In the grim dark past of Blood Rage, there is only war.
Over the past few months here, on Start Your Meeples, we have been looking at the various monsters in the award winning game Blood Rage and the various strategies that can be applied to make the most out of them upon the field of Norse Mythology. So far we have covered the Dark Elf, the Dwarven Chief, the Troll, and the Sea Serpent. Today we will be tackling what is, quite possibly, the coolest looking monster in Blood Rage. Yes, we will be looking at the Frost Giant for this installment of Blood Rage board game strategy. I mean, look at him – isn’t it just an an awesome miniature? Just…badass…am I right?
The Frost Giant has an interesting ability within the game of Blood Rage and he has quite a few strategic options open to him. This is due to the wording of the Frost Giant card which says:
If you successfully pillage with this monster, gain the pillage reward again.
Instantly, you can see, that is a fairly exciting ability. What it means is that the Frost Giant gains double the reward for any pillage he manages to successfully achieve and, upon reading that, seasoned Blood Rage players may open their eyes slightly wider. Yes, that’s right, double the reward. That’s a whole load of Rage.
Now, the Frost Giant is fairly strong; however, he is a late game monster. This limits his use; but even with limitations, he can still be rather exciting.
Blood Rage Board Game Strategy: The Lone Frost Giant
There is a very subtle tactic with the Frost Giant that has gained a fair amount of popularity within the blogging sphere over the past year. The Frost Giant is not a particularly maneuverable monster within the Blood Rage game. Instead he seems to specialise in being strong, and with a really neat combative ability, but weak in the realms of how expensive he is. The Frost Giant is 4 Rage to deploy, and the sheer size of him makes him either a target or something to avoid by the meta-game alone.
These are things you have to keep in mind when using the Frost Giant; however, where it is intrinsic to think of the Frost Giant as the main part of a strategy, he actually needs to be thought of as reinforcements. You see, the craftiest trick with the Frost Giant is to use him as a reinforcement for a unit pillaging Yggdrasil.
What this means is:
- Get to Yggdrasil with another unit and hold it.
- Move the Frost Giant onto the board, but ideally keep him away from combat.
- Pillage Yggdrasil and, when given the option to move troops into the centre of the board, move the Frost Giant. This will happen in the Call to Battle part of the pillage.
- Complete the pillage with the Frost Giant, meaning the reward can be claimed twice. This means gaining the Yggdrasil reward twice, which is boosting all statistics by one.
Yes, Yggdrasil can be claimed twice and this is a really interesting point about the Frost Giant. His only limitation is movement, where realistically he has an amazing ability.
Of course, there are a few things that can be done to make this progression to pillaging Yggdrasil even easier and more effective.
Strategy Augmentation #1: The Dark Elf of Destiny
One of the nicest strategy augmentations that surrounds the Frost Giant strategy is to use the Dark Elf as part of the invasion party taking over Yggdrasil.
The ability of the Dark Elf is that he/she can invade Yggdrasil, and he/she is the only unit that can. What is more, it is a first age monster.
What this means is that Yggdrasil can basically be reserved from the very first turn. It is difficult for most units to get to Yggdrasil really early on in the game. Instead, this leaves way for the Dark Elf (who has a strength of two) to put enough threat in the centre of the board to put early players off.
Over the course of several turns it is then possible to reinforce the Dark Elf with other units. Be warned, this may weaken your province or village game by dividing your strength between Yggdrasil and elsewhere, but for the sake of boosting all statistics for a successfully pillaged Yggdrasil, it is a price that is easy to pay.
Strategy Augmentation #2: The Power of Tyr
One popular move is to use one of the Clan Upgrades to reset an area after it has been pillaged, so it can be pillaged twice in a turn. The card is Tyr’s Challenge (an Age II card) and means that an area can be repillaged after it has been pillaged to gain the reward twice in a turn. The downside is it requires two Rage, however, that Rage is (once again) a small price to pay for the ability.
Technically there is also no comment on how many times you can do it, so long as you have the Rage, and there is a forum on BGG that discusses this, however it may be a thing to house rule. The last thing you want is for someone to literally just sit in Yggdrasil and keep repillaging to the point where they just instantly win the game by maxing their stats, however, even doing it once means you can hit Yggdrasil twice with the Frost Giant assuming you have already pillaged Yggdrasil with him that turn by using the strategy above. That means a potential reward for pillaging + Frost Giant ability reward + potential reward for repillaging + Frost Giant ability reward again.
Of course, this is taking one reading for Tyr‘s Challenge and, in writing this I have just thought of another way it could be read (ie. repillaged an area you didn’t originally pillage but that an opponent did) so it is definitely considering how you want to play the card. That being said, even if you do decide to house rule against it, that are even more options for the Frost Giant within the game to get the most out of him.
Strategy Augmentation #3: Odin the Allfather
There are other strategies that can be used in order to boost the Frost Giant, one of which uses the expansion pack The Gods of Asgard, using Odin as a character. Odin has an interesting ability within the Blood Rage universe, in which he allows for a pillage reward to be gained again on top of its original claim. Where this doesn’t mean the Frost Giant can reclaim his ability, as it is not doing the pillaging action twice like how Tyr’s Challenge allows, it does add up to one heck of a cracking round. I haven’t tried it myself, but I have read about it on a BGG forum (you can read it here).
So, how do you make the most out of Odin? The answer is surprisingly similar to when using Tyr or a Dark Elf. The core strategy for Odin is to get him to a key province like Yggdrasil, or somewhere with a resource that you need. Then, get the Frost Giant there (or take Odin to the Frost Giant, whichever is easiest), to claim your reward for pillaging, your reward for the Frost Giant, and your reward for Odin. Simply awesome.
Of course, the requires the expansion. Otherwise, go with Tyr, the Dark Elf or the Frost Giant strategy. All of them work pretty well, and depending on what you decide to go with you can have a fairly solid Blood Rage board game strategy.
That’s five monsters down now – The Dark Elf and the Dwarf Chieftain, The Troll, The Sea Serpent, and the Frost Giant. In the new year we’ll be looking at some of the others, starting with the incredibly tough Fire Giant. I mean look at this guy –
It should be good. Until then, have a great New Year folks. Stay safe and continue loving the game.