A year ago, I wrote about a new Kickstarter project that was launching a board game called In the Name of Odin.
Just before Christmas I got my hands on a copy of the game and had enough time to play it with my friends.
Now I can present you my review of the board game In the Name of Odin.
The board game is a strategy game based on the Vikings culture.
You play as a Viking gathering fame as you try to become the new Jarl.
If you like the Vikings theme, but never found a good board game to play, this will be the right one for you.
Read on and see what my thoughts are on this board game that’s fast and never the same.
In the Name of Odin Details
Name: In the Name of Odin
Creator(s): Krzysztof Zięba
Publisher: NSKN Games
Year Published: 2016
Number of Players: 2 – 5
Age: 14 and above
Play Time: 60 minutes
Learning Difficulty: Medium
Game Rules: Not Available
Best Price: Not Available
What’s in the box?
The game has the following components:
- 1 Game board
- 5 Player boards
- 90 Detailed plastic Viking miniatures:
- 30 Warriors
- 30 Traders
- 30 Sailors
- 155 Cards:
- 17 Heroes
- 12 Longships
- 16 Raids
- 20 Buildings
- 90 Action
- 43 Cardboard tokens:
- 3 Vikings
- 20 Damage
- 20 Constructions
- 5 Scoring markers
The first thing I noticed when opening the box was the artwork.
Starting with the rulebook, player and game boards, and all the cards, the artwork is just stunning.
Every detail was well thought, adding a layer of enjoyment to the game when you play and pay attention to the illustrations and symbolism behind every single item.
The Viking miniatures are the best and worst items in the game.
The miniatures are made of plastic and incredibly detailed.
It’s so detailed that the tiny parts bend, for example, the axes or swords.
The base of the miniatures, where the feet connects, also bends and sometimes it is hard to keep it standing as it should be.
But this point apart, I am impressed with the final result.
If I say that it is the worst, and the only issue in the game, you can rest assured that everything else is close to perfection.
Another thing worth to mention is the thickness of the board game and tokens.
They are very resistant and will last for years.
I don’t want to repeat myself, but the quality of the cards and artwork in it makes all the difference.
It is enjoyable to open a new card and see a shiny illustration that pops from the game.
I have to confess that it took me some time to understand the rules.
The mechanics of In the Name of Odin are different from what we usually see in the market, but it is also a good thing.
After playing a few turns, and going through the rulebook, I started to feel comfortable playing it and focusing more on my strategy.
Everyone I taught how to play after myself, learned much faster.
Instead of having only one type of action, as it usually happens (see Smallworld or Ticket to Ride), you can basically do everything.
Having only two main phases, the Action and Draw, you are free to build your own strategy and execute it as best as you can based on what cards and miniatures you have.
During the Action Phase, you can exchange one of your cards, gather Vikings, recruit a Hero, use a Hero unique ability, construct a building, obtain a construction token, buy, return and/or repair a longship, and raid.
On the Draw phase, you get cards for your next turn.
Some cards, abilities, and raid actions will give you fame that converts into points for you.
The total points, or fame, will determine who wins the game at the end.
The game finishes immediately when a player completes the last raid card.
Being the most complex part of the game, raids are also the best way to get fame.
To be able to raid, you need a Hero, a Longship compatible with the range of the raid, and the necessary number of each type of Vikings.
I’ll not stick to the rules here, but each raid card gives you a certain amount of fame, plus a bonus depending on the position the card is on the board.
You can also receive bonus points accordingly to your Hero, Longship or cards in play.
As there are ten actions you can do, the game is very dynamic and fast paced.
During the multiple times I played, it didn’t feel like playing the same game at all.
The buildings and Heroes change the game and make you adapt your strategy the whole time.
As other players can also buy, build or raid the same cards as you can, it may force you to change your strategy completely.
I’ve been playing it a lot in the last couple of months and can see that it will still be coming back to my game table for a long time.
Everyone I played with enjoyed In the Name of Odin and wanted to play it again.
You can take a look at the video below where the creator of the game does an unboxing:
Where to buy?
In the Name of Odin is not yet available on the market, but will be out soon.
I’m waiting for an answer from NSKN regarding their roadmap and will update this section when I have more information.
UPDATE: NSKN replied my message saying that In the Name of Odin will be available this Spring (North Hemisphere).
This looks good but I don’t have much experience with board games. However I am considering to buy it as a gift. Is it really suitable for 14 year old children?
If you have to compare this board game with established board games. Which one is the competition for “In the name of Odin”?
It is definitely suitable for 14 years old, but it’s not available for sale just yet. I’ll update the post with more information regarding it when I hear back from the creators.
Any other strategy board game will be competition for In the Name of Odin, but to be honest, I haven’t seen one that has similar rules.
If you are looking for some board game with the same style, strategy, you have some good options. For example Smallworld, Game of Thrones and Risk.
For a 14 years old, I’d go with Smallworld.
Hi there! This game seems very cool and it gives me some souvenirs of my childhood when I was playing boardgames with my friends… AH, I miss those days. Unfortunately, as we grow up we less time but actually I have a friend of mine who is a maniac about those board games and stills plays a lot today. I will refer this to him because I believe he will like it.. actually, I might even buy this for him as a gift. I will keep this article and come back from time to time to see when it will be out as you mentioned
That would be a lovely gift.
I want more friends like you ????