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Reavers of Midgard

[Reavers of Midgard]

J.B. Howell

Corax Games / Grey Fox Games

No. of Players:



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Midgard, the fabulous, mythic realm, the one fully visible world anywhere in the middle of Yggdrasil. What a legend! As you will know, the north mythological stories are quite popular in boardgames, not only in the last few years. In fact Yggdrasil and its nine worlds serve as a background story for many, many boardgames. I still remember my favourite roleplaying game back in the late 80s of the last century. Midgard was its name and at that time it was cleverly designed and much more sophisticated than Das Schwarze Auge (Dark World) that I had played before. I still remember the one or other fight against mighty monsters and the one or other hero dying in a self-sacrificing battle. Maybe that's the reason why I am always excited when I find a new title that contains the name Midgard!

Reavers of Midgard is a sequel to the quite successful Champions of Midgard. As the older game it is a worker placement and resource management game that plays in the Viking time. But Reavers of Midgard is much more than just fighting against monsters. It's now time to confront the real Viking times: raiding of keep, villages and whole territories, that's what a real Viking is born for.

[Reavers of Midgard]

Click on image to enlarge!

What sounds to be really bloody and murderous, turns out to be a solid worker placement game. Fights are taking place (how else could a raid be resolved), but they are limited to a single roll. No endless rolls of dice, they are in fact kind of minimalistic. That's one reason why Reavers of Midgard is much more an Euro game than Champions of Midgard. Actions are also manifold in the game: recruiting new raiders, trading, raiding villages and keeps, conquering territories and fighting at sea.

All of the available actions can be found in certain areas on a huge board (I really mean huge, ensure that your table is big enough). And every round, a lot of these spaces are equipped with new cards and new dice, so the board is changing continously. Speaking of dice, I can tell you that are a lot of them in the game. 60 crew dice that determine - next to the available resources - what actions you can choose and six more dice for the fights. Every player has their own player board in form of a ship that contains those crew dice, or better the availaible crew dice. You see, Reavers of Midgard is a dice game. But if you now expect endless rolls of the dice, you are wrong. Instead the dice can be acquired at specific spaces on the board, but there are taken as they are without changing the side of a die. In fact, there are only verw few actions to change the side of the dice or to really roll them.

[Reavers of Midgard]

Click on image to enlarge!

So, most spaces on the main board need resources and special dice results to be activated. Moreover - similar to Puerto Rico - all other players participate in a chosen action on the main board. After a player has chosen an action, she or he starts carrying it out, but after that all other players also take the same action clockwise. The only advantage for the starting player is that he gets a bonus or can do another action at this space. And, of course, he decides which action she or he chooses.

[Reavers of Midgard]

Click on image to enlarge!

There are many ways to earn victory points in the game. Nearly every action leads to more victory points. But it's the effectiveness that counts. Simply said: the more benifits you have earned of the same kind, the more victory points you can get. A well-known pattern, but it works. And why inventing something new, wen this mechanism feels perfectly right with the game?

Reavers of Midgard offers a lot to do. There are many different actions you can choose from. That's why I also think that the game is more tricky than Champions of Midgard. Still it is definitely a medium game. It is also pretty much straightforward, although you won't believe that after you have seen the impressive set-up of the game. In a way, Reavers of Midgard is a typical resource management game. The worker placement element is important too, but because every player can always do the same action as the player who choose it, it is more important to guess what your opponents might do. If you are not able to guess it, then probably won't have the necessary resources or dice for a chosen action. As a result you might up end in a lost action. Maybe the game lacks the very big Oh. But I can say that it's definitely a lot of fun to play the game, and Reavers of Midgard definitely further expands the world of Midgard.

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Copyright © 2020 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany