Designer: Gernot Kopke & Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Feuerland/Z-Man Games
Players: 1 -4
Time: 30 minutes per player
Times played: 3, with a copy I purchased
I wasn’t an Opinionated Gamer when A Feast for Odin was first released (well, I was plenty opinionated and a gamer, but neither were capitalized just yet), so you can read Chris Wray’s great review of the original game here. However, if I had been, I would have been an enthusiastic member of the “I Love It!” club. The game has risen to be in my top 5 favorite games. While there have been some promo tiles and a mini expansion, this is the first full expansion for the game, and there are quite a few changes.
The first change is the action board; the expansion includes 3 main action boards that replace the boards in the original game. The boards are double-sided; the side you use depends on the number of players. The board includes some of the same actions but also incorporates new ones.
Some are twists on actions available on the original action boards – for example, there are new hunting and fishing actions that use only weapon cards and give you weapon cards if you fail.
There are now horses and pigs in addition to the cows and sheep; the rules for them are similar, but there are more action spaces related to the animals. There are now different ways to get more animals or benefit from those you already have. Horses breed just like cows and sheep, but pigs give birth during every breeding phase as long as you have at least 2.
There are new special tiles with a forge tongs symbol that you get by spending an ore; these tiles have their own supply board.
There is now the option to perform an emigration using one of your whaling boats; you return the boat to the supply and take a small emigration tile, which covers up one feast space and gives you 7 victory points. While it is worth less, it doesn’t cost any silver, so it’s much less expensive to do.
The action board also includes a new column where you can take an action by placing one or two vikings. One viking lets you take the action; two vikings let you take the action and play an occupation card. There is a catch, though – once you do this you are out of the rounds, even if you have vikings left.
For any action that allows you to play an occupation card you can instead choose to discard the card in order to take a victory point token of your choice. There are a total of 16 victory point chips; 2 with a value of 4, 6 with a value of 3 and 8 with a value of 2; the value 2 tokens are not limited, so you always have the option to utilize this action.
There are also 4 new exploration boards that are included; you also include additional exploration boards based on the number of player, or you can choose to include them all regardless of number of players. The boards indicate which action space and which ship you use to take that board. The expansion also includes upgraded versions of the exploration boards in the original game; the boards are the same except for the requirements to place them listed in the upper right (since the expansion actions for exploration boards are different).
Each player starts the game with a artisan shed; it doesn’t count against you if you don’t build it, The sheds are randomly distributed because each one is different; they range in base value from 6 to 8 and require certain tiles to be completed as well as give you the chance to earn income or other goods.
Each player starts the game with a artisan shed; it doesn’t count against you if you don’t build it, The sheds are randomly distributed because each one is different; they range in base value from 6 to 8 and require certain tiles to be completed as well as give you the chance to earn income or other goods. They are double-sided. so you have a choice as to which you’d like to build.
Scoring works the same way, with any victory points tokens added during the scoring for occupation cards and animals beyond cattle and sheep added to that scoring.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE GAME
I am very happy with the expansion. It’s a twist on the original game and adds to the experience. It doesn’t address any problems with the original game, because there aren’t any major flaws. I also don’t feel like this was released as just chrome – there is actual, interesting new gameplay in this expansion. I would still be happy to play the original game, but it’s a great alternative.
Having a new action board mixes things up. My favorite thing about the new board is the option of taking a good action with 1 or 2 vikings as your last action, since that gives you some flexibility if other players have taken the spot you were planning on, as well as giving you another way to play an occupation card.
Being able to discard an occupation card for victory points is a nice addition as well; since occupation cards are drawn randomly you could have one or more that just won’t do anything for you, so it gives you way to benefit from them anyway.
I like the addition of the new emigration tiles, since it gives you a use for whaling boats if you decide to not use them anymore. They aren’t as powerful as the larger emigration tiles, but they are a lot easier to put up.
I have only recently been a convert to taking islands; the OCD part of my brain wants me to cover ALL of the negative spots on my main board first, but that is not necessarily a winning strategy. Taking an island gives you a chance for aditional income and bonuses, and it can greatly increase your score. The new islands offer different benefits, which makes for interesting choices and potentially the ability to choose something that fits well with your strategy.
The new sheds are helpful as well, as they give you another way to use up extra resources that aren’t doing anything else for you as well as earn bonuses/income and increase your VPs.
The original game works well with any number of players, and that is true with the expansion as well.
The expansion comes in a box that is the same length as the original box but only about half as wide. I do not see any way to fit the entire game into one box, although I have not investigated third-party storage solutions. The expansion box also includes a new tray that is only about half-full, which I hope means there are additional expansions in the works. The game is not stale for me in any sense of the word, but I enjoy it so much that I look forward to additional things being included.
The rules are very clear on what the differences in setup are between the base game and the expansion as well as clarifications for some of the new expansion actions (most of them are clear on their own). It also include rules for what happens with some of the occupation cards that are affected by the new items.
THOUGHTS OF OTHER OPINIONATED GAMERS
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
I love it! Tery, Alan H
I like it.
Not for me…