- Players: 4
- Time: 70 minutes
- Age: 45+ years
- Expertise: Average
It’s going to be an amazing adventure, just based on the cover alone! In the game, the Vikings go on their expeditions from the northern ports (naturally) and trade and loot on the European map (the game board). This might not be the kindest gaming experience… we are playing the Viking way after all ;).
Each player has their own ship pawn with which they sail selling, buying, and looting, and a ship board where the spoils are stored.
The board setup was clear, too. We only needed to slide the defense tiles of the cities under the trade tiles afterwards (we read the rules hastely). The whole setup page in the rulebook and the numbered pictures explained it all well and the game had an easy start.
The cities on the game board were named in Viking style, which was nice. But we had to search for them a bit, and it became a habit for us to go through them together at the beginning of the round. It sped up making my own plans.
At the beginning of the game, the ships set their course towards active cities. Here, you had the choice to either purchase goods for resale at a cost of 5 gold coins or build your battle value, paving the way for easier looting in the future.
The cards on the game board showed which cities were active (buying stuff). At the end of the round, the city cards are replaced with new ones and the ships now head to different cities. The city card also tells how much the city was willing to pay for the item.
During the game, you’ll realize that there are actually three ways to play:
- Play it fair, travel along routes, buy and sell stuff.
- Travel along routes, buy more battle value, and attack cities.
- Let the other players do the work and collect the gold by attacking them.
We played a 4 player game and each of us had slightly different tactics.
On your turn
- Move your ship as indicated by the action card.
- Buy more battle value or goods.
- Loot the city or another player.
- And finally complete the hand to three action cards.
At first the game was played in the northern half of the board, but it soon became clear that we had to go south to trade. Smarter players kept an eye on the progress of the round and which cities were about to drop off the board.
If you were left too far from the action (like the grey ship was), your game board filled up quickly with goods, but the active cities (buying stuff) were too far away.
By the way, it doesn’t matter what the purchased item is, they were all worth the same.
But would it be wiser to buy more battle value than goods?
If you decide to loot a city, it is important to have a good attack card in hand. The movement card can’t be used for attacking, so you should choose your cards carefully. The success of the loot is also influenced by the throw of your die, so luck is also involved. The city’s defense power is only revealed in the city’s defense tile after the attack.
If you succeed in looting the city, you will get double the amount of the city’s gold. A looted city will be ruined and cannot be looted again. If the attack failed, the player loses half of their gold coins. So it’s up to you if you dare to take the risk or not.
It may be wise to choose the cities that aren’t stronger than your own ship/Vikings’ battle value, and to save your battle value against stronger cities and not waste it on small villages. One of us learned that the hard way.
We played a friendly game and no one attacked another player’s ship. The strength of this tactical choice was therefore left unveiled. Maybe next time ;).
Thoughts about the game
Edge of the World is a pleasant game to play and we didn’t even notice the passage of time. We played it for a little over an hour. This game was particularly to the liking of the player with a collector’s mindset, and he mainly focused on trading (blue ship). He also went to sell to the ports of the south, traveling through the east ports, opposite to the other players. The yellow and red ships bought stuff too, but also actively attacked and that seemed like the best strategy. The yellow ship, on the other hand, was the first to start looting the cities and quickly started getting money, but the game board remained empty of goods and battle value tiles.
The player who started the round had a small advantage. The grey ship was that unfortunate one to be the last. But the situation stabilized later when the special token (starting player) was given to the next player. For some reason, the grey ship decided to stay in the north and that didn’t favor him at all.
It was a great feature that the winning player could still be challenged at the end. The lost grey player was the first to reach the home port of the leading yellow ship, and the final battle followed. Although another player might have been a stronger opponent, even in the final battle, the dice played a certain role, too. Still, the yellow ship emerged victorious.
After the game, we thought that maybe next time we should cooperate against the winning ship and send the strongest opponent to the end challenge. One of us also told that he is going to sail to the south straight away, wait for the loaded ships to come to him, and gather battle value while waiting. Let’s see how that works out 🙂