Published by: NSKN Games
# of Players: 2 to 5
In the name of Odin was successfully kickstarted in February of 2016. Games that have funded by Kickstarter tend to either have great components or really weak components. NSKN Games has provided components that were good in the past with games such as Simurgh and Exodus. In the Name of Odin has some really good components. The game comes with a lot of miniatures that represent warriors, traders and sailors. These miniatures could have easily been wooden cubes, but the choice of miniatures really helped with the theme and feel of the game. The game has some great art that ties in the theme nicely. Each hero card has their own art and you may recognize the names of some of those Vikings from history or TV. The village boards and main board are designed to maximize gameplay and provide for easy set up. One minor issue I had is that each player is given a color disc to track their victory points, but there is nothing the player holds onto that represents that color. While keeping score, you will be asking who is what color a lot. The rule book provides everything you need to understand the game, but I found it to be disorganized. There were lots of illustrated examples, but finding the written explanation to them was sometimes a pain to find. Everything is there, but it takes some serious where's waldo type skills to find the part you need. Besides the rule book, I would give In the Name of Odin a big thumbs up on components.
In the Name of Odin is not your risk or Ameri-thrash style game, but rather it is more of a euro style resource and hand management type game. All players will start with an empty village board and 6 action cards. Action cards have 2 icons on them. The top icon will be 1 of the 3 viking types (warrior, trader, sailor) and the bottom icon will be a currency to use to build buildings, recruit heroes, and buy boats. During your turn you will take as many actions as you want till you run out of actions you can take. Players can exchange 1 action card for 1 of the 4 face up action cards on the left side of the main board. If they have enough recruitment icons they can spend those cards to recruit a hero for your village. You can only have 1 hero in your village at any time. The heroes you can recruit are on the top of the main board and start at a price of 4 and lower to 2 at the other end. As heroes are recruited, the rest will slide down and a new one will be added to the line up. Players can use craftsman icons to build buildings. The cost is 3 icons and a craftsman token. Players can use craftsman icons to buy craftsman tokens at a price of 1 for each space that currently has a building or craftsman token in your village and an addition 1 cost. For example if you have 1 building in your village, the craftsman token will cost you 2. 1 for the buildings your in village and the 1 extra cost. You can use 3 seamanship icons to buy a boat for your village. You can only have 1 boat unless a building tells you otherwise. You will also use 2 seamanship icons to return boats to your village after a raid and to repair your boat.
In the Name of Odin provides the feeling of preparing your village for raids and then going on the raids. If you are looking for a more combat heavy game then Blood Rage is your Viking game. If you want a euro style Viking game, you can not go wrong with In the Name of Odin. I really liked how quick the game plays. Even with new people, we finished games in a little over an hour. Once players had experience the games would finish within 45 minutes to an hour. The game provides you that big epic game in a short playtime which is very hard to do. The wide variety of heroes and their abilities add to the strategy. Some players went raid heavy, while others earned a lot of their points from building up their village. Finding the balance between the two is what will lead to victory. There is little downtime due to turns being completed fairly fast. The rule book is a mess, but does provide all the answers you need. The miniatures are a step above risk quality, but are a very nice touch considering they could have easily been cubes. The art is very strong and looks great. The game boards are designed very well for gameplay, but are also nicely illustrated to be appealing to look at. I would put this in the top 3 Viking games I have played and would recommend this for those looking for a less combative Viking game. The game reminds me of a quicker version of Lords of Waterdeep in the feel of recruiting vikings and using them for raids. If you are looking for a euro game that plays in an hour, then this is for you. I like the epic feel with quick game time and because of that it will stay in my collection.
+Epic feel that plays in under an hour
+Miniatures instead of wood cubes
+Well designed game boards
+ Good use of Viking theme
- Disorganized rule book
- Player color is forgotten easily