Vikings - General game info
Vikings
2-4 players, 60 minutes, 10 years and older
AuthorMichael Kiesling
IllustratorsMichael Menzel
Harald Lieske
Published byHans im Glück
Rio Grande Games
Online since 2008-09-25
Developed byKai Aust (kai96)
John Crawford (lostdog)
Boardgamegeek27173
Yucata.de owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
Vikings - Rules

The idea

The players lead small groups of Vikings to explore the islands near their homeland. Once discovered, craftsmen and nobles settle the islands to make their homes. To protect these newly discovered islands from attacks, players can station Viking warriors between their new islands and the approaching ships, which can also add to their fame and gold. After 6 rounds the most successful leader wins!

Contents

  • 1 game board with wheel (On yucata.de the wheel will be replaced by a table.)
  • 8 player markers (not needed on yucata.de)
  • gold coins
  • 1 start player figure start player figure
  • 4 player bases (homeland)
  • 78 Vikings (13 each in the colors: blue = fisherman, yellow = goldsmith, green = scout, red = noble, black = warrior, gray = boatsman)
  • 76 tiles (62 island tiles and 14 ship tiles) among them 4 start tiles
  • 25 special tiles (Progress Variant)
island island island island island island ship ship ship ship start tile
21x 5x 5x 5x 5x 21x 3x 4x 4x 3x start tile

Preparation

Each player takes:
  • 1 player base as his homeland. It serves as the player’s starting point.
  • 1 start tile. A player’s start tile will be added to their base on their first turn. (With fewer than 4 players, remove the unused start tiles from the game.)
  • with 2 players 30 gold in coins, with 3 players 25 gold in coins, and with 4 players 20 gold in coins.
  • each player start with 10 points
In addition:
  • Shuffle the remaining 72 tiles face down and place them face down in 6 stacks of 12 tiles each.
  • Mix all 78 Vikings thoroughly.
  • The start player takes the start player figure.

Playing the game overview

The game is played over 6 rounds, in each, one of the 6 tile stacks is used.
At the beginning of each round, the players lay out an offering (of 12 tiles with 12 Vikings). Therefore the tiles will be placed face up on the 12 spaces in the table.

Placing the tiles according to the following:
– the first island tile drawn is placed on the value 0 space. Additional island tiles drawn are placed on increasingly costly spaces (e.g. 1, then 2, then 3, and so on).
– the first ship tile drawn is placed on the value 11 space. Additional ship tiles drawn are placed on decreasingly costly spaces (e.g. 10, then 9, then 8, and so on).

Next the start player draws 12 Vikings from the cloth sack at random and sorts them by color. He then places the 12 Vikings on the places provided for them around the wheel, one per place. He places them starting at zero and moving clockwise around to 11, placing all of one color before moving to the next, and so on. He places the Vikings always in the following order: first, all of the blue fishermen, then all of the yellow goldsmiths, then all of the green scouts, than all of the red nobles, than all of the black warriors and finally all of the gray boatsmen. If there are no Vikings in a color, it is skipped.

In clockwise order, players take turns acquiring tiles and Vikings, one set (1 tile and the corresponding Viking) at a time. After taking a set, the player immediately adds both the Viking and the tile to his homeland. When all 12 tiles and Vikings have been taken, the round ends with a scoring. Depending on the round:
• After the 1st, 3rd, and 5th rounds is a small scoring of goldsmiths.
• After the 2nd, 4th, and 6th rounds is a large scoring (all but blue).
• After the 6th round, there is also a final scoring (special bonuses).

Acquire set (tile and Viking)

On his turn (beginning with the start player and continuing clockwise around the table) each player must pay for and acquire 1 set (tile and Viking). The player pays the cost (in gold coins) shown next to the set on the wheel (0 - 11). The player immediately adds the tile and Viking to his homeland (see page 3). This continues until all 12 sets have been acquired (e.g. with 4 players, each player acquires exactly 3 sets.)
  • A player may only acquire the set at space 0 on the wheel, when the Viking there is the only Viking of that color still on the wheel. Except for that one restriction, a player may acquire any set he can afford.
  • On his turn, a player must always take a Viking/tile set. If a player has no coins or insufficient coins to acquire the least expensive set allowed, he must take the 0 set, even if this breaks the rule above regarding taking the 0 set.
  • A player may, at any time, exchange victory points for coins at a 1 to 1 rate (1 victory point for 1 gold coin). The player immediately moves his scoring marker back on the track 1 space for each value 1 coin taken. The player may not move his marker below 0, however. Thus, a player may not ever have negative victory points or money! A player is never required to exchange victory points for coins to avoid having to take the set at 0 on the wheel.

Reduce price

After a player has acquired a set, if there is no set at 0 (the player just acquired the 0 set), move the wheel clockwise until you reach the first set still on the wheel (see figure 2). Thus, all sets still on the wheel are reduced in price.

Place tile and Viking

The different rows
The player’s homeland is his base for placing tiles and Vikings. All tiles he acquires must be placed adjacent to this base or to already acquired tiles. All Vikings he acquires must be placed on his base or on acquired tiles. His base has one row for each type: ship, warrior, noble, scout, goldsmith and fisherman). In each row, a player may place any number of tiles.

Placing a tile

In each turn a player acquires 1 set, which he must immediately place in his play area on or connected to his homeland.

When he acquires a ship tile, he must place it in the first row:
  • The first three ships acquired can be placed in any of the first 3 columns of the ship row. Ships cannot be placed in columns 4+ until columns 1-3 are filled with ships. Future ships must always be placed next to another ship.
When a player acquires an island tile, he must place it according to the following rules in one of the other five rows of his homeland:
  • When placing an island tile, the player must place it so at least one of its sides must be touching either another tile or the base (touching only diagonally does not fulfill this rule).
  • All island tiles have a specific orientation. The player may not place a tile upside-down (e.g. a left-side of an island placed on the right side).
  • If a player places a tile to the right or left of another island tile, a newly placed island tile must match either sea to sea, or land to land (or sea to base).
  • If the player cannot place the tile anywhere legally, he discards it from play and places the Viking on his base next to the boatsman graphic.
Note: when a player places the first ship or island tile on his homeland, he places his start tile at the same time.

Placing a Viking

  • When the player places an island tile in the row that matches the color of the Viking that was taken as part of the set (e.g. blue fisherman Viking and the tile is placed in the fisherman row), the player may immediately place the Viking on the island tile he just placed. The player may not place the Viking on a different tile in the same row or any other row! Once a Viking is placed on an island tile, it remains there for the rest of the game. If the player does not want to place the Viking on that tile, he places it on his base next to the boatsman graphic.
  • When the player places an island tile in a row other than the row that matches the Viking, he places the Viking on his base next to the boatsman graphic. The player is not required to place the island tile into the row matching the Viking, even if it is possible. The player may be able to move the Vikings on his base before the next large scoring by using a boatsman Viking.
  • When a player acquires a Viking with a ship tile, he must place the Viking on his base next to the boatsman graphic.
  • When a player acquires a boatsman Viking, he must always place it on his base next to the boatsman graphic.
  • Only one Viking may be placed on each island tile.
  • A Viking may only be placed in its own row (or on the base next to the boatsman graphic).
  • The players may never trade or transfer tiles or Vikings amongst themselves.
  • A player may place as many Vikings as he wishes on his base next to the boatsman graphic.

Scoring

When there are no more tile/Viking sets around the wheel, it is time for a small or large scoring. Players earn points or gold for Vikings on the islands, regardless if the island is complete or not.

Small scoring

The small scoring occurs at the ends of rounds 1, 3, and 5. A player earns 3 gold coins for each goldsmith he has on an island tile (not his base). If a goldsmith is threatened by a ship, he earns the player no coins.

Large scoring

The large scoring occurs at the end of rounds 2, 4, and 6. The players take turns in clockwise order, beginning with the start player, executing actions and scoring. Each player moves his scoring marker on the scoring track immediately to record the points he earns. The players score the Vikings from the top to bottom in their play areas.

1.) Boatsman: only at the beginning of a large scoring can the boatsman move Vikings from the base to the islands. 1 boatsman can move either all Vikings of one color or 1 Viking of each available color from the base to empty island tiles. All rules for placing Vikings must be followed. In each large scoring, a player may use as many of his boatsmen as he wishes. A player may only use a boatman to move Vikings from the base to the islands. He may not move Vikings among the islands. After a player uses a boatsman, he discards it from the game.
During the third large scoring (after the 6th round) each player must use all boatsmen that he can to move any remaining Vikings from the base to the islands!

2.) Ships: a ship threatens the Vikings that stand on islands directly below the ship. The effect of the threat extends to (including) the row that matches the color of the ship’s sail. Any Viking threatened by a ship cannot earn coins or points. To emphasize its effect, players should put affected Vikings on their sides during scoring.

3.) Warrior: when a warrior stands on an island tile directly below a ship, the warrior repels the threat of the ship. Thus, Vikings below the warrior are not threatened by the ship and the player collects the coins or points indicated on the ship tile.

4.) Noble: for each noble standing on an island tile, the player earns 2 victory points. If a noble is threatened by a ship, the player earns no points for that noble.

5.) Scout: for each scout standing on an island tile, the player earns 1 victory point. In addition, the player earns 1 victory point each for a goldsmith and fisherman, which stand on island tiles directly below the scout. If the scout is threatened by a ship, the player earns no points for that scout, and also no points for the goldsmith and fisherman.

6.) Goldsmith: for each goldsmith standing on an island tile, the player earns 3 gold coins. If the goldsmith is threatened by a ship, the player earns no coins for that goldsmith.

7.) Fisherman: the fisherman is only responsible for supplying the Vikings with food, which is only scored in the final scoring. In the large scoring, he counts only in connection with the scout.

Next round

After the scoring, the start player gives the start player figure to his left neighbor, who begins the next round by placing a new supply of tiles and Vikings in the spaces around the wheel.

Final scoring

After the 6 stacks of 12 tiles have been exhausted and the third large scoring has been completed, the players perform the final scoring. The final scoring is scored as follows (in the order shown):
  • Ships: for each ship not repelled by a warrior, the player must give up the value shown on the unrepelled ship - in coins or victory points. If a player has to give up coins, but has none left, he gives up victory points instead on a 1 for 1 basis.
  • Gold: for each 5 gold coins the player has, he scores 1 victory point, retuning the scored coins to the bank. He keeps any remaining coins in his play area.
  • Boatsman: the player with the most boatsmen left on his base earns 10 victory points. If players tie for the most, they each get 10 victory points. Note: in the large scoring at the end of the 6th round, each player must use as many boatsmen as he has to move Vikings from his base to empty islands. He cannot choose to leave Vikings behind if they have an empty island to go to and a boatman to take them.
  • Completed islands: the player with the most completed islands earns 7 victory points. If players tie for the most, they each get 7 victory points. A completed island has a left end, a right end, and any number of middle parts, with no empty spaces. The tiles need not be occupied by Vikings.
  • Longest island: the player with the longest completed island earns 5 victory points. In this case, longest means the island with the most tiles. If players tie for the most, they each get 5 victory points.
  • Over and under supply: each player counts the number of Vikings he has (both on islands and his base, including his remaining boatsmen). All Vikings must be supplied with fish to eat. Each fisherman standing on an island that is not threatened by a ship can supply himself and 4 other Vikings (total of 5 Vikings) with fish to eat.
    For each additional Viking that the player’s fishermen could supply, the player earns 2 victory points (over supply). For each existing Viking that the player’s fishermen cannot supply, the player loses 1 victory point (under supply). If a fisherman is threatened by a ship or a fisherman stands on the player’s base (not on an island), he can supply no Vikings, but must be supplied.

Game end

After the final scoring, the game ends. The winner is the player with the most victory points. If there is a tie for most points, the player among those tied with the most value in coins is the winner. If there is still a tie, the tied players rejoice in their shared victory.

Tips

Coins are very important to the game, so players should try to have a supply of coins. Although both earn a player coins, repelled ships earn them every other round, while the goldsmith earns them every round. Thus, goldsmiths earn a player a faster and more regular income.

Because of the turning of the wheel, sets that start the round expensively will become cheaper later on. Waiting until the wheel has turned can save a player several coins, but waiting too long can lose the player an important set.

Thus, if a player sees a perfect set on the wheel, he may be better off paying a high price, so that he guarantees that he gets it. Only pay for the acquisition of sets with victory points when the set is a perfect fit for you, as the cost for spending victory points is very high.

Players should acquire warriors when they become available, even if they do not have ships that need to be repelled. A player may find himself acquiring an unexpected ship later and wish he had a warrior to repel it.

A player should place his first ship on the right-most place at the top of his base. This allows him to place other island tiles in the first two columns without the fear of them being threatened early in the game, giving him time to place warriors below the ships to repel them and protect the Vikings below them.

Remember that players may only use their boatsmen every other round (with the large scoring) to move Vikings from their bases to the islands.

Player should take care not to forget the important role of fishermen, even though it happens only during the final scoring. Forgetful players can find themselves losing many points at game end.

Players should take care not to ignore the elements of the final scoring. There are many scoring opportunities there and these can make the difference between winning and losing.

Progress/No Auction Variant

Boatsman rule change

A boatsman moves only 1 Viking from the player’s base to an island tile at the beginning of a large scoring round.

Special Tiles

Four special tiles are played face up on the board at the beginning of the game. Whenever a player acquires the current most expensive set, he may also take 1 of the 4 face up special tiles. However, when a player acquires a set at a cost of 0, he does not take a special tile!

The player adds the special tile taken to his display or sets it aside, depending on the special tile taken. In each round the players may never take more special tiles than those laid out at the beginning of the round. Empty spaces created when a special tile is taken are not filled until the beginning of the next round.

Immediately Resolved

island1 tile - The player immediately takes 5 coins

Small & Large Scoring

island2 tiles - For each goldsmith standing on an island tile and not threatened by a ship, the player earns 1 gold coin.
island1 tile - For each goldsmith standing on an island tile and not threatened by a ship, the player earns 2 gold coins.

Large Scoring

island6 tiles - One boatsman moves either all Vikings of one color or 1 Viking of each color from the player’s base to unoccupied island tiles (as in the basic game). The boat tile and the boatsmen are removed from the game after this use.
island3 tiles - For each noble standing on an island tile and not threatened by a ship, the player earns 1 additional victory point.
island1 tile - For each scout standing on an island tile and not threatened by a ship, the player earns 1 additional victory point.
island1 tile - For each fisherman standing on an island tile and not threatened by a ship, the player earns 1 additional victory point.

Final Scoring

island4 tiles - The tile is not used to move Vikings from the base to the island. When determining which player has the most boatsmen on his base at game end, the tile counts as 1 boatsman as though it were made of wood like the others.
island1 tile - At game end, the player earns 3 victory points for each over supplied Viking and loses 1 victory point for each under supplied Viking.
island1 tile - At game end, the player earns 1 victory point for each 3 gold coins, instead of 5.
island island island island4 tiles - The player must immediately exchange the special tile with a normal tile in his display. The replaced tile must picture the same building as the special tile. The replaced tile is removed from the game. If the player has no such tile in his display, he places the special tile to the side of his base for now. When the player acquires an appropriate island tile later in the game, he must then immediately exchange the special tile for the normal tile he just acquired.

At game end, the player earns 1 victory point for each Viking standing on the special tile and on a tile diagonally or orthogonally adjacent to the special tile (maximum 9), but only if the special tile is not threatened by a ship. The other tiles may be threatened.
 
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