18 November 2019
LONGBOAT is a card game in which 2-4 players compete to create the most glorious boat. This is done by collecting Loyal Vikings, Crazed Berserkers and of course, most glorious of all Loot.
At the beginning of the game, players start with a boat made of only two cards, depicting the bow and stern of their Longboat and the Jarl who they will be playing. The rest of the cards are combined to form a play deck. In a series of rounds cards are laid out in a grid to form a drafting pool called The River. Players then take it in turns to draft cards from the bottom row of The River and add them to their boat until all the cards are gone.
“Sounds simple”, you might think, however Longboat is actually far more strategic than it might at first seem.
When drafting a card there are a number of things to consider. Firstly there are the three main scoring parameters; Speed, Loyalty and Loot. A boat must have all these things to succeed. Vikings power the boat, earning you extra speed points, Vikings of the same colour as your Jarl earn you a Loyalty bonus, and Loot will earn you more Glory then any other card. Speed also determines the first player each round, you might have a boat full of loot, but without Vikings to power your boat, you’ll be slow and vulnerable. Berserkers can be used to steal Loot from other players and Sheep can be used to weigh down other players boats.
The other major element of strategy lies in The River. Players can only draft from the bottom row of The River. When a card is drafted, the card above it slides down to take it’s place, becoming available to the next player on their turn. So, drafting becomes not just a question of what card you want, but also what cards you want to leave available for other players.
All these factors make a game that Mike Kay, founder of Wight Hart Games, is exceedingly proud of. A game of surprising strategy, with just a smidgen of take that, and of course some very long boats.
LONGBOAT’s first print run was successfully funded on Kickstarter earlier this year and there is now a second print run on it’s way just in time for Yule. So if you are a fan on Vikings, Gold, Glory and Sheep, then you want to consider adding this little, pocket-sized box to your collection.
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