Vikings were better warriors than barberians

Review / Criticism - Online since June 14, 2007. This article was called 34915 times.

Goal of the game

I don't know why, but when I first held the box of this game in my hands, childhood memories awoke in me. Next Bee Maja was Wickie and the strong men the hit of my early television experiences (details can be found in the Wickiepedia). In the most impossible situations, the brave little Vicky has a brilliant idea, shouts "Got it!" And can save himself and his friends at the last minute.

When finding a topic for Vikings it was probably similar: author and editorial team sit together and look for a new topic for a rather abstract game: “Middle Ages, Venice, the Mediterranean Sea, King Arthur's round table, blooming landscapes and round tables” - all worn out or not particularly attractive. In this impossible situation, the saving idea comes: “I've got it!” Someone shouts: “We're playing a Viking game with beautiful wooden Vikings - with horns on their helmets, of course.” This clarified the topic, design and equipment and the game could still be played be produced at the last minute for the toy fair 2007 in Nuremberg.


Well, we are Vikings and want to build a prosperous and well-fortified Viking settlement. However, the budding young Viking must first understand the basics of Viking economic science (also known as the WWW). In turn you buy Vikings together with island shares. The Vikings are grouped according to occupation around a round, rotating price board. There are fishermen, goldsmiths, scouts, nobles, warriors and boatmen. The board is divided into twelve segments and shows all possible prices between 0 and 11. Fishermen are cheap, boatmen are initially expensive. In your turn, you take a part of the island and the corresponding Viking, pay and build the island and the north man into your Viking empire. Of course, the different Viking professions bring different advantages. Goldsmiths, for example, generate new gold and warriors fend off the "terrible Sven and his men" - but more on that later. Nobles bring victory points - "I've got it" calls out Wickie, "whoever has the most victory points at the end of the game wins!"

After every twelve purchases, there is alternating a small or large scoring with money and victory point replenishment. Then the market is filled again and after the obligatory change of the starting player everything starts all over again. After six rounds the game ends with a final scoring and it wins, but Wickie has already revealed that.

“I've got it”, Wickie calls out again, “I always buy the cheapest offer, that leaves me with more gold for bad times!” - Fortunately, it's not that easy, because there are a few more important details to consider: The free one Offer may only be purchased if the last Viking of a kind is bought with it. After buying such a bargain, the prices are lowered by turning the disc, to the point where a free Viking is offered again.

Furthermore, the Vikings are a bit picky, especially when it comes to the neighborhood. Each professional group has its own group of islands, which are arranged one above the other in lines. A part of the island is not always placed in the row belonging to the supplied Viking. On an island beginning z. B. only follow a middle part or end piece. In such cases the Viking has to go to the spare rowing bench. These now useless fellows can later be brought to orphaned island parcels with a boatswain.

Above the island quarters of the various Viking castes there is a row for the dark men of Sven, the evil Viking. Because some Vikings don't have an island, but an enemy ship. Sooner or later everyone will have to acquire and invest in them. Then the attacked Vikings of the now threatened crevice hide in shock, throw themselves on the ground and temporarily stop all activity. However, the ships can be repulsed by warriors. Then the workers stand up relieved and the saving warrior even collects a reward in the form of gold or victory points.

“I've got it”, Wickie roars indefatigably, “I just collect cheap nobles, warriors and goldsmiths and win big!” - But the clever cartoon hero forgot the final scoring. There are again points for most boatmen, the longest island, most islands and minus points for ships that may not have been blocked. Finally comes the hour of the fishermen. You need a fisherman to feed five workers. If you have less, the unserved Vikings get very angry and everyone simply eats up one victory point. On the other hand, oversupply is rewarded with double extra victory points as part of a Viking feast.

Before Vicky interrupts me again, I want to get to that quickly variant point out for advanced Viking leaders. With it there are also auctions, special tiles and variable setting of Viking prices.


"I've got it" it sounds again, "Vikings is a great game!". With that, Wickie is right and the conclusion can therefore be pleasingly close and thus come to an end. My personal recommendation is: "Buy Vikings - now!"

"I've got it," Wickie chatters again, "now I know how to win!" - Since the three-cheesecake is getting annoying, I prefer to use the remaining space for a little analysis of what is happening in the game. The following considerations are based on around 10 games. Viking adepts are likely to know even better tricks.

Obviously the goldsmiths are very important. You only have enough choice when shopping if you have enough change. Since the starting capital is enough for about half of the game, a few goldsmiths are enough not to have to be shamefully impoverished.

The fishermen are more valuable. Most of the test batches were decided when evaluating the excess or undersupply. In a four-player game, everyone gets 18 Vikings, around every fifth of whom is a boatswain. Since these are taken out of the game after shipping, around 15 hungry residents remain. So 3 fishermen are needed. Each Viking variety is present thirteen times (6 Vikings do not play). So everyone could be full. However, if you buy 4 fishermen, you get 10 extra points. In return, a starving colleague has to accept 5 minus points.

There are also 10 points for most boatmen. However, these are usually only delivered in connection with an enemy Viking ship. They should be used to effectively build up the island kingdom. Boatmen are not worthwhile just because of the victory points.

The 5 points for the longest island can confidently be dismissed. On the other hand, the 7 points for most of the completed islands are more important. Island topology is therefore an important prerequisite for victory. I don't want to explain the details of these, but it makes sense to buy more island beginnings. This also makes it easier to build a compact, easy-to-defend empire.

Which brings me to the important warriors. 3 warriors can be enough since there are 14 attackers. These should definitely be fended off. Although defending brings points or income, it seems to me cheaper to buy as few ships as possible. Then you need fewer warriors and you can concentrate on more productive Viking varieties.

The remaining suppliers of victory points are scouts and nobles. The latter bring 2 points in each evaluation, so on average one is worth 4 points. They are particularly attractive in the second round, right before the first evaluation. Scouts score 1 point for each scoring, but if goldsmith or fisherman are also in their column, there are 1 or 2 special points. If you are rich and full, you should also surround yourself with scouts.

If you manage to construct a narrow, densely populated island kingdom, you should be able to achieve 60 to 70 points in a game with four players. Less is rarely enough to win, but sometimes a lot more can be achieved.

“I've got it,” Wickie chatters again, “It's about optimizing victory points. So Vikings is a classic multi-player solitaire game! ”Anyone who missed interaction in Puerto Rico will agree with Wickie. However, I can only strongly advise you to keep an eye on the neighboring kingdoms. Not only your own points are important, but also spoiling your opponent's plans. At most, the players can still be ignored during the introductory games.

Particular attention should be paid to the change of starting player. The current starting player usually has an advantage in one round. The player in fourth position, on the other hand, often has fewer options. He either needs luck or has to hope for mistakes by his fellow players. If you notice this negatively, you should contact the Advanced variant turn to.

The starting player is auctioned at the beginning of each round. This suddenly turns a demanding family game into a tactical, frequent player pearl. The winner of an auction can also choose the most expensive Viking variety. In turn, the other players can then choose the cheaper varieties. As a result, fishermen are rarely available as bargains. In addition, there are special tokens for those who buy the currently most expensive offers. These open up new sources of victory points.

For most games, I prefer the basic version, as expansions, special cards and unnecessary auctions often only inflate games artificially. Viking is an exception, however. Since the two variants differ significantly, everyone should at least try out the game for advanced players. The comparatively slim basic version forgives even minor inattentiveness. On the other hand, the advanced game does not allow any mistakes. You have to keep an eye on the competition at all times. Income and expenses should be calculated in the long term and gut decisions are generally fatal. In particular, the starting player auction and the subsequent placement of the Vikings are essential for the following round. But I won't reveal any strategies for advanced users.

Wikinger also develops a special attraction in rounds of three. Because with three people there are significantly more options for island design. The basic game is a bit more balanced, as everyone can be the starting player twice.

If you are still not convinced, I can only rely on them short playing time, the beautiful material and refer to the detailed instructions. Some rule foxes have already stumbled upon an ambiguity with the boatmen, but here I recommend the following liberal interpretation: “A boatswain can - if he wants - leave Vikings behind. ”This is easy to explain, intuitive to play and, in my opinion, leads to the same results as more complicated regulations. In general, the game invites you to vary, for example parts of the special rules can be left out.

Wikinger is therefore a strategic game for demanding players, whose appeal increases with frequent play. "Got it!" Vicky raises her voice again - shut up!

Review by Peter Nos

Order 'Vikings' online


H @ LL9000 ratings

H @ LL9000 rating Vikings: 5.3, 21 rating (s)

Reader reviews

Vikings readers' rating: 5.2, 79 rating (s)

Presentation Playability interaction influence Playfulness comment