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Valhal Preview



Quick Look:

Designer: N/A
Artists: Nele Diel
Publisher: Tetrahedron Games
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-4
Ages: 13+
Playing Time: 90-120 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
WARNING: This is a preview of Valhal. I was sent a prototype version of the game. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

Review:


Rules and Setup:
To start off, the rule book is just wonderful. Rattatoskr the squirrel teaches you the game, and as you learn the game, you will actually play the first round of the game. This first round is simple, but only because it's the first round.

Let me start with setup. You will place the main board in the middle of the table with each player taking their own board with their markers on the starting areas where indicated. The season marker starts on summer. Summer is the only season that you will fight and pillage other villages or towns. You will have a different number of achievement tokens depending on number of players. You will use a variety of villages and towns to draw out, but will only begin with the small villages as you will need to increase your strength and numbers. You are trying to get to the last space on the favour of the Gods display before anyone else does. You do this through different cards or by upgrading your town to allow you to sacrifice glory.



You will start by choosing a village to attack, and each player begins with a boat and a beginning unit. You will add up hit points for the village, attack bonus for your warriors, and your own hit points. You will then roll your die or dice and add any attack bonuses. The player to the left will roll for the village and do the same. You will take the difference of those numbers and deduct them from the hit points of whatever side. Keep rolling until the battle is decided. Your units might become wounded or you may decide to retreat. If you have more than one unit fighting you will need to decide which one is a front line unit as they will be the first to get wounded.

If you won, you will now loot. The town card that you choose will indicate which loot cards you will get. There are lesser loot cards, and higher loot cards. Take your loot, and if it happens to be food, place the food on your track in the clockwise order starting with summer. You gain glory when defeating town cards which can be used to move your favour of the Gods token forward. You will then decide what to upgrade or build. It takes a certain amount of steps to build depending on what it is. This can take part during winter and spring as you won't be attacking or looting. If you have no food during those times (winter requires 2 food), then you can't do anything. Money can also be used to purchase food.

The main focus of the game involves deciding what to upgrade and in what order. You will then go through the different seasons until summer hits again and you can fight and loot again. Bigger villages or towns will give you better loot and help you with your end goal.



Theme and Mechanics:
The theme and mechanics match well.  The rule book really develops the theme; you wake up and realize that you cut down and burned the holy tree. Your punishment is that you will never be able to go to Valhal unless you regain favour with the Gods.  To do this you will need to pillage and loot villages and towns. You will have different opportunities to turn your glory into becoming one step closer to receiving favour with the Gods.

Card drafting is used when choosing a village or town to attack; dice rolling is used for combat. You will use your money to upgrade your units, boats, and buildings to become stronger. I might consider the game as an abstract strategy game yet it still has its own story to it, and with dice rolling there is a little aspect of luck to the game. But the game is based on a simple and straightforward system of mechanics.



Artwork and Components:
The artwork is really done well. I know this might be changed as the campaign furthers, but it almost uses too many dark colors that makes it hard to see the detail the art deserves. I received a demo copy which was printed from someone's home printer, so components were sub par. I know after the campaign the components won't be printed this way and will be sent to a professional printer/manufacturer to have great components. The pictures below have a white background for demo purposes, but when printed will have a dark background.




The Good:
The storytelling part when learning the game is just amazing. They are able to make it fun and remind you of the theme of the game. The game starts out slowly to teach you how to play, but with only a couple of turns it ramps up as you find yourself upgrading and figuring out the best way to find favour with the Gods.




The Bad:
The game doesn't change much from play after play. There are different village cards used each time and different loot cards, but this doesn't drastically change the game much. I would like to see more decision making opportunities as I feel like I know after playing it a couple times what the best start is

Final Thoughts:
This was a fun game, and I hope to see some expansions or something added to the game in the future to help add something more to the game. Maybe being able to use different weapons or different types of boats.

Players Who Like:
If you love a Viking theme, this game won't disappoint. I'd recommend this game to all gamers as it can be easily taught, yet the more experienced gamers can enjoy it from a strategic level.


I am giving Valhal a 7.5 out of 10 super meeples.

7.5 10

Check out Valhal on:

    

Valhal is on KICKSTARTER between now and November 10, 2017.


About the Author:
Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games.  Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.
Valhal Preview Valhal Preview Reviewed by Brody Sheard on October 25, 2017 Rating: 5

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