An island, rich with resources, and hidden away by Vikings holds a deadly secret. Ymir, an ancient and powerful Jotunn, has awoken, slaughtering all in his path. Though the Jotunn is powerful he’s not very smart. The Skálds soon learned how to manipulate him to their own ends, using him to help them earn more power and influence over the land.
Rampaging Jotunn was successfully funded on Kickstarter last year, and is currently available for purchase.
Rampaging Jotunn is a 2 player game where the players are trying to protect their 3 villages while destroying the other player’s villages.
To setup, the game each player takes 3 terrain tiles at random from the 12 included in the game to create the board. The numbered central tile is placed in the middle with the Jotunn on top. A die is rolled to see which way the Jotunn will face at the start of the game. Each player takes 3 villages, 2 army standing, and the 3 movement cards for their color. The brown cards are then shuffled into a deck and 5 cards are dealt with each player. Each player then takes turns placing their villages anywhere on the board except volcano tiles and places their army standing next to 2 of their 3 villages.
A player may take one of three actions on their turn:
- Move an army
- Play a card
- Discard 3 cards to raise a new army (max 2)
When moving an army, a player chooses on of their available movement cards (2, 3, or 4) and spends those movement points to move across the board. Grasslands require 1 movement point to cross, woods costs 2, and mountains cost 4. Walking across a volcano kills an army. If an army lands on an opponent’s village, that village is destroyed. If an army lands on an opponent’s army, combat ensues with a die roll from each player. Highest number wins. Land on the Jotunn? That’s just not a good idea.
A player may also move onto their own village to Garrison the village. This basically provides a little extra protection from the other player, making it so the village requires to hits to remove it. The Jotunn will still just stomp it flat.
When a movement card has been used it’s flipped over and can’t be used again until all the other movement cards have been used.
Playing a card allows a player to influence to movement of the Jotunn, amongst other things. When moving the Jotunn with a card you need to remember that grasslands and woods cost 1 point for him to move through while mountains cost 2 for him to cross. When played, a card is resolved, discarded, and then a new one is drawn. A player’s hand is always refreshed up to 5 cards when cards are played/discarded.
The last option a player has is to raise a new army by discarding 3 cards. This comes in handy when 1 or both armies have been destroyed. A player may never have more than 2 armies on the board.
After each player’s turn has ended the Jotunn moves forward one space. If he lands on the volcano he goes back to the center of the board with a die roll to choose his new facing. If he reaches the end of the board he does an 180 and starts moving in the opposite direction.
That’s the basics. The first player to destroy all 3 of the other player’s villages wins.
Rampaging Jotunn comes in a long, empty box. In talks with the designer, this was done intentionally to fit future expansions. Unfortunately, there’s currently no insert inside, so everything just tosses around inside the box, especially the cards.
The box aside, everything else looks really good. The cardboard terrain pieces and tokens are thick and sturdy. The cards are of good stock and are easy to read. The dice, upgraded via stretch goals during the Kickstarter campaign, are replicas of Mia Bone Dice excavated from sites around Scandinavia.
Rampaging Jotunn is simple to learn, and a blast to play. Games tend to be pretty quick, allowing for multiple plays over a single gaming session. There are lots of choices here. You can focus on moving your armies onto your opponent’s villages, or maybe take out their armies first. You can also try and focus on moving the Jotunn to do your dirty work for you. Maybe a combination of the both. Of course, you need to make sure your own villages are protected and the Jotunn stays as far from you as possible!
There’s plenty of great 2 player games out there, and Rampaging Jotunn is one of them. It’s got a solid, simple set of rules with a great depth of play that will continue to bring it to the table time and time again.
A copy of Rampaging Jotunn was provided free for review by Lost Cog.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.