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QUEEN GAMES   Anthony Rubbo  Dennis Lohausen  2-4 Players  25-30 minutes   Age 8+

In the golden-olden days when board-gaming was moving away from 'Roll (dice) and Move' mechanics CLASH of VIKINGS would have been called a Beer & Pretzel game. Nowadays, even though that game-style continues, the phrase has become cast back into the board game Dark Ages. This is actually roundly prophetic as the Viking Age in History was the 5th-15th Century; aka the Middle Ages, aka the Dark Ages.

Those of us that weren't around for the Viking Age are wisened to their history from movies and TV programmes, and those funny compressed paper thingies, generally with illustrations, known as books. Thus we know that all Vikings did was Fight, Drink and Pillage, day in, day out! In fact if there were no enemies around to fight they would simply fight against each other in good friendly sportingly competitive arena bouts using Clubs, Hammers and Slingshots as well as fists and feet. To the victor goes the spoils! (in this case, Bracelets and a superbly crafted Viking Trophy - honest!).

So it comes as no surprise that this game is based totally on actual alleged, supposed, Viking history. 

During setting up the game the players are each given a Viking model (Meeple) a separator board, Bracelet tokens and a set of cards, all in the same colour - you have the choice from the basic game colours; Red, Blue, Yellow and Green.  As you would expect, each player deck is shuffled, placed face down and a number of cards dealt from the top to provide the player/s with a Hand of 3 cards from which 2 must be played on their turn. Other players do not see your cards until you play them.

There are three phases for playing each card;
a) you call out an Action (it doesn't have to be the one on the card - you can Bluff)
b) allow players time (seconds) to call 'Bluff' though only one other player may make the call
c) either Perform the Action or discard the Action if it was indeed a Bluff
If Bluff was incorrectly called the card is flipped over to prove this. If nobody called Bluff the card remains face down as played and the Action called is performed.

Vikings are moved around the board either collecting Bracelets or fighting other Vikings, or both! After all phases and actions of the first card have been completed the player does the same with their second card. Once a player has activated both cards they make their hand back up to three and then the next player has their turn, playing one card at a time.


Vikings are generally portrayed as brutish fighters who enjoy the simple things in life. CLASH of VIKINGS captures this perfectly, but also adds the wisdom, thought and skill of the players. Card selection and Bluffing mixed with a little strategy, plus an under £20.00 retail price, make this game regular family fun. CLASH of VIKINGS probably hasn't the staying power for core gamers, but bluffing games can be a delightful half-hour's entertainment that is great to play with younger players, family members and social friends.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015