The Viking Age expansion for 878 Vikings – Invasion of England (Academy Games, 2017) is actually nine (9) expansions. At first look this can be a bit overwhelming. Which one do you choose? All? Just a few? After looking at the forums on BoardGameGeek.com I took some advice and for the first RockyMountainNavy expanded game we used just a few. I am happy to report the results were, “Most Excellent.”
In our weekend Game Night play we used:
- Expansion 7 – Epic Battle Events: This adds event cards to the Fyrd Deck (the Fyrd being peasants that join battles to defend their homes for the English)
- Expansion 8 – Viking Ships: Adds Viking ships to increase mobility along the coasts
- Expansion 9.2 – Legertha: Legertha is a Viking Leader that can be added to another invasion; she adds an “extra” invasion but divides the forces.
I played the Vikings against the RockyMountainNavy Boys who divided the English. My Viking hordes quickly conquered northern England. I was doing great until my third invasion which encountered the Traitor event card in the Fyrd Deck. In the Traitor event:
The attackers choose one of theirFactions to fight for the defenders asTraitors. The defenders roll the Traitor Faction’s dice and make decisions for the Traitor Faction’s Units during this Battle. Surviving Traitor Units are placed in the Fled Units Area. (Viking Age, p.9)
As this was the initial invasion for this leader the army was large and it was painful to have to “give away” a major portion of the army. Elsewhere, I got a bit too ambitious and ended up with both of my other leaders killed in battle. Of course, the next Round I drew a Reinforcement card and not another invasion which stopped any chance of seizing more shires. Desperately trying to end the game, I played both Treaty of Wedmore cards to trigger the end game conditions. Alas, in Round V I tried to use Legertha to add a second invasion leader but all I really ended up doing was diving my force. It also didn’t help that the English Ships event card made an appearance and severely limited my choice for landing locations. With the arrival of King Alfred I ended up losing my ninth Shire and failing watched helplessly as victory slipped away.
The added expansions were easy to incorporate into the game with no real additional rules overhead or extra play time added. They did add some major fun as the RockyMountainBoys were all high-5’s and the like when the Traitor card showed up. They also took great pleasure in burning my Viking Ships.
Between the Advanced Setup rules in the base game which allows players to customize their Event Card Deck and these expansions, 878 Vikings has shot to the top of my list for enjoyable family Game Night products. Although there are many games in the RockyMountainNavy collection, I fully expect this one to get to the table often because it has proven it can deliver great fun every time.
Featured image courtesy Academy Games.