Author: Thorsten Gimmler

Publisher: Kosmos 2002

Awards: none



G@mebox author Marco Klasmeyer writes about the game:


At the game convention SPIEL 2002 Kosmos has presented a new part of its series of Two-Player-Games called Odins Raben (Odin's Raven). It is a neat and simple tactical card game as expected from the Two-Player-Series.

The Nordic God Odin sends out his raven Hugin and Mugin every morning in the dawn in order to explore and observe the world. Controlled by the two players the raven travel across different landscapes. Therefore the players must provide the required travel cards from their hand. By clever use of terrain and action cards one raven will win the race and return to Odin first to deliver the daily report. But Odin himself may support one or the other raven and provide some surprising changes in the game.


In principle, there are three kind of cards which make up the game:

  • terrain cards with double landscapes fields build the route the two raven have to cope: mountains, rivers, meadows, hills or ice dessert
  • action cards: flight and Odin cards
  • cards for the magic way to gain some extra points

At the start of the game 9 double sided terrain cards are placed in a row on the table - they determine the initial route. Each terrain card has two landscapes printed on the front, hence you obtain two independent columns of landscapes, one column is the route for one raven.

One player may hold up to 5 action cards on his hand. Action cards are either flight cards depicting a specific landscape or powerful Odin cards, which allow some extraordinary moves or actions. With flight cards the raven are able to move across the depicted landscapes of their routes.

Every turn the player has the following options: He can play up to 3 arbitrary cards from his hand immediately or place them onto his "secret" (face down) card pile. He can also play additional 3 cards from this secret pile, but he has to consider the order they have been placed before (top first). The secret card pile allows to play more than 3 action cards from hand per turn. Due to the storage principle it is somehow a delayed action of previous turns. Normally it is allowed to look at the cards on his own secret pile, but as a stricter rule this option could be omitted (my recommendation for advanced players).

The rare but mighty Odin cards allow various options for the game, they ease the way of the own raven or obstruct the opponent's passage. For instance they allow to exchange, move or even destroy terrain cards, the Stone of Odin can be placed as an obstacle to the passage and so on. At the end of the turn each player may choose to prolong the flight of both raven by placing one (or three with a Odin card) new terrain card(s) at the end of the already placed terrain cards. For example, when the own raven is blocked, but the other one not, this helps to gain some more time to catch up. Finally the player completes his hand cards up to 5 on the end of his turn.

Like to the flight of the raven, there is also a magic competition between the players. A player may decide to bid for the magic way of Odin by placing action cards on it. The current magic way card tells what action cards are allowed for bidding, because only 2 out of 6 possible action cards can be used. The player with the highest bid gains the magic way card and some extra points at the end of the journey. The games last for three rounds, winner is the raven with the most points.


This neat tactical card game offers a lot of fun for planners. The secret card pile allows to plan moves in advance. You can make a real great leap in the race when playing a turn with the arsenal of 6 well arranged action cards. Additionally the Odin cards provide a lot of options to put obstacles in the opponents way. Of course, this applies for both parties, so it can be a really hard race, especially if the flight is extended again and again by both players. The design of the cards is also quite nice. For all fans of KOSMOS's "Spiele für Zwei" series: This card game will add a little gem to your collection!

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany