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Odin's Ravens

English language edition


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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-40 minutes 2

Designer(s): Thorsten Gimmler

Manufacturer(s): Kosmos, Rio Grande Games

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Product Description

Each morning, Odin, the father of the Gods, sends his two ravens: Hugin and Mugin out into the world to watch over the land. The players try to help the feathered spies along their way over the various lands of the northern hemisphere. To move the ravens, the players must play appropriate flight cards from their hands. They may also get help directly from Odin. With skillful use of the cards, a player can move his raven quickly over the land.

Product Awards

International Gamers Awards
Best 2-Player Game Nominee, 2003

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Thorsten Gimmler

  • Manufacturer(s): Kosmos, Rio Grande Games

  • Artist(s): Andreas Steiner

  • Year: 2002

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 30 - 40 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 326 grams

  • All-Time Sales Rank: #108

  • Customer Favorites Rank: #54

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.

Contents:

  • 112 cards
  • 2 ravens
  • 1 Odin marker
  • rules

Game Errata:

Correction to "The Magic Way"
The six magic way cards show either two land types or one land type and a picture of Odin. At the beginning of each race, one of the cards is face up on the magic card stack. At the end of a race, the player who has played the most cards to the face up magic way card earns bonus points. To play a card to the magic way card, a player must play a flight card without moving his raven or an Odin card without taking its action. The card played must match one of the two pictures on the magic way card (an Odin card matches the picture of Odin). The card may come from the player’s hand or from his auxiliary card stack (top-most card). When a player plays a card to the face up magic way card, he places it face up next to the magic way card.

Example: At the beginning of the game, the magic way card shows Odin and a mountain. Either player may play to the card by playing any Odin card or a mountain flight card.

The player places the card played face up in the space he reserved for magic way cards. The players should overlap the cards they play to the magic way card so that they can see how many each has.

You might be interested in these related products as well:
Odins Raben
German language edition
$30.00

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.7 in 16 reviews

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by Rick Nichols
Unique and brilliant
March 12, 2007

This is one of my very favorite two player games. The race path is a great mechanism that I haven't seen in any other game. It is simple and simply brilliant. Games between two good players can be very intense and still be wrapped up in 30 minutes. My wife and I still pull this one out frequently.

 
 
 
 
 
by Brad N.
Odin's Ravens Earns Its 5 Stars
March 01, 2007

My wife and I play a lot of two player games and she is convinced that Lost Cities is the best. I thought Carcassonne was the best two player that we owned. We recently received Odin's Ravens as a gift and we've played it several times. Both of us love this game. I think words like brilliant and great get overused when describing good games, but Odin's Ravens probably deserves both words, especially for a two player game.

It is a unique game with a clever "auxiliary stack" mechanic that allows you to set yourself up for a big play on your next turn if you are stuck on your current turn. It gives me the feel that I can do something positive on each play.

When we went through the rules for the first time, my wife questioned the Magic Way card and how it seemed "awkward" that you would play cards to it during the game. Both of us have since learned that this aspect of the game provides another positive play when you may otherwise be stuck and provides for some challenging decisions when you and your opponent have already played several cards to the Magic Way. Do you go for the 3 points by adding another card or will you need that card to win the race as you near the finish?

I don't think there is any doubt that Lost Cities, Carcassonne and Odin's Ravens are the three best two player games I have played and I've played a lot of them!

 
 
 
 
 
Fly over fun
June 24, 2006

Let me start by admitting that I am a bit of a novice at games, since I have only recently (in the past year) ventured into this brave new world of amusement.

Let me also share the psychology that would determine my evaluation of a game. I prefer games that are easy to learn, don't play for very long, and are a mixture of both luck and skill. I am not a particularly skilled gamer and have a short attention span – read that ADD. I like games with a nice aesthetic and creative presentation in their artwork and pieces. The beauty of a game is something that I actually enjoy as a part of the process. I also enjoy games with lots of interaction between players - games that are conducive to smack talk and kibitzing as a part of the playing process.

I have purchased and tried out a few games now, and Odin's Ravens has been the greatest success in the above criteria for both my husband and me. We actually enjoy it more than Lost Cities, as it seems more interactive. It reminds me a bit of dominoes with a specific scenario and a few enjoyable twists. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in a two-person game more elaborate than a simple deck of cards might offer. We have really enjoyed it.

 
 
 
 
 
'This is a great game...'
December 16, 2003

These are the words my wife uttered after the first time we played Odin's Ravens. My wife is an avid gamer (I am truly blessed) and this type of praise never occurred after our initial outings of Caesar and Cleopatra, Lost Cities, or even the Holy Grail of Gaming, Carcasonne. Although it's fairly easy to learn, after a few plays you realize how many different subtleties that the cards allow for in each game. One of the best (or worst, if it's being done to you) features is the &%$%#@& factor, as your opponent plays a card that suddenly totally destroys your well-devised dash to the finish line!

The basic premise is a race between two of Odin's ravens over various types of landscape until one reaches the end of the landscape. A hand of cards and the auxiliary stack (when you master this aspect your chances of winning increase exponentially) allow you to play up to three cards from your hand and up to three cards from your auxiliary stack (only the topmost card). Odin cards allow manipulation of the scenery, movement of your (or your opponent's raven) etc. To further complicate things, there is a 'magic way' that gives points toward the winning total. I wanted to write this review because if you are looking for a great two player game, look no further! Both Odin's Ravens and Balloon Cup are good, but our nod goes to Odin!

 
 
 
 
 
by Kane
Looking to race? Ravens are as good as balloons.
July 20, 2003

Great 2 player game! In my opinion, Odin's Ravens is much better than Lost Cities. I'd probably place it on level with Balloon Cup. If you're looking for an easy to learn, fun 2 player game with good strategy, then look no further. Well, unless you want to look at Balloon Cup. I haven't decided which one I like better yet. Buy both! I did! Raven races and hot air balloon races. Hmmmm....I must just like racing games with odd themes.

 
 
 
 
 
High Flyer
May 24, 2003

My current favorite two-player card game. (It has recently displaced Lost Cities for that spot.) A lot of different tactics available to get you to your goal. Jump ahead? Lengthen the course? Block your opponent? In this game it pays to plan ahead. Never gets old. Plays quickly too. A real winner.

 
 
 
 
 
Elegant, absorbing 2-player card game
March 06, 2003

My first few games of Odin's Ravens left me feeling 'so what?'--but that was before I found the amended rules for using the 'Magic Way' cards (the English rules that come with the card game incorrectly describe the use of these cards; the correct version is available on boardgamegeek.com). When played correctly, this game is elegant and absorbing, competitive and tactical without being aggressive. There is a lot of room for manipulating the cards in such a way as to lengthen or shorten the game, according to what benefits you. I recommend this game as an entertaining game that requires thought, without being a real brain-burner.

 
 
 
 
 
'I want to fly like an eagle...'
January 20, 2003

Odin's Ravens is one of three two player Rio Grande/Kosmos games released this winter along w/ Hellas & Heave Ho!. Before starting the review though, you should go to Rio Grande Games web-site and get the corrected translation of one section of rules. It is a rare thing to see Jay Tummelson and his group have a challenge like this, but I'm sure it happens. My review is based on the corrected rules.

Odin's Ravens is by Thorsten Gimmler, who designed Cape Horn. I had some challenges with that game (posted review here) so I was hesitant about Odin's Ravens. Totally misplaced! This is my favorite of the three new releases, though I truly enjoy all of them. Two players 'fly' across a randomly created landscape. Each player has his own identical sets of matching landscape cards and Odin cards. On his turn, a player may play up three cards from his hand, advancing his raven and using the Odin cards to help himself along or hinder his opponent. He may also place cards (as a part of his three) into a 'reserve pile' for later use. The ability to get cards into this second pile is vital as a player may play three cards from this reserve pile along w/ the three from his hand. Being able to lay down six cards, especially toward the end game, is extremely powerful. Players may also play cards on 'The Magic Way'. (see corrected rules) The game ends when one raven reaches the end of the landscape cards. The winning raven scores one point for every space he finished ahead of the loser. The player with the most cards on 'The Magic Way' also receives three points regardless if they won or not. First player to twelve points wins.

This is a great card game. There is a lot of interaction with your opponent with the Odin cards, deciding whether to advance yourself or stick it to your adversary, i.e. the screw factor. The corrected rules concerning the 'Magic Way' lets the game have a better balance at the beginning. After a couple of plays, you may want to make a house rule over the flown over landscape cards. One of the players in our group likes leaving them on the board, giving more flexibility with the Odin cards, others like to eliminate them (except the last two) as the game designer suggests. Either way, the racing theme, the graphics, ease of play, and replay value all score high points with Boardgamers of Reno. Our hearty thank-you to Rio Grande Games and Jay Tummelson for bringing out all three of these Kosmos two player games

 
 
 
 
 
Awesome game!
January 19, 2003

I got this game last Friday and the 1st reaction from my wife was literally 'blah'. However, after the first round she is seriously hooked! She begs me to play this every day since then.

There are a lot of strategies involved, and the design of an auxiliary deck is crucial.

Overall just a great game and top-notched components.

 
 
 
 
 
Excellent game
January 09, 2003

I agree with the previous reviews. Odin's Ravens offers two players multiple decisions and a varying map layout, which also keeps each game fresh. It ranks right up there with the best of the Kosmos 2 player games.

Deciding what cards to play and where is the heart of the game. Building an auxillary stack to play off of in later turns can be crucial. Using the Odin cards to alter the map layout, or stall your opponent makes for some tough decisions at times. Playing off cards to get the 3 bonus points for the Magic Way can both help you and make your opponent think twice about their actions. Just a wonderful game!

The components are first rate as well. It is a 5 star game for sure!

 
 
 
 
 
by Jill
Fast and really fun!
December 26, 2002

I just bought this game yesterday for my boyfriend and I. We played it twice and had a great time. It is a really fun and fast game. Odin's Ravens is easy to learn but you still have multiple actions you can take each turn which can drastically change the course of the game. And having to play multiple rounds to finish the game keeps it very competative! It takes a bit of strategy and only a little luck (because of which cards you draw from your deck) but you can also create an auxiliary deck to plan ahead and gain more moves. The Odin marker is a great way to shaft your partner too! All in all, Odin's Ravens is a great game that is not too complex and mind bogging but with enough actions to keep it interesting game after game. I rank it along side Caesar & Cleopatra as a great two-player game. :)

 
 
 
 
 
Beautiful, Subtle and Fun!
December 24, 2002

It took a few tries to get the hang of Odin's Ravens. At first it seemed a bit 'is that really it?' (like Lost Cities did originally). A few more plays, however, revealed the possibility for subtle planning and sneaking ahead with clever card play. It's not a dumb 'race game' by any means. In addition, the cards and pieces are top notch quality and beautiful. Another excellent title from Rio Grande Games!

 
 
 
 
 
Is it better then Lost Cities?
February 25, 2007

We got this game after we got addicted to Lost Cities and wanted to play something different. First of all If you were the person who won 80% of Lost Cities , you probably are going to lose 80% Odin's.

Odin's has definitely more strategy than Lost Cities and if you would play with somebody who thinks a lot on their turn the game could take even 1,5 hour to play. We thought that nobody can think of a better game that Lost Cities and this one comes very close (according to my husband it is even better).

One more thing I understand why land cards are narrow but why flying cards are so narrow, they are hard to shuffle and we mix them up with land cards. They should be different size.

 
 
 
 
 
by Kitty
good game
May 11, 2003

It is a good game, not as good as Hera and Zues or Lost Cities, but not a bad one. Thw rules are a little confusing but not too bad to learn. The only problem is that each round is too fast. And I thought Lost cities was fast, this is faster, so doesn't really make you enjoy it much each round. But over all, a good game.

 
 
 
 
 
by JR
Too simple for greatness
March 01, 2007

The game is a nice, easy to teach filler or holiday game ideal for children. However, it is not in the same league as battleline or lost cities. There is room for some simple strategy, but anyone wanting to exercise their grey cells should try lord of the rings the confrontation instead.

 
 
 
 
 
Not as good as Lost Cities
January 18, 2006
I did enjoy this game (I only played it once) but there is no possible way that it is as good as Lost Cities. I put it in the same category as Balloon Cup, but no higher. So every time you pull out this game, you have to ask yourself if you would rather be playing Lost Cities or not. I can't imagine ever wanting to play this game more than Lost Cities.

So I recomend this game only to people who play a heck of a lot of 2-player games (which I hardly ever play). In that case, you'll probably get sick of Lost Cities and Carcassonne and be ready for something new. I would probably also recomend Balloon Cup over this game but that may be because I have played it a lot more.

Other Resources for Odin's Ravens:

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