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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Top 10 Expansions We Own: #3

Of course we could not do our top 10 list without adding one of the expansions to our favorite game ever released!  How could we not?  It's Blood Rage!  For this review, like many of the others, it was a close choice, but for our number 3 spot, we decided to go with the Gods Of Asgard expansion for Blood Rage.  Odin knows that death is inevitable with Ragnarok coming, but he wants to forge his strength with us, so we can go down fighting as one.  To it’s right-hand side sits the Mystics of Midgard expansion.  Both of these add variances and alterations that assist the base game in some way.  It’s good, but are they good enough to considerably alter the game?  You’ll have to read on to find out.

God's of Asgard comes with 6 new miniatures and corresponding cards with an explanation of the god's powers.  While only 2 of the 6 god's are in play during a game, the way they impact their provinces gives interesting variety to the game.  Each time you pillage a god's province, you move them to different available province. This results in continuous change throughout the game and can certainly influence your strategies.  In a 2 player game this is stymied slightly as you have fewer active provinces to choose from.  There are also some god's abilities that are better suited for higher player count for maximum impact.  The instructions say to select 2 god cards at random, but you may find that it is more interesting to select 2 based on player count and contrast/compatibility of the god's abilities. 

The cards that come with the Asgard expansion will each correspond to the miniatures that you place upon a province. Each of the gods influences the province they occupy in a unique way, affecting the basic rules of the game. The Asgardian gods: Odin, the god of thunder, his son Thor the victorious warrior, Tyr, the Lord of battle, Frigga, the Mother Protector, Loki, the Trickster, and Heimdall, the Watcher Guardian. Each of these gods are prepared to assist our battalions in their eternal fate and their influence will surely change the way strategize our battle. The artwork is exceptionally well done! The dimensions of the cards are a little tall, but the emphasis being played on individual, and small numbers of characters doesn’t need to be as small I suppose.

Mystics of Midgard provides new miniatures with special powers.  While it is always fun to have new additions to a game you love, the new figures do not add much beyond a bit of variety.  The set comes with 10 Mystic figures, 2 for each player (up to 5 players).  However, just like the  monsters in the base game, you need a card to access the figure.  While we are used to this method, it doesn't make a lot of sense here because there is only 1 playable card per age.  (2 in 4/5 player games).  As a result, you have 10 figures, but only 6 can be used within a game.  This doesn't make a lot of sense from a value perspective.  Making 6 unique miniatures with individual powers would have provided much more interesting dynamics and variety.  This is one of the main factors that led us to choose God's of Asgard as our favorite of the two expansions as it provides the most opportunity for strategic change.  Both expansions come with beautiful miniatures that are on par with the excellent quality of the base game.  They also come with instructions and cards in 6 languages.  This means that there are a LOT of unused cards and instructional leaflets.  It feels wasteful to just toss them, but unless you have a base game in any of the other languages, they are pretty much worthless.  Do you really need to purchase these expansions to make Blood Rage better?  No, not at all.  Blood Rage is a phenomenal game all on it's own.  The expansions add little variances, but most of all, some small additions, but honestly that's about it.  They're still note worthy though because they are manifestations of one of the greatest tabletop games to ever be released.  If you had to choose one, our recommendation is the Gods of Asgard expansion.  So if these did not add very much to the base game, why did we choose to do a segment on the expansions?  Because....BLOOD RAGE!!!

Blood Rage: Gods Of Asgard
Overall Meeple Rating: 7/10

New additions: 
1) 6 New miniatures
2) Asgardian effects cards

Have any thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below.

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