Blood Rage - Board Game Box Shot

Blood Rage

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Blood Rage Publisher Image

From the studio that brought you Zombicide comes the ultimate Viking saga. Blood Rage is a Viking board game created by acclaimed game designer Eric M. Lang. In this fast-paced yet highly strategic game, 2 to 4 players take control of Viking clans, invading, pillaging, and battling in a quest to gain as much glory as possible before Ragnarok finally consumes the land! The game’s striking visuals are a combination of Adrian Smith’s highly evocative artwork and Mike McVey’s amazingly detailed miniatures.

User Reviews (7)

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2
Gamer - Level 2
8
117 of 126 gamers found this helpful
“Glory to the Victors and the Martyrs !”

Overview and Component Quality
Fun miniatures war game. Great component quality. Some degree of luck with card availability. The monsters with special abilities are super fun to handle and deploy and the plastic ring system for sharing them is quite ingenious. The miniatures are truly beautiful works of art and are varied (2 sculpts for the base warrior class for each player, a unique leader sculpt, a ship with a color coded sail, and tons of unique monster sculpts), indeed they are some of the best miniatures I’ve ever seen in a board game.

Gameplay
The beauty of Blood Rage, is that it is not just a beautiful work of art as miniatures games can often be, here, there is a meaty, strategic game to boot. Where Blood Rage shines is in the idea that players do not win simply based on succeeding in combat. Instead, players must strategically draft cards and plan their moves to manage their available resources (i.e. rage),to complete quests, pillage villages, and perhaps even purposefully lose in battle (in order to be sent directly to Valhalla – the desirably afterlife spot for noble vikings) in order to achieve the most glory points.

Luck
There is luck element which is somewhat (but not totally) mitigated by card drafting. For instance if one of the limited highly sought after monster upgrades is drawn the chances of it being passed to the next player is quite low. Similarly, a player may not be able to get a quest card, or a high-numbered battle card, if those cards are retained by the original recipients of the cards during the draft rounds. Further, there is no way to truly craft a cohesive strategy in round one where it is unknown what cards you may be passed in the later two ages.

Overall
Finally, a miniatures game we can sink our teeth into ! Not only is Blood Rage tons of fun because of the incredible monster sculpts and inevitable hard-fought battles, but there is a rich strategy game behind Blood Rage’s undeniable beauty.

 
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7
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
oddball Aeronauts fan
9
118 of 129 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“Rage against the Murder Machine”

I’ve had a love-hate affair with Cool Mini or Not while it can’t be argued that their games offer an abundance of glorious trinkets I’ve found them often lacking in anything substantial. Zombicide for all of its multi-million dollar success is essentially a box jammed with great looking minitures in search of a set of rules.
Fortunately, the recent addition of Eric Lang to their roster himself on something of a roaring rampage of game design success gives me hope that their titles while still containing vastly overproduced toys might now accompany a rugged design skeleton for these adornments to hang.

The central conceit behind the game is Ragnarok’s coming, the mythical Asgardian realms are going big ba-da-boom! So the assembled Viking clans being essential a bunch of heavy metal nutbags intent on a beautiful death see this as the opportunity of an all you can maim buffet of wonton violence. The clan attaining the greatest Glory can go off with the knowledge that they’re be bigging it up in the halls of Valhalla for all eternity.

So the game, the first thing I was hit by was how clean the rules are, there really isn’t much to this, the depth and decision making emerges during as to what abilities you use or where you send your units or how you spend your Rage. The game takes place over three ages which at the end of each will see another location on the map being shook asunder slowing reducing the play area. This being a game of area control means that the battles and strategies become more desperate as time and locations run out, every action, every move is important.

The rounds consist of two main actions, at the beginning of each there is a draft. These cards inform how your clan evolves throughout the game and even how you’ll play, they come in three main flavours:

Upgrades these are either for your units, offering more powerful troops or subtle modifiers. Or your clan which essentially allow for you to build a violence engine to convert your increased stabbyness into Glory and finally the Monsters, super powerful units that come with just the most gloriously huge miniatures and some devilishly useful abilities.

Quests these primarily give glory for completion at the end of an age and revolve around either having the most strength in regions or the most dead in Valhalla, successfully resolving these also allows you to improve one of your base stats, which I’ll come to in a moment.

Battle cards. These function similar to the Cosmic encounter fight mechanic. Whenever you get into a rumble for a location, you add up the strength of all your units present as does your opponent/opponents and then you get to play one of these. Some will simply add a large number to your total while others offer chances to remove units or to mess with your foes, it adds a meaty element of poker style bluffing and uncertainty to proceedings.

This draft will essentially inform how that round or even your entire game will play out and it’s really only upon repeat plays that deeper and more emergent strategies start to show themselves. There are plenty of decisions to weigh up as potentially you won’t get to play all the cards and concentrating on one area will leave you weaker in others while not building any synchronicity into your hand could leave you floundering as your rivals race ahead.

As I mentioned earlier, each clan begins with exactly the same basic stats and these are three main powers that you can upgrade throughout the course of the game. Rage is probably the most important as every action or card played will nearly always have a associated Rage cost. Running out of Rage is fatal as you cannot perform any actions once it’s gone. Axes dictate how much Glory you gain for winning battles and finally Horns dictate how many units you can have in play at one time on the board.

Beneath all its lush thematic trappings, this is essentially a Euro game of engine building and bookkeeping. Everything centers around this violent stock exchange to support your Rage addiction. And the slow emergence of asynchronous clans as each player creates their most efficient murder machine.

The rest of the game is in the actions phase, taking it in turns each player gets to pick and choose one action. Whether it’s playing an upgrade or quest which will utilise those cards. Invading which will see you placing troops on the board, or pillaging where you can attempt to increase your clan stats from various rewards available in different regions by winning battles. This keeps going until everyone eventually taps out having run out of Rage.
This is where it all comes down to having that best most efficient engine, actions such as the pillage are free if you still have rage, so the slow accumulation of troops on the board is a viable tactic waiting to strike and taking as many rewards as possible. An opponent may, however, have already increased his Axe stat and just go about accumulating Glory through hacking and slashing across the board.

Then Ragnarok happens and any units sat in the province when its nuked gain Glory for having had such a glorious demise and we can begin again.

There’s a great deal going on here, many, many different strategies and tactics and in truth I still need to play more to discover them all. There is the worry of the runaway leader problem, the draft can be unforgiving especially for beginners. Somebody getting lucky and setting up a working engine in the first round and unchallenged will pull away from the others. You can’t afford to become focused on your clan or risk losing the war, a strong player going unchecked will eventually decimate their opponents.

So is it any good. Yes, sir, it is. This game finally puts Cool Mini on the map as a true contender to the likes of Fantasy Flight it’s a solid design that welcomes repeat plays with a multitude of different paths to victory. The fact it also comes with such amazing miniatures is the icing on the cake, those monsters are ridiculous but so totally satisfying when you get one on the board. Is it as great as the hype surrounding it, probably not but it’s certainly no Phantom Menace and while the price tag may be too steep for some what you’re getting for your money is all there to see?

My criticisms are few and far between, more variety in the cards would have been nice. I’m a fan of the emergent asynchronicity but a little baked in from the beginning would have added just that touch more flavour to the clans. It plays well from 2 to the 4/5 and in truth at the lower numbers its a different game to the sausage fest that takes place on a board crammed with players.

Game of the year? It’s certainly one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I’ve encountered in 2015 and one I’m keen to return to, anything that looks just so **** handsome when on the table can’t be all that bad now can it?

 
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4
I Am What I Am
Comic Book Fan
Basketball Fan
Pet Lover
10
8 of 8 gamers found this helpful
“You will ride eternal, shiny and chrome.”

Vikings. Valhalla. Victory! In Blood Rage, you control a viking clan that does potentially does battle in various regions, but not for resources. Instead, you fight for glory. Glory through victory and glory through death. A worker placement and area control game w/ lots of combat….sometimes. How does it look and play?

Art & Components
As w/ most, if not all CMON games, the components are great and the minis are amazing. Each clan’s standard soldiers have 2 molds. There is 1 Leader per clan and an assortment of large and small monsters. All models are extremely detailed as expected. The board itself is nice and sturdy, but still light. The cards are small, but tolerable given how much space the game takes. The text on the cards is not too small to read for how small the cards are. The art? Adrian Smith’s work is great. It’s a nice dark, gritty tone on a pseudo-low-fantasy take on Norse mythology.

Rules & Mechanics
The rules flow so well for how medium-heavy this game is. One round of play and you’ll probably know exactly how to play w/o asking any questions. The game and subsequent rounds (called “Ages”) start w/ card drafting, followed by the action phase which includes 1 action per player and goes around until all players pass or have no more Rage (the resource) to do the actions. Actions include moving units, upgrading your clan, and initiating combat. Combat being resolved by combining unit strength in a province along w/ simultaneous card revealing. Eventually, zones (provinces) on the board are destroyed along w/ any models in that zone. All dead models go to Valhalla, but at the end of a round return to your clan’s play area to be used again in the next Age. There are 3 Ages and the winner who is gets the most Glory (rewarded through winning combats, completing quests of area control, and even dying!). Your Clan’s tableau board also conveniently has all the Action Phase rules on it.

Theme
The theme isn’t necessarily strong, per se, there are some nice thematic touches like being rewarded for going to Valhalla or having provinces being destroyed by Ragnarok. It’s a great theme, one of which I love, and one that can be felt if you choose to immerse yourself. But it could also easily be re-skinned into something else (see the upcoming Rising Sun or I sometimes think of how a farming/ranching game could probably be skinned over this).

Pros & Cons
Pros
– great minis and art
– easy to learn, despite it’s complexity weight
– layers of decision-making that can change on the fly
– lots of choices, but none are really ever wrong
– you can play anywhere on the aggressive spectrum and still have a chance at winning

Cons
– multiple plays can still feel similar or like deja vu (can be fixed w/ rotation of expansions)
– some strategies (i.e. Loki strategy) are usually clear-cut winners
– despite it’s ease to learn, there are some dinky rules that can be easily forgotten
– sometimes, depending on player count, there is just a LOT going on on the board

Overall, I think this game can easily be recommended to any fan of conflict-oriented Euros. All but one player I’ve played with – new players and returning – have at least thought the game was good, if not loved it. It’s Euro-y w/ some Ameritrashiness, but any type of board gamer should do themselves a favor and play this game at least once!

 
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3
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Amateur Advisor
8
50 of 58 gamers found this helpful
“Overkill and Dumb Ways to Die”

I almost left out this Kickstarter, luckily there was a late pledge (sounds fishy) which I immediately pledged, didn’t want to lose this out.
There went my money down the sink, but it’s all worth it, every penny.
I love the minis (rockin’ cool, all of them, except the ones with bent parts, oh Chaos in The Old World all over again), the amazing arts by Adrian Smith and of course the Viking theme, splendors, big time!

So for me those all do not suffice to own the game (with this price tag, kinda) so the game play must be good. Is it good? Well, the first time, there’s a buzz that this was a Chaos in The Old World killer. Wow, just Wow… I love Chaos and definitely intrigue to see this one, especially this one is from the same designer, so it’s less biased (isn’t it?). But it turned out to be a different game. Yes, no dice involved, and drafting, but still area control and majority (in a way). Less conflict punishment, but more tight in actions.
In this game, players represent Viking clans (Wolf, Serpent, Bear and Raven) that compete to appease the God with their blood-lust battle rage actions. The game is played over 3 ages, with Ragnarok (doomsday) in the end of each age. Players will draft cards, take actions in turns, complete missions and participate dying in Ragnarok. The map comes as the realm of Asgard, where lies Yggdrasil as the center of it with 8 areas encircling it (4 regions). Drafting phase is very essential, it will determines players’ actions in the next phase. They will draft several kinds of cards, battle cards, quest cards and upgrade cards.
In the action phase players will take actions based on their cards or units withing the board. The actions are Invade, March, Quest, Pillage and Upgrade. These actions are mostly cost Rage points (just like Chaos) and cannot be taken if players have no Rage left even the cost is none, they automatically pass if they ran out of Rage points.
There are different kind of units, warrior, leader and ship, also monster. Leader units have high strength and cost free to invade but only limited to one per player, where warrior units are plenty but only contribute one strength. Ships can only be assigned to Fjord (a sea space between two areas that can support both areas) but cannot be included in March action. Monsters are powerful beasts that have special abilities, so players will get them by playing specific monster upgrade cards.
An area has a various limited number of slots that can be assigned with units, hence getting there first is essential for players, priority is the key.
Players take part in battle by Pillage action, whoever taking the pillage action can decide where the battle takes place (as long as they have a unit there and the areas is still available to pillage). Battle is very simple and quick. Starting from the player to the right of the pillaging player clockwise, each player can move a unit from an adjacent area once as long as there is at least one open slot left in the pillaged area. After that players involved in the battle must play a card from their hand, the cards are revealed simultaneously and the battle is resolved. The winner get glory points where the losers’ unit perished in battle to Valhalla. If the winner is the pillaging player, the area is pillaged and the player gets the pillage token benefit (either rage / horn / axes advance or glory points). If not, the area can be pillage again next turn.
Players can also submit quests which can give them points if it’s fulfilled (this usually based on majority).

Once the age ends, units in area where Ragnarok currently happening were sent to Valhalla and generate points based on the current age.
Oh there are many battles take place, many dead units, many victories, many losses. But the God are demanding nonetheless.
I like how simple the game is, how unique each play is, you can combine some combos from the cards, tactical plays also have critical role. The game seems provide a lot of conflicts (of course, they’re Vikings anyway) but inside the punishment is not that big and dismaying, since there are many ways to gain points aside from winning battles. There are secret agendas, where dying can be better than winning with certain favors. So, surprises are just about anywhere, in the air, in the corner, beneath your very step. The game length is also not that long, you can play back to back just withing one and a half hour with 4 players. But of course for first play, the cards could be overwhelming, since getting to know the cards is essential. With this players can predict, determine and plan their and opponents’ moves.
I think this is more light than Chaos, more simple, more streamlined and straightforward conflict. A bit of take that with the battle cards but still light enough to move on, where Chaos more on the long run side. The complexity of asymmetric elements are not that high as Chaos is, also clever plays are short and instant unlike Chaos which requires long run plan and commitment.

The downsides are storing the game with those fragile (looks like it, more if you pain them all) minis. The game comes with some plastic inserts and for me these are good enough. But getting all of the minis (including the expansions and exclusives) into the core box are impossible, so there you go another thing to solve. The leaders are hard to differentiate against warriors. So even with colored plastic base, it’s not helping players to mistakenly recognize units as leaders and vice versa.
Some combos can be overkill and devastating, which once formed are not easy to counter. But overall having this big bad monster in my collection is heavenly feeling!

 
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4
Canada
9
88 of 125 gamers found this helpful
“Blood Rage - Critique en français”

WARNING: This post contains french! 🙂

——————

Aux yeux des Vikings, la seule bonne façon de mourir était de périr au combat! Vaincus ou défaits, les combattants iront tous au Valhalla! Ces peuples nordiques croyaient effectivement que les morts iraient rejoindre différents endroits célestes selon la façon dont ils étaient passés de vie à trépas. Votre clan écrira-t-il l’Histoire? Votre clan se démarquera-t-il par la gloire obtenue à travers les âges? Jouer une partie de Blood Rage est l’unique façon de le savoir!

Quel jeu!
Après le premier draft, on a l’impression d’être un peu perdu, on ne sait pas trop si on a fait de bon choix de cartes, si on mise sur les bonne stratégies, on ignore ce qui donne des points, on pense uniquement à maximiser notre présence militaire sur le plateau… et on se plante! Après une première partie complète, on a l’impression que certains trucs sont débalancés et que le jeu repose sur le hasard et le chaos. FAUX! Il faudra donner une seconde chance au jeu si c’est le sentiment que vous avez ressenti, car dès la deuxième partie, on saisi beaucoup mieux l’enjeu et on commence à connaître les cartes. On pourrait le comparer grossièrement à Kemet, surtout pour l’aspect d’area control et de cartes à mettre en jeu lors des phases de combat. Toutefois, la ressemblance s’arrête là. Ce n’est pas toujours la victoire au combat qui vous rapportera le plus de points dans Blood Rage. Vous l’apprendrez bien assez vite!

Je me permet de partager ici deux de mes vidéos où j’expose le jeu et ses règles en français et où je discute plus en profondeur de mon avis sur ce dernier (en plus de vous montrer les figurines)!

Règles:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ_NZIyL_1E

Avis personnel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4h9Ln1repo

 
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2
I'm a Real Person
10
3 of 7 gamers found this helpful
“So much... ¡ FUN !”

Components: Ok, we all know the miniatures in this game are SUPERB. I like the cards being small and manageable. The tokens are kind of meh, they are very small and I’m always affraid someone will lose one of them. But they fulfill their purpose.
Gameplay: Blood Rage SHINES here too. I really like the draft mechanic at the beginning of each round. For me, It’s like 2 games in one. Draft first, action, fight and blood then. Another think I like is that you never know who’s gonna win until the end. For example, I had a game where a friend (M) and I ended the first age with 3 glory and another friend (N) had 25. I was having a lot of fun, but thought I had no chance to win. At the end of the game, N reached 68 glory, I reached 72 and M had 78 !! I LOVED that, and also loved that each one of us used a different strategy. N focused on pillaging, M on winning battles and I on losing them !
You know you like a game when you are thinking when are you going to play it again while you are still playing it!

 
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6
 
9 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“I have Rage”

My friend has this game and it is very good the people on the Dice castle said that it is a very good thing and I really wanted to play the game. This game was on the Kickstar and my friend only has it from a store so we tried to figure out what the Kickstar was and we didnot have all the things. It is a nice game but how can it be a good game if only on Kickstar you play with all the things and that gives me the RAGE!

 

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