Designers: Derek Hodgins, Dave Phelps, Jonathan Thwaites
Publisher: High Roller Games
Play Time: 60 Min
Rules Available Online: Yes
BGG: Vikings: Raid & Conquer
There are several games out there right now based on The History Channel’s hit series, Vikings. Being a huge fan of the show I was excited to get a chance to play the latest in the line of licensed games, Vikings: Raid & Conquer. Put out by High Roller Games, Raid & Conquer was produced after a successful Kickstarter run in September of last year.
Raid & Conquer is a deck building game that plays in two phases: Winter and Spring. Winter plays like any standard deck builder where you’re using your cards to purchase more powerful cards from a rotating central market and a few fixed cards. This phase lasts for four full rounds. Then Spring starts and it’s time to raid!
All the play phases available to players in Winter are still available in Spring. The difference is that players can now pick an action secretly to take during the turn, then attempt to earn influence and fortune by going on raids.
The different actions available to players are:
- Attack - Attack another player to steal Raid cards from them. You cannot raid if you attack
- Defend - Protection against direct attacks from other players, though you cannot raid
- Raid Party - The player with the most influence becomes the Earl and can invite other players who chose Raid Party to raid with them. Players combine power played on the table to take a Raid card for the Earl, while everyone earns some treasure.
- Lone Raid - Players who play down a lot of power can attempt to raid alone. High risk. High reward.
Each of the steps has a bit more detail, like raiding not being able to happen unless you’ve played a Longship. You can find the full rules of the game here.
One a player has 5 Raid cards the game ends and Legend points are tallied. The player is the one with the most.
Being a licensed product, all the imagery from the game is taken from the show. While I’m not always a fan of this, most of the stills taken from the show are really well done. The cardstock is nice, and having the large board to keep track of the different card piles and rows is a nice touch.
I do have a few quips, though. The text on the cards is presented in all caps. At times it can make them a bit hard to read. Also, the ravens printed on the board used to track the 4 rounds of Winter aren’t really easy to see, and there’s no token or real tracker to place on them. You just place a small clip next to the board to denote which round you’re currently on. Last, the clips used to choose an action on your cardboard player shield cuts a bit into the cardboard. A spinner would have been much nicer.
Overall Vikings: Raid & Conquer is a competent deck builder. It’s nothing amazing and doesn’t really do much to stand out in a genre full of amazing games. It’s by no means bad, however, and I’d highly recommend it for fans of the show or those new to deck building games.
Raid & Conquer plays quickly, especially once you get a game or two under your belt. Player interaction keeps the game interesting while using the cards to your best advantage for raiding will keep you on your toes and constantly thinking.
Vikings: Raid & Conquer is a good game. Fans will get more than just your average licenced game while fans of the deck building genre will find the game familiar and entertaining.
A copy of Vikings: Raid & Conquer was provided free for review by High Roller Games.