The post-apocalyptic world of Ragnarol is pretty lawless but we can add a veneer of civilisation. The following rules can be included in the game to make it a little more forgiving or maybe even less, depending which rules you choose.
This variant adds a neutral group of warriors and opens up some additional strategies. At the start of play, set up an extra player mat at the centre of the table and add 2 soldiers, 2 shield-maidens and 10 stores. These are the shut-ins. The shut-ins won’t raid but can be raided as if they were another player. When raiding, have another player roll the dice. Treat any Eyes as snakes. If the shut-ins win a battle and are faced with a choice of who to kill, they will kill warriors first, followed by shieldmaidens and then finally followed by the dog.
The shut-ins can also be recruited to create a stronger fighting force. When raiding the shut-ins, for each axe you win by, you can choose to recruit a warrior instead of taking a store or killing a warrior. During the feeding phase, roll all the shut-ins and discard any warriors that show an Eye or snakes. These warriors have decided to abandon the world of men and join the gods (they walk out into the snow and die). Feed the shut-ins from their stores as if they were another player, if they need to make a choice about who to keep alive, they will choose the shieldmaidens over the warriors.
This variant opens up a lot more possibilities and helps add more strategic choices to a 2-player game.
A War of Words
Vikings aren’t all about killing each other, sometimes they just want to get this stuff. In this variant, you can negotiate with the other. At the end of each raid, the defeated player can offer to pay a ransom to spare any warriors who would otherwise be killed. The ransom is up for negotiation, and could be any number of stores, or even an agreement of non-raiding. You may also negotiate with a raiding party before the raid and offer them stores if they refrain from raiding.
The World Serpent
Jörmungandr, the World Serpent, is so large that it can encircle the world and grasp it’s own tail with it’s teeth. It ends where it begins, and in this game variant, so do your raids. Players conduct their raids in a chain. After a player defends, she raids. So, the player with the smallest war party goes first, and then the player that’s the target of the first raid. The player that’s the target of the second raid goes third and so on. When choosing targets you can only pick players who haven’t raided yet, and the last player to be raided must then raid the first raider. This variant adds another strategic element as you can limit other player’s choice with your own, and it can also be a smoother way of determining turn order.
A Warrior’s Code
As a strong Viking warrior you wish to test your strength only against other strong and ready opponents. You cannot raid a player who has already been raided, unless that is your only option.
The Long Night
Players must declare who they will raid before they reveal (but after they have separated) their dice. This can make for a more brazen and luck-based game. Take turns declaring first and just go around the table. This rule works well with A Warrior’s Code or The World Serpent, and makes for super intense 2 player games!