Orlog! Orlog! Orlog! I have played a grand total of four hours of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and at least two of them have been playing this daft dice game. Much like The Witcher 3's Gwent, players can stumble upon Orlog challengers throughout Valhalla, and partake in a weirdly engrossing minigame. I have good news for those of us who've got hooked on it - Ubisoft are making an actual physical version that's set to arrive next year.
I've been on a real tabletop binge this lockdown, so it's no wonder the in-game dice 'em up has thoroughly hooked me. The aim of Orlog is to kill your opponent, basically. Both yours and their life is represented by lots of little stones, which you remove each time you take damage. You roll your dice each round to decide what you're doing, and different symbols on the dice have different effects: you can block damage, deal damage, gather favour from the gods, or pinch your enemy's favour. Collecting favour allows you to use special abilities, like drain your opponent's health, or remove all their block so you can freely whack 'em.
If ever there was a Viking dice game, of course it would be about killing your opponent, right? However, it turns out Orlog wasn't a real game. Actual Vikings didn't run around rolling six-sided dice for fun - though, they did have board games that involved chucking cylindrical things instead. Unfortunately, those didn't work so well with Valhalla's physics engine.
"The goal was to have a game that would be ‘credible’ rather than historically accurate as we didn’t find any clear rules throughout our research," Benoit Richer, Ubisoft's co-development game director, told our sister site Dicebreaker.
Originally, they wanted Orlog to be more like a deckbuilding game, too, letting players collect unique dice on their journeys to customise their rolls. I'm kind of glad it never came to that. My obsession with deckbuilders like Monster Train and Slay The Spire has only just subsided.
There's no word yet on exactly when the physical adaption of Orlog will be available. Ubisoft are working with PureArts (who create lots of very expensive figurines and things) to make it, and it'll arrive sometime in 2021.
Valhalla has plenty more going on to keep us busy while we wait for this excellent spin-off board game, though. Have a browse of Jake's big Assassin's Creed Valhalla walkthrough for help and guidance on what to do next. Or, if you haven't played it yet, check out Alice Bee's Assassin's Creed Valhalla review to see if it's worth picking up.