Odin’s Ravens

Adam and I play a lot of board games. They’re our “go to” activity for date nights. After a long spree of “Roll Through the Ages” and “St. Petersburg”, I was finally up for a new game. Adam has been trying to talk me into Odin’s Ravens for well over a year now. It was marketed as a good two-person games.

Fun two person games are actually harder to come by than you might think. There are classic games like Chess and Go. But most of the builder-games I most enjoy work best for 3 – 4 people. Games that are meant for 3 – 4 people may claim that they work for 2, but rarely do — which is why we enjoyed RTTA and St. Pete’s so much.

The conceit of Odin’s Ravens is good — you’re two of Odin’s, er, ravens, trying to traverse the landscape of the North quickly. To accomplish this, you mess with your competitor, line up your travel route, play some politics on the side and put down a cache of cards to be used later. When one person has accumulated 12 points (12 spots ahead of the other person) the game ends.

The artwork was really lovely. The rules were clear and simple. Simple enough, actually, that we’re thinking about modifying it for Grey. If we stripped it down a little further, he could get it.

But if you have two relatively evenly matched players (which my husband and I usually are), you tend to have close races. And close races means no one gets many more points than the other. So a game that was billed as a 30 minute match took us closer to an hour and a half. I have to admit that, towards the end, I was getting a bit bored. There just weren’t infinite possible strategies, like some other games seem to have.

Odin’s Ravens seems like a good intro game — the sort you play with a younger player, or someone who is unused to board games and needs to be coaxed into the fold. Unless we both totally missed a strategic element, it’s probably not the board game for a pair of hardcore players.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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