Recently I have described our first game of 878 Vikings and today there is an opportunity to present another session report from that fantastic game. But you would be surprised by the players composition we managed to muster – both Piotr and me convinced our wives to join us in the game! My first experiences with that title and report I created were so well received by our friends that even girls were eager to try that Vikings’ invasions themed design.

As we planned, we did. We divided the sides in following way – yes, girls expressed their willingness to be on aggressive, Vikings side:

  • Norsemen Vikings – Maria
  • Berserkers Vikings – Magda
  • English – Housecarl – Piotr
  • English – Thegens – Michal (me)

The session report

You know I am a fan of graphical depictions thus detailed map below plus description what was going on:

Turn 1

  • Vikings – pretty surprisingly for us – attack in the middle, effectively cutting the island in half. That is quite a clever move, as it captures two Anglo-Saxon reinforcement centers and allow Norsemen to deal with each part of enemy forces – northern and southern – separately.
  • As for our, British forces (should I use term British already in 878 AD ?) – we only recruit new soldiers and amass them to have enough manpower to stand against the invaders.

Turn 2

  • Another leader and another Viking army arrives – this time in the north, overtaking (historically) weakly defended cities and villages. The whole North is ripe for the conquest now.
  • The defending forces in the south grow in strength but the strategic situation does not look good. There are 17 cities on the map, each of them equally important. Who controls more at the end of game – wins. Vikings, while neglecting south, easily and without too much losses conquer half of island and victory points. But that will of course be not enough for them 🙂

Turn 3-4

  • Two crucial turns of the game. First, girls and their Vikings completely obliterate Northern lands, taking over all possible VPs there.
  • But boys are done with waiting! Our Thegens / Houscarl forces counter-attack and manage to kill one of the leaders!
  • Then girls decide to play va banque – they perform daring raid southwards and in an grand, epic and deadly battle almost wiped out all Anglo-Saxons in Wessex. But the gamble back-fires – Lagertha dies…

Turn 5

  • Finally, Alfred the Great arrives! Like a savior on white horse he rallies dispersed and mauled English forces and then immediately attacks north.
  • The initial battle – or rather skirmish – wipes out some marauding Vikings. But just after that another epic battle between two large hosts ensues. In that Alfred the Great crushes the Great Heathen Army under the command of Bjorn, Ragnar Lothbrook son.

At this moment the game ends with Treaty of Wedmore – both sides are too exhausted to continue. And what was the score? The Vikings were controlling 8 cities while the English still hold to 9 cities. A very close an climatic finish!


Hurray! The invaders were repelled! A very historically accurate score – while English indeed won – thanks to the Alfred the Great, a vast territory was conquered by Vikings and some of their settlements were built.

I would like also to add that we played with two expansions – one with additional Viking leader (Ragnar and Lagertha) plus epic events to Fyrd card deck. Both were pretty balanced, and added something beneficial to each of the sides.

In the end, it is worth to stress and underline that 878 Vikings is really a game for everybody. To convince our wives to a war-themed position is not an easy feat to accomplish. Still, that great and beautifully developed Academy Games product definitely can satisfy wide variety of tastes and preferences.