Norse culture and mythology are currently conquering themes within popular entertainment and media, and thank the gods for us Viking fanatics, the board game industry is an outstanding contributor to this serge.
No matter what your taste in board or card game, there is a Norse game that’s got you covered. Whether you prefer the light-hearted strategy of games such as Vikings Gone Wild or delving into the experience of the Viking way of life in A Feast For Odin, you’re guaranteed to find a game that satisfies your thirst for mighty beasts and noble Nordic warriors.
Asgard has fallen into chaos, and so our hero Thor has been tasked with the retrieval of Odin’s crown from none other than the treacherous Loki. With the sound of the storm and a clap of thunder, the epic army building game, Thunder and Lightning begins.
In this two-player card game, blessed to us by designer Richard Borg, players build and battle their armies of giants and heroes. Alongside their magical gifts of the gods, players challenge their might and wit for the favour of Odin and the throne of Asgard. But, do you choose the path of the righteous warrior Thor or the cunning trickster Loki?
Thunder and Lightning Gameplay
Both rivals draw their hand of nine cards, consisting of either minions or spells, then place three of their cards face-down in the first row against one another in a 15-40-minute battle. Expand your army with each player having a limit of four rows each in their playing area, if a card is lost in a row then the cards in the same column slide forward to fill the empty slot on the battle field.
Minion cards follow the simplistic top-trump rule being the card with the highest damage is victorious, which is a huge bonus for players like myself who don’t find numbers particularly fun, allowing for fast pace action. Or perhaps take your time to unravel your opponent’s plot in an information control play or put your poker face to the test, after all this game adds an additional layer of secretive strategy in-which players reckon with risk and chance.
As for the spell cards, they add an extra dimension to create alternative paths and lines of attack and defence. Alongside the explanatory text upon the cards and within the detailed game guide, any complications or ambiguities can be removed which a quick reference to the guide.
While there aren’t many components to Thunder and Lightning, consisting of just two decks of cards, two player tokens and a guide book, the quality and art is pleasing to say the least. The card art is very appealing to any fantasy or mythology lovers, with each card fulfilling the Nordic flavour of the game. The wooden engraved player tokens add to the Norse spirit of the game, whilst giving a high-quality finish and enhancing the overall experience.
Final Thoughts on Thunder and Lightning
Thunder and Lightning has a lot of depth with various strategic approaches, without having any unnecessary components or systems for the sake of systems. I appreciate the developer’s choice to hold the raw mechanics of the game to the highest priority, the phrase quality over quantity comes to mind.
Overall, Thunder and Lightning is a great addition to any Viking enthusiast, mythology lover, or a general card game collector who is looking for something unique and visually striking to add to their collection.