Calvin’s Commentaries: Longboat

Throw a Viking theme onto a game and you have at least teased this gamer enough to take a look.

That means when I read something like; “In a game of Longboat, players take the role of brave Jarls sailing down the river, filling their boats with loyal Vikings in search of loot and glory,” I perk up with interest.

So what is Longboat?

Ultimately it is a very lite card game, with just a hint of Viking charm.

Players will take turns to draft cards from a central pool called the river and add them to their boat.

“Some cards will trigger special actions that will affect the flow of the game,” notes the rules. “These can be used to either benefit yourself or make things harder for your opponents.”

Once all the cards have been drafted, the player with the most glorious boat wins.

Sadly though the choices here are rather limited, so you grab cards, add them to your boat and you still have time to talk about the sports scores.

As the rules note, you do need to make sure you have plenty of space, because your boat will be getting a lot longer.

Players keep drafting cards in order until there are none left in the river. Then the round is over.

Now players must calculate the ‘speed of their boat’. This is done by adding up the number of Vikings on the boat and subtracting the number of sheep. Yes, there are pesky sheep cards in the game that you can hand off to other players.

As might be expected some cards will trigger special actions that you can use to help yourself or hinder other players, which is a pretty common card game fare.

The game is by designer Mike Kay who also did the art, which is light-hearted and fun, which fits the game well.

Overall, lite is the keyword here. It feels like it would be ideal for a family with youngsters of eight-or-nine years of age, but for serious gamers, it might fall short beyond a very occasional filler offering.

Check it out at

Thanks to Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for helping play and review this game.

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