The icy wind chills your troops to the bones as they take on a giant troll. With old Jarl dead, it’s up to you and your men to protect your home and defeat the creatures determined to destroy your village. Sound like fun? Then you might find yourself enjoying Gray Fox Games’ Champions of Midgard, a worker placement game with dice combat that pits you against all kinds of mythological creatures.
What’s in the box?
If you like the beautiful high quality components, please open the box to Champions of Midgard will be a treat.
There is the very detailed painting, 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 useful turn order information. It’s big enough but strong enough that it won’t bend under the pressure of your ever-expanding dice army.
The striking visual style of Champions of Midgard also applies to maps. Featuring a variety of mythical Norse monsters that players will face. The cards are made of a beautiful heavyweight paper and have a linen finish. This ensures that the cards will be able to take some punishment.
There are also hordes of chunky pieces of cardboard, enough to satiate anyone who loves components. These different markers and tokens represent your gold, favors, and damage, among other things.
Being a worker placement game means there are lots of meeples, representing your workers, and wooden cubes for the resources you are going to collect.
Finally, there are the custom dice that each represent the different Viking warriors you will take into battle. Each die has weapon and shield icons as well as empty spaces.
As you can see, the high quality components included with Champions of Midgard.
How do you play it?
When opening the box for Champions of Midgard, this board game can seem as intimidating as facing a giant ice troll. However, once you get past all the components, you will quickly find that it is quite easy to grip. Part of what can seem so intimidating at first glance is the sheer number of choices the game makes available to players.
At the start of a game of Champions of Midgard, the players will have to place all the cards, markers and tokens on their respective spaces as indicated on the board. The game needs a lot of space to set up, so be sure to take the largest table you have available.
Each player then chooses their Viking ranking. These Viking chieftains each have their own unique abilities that come in handy when taking on the monsters that roam the village. In addition to a Viking ranking, players also receive a random Destiny card. These cards contain a unique objective that each player can accomplish in order to score additional victory points.
The game takes place over eight turns. Players will send their squishy workers to perform various tasks. These range from hunting down recruiting Vikings to take on marauding creatures, and even hiring ships to cross seas and take on even more powerful monsters.
Players will then take turns placing their workers in the available spaces, recruiting Viking warriors and resources, and finally fighting.
When you face a monster in Champions of Midgard, the players will roll the dice they have accumulated. For each weapon obtained, they inflict one damage and for each shield, they negate one damage. In turn, each creature has a certain amount of health and damage.
On each turn, players will accumulate Glory, which is basically the victory point version of the game. At the end of the eighth round, players will count the Glory they have earned.
The rulebook clearly defines the different ways to earn fame. Then there are also the Blame tokens, which are accumulated when missions fail, etc. These tokens will count as a loss of glory points (so you really don’t want them).
At the end, the player with the most victory points is declared the new Jarl and will receive a feast organized in his name. At least that’s the rule in our playgroup.
What did we think of the Champions of Midgard?
First, Champions of Midgard may seem intimidating. It throws quite a bit of choice towards the player who, while opening up various strategic avenues to follow, may seem complicated to new players. This couldn’t be further from the truth, however. The game strikes the perfect balance between being friendly to 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 interaction between players which can be overwhelming for some but makes the game more accessible to new players.
Champions of Midgard is chock-full of theme and, for a worker placement game, this is a pretty rare feat.
We had a lot of fun fighting the trolls and other various creatures that threatened our village. Rolling the dice can be quite a tense affair as there is little strategy involved. And while killing an enemy has seen my fellow Vikings burst into joy, there are few things as funny as seeing an overconfident player roll badly.
If you like worker placement games but are looking for something with a little bit of conflict then you should give Champions of Midgard A try.
With our beer horns full to the brim and our guns sharpened, we always found ourselves ready for another game of Champions of Midgard. It’s a game that quickly started to become a staple of our board game nights.
For more information on Champions of Midgard, visit solarpop.co.za. The game sells for around R1200 locally.
Champions of Midgard
- Magnificent components
- At a great depth
- Easy to teach new players
- Scale well from 2 to 4 players
- Dice combat adds an element of luck
- Takes up a lot of space during installation
Revision of distribution
Complexity vs depth