'll play again soon.  You can play with 2 players, but it's best with 4 or 5. There are also a couple more expansions that bring in the gods and some creatures and the gods expansion looks like great fun (e.g. If I recall correctly, combat in an area where Loki has influence may mean that the winner and loser will be switched around).


  1. Very interesting, especially liking this idea of loser wins. I played the blood bowl card game as skaven, and although my 'team' never one a single match I won the game outright due to gaining popularity with my fans!
    It turned out that the object of the game was not to be the best team, but the team that gained most notoriety that wins overall.

    1. Forgot to mention, i had no idea I was winning at the time.

    2. Thanks Russ. It's much the same mechanism here. It's Glory points that count, no matter what goes on with battles, pillaging or quests. With the right cards, the loser can turn the tables and take the glory.

      We had a classic last week in a multi team combat. Combat consists of adding combat points to a combat card which everyone initially places face down. All the combat cards are revealed at the same time. The winner added something like a +3 card and 'won'. Myself and another player both played the +0 card, and each stole 2 glory from the winner to add to our total, leaving the winner 4 glory points down. Generally hilarity followed, except the winner who just stared at his declining glory total.