This week’s Monday Night Gaming: Champions of Midgard Review
Publisher: Grey Fox Games
# of Players: 2-4
Best with: 3-4
Playing Time: 60-90 minutes, though the first time, it’ll probably take you an hour just to read the rules & set up the board.
# of Expansions: None yet
This game came at the recommendation of Mox Boarding House employees who knew we enjoyed Lords of Waterdeep. They claimed it was a Norse/Viking version of the game, and they were dead correct. The board, layout, and general mechanics are the same–though this variation does add a luck factor with dice battles. Either way, I enjoyed the game enough that I ended up getting it for Christmas.
General Mechanics: Like Lords of Waterdeep, this game is a worker placement game and also like Waterdeep, players compete against each other for victory points gained by completing quests, defeating creatures, and gaining favor. The player with the most points at the end of 8 rounds earns the title of Jarl and thus, is the champion of Midgard.
Each turn players alternate placing one of their workers to different spaces in the village–much like Waterdeep.
Players place workers around the board to:
- Collect resources (money, food, wood, favor, etc.)
- Collect warriors (you begin with a set number & can gain more)
- Build ships to send across seas to defeat monsters & gain glory
- Defeat creatures in town
- Carve runes for one time benefit spells
- Collect destiny cards, which if fulfilled can give you more points at the end of the game
Unlike Waterdeep, battles with in-town creatures and far away monsters is controlled through battle dice. This adds a luck-element or an unknown to the game, which keeps players on their toes. By the time you get to the 7th round in Waterdeep, the placement of workers can feel a bit futile. Adding this mechanic to the Midgard game keeps things interesting.
The battle dice come in three varieties–all of which representing Viking warriors:
- Swordsmen: The lowest level and offering the fewest number of attacks. Also has 1 defense.
- Spearmen: A balance of attacks and defense.
- Axemen: All attacks and no defense.
Just like other resources (food, wood, etc.), you build up your force of fighters. During combat, players assign their dice to any and all threats they are fighting with. This can be tricky if you attack more than one creature and have to split your fighters. Players will then roll the dice in combat rounds until they score enough hits to defeat the creature. Of course, if the creature deals damage to you (by way of you not having high enough defense), then you will lose some of your fighters permanently.
Once all workers are assigned, and combats completed, the round ends and the next round begins. This continues until all 8 rounds are completed.
How to Win/Lose: The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. If you have fewer points, you lose.
What I Liked: Because of the battle dice, there is a nice balance between resource collecting and fighting that keeps the game changing and thus, interesting. I like this game more than Lords of Waterdeep.
What I Didn’t Like: The battle took some getting used to. At first, I had trouble understanding how much damage I was doing and how much I was taking due to the creatures having attack and defense values. Once I adjusted to that (which didn’t take me long), all was well.
Overall Rating/Impression: This game, overall, is a better step up from Lords of Waterdeep and its expansion (which I didn’t like). 9/10.
Monday Night Gaming is a bi-weekly series reviewing tabletop and video games. Articles are posted on the 1st & 3rd Monday.
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