Michael Kiesling

Hans im Glück 2007




G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

It is the time of the Vikings again, and the players take the role of leaders of Viking tribes who explore the islands before their continent. On these islands, they settle craftsmen and noblemen and establish outposts to defend their new properties. The game comes richly equipped with playing material that consists of a starting corner of the continental coast for each player, a board with a rotating wheel, and lot of figures that represent fishermen, goldsmiths, spies, warriors, nobles and boatmen. Also, there are plenty of island tiles and gold coins. Altogether, the components give the game a very nice look and after reading the rules I became rather eager to start playtesting…


The game mechanism is quite clever and offers a completely new element of bidding for island tiles: The game has a duration of 6 rounds, and each round starts by dividing twelve island tiles around the spaces of the rotating wheel. Then the starting player draws twelve figures randomly from a bag and arranges these around the wheel as well. This is done in a fixed order, so that fishermen are arranged at the smallest numbers and boatmen at the highest numbers that are shown on the wheel. As a result you get twelve pairs of Vikings and island tiles, which are purchased by the players later on. The cost of such a combination is given by the number shown on the wheel, but there is one exception: The space with the number 0 may only be purchased if there is no other Viking of the same colour (type) left on the board. However, if a player has not enough money left, he is bound to take the combination on space No. 0. Whenever the combination on the 0-space has been taken by a player, the wheel is rotated clockwise until there again is a new combination of island tile and figure to which the 0-space can be aligned. Thus the prices for all other combinations are changing.


All island tiles that are purchased by the players must be arranged at their corner of the continental coast. This corner has an angle that has on the vertical side the five types of the Vikings and an additional sixth row with a Viking ship. The horizontal side represents the distance from the coast. Viking ships on the island tiles must be arranged in the first row of the angle. With the exception of the first three places that have to be occupied first, the ships always must have a connection to another ship on a player's playing area.

All other island tiles must be placed in the rows below the ships. They always must have a connection to an other island tile of the continent. Island tiles that are placed in the row corresponding to the Viking that has also been part of the purchased combination are occupied by this Viking directly. All other Vikings and all boatmen go to a special space in the corner of the angle with the symbol of a single boatman.

After the end of each round a scoring takes place. Alternating each round, there is a small scoring in which the players get gold coins for goldsmiths on the islands, and a big scoring which is much more complex. This scoring starts with the boatman who may ferry some of the Vikings on his field to free islands. Viking ships threaten all Vikings in the column below, with the result that these Vikings do not contribute to victory points or gold income. However a warrior in the same column can protect all Vikings in the same column below, so it is a wise advise to place warriors under the Viking ships. All other Vikings on the islands increase the prestige (in form of victory points) and the income (gold coins) of a player.


At the end of the game, after the sixth round, an additional final scoring takes place. In this scoring victory points are awarded to the players with the highest number of boatmen, islands and so on. Also, a player then has to supply all of his Vikings with food from the fishermen. If he cannot supply all of his Vikings, he looses victory points again.

For more experienced players there are some additional rules that make the game more complex and tactical. So, even if you play it a lot, the game won't become boring for a long time.

In my opinion the new game by HANS IM GLÜCK is a very strong game in which the rules are extraordinarily harmonious. The players remain active and involved in the game for the whole duration of the game and always wait nervously for their next turn. Still, the rules are not too complex, so that the game pleases experienced gamers and rookies alike. After some games in the "Big Box" series of HANS IM GLÜCK that were somewhat weaker, Wikinger clearly continues the line of outstanding games like Amun-Re. For me, Wikinger with its resourceful rules and its matching illustration of the time of the Vikings is a strong candidate for one of this years game awards!

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2007 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany