Blood Rage Strategy – Frigga’s Sacrifice and the Volur Witch
It’s been a little while since we’ve written a Blood Rage board game strategy on this blog. This is a series of articles I started doing around eight months ago looking at the different strategies for each of the monsters in Blood Rage. So far we have looked at the Troll, the Frost Giant, the Sea Serpent, the Dark Elf, and the Dwarven Chieftain. Today we are going to look at one of the lesser talked about pieces, the Volur Witch.
The Volur Witch is an interesting character as she doesn’t seem to be regularly picked by the Blood Rage community online. There is actually a really interesting BGG forum post where people discuss her uses that you can read here.
Beyond that, she is a character unlike any of the others because her use is often taken into account. The Volur Witch is a Third Age monster (I feel monster is a bit of a harsh term, but that is the correct terminology), and her ability is one which would be useful earlier on in the game. She is also only in the 3+ players version of the game, costing three Rage to invade but giving three power in return. What is it? Well, this is what the card states –
May retreat from an outer province to Yggdrasil instead of being destroyed.
So what is the Volur Witch base Blood Rage Strategy?
The way to think of the Volur Witch is as a force within Blood Rage that cannot be destroyed. Her strength comes from two different areas.
The first of these strengths is through her retreat to Yggdrasil. This gives the option to pillage Yggdrasil during the final act of the game with a fairly strong monster.
The other strength comes from what that positioning means, as it means the Volur Witch can, in theory, be brought into any province during that final act as reinforcements.
This works well as a base strategy, however, it needs some fleshing out. The Volur Witch may seem simple, but to optimise her and maximise her usage potential within that final act of the game, some real thought needs to be put into the game.
Planning ahead for the Volur Witch probably isn’t worth it as a strategy in its own right; however, if you see it early on in the Third Age it is possible optimise your hand to make the most out of the witch whilst you have her. This means optimising that final card drafting phase in Third Age. During that phase you want to keep an eye out for the following cards. You’d also want to play them in this order.
Card 1: Frigga’s Sacrifice
There is some debate online about whether Frigga’s Sacrifice can count with the Volur Witch, since that witch is not destroyed. The simple way around this is to use the Volur Witch in a highly contested region in which you already have two warriors.
Frigga’s Sacrifice allows you to raise one of your clan’s stats by one if you kill off two warriors. Do that and lose the region. Move the Volur Witch to Yggdrasil. Pillage as soon as you can, as you don’t want Yggdrasil to be tempting for anyone else to try and take it.
Card 2: Odin’s Throne
Odin’s Throne, which costs 2 Rage, is an upgrade that allows you to be awarded double the glory for quests you complete.
Card 3: Glorious Death
Glorious Death is a quest that is actually about losing the game. With Glorious Death, the players get 11 points if they have 4 figures or more in Valhalla (before Ragnarok) at the end of the game.
This means you will need to invade and lose at least two more, since you have already sacrificed at least two to Frigga. Since there has to be 3+ players for the Witch to be in play, that shouldn’t be too hard. There are actually two Glorious Death cards, doubling your chance of picking one up.
Card 4: Yggdrasil!
Yggdrasil! is another quest card, about having the most strength in Yggdrasil at the end of the game. You will already have 3 strength in there due to the witch. Move one or two more units in, if you can, or even the Dark Elf (who can invade into Yggdrasil) and you should be able to hold it.
Being a properly beardy gamer at heart, that should be 42 glory for the Volur Witch and those four cards, which is basically the best combo I can work out with the Third Age cards and the Volur Witch.
There are, of course, downsides to this strategy. It does rely on specific cards, when there is nothing that can be really planned ahead for. This makes it incredibly risky; however, for 42 points, plus three stat increases from the cards, it can sometimes be worth the risk.
Concluding the Frigga’s Witch Blood Rage Strategy
Several times over the past few hundred words, I’ve said that the Volur Witch is something of a unique anomaly in the Blood Rage world. Where there are several strategies that can be used with almost every other monster, integrating them into a larger whole, the Volur Witch stands alone. This does kind of go with the mythology of the Volur Witch to begin with. They were loners in Norse Mythology.
The risk is huge when playing Frigga’s Witch as a strategy. The key to it all is actually in the three latter cards – Odin’s Throne, Glorious Death, and Yggdrasil!. You can, ironically enough, live without Frigga’s Sacrifice, so long as you have the other three in the game. That does require getting all three cards though, something which can be hard in a card drafting scenario.
The reward, however, is game-changing. The Volur Witch, using this strategy, stands a chance of really ruling the game, gaining 42 points at game end, as well as any additional bonuses from three extra stats. It’s worth the risk.
So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below.