In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology, in connection to which the nine worlds exist. Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is central and considered very holy. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to assemble at their things. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations; one to the well Urðarbrunnr in the heavens, one to the spring Hvergelmir, and another to the well Mímisbrunnr. Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the wyrm Níðhöggr, an unnamed eagle, and the stags Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór.

But in our house, when we are talking about Yggdrasil, nine times out of ten, we’re talking about the board game.

Yggdrasil_cover

Yggdrasil

Published: 2011 by Z-Man Games and Ludonaute

Designed by: Cedric LeFebvre and Fabrice Rabellino

# of players: 1-6

Suggested Ages: 13 and up

Playing time: 75 minutes

Purchase: Amazon (But it’s selling for $98, which is way too much. Keep out an eye for it on ebay, maybe.)

Yggdrasil, the “terrible steed”, a cosmic ash tree that supports the nine worlds, is in jeopardy. As the Ragnarök approaches, you, mighty among the Æsir and Vanir Gods, have to face the relentless advance of Evil Forces. You must sacrifice everything to prevent Evil from destroying Yggdrasil. The last battle, predicted since the dawn of time, is starting now. Your only aim is to repel the Evil Forces in order for Yggdrasil to survive this universe at war.

Yggdrasil is a co-operative game in which players are different gods of the Norse mythology: Odin, Thor, Tyr, Frey, Heimdall and Frejya. Monsters, the wolf Fenrir, the huge serpent Jormungand, the Fire Giant Surt, the Goddess of the Dead Hel, the traitor Loki and the cosmic dragon Nidhogg are moving forward in Asgard inescapably and announce the impending coming of chaos and destruction on the world tree Yggdrasil. Together the players have to resist to the impending coming of the Evil forces in Asgard, the gods’ world.

I really like Yggdrasil. It might be one of my current favorites. First, the Norse Mythology theme is well-done and carries through all aspects of the game play. I tend to judge games based on theme. As a god, your choice of actions includes asking for the elves’ help, getting a weapon from the dwarves, sending the Valkyries to look for Vikings’ souls on Midgard. You can also negotiate with the Vanir, fight giants, and, of course, fight the invading enemies. The board itself is gorgeous for a board game, and the runes add to the flavor.

It’s a co-operative game, but not one that a single tends to take over. Yes you can discuss your moves, but you still control what you do. It’s not easy to win, but it’s not impossible either.

It’s a good game for our family/ weekly game group. Our only daughter is 13 and likes mythology. This is one she can play and be even with the rest of us, since we all win or lose together. Some games she can play and has as good a chance of winning as any of us, but others even though she can play the strategy is just a little over her head, making it hard for her to win. It’s funny, as a group we probably lose 75% of the time, but she says we’ve won each time she’s played. I don’t know if she just helps make better decisions or it’s coincidence. She does always play as Odin, which may matter too.

If my husband happens to be reading this, we need to pick up Asgard, the expansion – more gods and they can go into trances.

This is one that’s definitely worth having on your shelf. Set up can take a little time, but it’s worth it. Watch out for Fenrir. He’s usually the cause of our downfall.