Brave ruler of the Vikings!
Your fleet has been caught in a terrible storm and some unknown power has steered you towards an island that has suddenly appeared out of nowhere. You land on the foreign shore and set up camp. Suddenly a powerful voice speaks to you. Before you stands Loki, the trickster god of deceit, who welcomes you to his island located between the realms of the living and the dead, which he has named ALU. In addition to you, he has brought in a ruler from your neighbouring kingdom and for his own entertainment he gives you both a task – defeat your enemy in battle by gaining control of the mysterious realm of ALU. The victorious shall be allowed to return home and take control of their enemy’s kingdom, as well as maintain the opportunity to enter Valhalla. Due to Loki’s scheming, the defeated shall be sent to the cold underworld – Helheim.
Defeat your enemy, escape from Loki’s grip and secure the future of your kingdom!
Chapter 1: Basic information
ALU is a strategic board game for two players.
The game consists of a grid-based game board with 40 tiles and two resource counters, which hold the players’ strategic resources. The goal is to control a larger area of the game board by the end of the game.
- 1x Game Board
- 2x Resource counters
- 14x Square game pieces
- 14x Circle game pieces
- 14x Raiding pieces
- 1x Instruction manual
- 2x Cheat cards
- 1x Audio guide QR-card
The player’s resources are kept on the resource counter:
- Construction materials (square shaped slider pieces, marked as ⬛ in this guide)
- Iron (triangle shaped slider pieces, marked as ▲ in this guide)
- Food (circle shaped slider pieces, marked as ⚫ in this guide)
There is also a designated wide slot to hold the game pieces on the resource counter.
At the start of the game each player has 25 units of construction materials (⬛), 10 units of iron (▲) and 0 units of food (⚫). Availiable resources are held on the left side of the resource counter.
After using a resource, it is moved to the right side to mark that it is no longer availiable.
The activities on the cheat cards must be read from up to down, in the same order as in this instruction manual. On the left side of the card, from up to down are five embossed signs, each marking a different action. The double line on the card marks the bottom edge.
On the right of the action signs are embossed signs that depict resources: square, circle and triangle, which display the cost or gain of the actions.
A resource sign that is empty inside marks the resource which the player must pay to perform the action. A resource sign that is filled marks the resource which the player gains from performing the action.
Chapter 2: Actions
Actions can only be performed if the player has the required resources availiable. Each action requires a certain amount of resources.
Actions may only be performed on tiles, which are connected to another tile on which the player has set up their camp. Performing any action diagonally is not allowed.
Setting up a camp - Requires 1x unit of construction materials ()
The player will place their game piece on a vacant tile, gaining control over the tile.
A camp may only be set up on vacant tiles.
Raiding - Requires 1x unit of construction materials (), awards 1x unit of food ()
The player places a raiding piece on a vacant tile. Camps may not be set up on raided tiles. (Unless performing the combined action)
This action does not give control over the tile.
The food gained from the action may not be used until the next turn.
Restoring a raided tile - Requires 1x unit of construction materials ()
The player removes the raiding piece and returns it to its designated slot.
Actions may be performed on the tile again.
This action will not give the player control over the tile.
Setting up a camp on a raided tile - Requires 2x units of construction materials () and 1x unit of iron (▲)
This action will combine the “setting up a camp” and “restoring a raided tile” actions into one single action at an additional cost.
Attacking - Requires 1x unit of iron (▲) and 1x unit of food ()
If the camps of the two players are next to each other, side by side, players may attack their opponent's camp. The attacker will remove their opponent’s camp from the game board and return the game piece to the owner.
The tile will be marked as raided using a raiding piece and will have to be restored before setting up a new camp.
Figure A: The figure shows attack opportunities for both players, marked with an X. Players may only attack camps that are located right next to them.
Chapter 3: Game progression
The game board is set between the two players. The resource counters are optionally attached to the game board by connecting the pins on the underside of the game board to the designated slots on the resource counters. Both players set their circle or square game pieces into the slots on their personal resource counter. The raid pieces are placed in the slots located on both edges of the game board outside of the grid.
The resource counters are set to their starting position: construction materials and iron to the left and food to the right.
Starting the game
The player with circle game pieces will make the first move. The starting player can only perform two actions during their first turn to negate the starter’s advantage. Afterwards both players will perform three actions per turn.
The first action of both players must be setting up a camp, for which the players use their personal game pieces.
The first camp may be set up on a vacant tile, which is bordered by the edge of the game board.
Controlling the tiles
Control over tiles may be gained in two ways:
- Setting up a camp on a tile
- Bordering empty tiles by surrounding them with camps.
Figure B: The striped tiles mark a bordered area under the control of the player with square shaped game pieces.
Bordering tiles is also effective at the edges of the game board. If a player has surrounded at least two sides of an area located on the edge with their camps they will have gained control. Up to two edges of the board may be used to enforce a border.
Raided tiles will count as controlled tiles if they are located inside a bordered area.
If a player has surrounded an area with the opposing player’s camp(s) still inside, they will not gain control over the area.
If the opposing player attacks a camp used for bordering an area, the player will lose control over said area.
Even though actions may not be performed diagonally, borders will count even with diagonal connections.
Chapter 4: End of the game
There are three ways for the game to end:
- If a player loses all of their camps from the game board, they will lose instantly.
- If a player gains control of 21 tiles on the game board, they will win instantly.
- If both players run out of resources, the player who controls more tiles wins the game.