Viking Siege

Strategy 2001 Windows Ebro Software Historical Board games

Unknown but classic board game

Now this really is an oddity, a computer adaptation of a board game that was apparently popular way back in Europe's Dark Ages, long before the likes of chess popped up. The game originated in Scandinavia and was taken to England, Scotland and further afield by explorers, but disappeared when chess turned up and only resurfaced several hundred years later. This version is a faithful adaptation of the original, with the rules having been pieced together from historical records and makes for a fine slice of board game strategy for fans of Risk, Hoplites and the like. The basic premise of the game is that a Viking band and its leader are being attacked by a larger, more powerful force and must get him to safety (the edge of the board) before their enemies can seize him. The game plays out on a static board, viewed from overhead, with simple icons to represent the two opposing sides and the battlefield. Like any good board game, Viking Siege is easy enough to pick up, but incredibly complex to master. The challenge here comes from the fact that the two sides are unequal in size and have differing objectives, which makes it quite distinct from most such games, where both players are trying to achieve the same thing. This gives the game plenty of replay value as players can play as both sides and create strategies that are unique to each, with the possibilities for tactical variations being almost endless. Throw into the mix a tutorial, hint system and two-player option, which is where the game really shines, and you have all the makings of a classic, but sadly under-appreciated board game.

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