Ragnarok has come! The end of the world is upon us. But we are Vikings! This is no time for despair. It is time for glory! Death is nothing to fear, for the glory of battle will earn you an eternal place in Valhalla at Odin's side!
In Blood Rage, players control powerful Viking clans in a quest for glory before the world comes to its apocalyptic demise. As Ragnarok consumes the land, Vikings will do what they do best: invade and pillage; kill and die in epic battles. Life is fleeting, but glory is eternal!
For a Viking there are many pathways to glory. You can invade and pillage the land for its rewards, crush your opponents in battle, fulfill quests, or even die gloriously. Players draft cards representing gifts from the gods that will help them in their quest. These gifts offer many strategies, aiding you in battle, providing cunning tactics, or punishing those who defeat you. Upgrade your clan with mighty Vikings, unique abilities, or even recruit legendary creatures from Norse mythology to fight at your side!
When the world ends, only glory will be remembered!
- 49 Highly Detailed Plastic Miniatures
- 52 Colored Miniature Bases
- 4 Plastic Glory Markers
- 102 Cards
- 1 Game Board
- 36 Tokens
- 4 Clan Sheets
- 2 Support Sheets
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You know, I held off on buying this one for the longest time because I kept hearing that it was basically the big brother to another board game called Rising Sun (which is an excellent game btw). I was thinking to myself, “Why spend the money on another board game that will pretty much play just like one I already own”. And as I’m sure most of you reading this review know, there are a TON of board games on the market right now to choose from, all with different playstyles and themes. Took a good 2 months before I finally broke down and bought Blood Rage. And UGH why didn’t I buy this sooner?!
After playing Blood Rage I found that it has enough differences to the game play to differentiate itself from Rising Sun, not to mention the theme that if there are any of you out there worried about the same thing, well, you will not be disappointed with this purchase. So let’s get down to it! Blood Rage is a 2-4 player game based around a cool Viking Norse mythology theme that is taking place during the events of Ragnarok! Ragnarok is basically the end times in Norse mythology. In the game you are placing your warriors on the game board to try to take control of certain areas to gain the benefits of said area. All in an attempt to gain Victory Points which is ultimately how you win. Now of course there are multiple different ways to acquire these victory points and that’s where the fun comes in.
The beginning of the game you and the other players do this fun card drafting where you pick a card from a hand of 8 and then pass the remaining cards to the player on your left and rinse/repeat. This is a cool way to equalize the playing field so to speak as far as starting hands are concerned. Each player has a player mat of their clan which are all identical save for the clan names and colors. However they are the same starting out (equalized) over the duration of the game each one will change little by little depending on your playstyle. There are 3 different skill tracks on each player board that focus on either number of units on the board, total amount of rage you get each turn (action points) and how much glory you get for winning battles (victory points).
The cards in the game all pertain to a particular Norse god. Depending on what cards you decided to keep during the draft at the beginning will kinda give you an idea of how you want to play the game and which of the skills to upgrade. For example if you kept some Thor cards then you would gain more points for winning battles so you would focus perhaps on upgrading your skill for gaining glory for winning battles. On the other hand if you kept Loki cards you actually gain more points for LOSING battles (such a trickster) so you might wanna focus on upgrading your skill track to getting more units on the board to basically sacrifice. And these are just examples, there are so many other strategies and the fact that there are 6 different gods with totally different strategies for each.
As you go around the board and everyone expends their rage points to do stuff like battle or take over territories the turn phases will proceed. Once everyone has spent their rage points the game moves on to the discard phase where you discard all your cards save for one and then complete any quests you have played which give you different bonuses for completing specific situations during your turn. THEN RAGNAROK! During this phase one of the lands on the board gets obliterated and any units on it go to Valhalla (they DED). Again if you are focusing on Loki here it might be beneficial to move units to the place getting Ragnaroked just for the victory points. Any killed units during the regular play also go to Valhalla and after Ragnarok happens all units are released back to their respective players to be played to the board again during the next phase.
There are 3 total rounds like this with new more powerful cards being drafted at the beginning of each round so each round plays a bit differently. Also keep in mind that any units that survived the previous round are still on the board, so…..killing off your units may have some benefit but it’s makes it that much harder to take over areas when you have to keep building up your army. Oh did I mention the MONSTERS! There are a few different powerful beasts that you can summon to the board to help you in a variety of ways. Each one has a different ability and once a person summons it, it belongs to them the rest of the game but they can be killed as well so they are not TOO over powered. Your player board has spots on it to upgrade your basic warriors, your leader, your monsters and your ship! Yes! You have 1 ship that you can place in fjords along the coast of a territory that acts as part of your army. These are unique in the fact that they border 2 different lands at the same time and give you strength in both.
Now all that out of the way, I would say I really really liked this game. It’s pretty fast paced and I love the card drafting at the beginning. The minis look great as with any CMON game if you are familiar with them. What really surprised me though was how easy this game was to learn. I looked through the manual as I was setting the game up for the first time and by the time I had the game setup I pretty much knew how to play, 20 minutes tops. I referenced back a couple times for specific things but the player boards and the turn tracker board pretty much explain everything you need to know right there.
If I were to point out something I don’t like about the game I guess it would be that there is a max of 4 players out of the core box. This is of course alleviated with the expansion for a 5th player but I absolutely hate the way a lot of game companies are releasing an extra player as basically boardgame DLC and charging for it. You can see this with Rising Sun as well. That said, if you usually play with 4 or less then this game is perfect.
Blood Rage is a really fun game. There's strategy, area control, card drafting and of course battling your friends! If you're looking for an exciting game with some really great minis than this might be for you!
Blood Rage comes pretty close to being as complete a game as I've ever played. I'm a HUGE fan of mini's, so there that. Beyond that, this is a game that eloquently embraces multiple gaming elements and delivers an amazing, easy to learn, strategically rich experience.
You can watch tons of content online regarding this game, so I won't go into too much detail regarding game play and mechanics, but the ease of play makes this game so easy to introduce to group. The pace of the game is fast and makes total sense. There are several strategies that can be played. But most important, the game is fair and balanced! I have not played a game where anyone was outed early unless it was there own fault.
This is a great game that can be played so easily, with different groups, and will be fun each time you play it. I recommend you cop this immediately. Oh, and it has AWESOME mini's!