Vikja the Viking board game
Vikja the board game takes you on a journey across the Viking age from 793 to 1066 AD. Vikja is a hybrid board game with opportunities for classic role play set in the Viking world. The game can be played by 1 to 10 players for ages 12 and up. A game takes about 30-90 minutes to finish when playing with 1 to 4 players.
The game tries to capture the atmosphere of Viking life itself. Players can experience quests, adventure, combat, exploration, colonization and trade on a grand-scale. The word Vikja comes from the Old Norse language and means to move or to head into a direction.
The board game is about venturing through the Viking world in which your story will unfold. The game boasts a number of quests and scenarios each adding a diverse setting and historical flavour. As a Viking character you are able to experience severe winters, a Viking funeral, a Viking conquest, a historical colonization and much more.
In Vikja you are playing an adventurous Viking character who strifes to gain riches, resources, items, titles, allies and power. Traveling around the Viking world will enable you to do quests while trying to survive against the elements. You can improve your skills and battle dangerous foes to gain experience and wealth. Your ultimate goal is to complete a scenario and make the world more beautiful or leave it more dark.
The goals are mainly determined by you. Your character can sail across the seas or traverse over land by foot, horse or cart. You decide what your character will do next. Are you going to be a real hero or do you take a darker path?
All characters can gain items such as weapons, armor or other objects to increase their wealth and survivability. You can also try to improve your skills and increase your knowledge in your profession. You will also be able to acquire a title to increase status and wealth. Titles give you more power and opportunities (for example member of the Thing). It will allow you to pick additional cards to aid you and your friends. Other possessions like settlements, mines, trade contracts and armed forces can also be acquired.
Some characters have special skills and abilities which effect the game in a different way. For example a scout can change the day and night die or have a look at information on cards that will be picked from different decks before he or she arrives at a location. The seeress has a way to look into the future by looking at the top cards of the event deck or adjust the weather die. Informants controlled by villains can spread bad clues or set up traps to thwart the heroes plans.
Vikja offers a lot of replayability and gives players a lot of options on how to play the game. Character development is extensive and the Viking world can be set up in many different ways.
Solo, cooperative and competitive gameplay
Vikja can be played solo, cooperative or competitively. In a cooperative game you complete a scenario together in which you try to defeat villains or work towards a common goal. The solo variant plays exactly the same as the cooperative game but is more challenging and lengthy. In a competitive game heroes and heroines compete against each other. One of the players can also play a villain against a party of heroes. Multiple villains against multiple parties of heroes can be set up too but will increase complexity and duration.
A solo scenario is often focused on defeating a villain which can be tracked down along a series of locations on the map. You need to complete objectives within a certain number of turns. You can divert from the main objective to do side quests or other things to gain more strength, which make it easier to defeat the villain in the end.
In a cooperative scenario there is one common goal for all players to work towards. Your player group can decide to do a historical colonization or try to conquer a region on the British Isles. Many different options are possible, the total number of victory points will determine your success.
In a competitive scenario players can rule over settlements and lands across the map. Here players try to expand their lands by attacking other players or neutral lands. Mixed game variants can be set up to play against each such as player run villains against hero groups among things. In these scenarios you try to score as many victory points individually.
Object of the game
In Vikja your objective is to score as many victory points as you can. Points can be earned through quests, events, possession of lands, ownership of settlements, renown, allies and more. The total number of victory points will determine how successful you are in a specific scenario. In solo and cooperative games you compare these points to other games. In competitive play you measure the total amount of victory points individually against each other.
There are three levels of difficulty namely adventure, standard and brutal. All difficulty levels treat the game rules exactly the same except for the moment of defeat in combat. On adventure difficulty you are captured and released the following turn. On standard difficulty you are captured and ransomed for one turn. The height of the ransom is exactly the total value of the gear you were carrying at the moment of capture. You can choose to pay the ransom or lose all your gear. On brutal difficulty your character dies a heroic death, loses everything and goes to Valhalla.
The game board
The game is played on a 120x90cm tablecloth map which represents the northern half of Europe together with southern Greenland and Newfoundland. The map boasts a lot of locations spread out over various continents, some of them are historical places others are fictional. The larger location dots are connected by paths and can be occupied by settlements, lands or wilderness. Land travel is done via predetermined visible paths. Sea travel is done across open water. Ships can sail in any direction and use a measuring stick for distance.
The game is played in turns. Every turn consists of two action rounds. All players can do their actions simultaneously within a round. The first action round needs to be finished by all before the second one starts. The list of playable actions are: explore, travel, investigate, quest, work, trade, rest, visit and camp. Some of the actions are grouped together, which means that in one action you can actually do multiple ones.
The game has a number of specific mechanics like seasons, weather, power, renown, infamy and tracking. These mechanics play an important part in your level of success. Seasons and weather conditions are subject to change and make the game less predictable. The level of power allows you to manipulate your luck in dice rolls. Renown and infamy give you a reputation and determine how people react to you. With a bad reputation you can become an outlaw and roam the country or flee to other parts of the world.
A key feature of the game is tracking. This means that you try to follow a trail of a person or object. In order to follow the trail from one location to the next you need to gather clues. Every character tries to find these clues with or without help. The ultimate goal is to get to the final destination and finish your quest.
The website has a blog section for explaining different aspects of the game in more detail. There is an elaborate character section with descriptions of playable heroes, heroines, villains and historic characters. Many other sections can be seen in the menu on the left. The content of the website will gradually expand as more texts and details are written. If you are interested in following this board game about Vikings then you can leave your mail address on the contact page. You will be notified when the kickstarter starts, in the meantime feel free to browse around. Happy reading!