Odin’s Ravens by Osprey games is a 2 player board game inspired by Norse Mythology. The game is themed around Odin’s Ravens racing each other around the world and is a competitive board game. It is also a short board game to play if you don’t have much time. With that short introduction let’s get to our Odin’s Ravens review.
What’s it about?
Odin’s Ravens are racing around the world and you and the other player will take control of a raven each to compete to get around the world the quickest. Fun Norse mythology fact: the names of Odin’s Ravens are; Huginn and Munnin. Huginn comes from the Norse word for ‘thought’ whilst Munnin comes from the Norse word for ‘memory’.
In Norse mythology Huginn and Munnin fly around the world every day to obtain information for the king of the Norse gods; Odin.
This forms the basis of the board game. One other aspect of Norse mythology you should be aware of is the trickster god Loki. Unlike the Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or comics; the Loki in Norse mythology is not the son of Odin or brother of Thor. However, he is still dedicated to causing chaos and can be called upon in Odin’s Ravens to hinder your opponent, but, in hindering your opponent it may also hinder yourself or even end up helping your opponent.
How does it play?
The rules of Odin’s Ravens are fairly simple. Both players pick a meeple stylised in the shape of a Raven and that then becomes their player piece. The land cards, which contain two paths each, are then shuffled and 16 are dealt ensuring there are no two land spaces exactly the same next to each other i.e. two mountains. If there are two then you rotate the most recently dealt card 180°. If, there still remains two land spaces the same next to each other than you discard the newest land card to the bottom of the pile and deal another land card.
Both players then place their ravens at different ends of the land card route. Below you can see an example of the start of a game. Also, remember the route loops to symbolise going around the world. When players get to the far left of the route they switch so they either continue along the bottom of the cards or the top of the cards.
Both players then shuffle their flight cards and Loki cards separately and deal 5 cards to themselves in whatever combination they want. For example; 2 Loki cards and 3 flight cards. You then decide which player is going first between you. Players can play as many cards as they want during their turn. Flight cards are played by matching to the land cards. For example; you need a forest card to fly through a forest. If you have 3 flight cards that match to the land cards in front of you, then you can play those cards in order.
Loki cards can be played to make the game more difficult for an opponent or easier for you. For example; one card allows you to add another land card where ever you want. Just remember depending on where you place the Loki card that it may add another land card for you to get through too.
If there are multiple land cards of the same type in front of each other, usually due to Loki cards being played, then these only require one flight card of that type. For example; there’s three mountain land cards together, this only requires one mountain flight card. If a player has no flight cards matching the land in front of them, but still wishes to progress they can use two of the same different flight cards to progress. i.e two mountain cards to pass through one snow land card.
Once flight cards are used they’re placed in that player’s discard pile, whilst, used Loki cards are discarded from the rest of the game. A player ends their turn by drawing a combination of three cards from their flight and Loki cards. A player is allowed up to 7 cards in their deck and must discard down to 7 at the end of their turn. If a player runs out of flight cards then they must shuffle their flight card discard pile and draw from there.
The first player to fly around the world wins.
Experience of playing
We both enjoyed the few games of Odin’s Ravens that we have played. I initially struggled to understand how some Loki cards are played, but there’s a handy reference sheet in the rule book explaining how they work. Although, I still tend to use them rarely and instead focus on trying to get through as quick as possible. Chris, however, loves using the Loki cards to try to slow me down. Both tactics are valid as we’ve both won roughly the same amount of times.
I particularly loved the little Raven meeples the first time I saw them. I still find them adorable now. The artwork on the cards and box is also gorgeous. The artist is very talented and you can tell a lot of time has gone into the game getting it to look right.
It is a short board game that takes us roughly 20 minutes to play depending on how many Loki cards are played and the flight cards drawn. The box says 20-30 minutes for play time which is pretty accurate. We tend to use this board game as a warm-up game before playing something longer or more in depth. We also find it is a good board game to introduce people to that don’t normally play board games.
- Short board game (20-30 minutes)
- Beautiful artwork
- Easy to learn
- Created specifically to be a 2 player board game
- Good board game to introduce non-board gamers to
- The meeples are different and cute
- Good warm-up game
- Short board game (Not very in depth for those wanting a longer game)
- Loki cards can take a while to understand
- Basic game that some might not find challenging enough
- Competitive so not suitable if you prefer co-operative games
Odin’s Ravens is a fun, short 2 player board game that I can see appealing to people who don’t normally play board games. The rules are easy to pick up and the artwork is eye-catching. It is also relatively cheap for a board game on multiple websites. I personally have played this game a few times and see myself playing it again in the future. It is also one of the few board games I have come across that was made to specifically be a 2 player board game. If you’re interested in finding out more or trying it for yourself then you can find it on Amazon here.