Disclaimer: This is a paid preview, images and words are my own.
‘Herrlof’ – Norse, meaning “praise gained in war”
Herrlof is a two-person Viking trick taking game from Jolly Dutch and plays in around 30 minutes. As Vikings you will battle it out to be the first player to score 50 points by winning tricks but most importantly by correctly predicting just how many tricks you will win!
If you are unfamiliar with trick taking games, the general gist is that each player plays one card, and the highest card wins, the winner then takes those cards to record how many tricks they have won. All cards played in a trick must follow suit, if you are able to do so. The trump is a suit that will win over any other suit, even if the number is lower.
How to Play
The deck consists of 36 viking cards made up of four suits, numbered 1 to 9 each plus 6 special cards. Each player is dealt 15 cards and from the remaining deck of cards, the top one is turned over to set the trump for this round. After viewing their hands, players make a prediction as to how many of the 15 tricks they think they could win, these predictions are recorded in secret on the score sheets provided. Choose at random a player to go first and let the battle for tricks commence!
Once all cards have been played and tricks won, it’s on to the scoring and this is where your predictions come in! For every trick you win you gain one point, for a correct prediction of 3, 4 or 5 tricks you will win a further 5 bonus points and for all other correct predictions you win a further 10 bonus points!
Tricks with a Twist!
While there are many trick taking games on the market, Herrlof adds some special cards and actions to add something new to a well loved classic.
There are two special cards in the game, with three copies of each. The N card is lower than all other cards, when played the loser of this trick starts the next trick. However if two N’s are played in the same trick, the first one wins. This is especially important if you are trying to lose a trick intentionally to make sure you get your prediction dead on!
The Triangles card destroys the current trick when played, again this can be a vital tactic to getting those predictions right or sabotaging the other player if you think they need to win the trick but you’d rather not take it or cannot win it! If two Triangles are played, it destroys the trick still but also causes a new trump to be revealed, which could change the rest of the round entirely and really mess with predictions!
Outside of these special cards there are also four special actions that can be taken if you win a trick using a certain number card:
- Win using a 1 – Steal a trick from the other player
- Win using a 3 – Take a card from the top of the deck then discard a card from your hand
- Win using a 6 – Steal a card from your opponent then hand them a card of your choice back
- Win using a 9 – Opponent starts the next trick
Herrlof is now live on Kickstarter, with pledges starting at approx £8 / €9 / $10 due to fulfil July 2020. If you’re a fan of trick-taking games or are looking for a new two-player card game be sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign here!