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Review: Valda – Race to the Gods


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Claim the power of the gods!

Posted 22/12/2018 by

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“Valda is Old Norse for power and that is exactly what this game is all about. “ 

Do you want to be a God with amazing powers? Now is your chance! In Valda- Race to the Gods you are a simple chieftain of a small tribe. You have the chance to become a God by collecting as many followers as possible. This game is created by Nathan Vermeulen and published by Bannan Games.

Some games require a huge setup, but in this game after a simple setup you and your fellow players can start collecting followers. Each round is divided in five different phases. Valda lasts 6 rounds and takes around a half hour per player. This means that this is a fast paced game with a lot of possibilities and challenges.

Let’s have a look at all of the different phases to better understand the dynamics of this great looking game:

During the resource phase you roll the dice and collect resources like gold and diamonds but you can also harvest divine blood. You can collect more dice when you build structures in one of the next phases.

In the second phase you have two cards from the base deck that are visible. You can use the powers on those cards, collect one of the resources or take the cards. The great thing about this phase is the aspect that the other players know which cards you take, so they can anticipate your next move.

In the building phase you’re obviously building structures and temples. The structures provide more resources which you can use for other buildings. The temples grant you divine abilities and a follower. The divine abilities grant you amazing powers that you can use during your actions, so it’s recommended to claim those territories.

The attack phase was the most surprising aspect in the game. It’s not the active player that attacks but all the other players. That’s the moment when it’s handy to remember the cards of the other players so you can anticipate how many attack cards they have and what the value of those cards was. The player with the most followers can mount an attack first and then the next player in line. The attack mechanism in this game is very straightforward but provides enough tactics. You can’t allow the other players to have a lot of temples so attacking is very important.

In the last phase you receive followers if you have temples in some areas. For example if you have a temple in Loki’s domain you can roll the followers die/dice.

At the end of the sixth round you check which player has the most followers and he or she is the new Viking God and the winner of Valda.

When we first played Valda at Spiel in Essen we were surprised by this game. There was no big advertisement around this game but it became our Spiel surprise. First of all the graphics in this game are amazing. When you see the artwork you’re immediately drawn to it. The second thing we loved about this game is how much depth they packed into this straightforward game. This means you can play the game in a matter of minutes with starting or advanced players.


Valda is a fast paced game with enough depth and challenges for beginning and experienced players. The components are well designed and the artwork is spectacular. Are you interested in this game? This game is on Kickstarter until January 6th and will be ready for delivery around April 2019.

Valda on Kickstarter