Games Gazette Logo

 Designed by Richard Denning with wonderful art illustrations by Andree Schneider. Published by Medusa Games (who will almost certainly be at UKGE 2018 June 1st, 2nd & 3rd)

SAGAS & TREASURES continues the battle to control the Nine Worlds with the introduction of some of the most potent and powerful items in the known universe. It can be bought online for between £8.00 - £9i.00 including postage if you find the correct site. This product may just be a slim pack of 30 cards but it contains the means to give NINE WORLDS boardgame thrice the entertainment and challenge for you can play without the expansion and have a great time, you can introduce the 12 Objective cards (2 sets of 6) to the Base game and gain additional scoring according to the task on the card (cleverly designed to be legible in both English and German), you can introduce the Treasure cards to the Base game and bring forth the power of the gods (Treasure cards are English on one side and German on the flip side). There are 6 cards with 3 on one side and 6 on the other which are the bonus points you can gain or use, or you can play with the Base game and both the Objective and the Treasure cards for a really thought-invoking and provoking, powerful, and quite excitingly different game.  The pack of cards also contains a double-sided rules sheet, one side in English and the other in German.

The Objective cards are marked on their backs, I or II, and should be separated into two decks, a "I" deck and a "II" deck. When playing with the Objective Deck each player is dealt one "I" which is seen only by them but kept away from the eyes of the other players. These cards are revealed after Turn 3 when there is a scoring phase, hopefully you have worked towards completing your Objective (task/mission however you like to review it) so that when you flip over your Objective card you gain the reward on it. Whether you are successful or not the Objective card is discarded and at the start of Turn 4 each player receives one of the "II" cards. This is where the expansion throws a curve ball as the players now have from Turn 4 to Turn 6 to play/reveal their cards - they must play them on Turn 6 if they haven't done so before, even if they haven't completed their objective.

When playing with the Treasure cards and the Base game each player is given one of the 3/6 cards which is placed visible to all with the 3 side up if you are playing a 6 Turn game and 6 side up if it's a 9 Turn game. The Treasure cards are shuffled and six are displayed near the board where, in player order, they may (this "may" is important) if they want, take one. If both Objectives and Treasures are in play then the players should be given their Objective cards before having the opportunity to choose a Treasure card. Obviously you decide whether you are playing with one, both or neither set of cards before beginning the game.

  

The Treasures: 
Huginn / Muninn: Odin's Ravens.           Gungnir:  Odin's Spear.  
Sleipnir: Magical Horse.                          Saehrimnir:  Undying Boar.
Gjallarhorn: Heimdall's Horn.                 Helskör:   Magical Shoes.
Mjölnir: Thor's Hammer.                         Megingjörd:  Thor's Belt.
Gambentain: Magic Sword.                     Svalinn:  Magic Shield.
Brisingamen: Freya's Necklace.              Draupnir:  Replicating Golden Ring.

My personal opinion is that although the card text is in quite small text, it is legible, even to my ailing sight; though I would have preferred that the dark wood wall/floor on which the artifacts are situated was lighter so that the elegance of the illustrations could be more prominently seen.  (Goldsieber did similar with my game of Wie Hund und Katz except they used a dark slate grey as the background. I guess I just know nothing about art because obviously the artist here, Andree Schneider, and the "Cats & Dogs" artist. Franz Vohwinkel, are both without doubt fantastic artists in their own right. The art is duplicated on both sides of the card but as already noted the text on one side is in German.

The Objectives:
Aggression.   Conquer.   Dominate.  Expand.   Glory.   Infiltrate.   Invade.  Midgard.   Provoke.   Reserve.  Stability.  Viktory.  

These cards have the English title at the top with English text beneath it and then a line splitting the card half-way under which you find the German text and at its base the title sits in German. The design of these cards, in fact of all the cards in this pack, is both satisfying to the eye and indicative of the fantasy universe of the Nine Worlds and more importantly, as clarity itself when it comes to being playable without the requirement of a Glossary of card actions.

  

The Rules sheet is also concise and easy to follow with no contradictions to the Base rules or any necessity to exchange or remove #N number of cards or any complex additions to the setting up of the game. Both Objectives and Treasures bring some good fun aspects to the play and as such we were in no doubt after only one game each where one of the sets was used we eagerly slipped the entire pack of cards into play. Neither set, not both together, unsettle the balance of the game, although together they do (or at least they can) create difficulties to win, but then they can (and do) often upgrade your chance to win. They are a veritable seesaw of values, none being too powerful on its own but when used in certain combinations they offer a greater challenge to your opponents; this greater challenge also being on you as you have to use the cards at the right moment, which, especially with the first set of Objectives has to be before the third turn - it's highly likely you will make rash or dodgy decisions when trying to fulfill the requirements of the Objective instead of doing what to everyone else seems the obvious move/action.

The game proclaims "The battles to control the Nine Worlds take on a new dimension with the introduction of hidden objectives to fulfill. At the same time, in their efforts to conquer the Nine Worlds, the lords of each world turn to powerful artifacts and potent treasures to gain the advantage. Can you still conquer the Nine Worlds?" I would add that the battles haven't changed formidably but the means in which they might be fought has taken a turn towards the powers of mystery and magic. Yes you can still conquer the Nine Worlds but it may now be easier or more difficult due to the interruption and intrusion of just two sets of 12 cards. The cards are in a roughly half-sized regular card pack (ie same dimensions in length and breadth but no as deep) and are made of good stock as I am sure they are intended to be regularly used once they have been introduced to your NINE WORLDS games.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015