The icy wind chills your troops to the bone as they stand toe-to-toe with a giant troll. With the old Jarl dead, it’s up to you and your men to protect your home and defeat the creatures set on destroying your village. Sounds like fun? Then you might find yourself enjoying Grey Fox Games‘ Champions of Midgard, a worker placement game with dice driven combat that sees you taking on all sorts of mythological creatures.
What’s in the box?
If you love gorgeous high-quality components then opening the box for Champions of Midgard will be a treat.
There is the highly detailed board, which in itself looks like a work of art. The board serves as the base for your epic battles against a variety of monsters and is filled with all kinds of helpful information on turn order. It is quite big but is sturdy enough that it won’t bend under the pressure of your ever-expanding dice army.
The striking visual style of Champions of Midgard carries over to the cards as well. Featuring a variety of mythical Nordic monsters that players will face off against. The cards are made of nice thick stock and have a linen finish. This ensures that the cards will be able to take quite a bit of punishment.
There are also hordes of thick cardboard pieces, enough to satiate anyone who loves components. These various markers and tokens represent your gold, favour and damage, among other things.
Being a worker placement game means that there are loads of meeples, representing your workers, and wooden cubes for the resources you’ll be gathering.
Lastly, there is the custom dice which each represents the various Viking warriors you’ll be taking into battle. Each dice has weapon and shield icons on them along with blank spaces.
As you can tell, there is no shortage of great quality components included with Champions of Midgard.
How do you play it?
When opening the box for Champions of Midgard, this board game might seem just as daunting as facing off against a giant ice troll. However, once you get past all the components, you’ll soon realise that it is quite easy to grasp. Part of what might seem so intimidating at first is the number of choices the game makes available to players.
At the beginning of a game of Champions of Midgard, players will need to place all the cards, markers and tokens on their respective spaces as indicated on the board. The game needs quite a bit of space to set up, so make sure to grab the biggest table you have.
Each player then chooses their Viking leader boards. These Viking leaders each have their own unique abilities that come in handy when taking on the monsters that roam around the village. Along with a Viking leader board, players also get a random Destiny card. These cards contain a unique goal that each player can complete in order to score extra victory points.
The game takes place over eight rounds. Players will send out their squishy workers to perform various duties. These range from hunting to recruiting Vikings to take on the marauding creatures, and even hiring ships to cross the seas and face even more powerful monsters.
Players will then take turns in placing their workers in the available spaces, recruiting Viking warriors and resources, and finally doing battle.
When facing off against a monster in Champions of Midgard, players will roll the dice they have accumulated. For each weapon rolled they do one damage and for each shield, they negate one damage. In turn, each creature has a set amount of health and damage it does.
During each turn, players will accumulate Glory, which is, in essence, the game’s version of victory points. At the end of the eighth turn, players will count up the Glory they earned.
The rule book clearly sets out what the various ways are to earn Glory. Then there are also the Blame tokens, which are accrued by failing missions, etc. These tokens will count towards a loss of Glory points ( so you really don’t want these).
In the end, the player with the most victory points is declared the new Jarl and will get a feast held in their name. At least this is the rule in our gaming group.
What did we think Champions of Midgard?
At first, Champions of Midgard may seem intimidating. It throws quite a few choices towards the player which, while opening various strategic avenues to follow, can seem complicated to new players. This however couldn’t be further from the truth. The game finds the perfect balance between being friendly towards new players but also giving seasoned Vikings the depth and choices to keep them coming back for more.
It also helps that there is little player interaction, which might be of putting to some, but makes the game more accessible to new players.
Champions of Midgard oozes theme and, for a worker placement game, it’s quite a rare feat.
We had loads of fun fighting trolls and other various creatures that threatened our village. Rolling dice can be quite a tense affair as there is little strategy involved. And while killing a foe saw my fellow Vikings erupt in cheers, there are few things as funny as seeing an overconfident player rolling badly.
If you like worker placement games, but looking for something with a bit of conflict, then you should give Champions of Midgard a try.
With our beer horns filled to the brim and our weapons sharpened, we always found ourselves ready for another game of Champions of Midgard. It’s a game that has quickly started to become a staple of our board game evenings.
For more information on Champions of Midgard, visit solarpop.co.za. The game retails for around R1200 locally.
Champions of Midgard
Champions of Midgard takes the best aspects of worker placement and dice combat and then combines them in one Nordic-themed package.