Ragnarok is almost here.
- Blood Rage Kickstarter launches March 2.
- Rulebook release reveals it’s an area control game.
- Clans upgrade throughout the game, increasing power and abilities.
- Game appears to have little to no randomness to it.
In advance of its release on Kickstarter tomorrow, Cool Mini or Not has revealed the rulebook for Eric Lang’s Blood Rage. Now you can learn to play before you can even back. What a country!
The game of Asgardian gods earning their final glory during Ragnarok (end of the world, yo!) comes from the man who gave us two of last year’s best tabletop experiences – Marvel Dice Masters and Arcadia Quest. The gameplay has remained a mystery until now.
Blood Rage is an area control game played out across four ages. Players vie for control of nine worlds, bound together by Yggdrasil (a really old tree). Your goal is to pillage and gain glory before Ragnarok spreads through the nine worlds and ends existence as we know it.
Each player receives a clan sheet at the start of the game to track progress, quests, and upgrades. Though you can improve your stats (like how much Rage you begin at the start of each age), don’t get too cozy with your cards. All but one will be either used or discarded at the end of the current age. Quest cards must be completed at the end of an age or are lost. Your Rage (used to complete actions) is spent by the end of the age. In fact, everything is pretty much wiped clean except for your upgraded stats when an age ends.
At the start of each age you draft cards, which have the favor of one of six Asgardian gods. There are three types of cards: Battle, Quest, and Upgrade. Battle cards are used to improve your strength in a fight. Quests give big boosts to your Glory total if completed by the end of the current age. Upgrades provide permanent improvements to troops, monsters, or your clan as a whole. The god whose favor comes through the card influences its effect. Thor provides Glory and rewards, Frigga focuses on additional resources, Odin increases punishment in battles, etc.
Then you spend your Rage to perform actions.
- Invade: Place figures from your reserve onto empty villages on the board.
- March: Move figures on the board to different areas.
- Upgrade: Play an upgrade card from your hand to your clan sheet.
- Quest: Put a quest into play for that age (kept secret).
- Pillage: Attack provinces.
No dice are involved in combat actions. Instead, players have their clan stats, available troops, and cards they play to determine who has the greater strength. Don’t worry too much if your troops perish. They go to Valhalla and will be released back into your reserve before the start of the next age.
When everyone’s Rage is spent and all actions are resolved, Ragnorok spreads to another world. Each age another world falls, limiting available space on the board. And it’s possible you will have troops on an area that comes to an end. That’s great news! Because dying in Ragnarok is the greatest glory a Viking can achieve. Yes, you get bonus Glory for dying in the fires of the world’s end.
There are, of course, more nuances to Blood Rage. This is just a quick overview based off the rulebook. You can dive deeper into the rules of Blood Rage by downloading the rulebook here.
The Kickstarter goes live March 2 and will include a video on how to play Blood Rage. I am still a bit on the fence about the game, but it’s hard not to pay attention when you have Cool Mini or Not + Eric Lang + Ragnarok. Blood Rage certainly has promise.