Deyr fé
deyia frændr
deyr siálfr it sama
en orztírr
deyr aldregi
hveim er sér góðan getr
  Cattle die
kin die
even oneself dies
but the name
never dies
of one who has done well

Landnám, literally land-taking, is the Old Norse term for the settlement of the North Atlantic islands in the viking age. This game focuses on this aspect of the period, which though less violent than certain contemporary events was not entirely without conflicts of its own.

The game consists of the exploration of an island, building settlements there and aquiring power and glory by winning legal disputes at the Althing – coincidentally corresponding to the three ages of Icelandic history between the Norse discovery of the island in the 9th century and the country's submission to the Norwegian crown in 1262: Landnámaöld, Söguöld and Sturlungaöld.


Tips and tricks

It is strongly recommended that the exploration card received at the beginning is not used immediately, but saved until exploring the neighbouring hex of a reasonably good one already located. This will ensure that a location between two good hexes are available for the crucial first farm.

Try to place your first two farms in such a way that you have access to at least three of the four resource types, preferably all four. If you can't manage that, try to get a settler onto the missing resources as quickly as possible.

In the beginning of the game, if you discover a wood hex or have the fate card that ensures that you will find one, it may be a good idea to build a second ship on the outer hex right away. This will give you greater freedom of choice in movement, an opportunity to build beside good hexes that other players discover, and may help you build your second farm sooner.

Remember that the closer to 7 a number is, the greater the chance that it will be rolled. Green numbers improve when aged, red numbers decline, the most attractive numbers are therefore 4 to 8.

Because sheep is the most common resource, you should consider building a sheep harbour early in the game if you have an available sea hex and at least one pasture hex with a good number. This can reduce the need for getting access to all four resources; you could even consider going for almost only pasture hexes, which will be handy if you are trying to get a monopoly.

If you are able to ensure that you get significantly more income of a particular type of resource than the other players, this can be turned into a kind of monopoly by placing settlers on the hexes where others produce this resource. This means that they will have to trade for that resource, either at the costly 4-to-1 price of the stock, or trade you for whatever it is you need at the moment. Because you will then always have more of that resource than anybody else, they will not be able to force your settlers out of hexes of this type with lawsuits. Because of that, you should try to place these settlers in such a way that you have at least three possible suits against you, so that you may earn a victory point in that way.

If another player has three or more possible suits against him which he expects to win, you should seriosly consider bringing up one of these even though you expect to lose. If not, he will earn one victory point anyway, and the situation is unchanged. If he is forced to spend at least one resource more than you do, his hold of these areas will weaken in the long run.

If you manage to outlaw another player's unit, you should try to make it difficult for him to leave your area. If a 7 is rolled before he manages to get away, you will earn a victory point. If you are certain that you are able to block the escape of a settler this way, or if you have the fate card that does the same, you should bring up the suit against him even though you will need the help of another player to win it, giving that player the initial victory point. You will still receive the red victory point token, and you will get rid of an opponent who steals your income.

Note that as soon as most of the coast is discovered, the importance of boats rapidly declines in favour of settlers.

Tor Gjerde <>