It’s easy to learn, easy to play and endless amounts of fun
Designer: Eric Lang
Artist: Adrian Smith
Artist: Henning Ludvigsen
Artist: Mike McVey
Game Type: Area Control
Game Type: Card Drafting
Initial Year of Release: 2015
Age Range: 14+
Expected Playtime: 60-90 Minutes
Number of Players: 2-5 Players
Theme and What is it?
Set deep within Viking mythology, Blood Rage pits warring tribes of Vikings against each other with the end goal to have to find an honourable death and to meet again in Valhalla. Ancient monsters, powers and abilities are also at the Vikings disposal which can turn the tides of war.
Which tribe will prove their honour and take the final victory?
Eric Lang is a name you’ll hear throughout the board game industry. He has proven that he can design some of the most well thought out and structured games on the market. He partnered with CMON, and that managed to spawn Blood Rage.
Each round of Blood rage will start with players drafting the power cards to try to maximise their chances of success. These cards can consist of monsters that can bolster your numbers but also have powers that can help in certain situations. There are also various combat cards and mission cards that reap additional honour at the end of each round. Players must make very difficult choices as each round of the draft as you could pass hugely powerful cards to your opponents and then you have to try to figure out who took what as this will be important in the combat phases.
Once the draft is complete, players then take turns spending rage points (action currency in Blood Rage) to summon Vikings, move them around the board or try to take over areas. However, if there are any opponents in these areas then combat takes place. Each player chooses one card that they drafted and plays it. These cards can either ensure victory or make the opponent’s victory bittersweet. There is a wide variety of cards that could be played.
Once a player’s rage has run out, they are no longer involved in the round, however, can still be involved in combat if required.
This continues for 3 rounds, drafting new and more powerful cards each round, until the final scoring and the player with the most honour is the victor.
Norse mythology is such a rich theme and just from seeing the box art and hearing about the style of game and what involves I was hooked. I was just saddened that I missed this at Kickstarter.
Game Build Quality
CMON have a long history of producing top quality games and Blood Rage is no exception. The minis are all fantastically detailed and well-crafted and the card stock used for all the components is where you would expect it to be. If you were lucky enough to get this at Kickstarter or you find a copy online somewhere, then you will also have all upgraded components to plastic which is also a fantastic touch.
Adrian Smith was the lead artist on this project and his stamp is all over every aspect of it. The art is gritty and eye-catching. It captures the Norse mythology in every card and is one of the main great draws about Blood Rage.
I wouldn’t like to try to count how many games of Blood Rage I’ve had but trust me when I say it’s a lot. I’ve played with multiple game groups and various skill levels and have never had a game that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. I’m pretty sure I could safely say that about each person that I’ve played with too. Even losing in Blood Rage can be fun… which is weird I know but true.
Age Range & Weight
There isn’t a lot of text in Blood Rage, but what there is can be confusing to come and hard to quantify. I would imagine anyone younger than 14 who isn’t an avid board gamer would possibly struggle to pick Blood Rage up and play without issues.
The timing of Blood Rage can vary hugely depending on the experience of the players. My standard group can easily hammer through a game in an hour without issue, however, if you’re teaching the game it will obviously take longer. Analysis paralysis in the draft section of each round alone will add time to the game.
Blood Rage is up there as one of my personal favourite games. Its easy to learn, easy to play and endless amounts of fun. There are various ways to win and you’ll rarely use the same strategy twice. That kind of variety is often rare to find in an area control board game like this. The artwork is amazing, and the component quality is top notch. I honestly can’t recommend this game enough. Check it out.
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