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Odin's Table

Designed by Esa Wiik, with art by Teemu Karjalainen, Odin's Table was originally published by Mindwarrior Games and Tactic in 2010. Shown here tho' is the edition published by Gamestorm Studio as part of their Vikings' Tales series of games. The game is obviously themed around Nordic mythology but this is essentially an abstract strategy game.

It's a two-player game played on a tight 5 x 6 square grid. Each player has six pieces that all start off in their player's first rank, designated their 'fortress', and the object of the game is to get three of their pieces into their opponent's fortress. Pieces move one square in any direction - like a King in Chess - except that a move into the opposing fortress can only be orthogonally straight ahead.

The twist in Odin's Table is that players also have similar decks of 27 Norse god cards with values 0-9. At the start of the game, players each draw six cards from their decks. These are initially displayed face up, so each player knows which six cards the other player has. Players then allocate their six cards face down to each column of the board. When a piece attempts to move into a square occupied by an opponent's piece, the cards in the attacking and defending pieces' columns are revealed, and the win goes to the highest value. The value 0 and value 1 (Loki) cards have special effects that compensate for their low values. As an alternative to making a move on your turn, you can resurrect a previously captured piece.

This all makes for an entertaining game that that mixes strategy with bluffing: think Checkers meets Stratego (Hasbro/Jumbo). And, with such a tight board, it's a game that plays quickly: our plays at Board's Eye View have all been around 15 minutes - just the right amount of time for the loser to demand an immediate re-match!

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