Oct 2, 2020

Viking Gods a TSR minigame Playtest Review

A short review of the 1982 TSR minigame Viking Gods.

In the early 80's TSR published several minigames. They were ubiquitous in book and game stores all throughout the US. Were they any good?

Viking Gods is a Norse mythos themed war game simulating the battle of Ragnarök between the Gods of Asgard and the Forces of Chaos lead by Loki. 2 players, competitive, 1-2 hours. Rules are simple enough an 8 year old, or even younger can grasp them.

The goal for Chaos players is to destroy Yggdrasil.

The goal for Asgard players is to defend Yggdrasil and defeat Loki.

It is a simplified war game. Each turn players may move each piece up to 2 spaces until they encounter an opponent, then they may not move. But they can engage in combat. Pieces are either defeated, pushed back a space, or the combat is a draw. With a simple die roll on a combat table.

The table is a sort of primitive predecessor to the FASERIP column shift system with the columns determined by the defender's strength subtracted from the attackers strength total.

There are two rules categories: Basic and Advanced. The basic rules are a little too vanilla. The advanced game gives each piece a special ability that makes combat and tactics much more interesting. Even the advanced game is simple enough that an experienced gamer could just start with those. The rulebook includes more background text on Norse mythology than necessary to play, but is fun to read.

One challenge with the advanced game is that the tokens are plain and do not have their special ability printed on them, so there is constant referring in the rulebook to the chart that explains their abilities. There are custom tokens that are better to use because the token's effect is printed on them. See the custom tokens.

Video review https://youtu.be/UO4URyLjlxg:

The combat table is reportedly misprinted, here is a corrected version along with the custom tokens CLICK HERE:

More info on BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2483/viking-gods

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