Scroll to bottom for a review of both bags
The much anticipated release of the new carpet cornhole bag series from BG, Viking and Mercenary, is finally here and they did not disappoint their fans! We want to thank Rich and Graham from BG for getting a set of these bags in our hands to check out and give you a first impressions look along with some feedback from real players. Both of these bags are ACL Pro Approved, which means they can be used at the Pro level and all levels below, and come with the new 2020-2021 stamp. Without further a due, the bags.
Viking and Mercenary Cornhole Bags
Let jump right into our rigorous tests, LOL, for our first impressions article of the Viking and Mercenary bags. These bags have a smaller feel to them and a weight of 15.8oz for the Mercenary and 15.9oz for the Viking. They are the perfect size to fill ratio which gives them their great in the hand feel and ability to easily find and drop into the 6″ hole. Both bags have a different carpet backside which is considered the slow side of the bag coupled with a basket weave fast side. I have handled a couple different bags and just from the feel, I can tell the Mercenary front side is a faster material than the Viking front side.
What are the Viking and Mercenary compared to?
Comparing cornhole bags is tough because are you comparing the feel, the weight, the speed, how they play, etc. There are so many factors. But in this case, all of people I asked for feedback said the same things about these bags. The Viking is most comparable to the Reynolds Pro Advantage and the Mercenary is most like the Reynolds Pro X.
Based on the speed scale numbers we have for both series of bags and the look and feel, we couldn’t agree more! So if you are a fan of the Reynolds series, we encourage you to give these bags a look. And all those things the Reynolds are famous for like rollover, flip, flop, turn, etc, these bags will perform the same way.
Viking and Mercenary testimonials from real players
“The Vikings are all around a great bag no kick. They’re fast enough to put in the hole however slow enough to set up blocks. They’re easy to flip and roll and come out of the hand nice. The Mercenary’s are slightly faster on the slide side and more hole friendly. They don’t kick and are easy to stroke with. Personally I think the Vikings are the best all around bag on the market!”
“I love em. They are just like the Pro Advantages. I fell in love with the Vikings right out of the box.”
“The Mercenary is my favorite bag right now. It has a slow side that can do anything with like bounce, curve, block or stroke the hole with no kick unless you want it to move. It has a nice fill yet slinky and hole friendly at the same time with a fast side that can push through anything. And if the fast side catches the hole at all, it’s in super easy to drag.
The Viking has the same slow side but a slower fast side almost identical to pro advantage. The carpet is great for blocking, bouncing and curve shot. You can hit them all with that bag. It’s a fuller bag that does not get as floppy as the Mercenary. The fast side is fast enough to push through other bags but very controllable and you do not have to change your throw to much from the slow side to the fast side.”
Unfortunately, we do not have these bags for sale right now but we are confident that we will shorty. When they become available, they can be purchased here
BG Viking and Mercenary Review by Dickey
BG Cornhole was nice enough to send us a set of the new Viking and Mercenary bags for an honest first impressions and review of the Viking and Mercenary bags. I was lucky enough to meet up with Mr. Addicted1 this weekend to get these bags in my hand.
Out of the box
Out of the box both bags are playable and start to break in quickly. Both bags feel great in your hand, the material for the controllable side is very similar to the Rogue slow side. Is it the same material? It’s close and I flunked home economics due to sewing in high school so I can’t say yes. As noted by the BG site and description the controllable side is the same on both bags and that is where the similarity ends.
Yesterday I was able to put both sets through a 45-minute gentle cycle with cold water and some fabric softener followed by an hour and a half in the drier on no heat, I did this twice. It worked out as my wife thought I was doing laundry. At the completion of this process the bags felt as if they were broken in nicely. Then I was able to test them against some other bags I own in the afternoon into the early evening. Temperature was around 72 degrees with about 80% humidity and overcast. Humidity wasn’t a big factor as my other test bags were sliding close to normal for the comparison.
Before I get into details, I want to explain the slower side material. This material will slow down some after you break them in. The Rogue was one of two bags I found to be great during the summer months dealing with humidity. I grew to love them as the later in the evening it got when other bags were not sliding, the Rogue was. I’m talking Gamechangers, AllSlides, Vipers, Psychos, Victory’s, Pro X, Pro Advantage, and any other fast bag people were bringing out weren’t sliding.
The slick side became a very sticky side and then I was able to push with the slower side. Yes, it is hard to explain, and most didn’t believe me until they threw them. Moving into the Viking and Mercenary they should have the same playing characteristics on the control side.
A word/name derived from an Old Norse word with questionable meanings argued by scholars. Google it, trust me it’s a good read. Viking is defined as people of Scandinavian origin who were active in trading and settlement as well as piracy and raiding between the period of 750-1100. I translate that to some hairy and scary dudes you didn’t want to get in the way of. Was this the motivation for the name of the bag? I think so.
The Viking is the better feeling out of the box in my opinion. It got softer and more playable the more bags I threw, granted most hit the pavement so that may have helped. It is a combo of the Checkmate, Rogue, and a Reynolds Pro Advantage. It has a smaller size template which feels fuller like the Checkmate (last edition of the checkmate) but with the same materials as the Rogue. If you’ve owned those bags you will understand the comparison. I personally loved the Rogue and feel this is a better bag. Imagine the Rogue, only tighter and smaller feeling.
Definition: A hired gun, someone who is motivated to do a job based on the money they would make, or a professional soldier. I see a theme here with the bag naming. Giving bad ass names to bags!
Out of the box I wasn’t a huge fan. Granted, they feel great, but I just liked the Vikings better at first. The controllable side is the same as the Viking per BG, but the fast side is different. BG states the Mercenary “tends to play a touch faster due to the bag material pairing.” What this means is that it depends on the angle your bag hits the board at. If you are throwing the control side down and your bag hits on an angle with the fast side making contact first it will be faster, then the Viking.
My thoughts are that this is a hybrid between the Assassin, Rogue, and a Gamechanger. That is based off feel. It strangely feels like a gamechanger in your hand but has characteristics of the Rogue and Assassin. Take the hole friendly characteristics of the Assassin but add more control of the Rogue for those harder throwers, and a floppiness in between each, that is the Mercenary.
Bags thrown were BG Rogue, Mercenary, Viking, GameChangers and Reynolds Pro Advantage.
As far as a straight on bag the Viking kicked a little on me, but not as much as the Pro Advantage or Rogue. The Mercenary had minimal kick for my not perfect bags. I was able to loft the Viking and Mercenary for a blocker, but was more successful with the Viking, Rogue, and Pro Advantage. On kick shots I was able to force the Viking, Rogue, and Pro Advantage to kick hard to the left (Righthanded thrower) when I angled it hard.
The Mercenary would kick, but I think the faster slide side kept it from going as hard as the others. Kind of how I can get a Pro Advantage to kick more than a Pro X, the faster material hits first and doesn’t grab as hard at times.
Now onto the flop, roll shot. Let me start off by saying I have not mastered either and doubt I ever will. I don’t fully get the concept but can get it occasionally to do it when I try hard enough. The Viking was right with the Pro Advantage, granted both bags are not as broken in as I would like them for this shot. I was able to get both to roll when I executed the shot better. The Mercenary not as much, but I believe that is more user error then anything.
If you like the Pro Advantage and the workability of that bag, you will like the Viking. The Viking doesn’t have the funny kick on less than perfect bags, but most have grown to use that shot to their advantage. When I’m struggling, I tend to use the semi kick left shot to find something that works. Is the Viking going to convert all Pro Advantage users, no it’s not but it’s a comparable bag. I personally really like the Pro Advantages and feel this bag is similar with slightly different characteristics that some users will like. They took all the good things about the Rogue and improved them for the Viking.
If you like the Assassin but want a more controlled side like the Rogue but retain the hole friendliness, the Mercenary is a great bag for you. It is a little less floppy in my opinion and a more controllable. Once they get more broken in, I can’t wait to see the performance of these.
All in all, I’m sad to see the Checkmate and the Rogue get retired from production, but I’m happy to say the replacements took everything great about them and made them better.
*Disclaimer: BG Cornhole sent us these bags for a review, and we obliged. No other compensation was given for this review.