i unboxed it. i played it. i bought the expansion. Now, i tackle teaching it. Here’s how to play the (very literally) epic Viking-themed board game A Feast for Odin, from the designer who brough you Agricola

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and this is A Feast for Odin, a worker placement puzzle game about Vikings with a push-your-luck mechanic, for 1-4 players. Let me show you how to play!

You and your friends play Viking chieftains expanding your little empire by hunting, trading, pillaging, plundering and raiding. You know – Viking stuff! You start with five chieftains at your thing, with 7 more waiting in the wings up at this banquet table.

FUN ETYMOLOGICAL FACT: “Thing” was originally a proto-Germanic word meaning “meeting,” and later described the thing that was discussed at the thing. When the language evolved to Old English, the “meeting” meaning was lost, and the word simply stood in for an indiscriminate noun.

This banquet table is your game clock. Each round, you’ll move one more chieftain down to your thing, and then you’ll use those chieftains to claim worker placement slots on the common board to gain resources, ships, and money, convert goods into more valuable goods, breed animals, build new structures, claim new territories, and play powerful occupation cards.

Towards the end of the round, you have to fill up your banquet table with food to throw a feast in Odin’s honour, and the table holds more and more food as each Viking chieftain is called to the thing. If you can’t feed your Vikings, you lose points. If you can’t cover up all the -1 point spaces on your home board, houses, and conquered lands, with various goods, you lose points. But you GAIN points for the animals, silver, ships, and occupation cards you play, and for sending your people off to settle distant lands. At the end of the 7th round, you weigh your point-earning activities against your point-losing priorities, and whoever has the most points, wins!

GOODS, RESOURCES, AND EXPANDING YOUR VILLAGE

The first thing to do in A Feast for Odin is to check out these two chit trays, which hold all the goods, with the smallest ones over here, and the largest ones over here. The bottom two rows have food – orange animal products, and red farm products. The top two rows have green craft products and blue luxury goods. There’s a hierarchy to this whole setup: orange tiles can be upgraded to red tiles, red tiles can be upgraded to green tiles, and green tiles can be upgraded to blue tiles.

Why this matters is that throughout the game, you’ll be covering up these spaces on your home board in order to earn income and bonuses, and to block out these -1 spaces that lose you points. You can only cover these spaces with blue and green tiles. The red and orange food tiles are for feasting. Blue tiles are superior to green tiles because you can place them adjacently, but your green tiles can’t touch each other – touching at the corners is okay.

There are five other currencies in the game: wood, stone, ore, silver, and weaponry. You can cover up spaces on your home board with silver and ore too, in order to get into those smaller nooks and crannies.

Tiles aren’t allowed to overlap each other, and nothing can go out of bounds.

These pre-filled spaces describe little bonuses you can earn if you surround them entirely with tiles, silver, or ore. So doing this will net you one mead tile every round for the rest of the game. If you only surround this stone space on a few sides, you don’t get any stone as a bonus. You’re allowed to completely cover over the bonuses with tiles, but that counts you out of ever earning those bonuses later.

Once you place your tiles, silver, and ore on your home board to block spaces, they’re as good as glued in place, and you won’t be able to adjust them, so you have to be sure. You’re allowed to futz with your pieces a little to see what fits where, but once you decide your stuff is down, it’s down for the rest of the game.

Stretching diagonally along your home board is a series of pre-printed income spaces. As you expand your village, you stand to become wealthier. But you have to cover these spaces in order from the bottom left of the diagonal to the top right, and you’re only allowed to cover them if all the spaces to the left, below, and everything in between are covered. So you have to fill in the entire square to be able to cover up one of these spots. During the income phase, which we’ll look at later, you earn money according to the lowest uncovered silver value along this income diagonal. So if your board looked like this, this space is the lowest uncovered income space. So every round, you’d earn one silver as income. When you’re figuring out which squares are filled for earning income, squares with bonuses printed on them count as filled.

You’re not required to fill up your home board from the bottom left to the top right. You could start laying tiles way up here in the northern forests. But because of this income mechanic, the game encourages you to mess around down here, to earn the money you’ll need to clear out the wilds.

So how do you get more stuff to cover your board? You do it by placing your vikings on these worker placement spaces on the main board. That’s the main thrust of the game, but we need to do a few things – uh… the indiscriminate nouns, not the meetings – before we start taking actions.

ROUND ANATOMY

Each of the 7 rounds is split into these 12 phases, which seems like a lot of stuff, but these are more like round maintenance steps, so it all goes pretty quickly. First, you take a viking from the feast table and move it down to the thing – uh… the meeting place, not the indiscriminate noun. That viking uncovers the space that says “1,” so this is round 1.

Next, you earn tiles at harvest. Not every round has a harvest – you have to look at the orange space beneath the current round. If there are one or more little bags with numbers on them, everyone gets some freebie tiles. The little bag with a 1 on it means that everyone gets the orange goods with a 1 printed on them – peas, beans, and flax. The 1-2 bags in round 2 mean you get every tile with a 1 or a 2 on it, so peas, beans, flax, and grain. In round 4, you’d get peas, beans, flax, grain, and cabbage, and in the penultimate round, you get all of that stuff plus a fruits tile. If there’s a slash beneath the round number, that means there’s no harvest payout this round.

Any of the tiles and resources you earn can just hang out next to your home board while you decide what to do with them. You start the game with 1 starter occupation card, and one of each weapon type except the sword, along with a tiny little mead tile.

Phase 3 has you maintaining these various lands that Vikings may be interested in conquering. These are separate, smaller boards like your home board that you can claim by performing a certain action. We’ll talk about them later, but for now, just know that in this phase, the unclaimed ones get two silver added to them to make them more enticing, and in certain rounds, they get flipped over to their reverse sides to show entirely different places to conquer. If they get flipped and they had any silver on them, the silver goes back to the supply. If they get claimed, the player who conquers that land gets to keep any of the silver on it. Check the blue area beneath the current round number to see which board – A, B, C, or D – should get flipped during this phase.

In phase 4, everyone draws a random card from the weapons deck in turn order.

Phase 5 is where the bulk of the game happens – that’s when everyone takes turns placing their vikings on the actions board. When everyone has placed all their vikings or passed, you move on to Phase 6. The player to have placed the last viking gets the start player moose. Yes, that’s right: i said the “start player moose.”

Next, everyone receives income according to the lowest uncovered space along that income diagonal that we talked about earlier. The silver comes in denominations of 1, 2, 4, and 10. You can make change at any time to bust a tile up into singles, or convert single silver pieces into a connected tile, as long as you haven’t committed that silver to your player board to block spaces..

In phase 8, you breed any livestock you’ve collected. If you have two or more sheep or two or more cattle, and none of them are pregnant, one of them downright GETS pregnant. You flip one tile to show off that baby bump, gurrrl. If the breeding phase happens and you already have a pregnant cow or sheep, you pop that bubble and gain a new animal of that type. So that means your animals will breed at most every other round.

Phase 9 is the feast phase, where you have to line up red and orange food tiles – the ones that can’t go on your home board – to cover these spaces on the banquet table to honour the Norse god Odin. You need to fill the spaces from the left side all the way to the first viking you hit, and going out of bounds up into this area is okay, but you can’t bleed off the table horizontally. Red tiles can’t touch red tiles, and orange tiles can’t touch orange tiles. If you need to space things out to prevent forbidden food from touching, you can use silver to fill the gaps and help the Vikings keep kosher, cuz everyone likes money. You can’t, however, use ore, because no one likes eating rocks. These are Vikings, not dwarves. And that’s a whole other Uwe Rosenberg game.

If you have two or more of the same tile on the table, like these salt fish, only one of them can go horizontally to cover a bunch of spaces. You have to tip all the other matching tiles vertically, because Odin demands variety in a viking’s diet, dammit!

If you manage to fill all the banquet table spaces, you send all that stuff back to the supply and carry on playing the game with a full belly. If you leave any spaces blank, each blank space earns you a thing penalty tile, which is worth -3 points at the end of the game. You’ve got two blank spaces? You get two thing penalty tiles.

If it’s the 7th round, the game ends right there. If not, you move on to phase 10, where everyone collects bonuses for the pre-printed tiles they managed to completely surround, like we saw earlier. Note that this bonus round happens after the income round, so you can use the silver you just earned to cover up certain spaces in order to earn bonuses for the bonus round. Covering up spaces on your board is an “anytime” action, so you can do it… you know… any time.

In phase 11, you tend to these mountain strips where players have potentially been earning resources during the earlier actions phase. Pop off the leftmost item on each strip. If doing so strips the strip, strip the table of that strip. Whether or not that happens, you always put a new randomly-drawn mountain strip on the table, and fill it with the depicted stuff.

Finally, everyone reclaims all the Vikings who are out and about on the various spaces they claimed in the actions phase, and you start again at the top of this list to begin the next round.

ACTIONS

Obviously, the actions phase is where all the – you know – the action happens. In turn order, starting with the player who has the start player moose – that’s right, the start player mose – you take turns placing one or more of your vikings on spaces on the actions board. You can pass on your turn, even if you have unused Vikings, but you’re out for the rest of the phase. The actions phase ends when everyone has passed, or has run out of vikings to place.

Now, there’s a whole horrible lot of spaces on the actions board. It’s really overwhelming, but don’t freak out – we’re gonna tackle these one by one. But first, here are some general rules about the board.

All of the spaces are exclusive – only one player’s vikings can be on a space, and once a space is occupied, no one else can claim it again – not even the player who claimed it the first time.

Lots of spaces let you do multiple things – indiscriminate nouns, not meeting places – but you don’t have to do all those things to take the space. Maybe you just want to block a space to keep an opponent from using it? If that’s the case, you have to perform at least one of the actions on the space to be able to place there – so here, you could pay a silver but not take the tile, for example. And no, wiseguy – that doesn’t work in reverse. You wouldn’t be able to take the tile and not pay the silver.

The spaces in the first column require 1 viking. In the second column, you need to place two vikings. Third column spaces take 3 vikings, and the 4th column spaces require 4. If you place vikings in any of the 3rd column spaces, you get to draw a random occupation card. And if you mess around in the expensive column, you get to PLAY an occupation card before performing that space’s action. We’ll look at occupation cards a little later on.

The actions are roughly grouped into similar abilities by row: build houses, build ships, go hunting, buy livestock, go grocery shopping, make products mostly from your livestock, craft certain things into certain other things (indiscriminate nouns – not meeting places), strip-mine the mountains for resources and upgrade your tiles, go raiding, pillaging, and plundering, and conquer foreign islands, get or play occupation cards, and ship your people off to other places for big points.

Whenever you see a hand holding a purse, that means you pay the depicted amount of silver. If you see an arrow, that means you pay the resources on the left to get whatever’s on the right.

Let’s not tackle these from the top down – we’ll go in an order that introduces the game mechanics bit by bit.

Okay – the yellow section! Place one viking here…. to choose one of these mountain strips, and take the two leftmost resources from it. The resources get more valuable as you move to the right along the strip, so it’s a bit of a game of chicken with your opponents – maybe let them clear out the trees and the rubble first, exposing the more valuable ore and silver to you at the top of the mountain. This spot costs two vikings and gets you as many wood tokens from the supply as there are players in the game, along with an ore. Here, you place 3 vikings to choose two different mountain strips – take the three leftmost resources from one of them, and the two leftmost resources from another. If there aren’t even that many resources left on a strip, you take what you can, but you can’t mix and match. It’s up to 2 resources from one strip, and up to 3 resources from another.

The grid spaces with an up arrow mean that you can upgrade this many tiles this many times each. The order goes orange to red to green to blue. So by placing 1 Viking here… you could upgrade your orange peas tile to a red mead tile, because they’re the same size and one step up the ladder. You’d also get to upgrade one more tile – so, say, your red whale meat tile to a green robe tile. But this space wouldn’t allow you to upgrade a single tile twice – like, a peas tile into a mead tile into an oil tile. That’s what spaces with the double-up arrow do – they let you upgrade a tile through multiple steps up the ladder.

All of the orange tiles have their red counterpart on the back, and all of the green tiles can be flipped to their blue sides. Make sure you’ve got them the right way up in the component trays to maintain your sanity.

Here, for 3 vikings, you can upgrade up to 3 tiles, and draw 4 random weapon cards. This is the only space on the board that gets you weapons.

Knowing what all these symbols mean, you should be able to interpret the rest of the spaces in this section.

Up here at the top of the board, you can spend those construction resources to buy houses and ships. There are three types of ships in the game: small whaling vessels, and the larger knarrs and longboats. Place 1 viking here and pay 1 wood to buy a whaler. 2 vikings here plus 2 wood gets you a knarr, and placing 3 vikings here and paying 2 wood gets you a longboat.

Your home board has a harbour where you can store your ships. The whalers go in the smaller spaces, and the knarr and longboats go in these ones. It’s one ship per dock… and if your harbour is full, you can’t build any more ships.

The ships help you do a variety of things, and many of the spaces on the board list certain ship types as a prerequisite.

Along the top row, you can pay a certain amount of wood or stone to buy either a shed, a stone house, or a longhouse. These are separate boards that you can place next to your home board and cover with tiles to pull down extra bonus items and income. They’re all worth a certain number of net positive points, but they all have -1 spaces on them that will make the houses more valuable as you cover those spaces. Sheds are worth 8 points minus 6 for net 2 points. Stone houses get you 10 minus 9 points for 1 point, and longhouses are worth 17 points minus 15, for 2. The great thing about these houses is that the two smallest ones can accommodate your extra wood and stone, while the two largest ones let you store your red and orange food tiles in them! Look at the little legend on the board to see the placement rules: orange tiles can’t touch orange tiles, except at the corners, and same with red. Unlike your home board though, green tiles CAN touch inside a house… and while your home board can store ore, you’re not allowed to store ore in a house. You can store silver there, though, and it’s allowed to touch itself and everything else. The longhouse has two supporting posts that you’re not allowed to cover with tiles.

By placing four vikings on this space, you can pay two stone and two wood to get the biggest ship and the second biggest house, or the biggest house and the second biggest ship.

Let’s see what two of those ships can do for you.

RAIDING, PILLAGING, AND PLUNDERING

These three action spaces require you to own a knarr to place your vikings there. On these two, you pay one silver to upgrade any of your green tiles to blue tiles, as long as those green tiles are all unique.

This space is interesting. There’s a whole separate mat of special goods that represent treasures. These tiles are all grey, but they function as blue tiles when you place them on your boards, which means they can touch other grey tiles, and they can touch blue tiles, and green tiles can touch them. The treasure tiles are all oddly-shaped, which may help you cover hard-to-reach spaces on your different boards, or to more easily surround bonus tiles.

So on this space, you can place 3 vikings to buy up to two of these treasures by paying the iron price. The only treasure you can’t buy is the crown of England – if you want that, you’ll have to fight for it. Store your treasures with the rest of your tiles, as usual, and put them on your boards whenever you feel the time is right.

These four spaces are available to you if you have a longboat – or two longboats, in this case, which nets you a gigantic blue loot tile, the biggest in the game.

When you raid or pillage, you’ll be rolling either the orange 8-sided die or the blue 12-sided die to determine the might of your raiding or pillaging party, and then you can potentially TAKE a grey treasure tile by force. The higher the roll, the better. The sword cost of all the treasures is written on the tiles, and all of the blue tiles have a sword cost too. You get to take a tile with a value equal to or less than the number you rolled.

So if you roll an 8, you can take this helmet, or this badass walking stick, these beads, this crucifix, the belt, the drinking horn, a rune, some silverware, a chest, or some silk, so that you can make delicate viking underpants. The lowest sword number on these tiles is 6 for the rune, so what happens if you roll a 5 or lower? Well, you actually get up to 3 die rolls. If you don’t like your first roll, you can discard that number and roll a second time. And if you did even worse, you can push your luck and roll a third time, but you’re stuck with whatever number you get on that third roll.

“But hang on a sec,” you say. “Some of those tiles require a sword strength of more than 8 to claim them, and the orange die only goes up to 8. What gives?” Well, the space depicts a sword card and a stone. That means you can pay either of these to sweeten your roll. For every sword card or stone you pay, you can ratchet up your roll by 1. So if you roll a 6, but you really want to take the horseshoe, which requires a battle result of 9, you can discard two sword cards and a stone, for example, to make up the difference and take the tile.

Let’s say you roll a third time and you end up with a lousy number – 5 or less- and you don’t have enough sword cards and/or stones to claim even the least expensive tile – the blue rune tile at 6 swords. Or you’ve got the goods, but you don’t WANT to spend them to close the gap. You can declare your raid a failure. In that case, the consolation prize is the same as what’s written here: you return to your village nearly empty-handed, but you get one sword card and one stone resource to show the vikings back home that you at least tried. That’s the last time we send Ivar the Spineless on a raiding mission. Fish the sword card you earned out of the discard pile. If you can’t find one, sift through the weapons deck until you do, and then reshuffle that deck.

These two pillaging spots work the same way as the raiding action, except they have you rolling the 12-sided blue die instead of the 8-sided orange die. That means you can get an even bigger battle result and claim a tile with a bigger sword value on it. What’s more, before you take a pillaging action, you can add up to three cubes of ore to your longboats to improve your battle result. Just like placing tiles on your boards, once you put ore on a longboat, it stays there. When you claim the spot, you choose one longboat to take pillaging – probably the one with the most ore on it – and each ore adds 1 number to your blue die roll. As with the raiding space, you can also spend sword cards and stone to buff your roll. That stuff gets discarded, but any ore you used in the battle stays on the boat.

If you keep a roll of 5 or less on either of these spaces, the consolation prize is still a sword card and a stone, but you also get one of your vikings back. He’s the one who turned tail and ran when the fighting got serious. You can’t declare the pillaging mission a failure if you keep a roll result of 6 or more.

The only other thing to know about these spaces is that when you raid, any ore on your longboat doesn’t increase your battle result number.

HUNTING

Many of the hunting spaces work the same as raiding and pillaging. This area shows which die you’re supposed to roll – orange or blue – this is what you get if you’re successful, this is what you can use to modify the roll result, these spots get you vikings back if you declare the hunt a failure, and these whaling spots require you to have whaling boat before you can use them. You need one or more whaling vessels to hunt whales here, and you can only go hunting with a single whaling boat here. The difference is that the number you roll represents the hit points, or the life force, of the animal you’re hunting, and you’re trying to stab that number down to zero. Only if you get the result down to zero can you declare the hunt successful.

So here, you place two vikings and roll the orange die to hunt game. You roll a 7, which is way too high. So you take your second of a possible three rolls, and you get a 1. That’s more manageable. In order to reduce that one to a zero, you can pay a bow and arrow card to shoot it some more, or a wood resource smack it about the head with a stick and whittle the animal’s health down to zero. You earn a hide and a game meat tile for your efforts. FUN FACT: Uwe Rosenberg games are not vegan-friendly!

Here, you place 3 vikings to go whaling. You need to own at least one whaling vessel as a prerequisite, but you can bring up to three whalers if you’ve got ‘em. Each whaler has one natural ore printed on it that will decrease your blue die roll, and you can load up a whaler with ore before you go hunting to increase the odds that your hunt will be successful. Like the longboats, the ore is stuck there once you place it. You can spend spear cards and wood to chip away at whatever number you roll. If your combined roll and the ore on your ship make the number go below zero, it’s still a zero. You don’t get any bonuses for viking berserker overkill. If you’re successful, you get the oil, skin & bones, and whale meat tiles. If you keep a roll that’s still above zero, even when you factor in the ore, and you aren’t willing, or are unable, to chip the number down to zero, you can declare that hunt a failure. The animal limps away, and you get whatever’s listed here as a consolation prize. You’re not allowed to declare a hunt or a pillage or raid a failure if it isn’t a failure – if you take these actions because you actually WANT to win the consolation prize, you have to make sure you keep a die roll that puts you in a loss position.

FARAWAY LANDS

The spaces down here require you to own certain boats in order to claim the listed islands as your own. As i mentioned earlier, at certain rounds of the game, the island boards get flipped to their reverse sides, making certain islands unavailable and others newly available. They also grow rich with silver as time passes, and if you claim an island with money on it, you get to keep the money. The islands you claim go next to your home board where you cover them with tiles, as usual. You’re on the hook for the -1 spaces, but you have a chance to earn extra bonus goods and income from them.

OCCUPATIONS AND EMIGRATING

At the bottom of the board, you can take actions to either draw occupation cards, or play them. It costs 1 stone or 1 ore and a viking here to play an occupation card and earn a silver. Here, you can play up 1-2 occupation cards, or 1-4 cards here. This space gets you a card and a silver.

The game has three different decks of occupation cards – A, B, and C – and each deck has some light brown starter cards, and a thicker stack of dark brown occupations. You generally choose one of these decks to play with per game. Everyone begins the game with a starter occupation, and then you use the darker brown deck for the rest of the game.

The occupations give you all kinds of different perks and abilities, and their functions are colour-coded: there are yellow immediate cards, purple anytime cards, pink “each time” cards, and green “as soon as” cards. There are way too many cards to talk about individually, and the game comes with a whole separate index where you can look up your cards to see what they do. Remember that whenever you take any 3-viking action in this column, you draw a random occupation card, and whenever you take a 4-viking action, you get to play one of your occupation cards.

The lighter yellow spaces down here let you send one of your ships packed with people off to a different land to spread viking culture throughout the world. Place your vikings, and pay as many silver coins as the current round number – so 5 coins in the fifth round – to flip one of your knarrs or longboats. The flipped tile no longer functions as a ship, but it gets you a bunch of extra points, and it goes up here on your banquet table, decreasing the number of spaces you have to worry about covering with food tiles every round. You can have multiple emigrated ship tiles on your table. If you’ve done very well and there’s no more room for another emigrated ship, you can’t emigrate. If you flip a whaler or a longboat that has ore on it, you lose the ore, because the people took it with them. It’s like leaving your wallet in the taxi.

MARKETS & PRODUCTS

All the rest of the spaces are easy to interpret from this point: place vikings to get this stuff, or place vikings and pay the silver to get THIS stuff. These crafting spaces let you trade certain tiles in for certain other tiles. These spaces net you milk or wool depending on how many cattle and sheep you own. This spot here lets you pay three vikings and an ore to work the forge and take a grey treasure tile that has the red-hot blacksmithing tongs on it – that’s all the tiles in this darker area of the board, as well as the crucifix and the necklace.

Finally, these two extension tiles are present in a 4-player game, and are each flipped to a random side. These spots are single-use, like the other action spaces, and they let you copy an action in the corresponding column that another player has already taken.

SCORING

In the final round, you go through all of the stages including the feast, and then the game ends without collecting bonuses, updating the mountain strips, and reclaiming your vikings. Place all of the tiles, silver, ore, wood, and stone on your boards that you’re able to, and then bust out the scoresheet. Incidentally, if you notice that anyone cheated by placing green tiles that touch on more than just corners, for each separate green-on-green infraction, you can issue one -3 point thing penalty as punishment.

First, tally up the points you earned on your ships and your emigration tiles. Add the scores from the top right corners of your sheds, houses, and exploration boards. Sum up the points on your livestock tiles, and the occupation cards you successfully played. Each surplus silver that isn’t covering a space on one of your boards is worth a point. Alternatively, you can just tally up your final income here instead of counting out the little silver chits for everyone – one silver can cover up one -1 space, and each silver that isn’t on a space is worth 1 point on its own, so it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other, however you decide to count it. If you managed to bully King Harold into giving you his crown, you score 2 points for it.

Subtotal your positive points, and get ready for the hurt!

Count up all of the uncovered -1 spaces on your sheds, houses, home, and exploration boards. Then, add the negative points you earned for taking thing penalties any time you weren’t able to feed your vikings. Write that number here, and find the difference to get your final score. Whoever scored the most points wins, and in the case of a tie, multiple vikings can share in the victory.

 

VARIANTS AND SOLO MODE

Your first time out, you can play a faster version of A Feast for Odin on the flip side of your board to get the gist of the game. This mode lasts 6 rounds instead of 7, and the harvests happen at different times. i actually found this shorter mode much more challenging than the full 7-round mode, so take that as you will.

If you want to play the game solo, start by choosing either the 6- or 7-round side of your board. Pick your two favourite viking colours, and then arrange them on the table like this on the 6-round side, or like this on the 7-round side. Put 5 vikings of the round 2 colour on the thing – the meeting place, not the indiscriminate noun – and 5 down here waiting in the wings. In the shorter game, it’s 6 vikings in the wings. You’ll play both colours of vikings, but each round, instead of retrieving your vikings from the actions board in the final phase, you’ll leave them there, and then play the next round with the other colour while those first vikings block your spaces.

So in round 1, you grab this guy (or 2 guys in the short game) and place all those vikings during the actions phase. Then, you leave them there and collect these vikings from the round 2 space, and bring in the vikings who were waiting in the wings. Place all those guys on the actions board, and leave them there in phase 12, but collect the vikings of the other colour. Keep alternating like this so that you always have last round’s vikings getting in your way. The designer says if you score 100 points or more, you’re doing pretty well, but that’s a tough number to achieve if you fly solo on the short 6-round version of the game. He also condones choosing your light-brown occupation card instead of dealing it randomly, so you can try out a different card each time you play by yourself.

SETUP

To set up the game, put the main board in the middle of the table, and the two chit trays nearby. Flip the tiles so you’ve got the orange side showing in the bottom row, and then red, green, and blue. Stack all the ships on the ship board, and all of the treasure tiles on the oval board. Keep the sheds and houses handy. Lay out the exploration boards, and make sure they’re showing A, B, C, and D sides up. Shuffle the mountain strips and turn up two of them, and add the resources they depict.

Everyone takes a home board and flips it to either the 6-round or 7-round side, depending on how long you want the game to be. Take the vikings in your colour, and fill up the round spaces on your banquet table. The remaining vikings go in your…. Gah. You know. They go in your thing. You can interpret that however you like.

Choose one of the three occupation decks – A is for beginners, and B and C are for pros – or you can just mash all the decks together if you want. Shuffle the light and dark cards separately, and deal everyone a light brown starting occupation card. Then get rid of those cards. Keep the brown deck nearby, along with the orange and blue dice. Give everyone a bow and arrow, spear, and snare weapon card, and then shuffle the weapons deck and keep it near the other stuff. Everyone gets a little mead tile to start the game.

The first player is whoever was the last person to have sacrificed one human male and 8 animals and hanged them upside down in a sacred grove. That player gets the start player moose. No need to rewind the video: i said “the start player moose.” Put the white tracking cube at the top of the phase board, and start the game with the first phase of round 1.

And now, you’re ready to play A Feast for Odin!

Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe, then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff! [Music – Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]

Get Your Own Copy of A Feast for Odin

Big Uwe Rosenberg games are on the expensive side, but there’s a certain generosity going on here that you may not find with other premium games. There’s so much play potential in this huge box – so many occupation cards to play, so much strategy to explore – that A Feast for Odin will keep you busy at least until Ragnarok. Buy your own copy on Amazon using the link below, and i’ll receive a small bit of silver to cover my home board.

Buy A Feast for Odin

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