Essen 2016 – Jórvík

Posted on by Jesta

Form a Viking queue for cards

They’re so patient!

For several decades during the Viking age, parts of England were occupied by the Norsemen. Under their influence, one of the larger cities turned into a flourishing centre of trade and craftsmanship. The Vikings called the city and its surrounding kingdom “Jórvík”, which is today known as the city of York.

This is a re-theming of Die Speicherstadt.

The game has 2 versions and as I’ve played both I’ll go through each. I’ll do an overview of the simple game, cover the main extras with the advanced game then go over the cards.

Firstly the basic version involves half of the playing board. There are a number of spaces for cards which you fill up to the number required for the number of players.

The players each have 4 Vikings and take turns adding a vikings under one of these cards. If a viking is already at that card the Vikings joins that line, almost queuing for the card.

Once everyone has played all their Vikings you go through each row left to right to assign the cards to players.


The player at the front of the line gets first pick and can either buy the card for 1 coin per Viking in the line or withdraw. Then the next player has the same option except now the line is one shorter so the card is one cheaper.

If a player wants the card they pay the cost, if not one wants it the card is discarded.

You do this a number of times until the deck of cards runs out. After each round you gain 1 coin if you bought a card or 2 if you didn’t.

For the advanced game the board is unfolded and all of it is used. There is another row of spaces for you to place cards in which are an alternative option for the players.

When placing a Viking, you can ‘reserve’ one of these cards instead moving it to a separate row. When the round ends, after all the other cards have been bought, the player who first reserved a card gets a chance to buy it.

They pay 1 for every reserved card in the row… So if 4 cards are reserved they have to pay 4. No one else gets a chance to take this card, if the player buys it they get it, if they don’t want it it’s discarded.

Then the next player gets to buy their card and now the row is shorter the cost is reduced…

Apart from extra cards in the deck this is all the advanced game adds. Although you earn 1 extra coin as income that you do over the base game.

The cards come in 4 blocks each representing seasons and you start in Winter and play to Autumn.

They include Boats that have randomly drawn resource cubes on them, Traders and Artisans that use these resources, other cards that give a general effect and Soldiers that increase your attack value.

Every so often you’ll be attacked and an attack card will show the number of points players will gain or lose during this attack. The player/s with the lowest attack lose points, the player/s with the highest gain points.

The best bit about the game is the auction type thing. You can place Vikings to increase the price for other players including multiple times in a row, the first to bump up the price and the second to buy it yourself cheaper.

It’s the cards and their effects that let the game down for me. You don’t really do much apart form collect Artisan cards that require resources and hope you can afford to buy a Boat card that has the resources you need on it.

After two players I’ve seen enough… Would love love to see this auction/bidding track mechanism in a different game.

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