Updated: Mar 10, 2022
We featured Micro Dojo a year ago on Board's Eye View. It's a pocket-sized worker placement game where you're moving Daimyo markers to squares on a 3 x 3 grid in order to take the actions indicated at that location. What made it such an intriguing two-player game despite its seeming simplicity was that players are jostling for position because when you move a Daimyo, it cannot be moved again by either player until after your next turn.
Now publishers Prometheus Game Labs are back with an expansion that builds on the original game. With this Loyalty & Deceit expansion, designer Ben Downton has added further depth to the game with more buildings to acquire and new loyalty tracks that unlock benefits the further you advance along them. There are also objectives to be scored in relation to how far you've advanced on the loyalty tracks. We're not sure it qualifies as the 'deceit' in the expansion's title, but the new buildings, each allied to one of two clans, certainly incorporate more scope for 'take that' sniping between players.
Perhaps the biggest change tho' is that this expansion replaces the fixed 3 x 3 grid of the original game with a modular play area. The game comes with 12 action space tiles and you fill the grid with nine of them. There's a recommended set up, which we've shown here in our Board's Eye View, but you can customise the set up to shake up the game; albeit that you are only ever actually leaving out three of the possible tiles and two of those are placed as bonuses that can be claimed on the loyalty tracks.
We've mainly been playing Micro Dojo: Loyalty & Deceit as a two-player game but it also incorporates the option for solitaire play against an automata. The game comes with an assortment of solo scenarios built around different modular board set ups and ranked for difficulty. It all adds to this little game's great versatility.
When it launches on Kickstarter on 16 March, Micro Dojo: Loyalty & Deceit will be available in two versions: an 'envelope' edition at just £5 and a still inexpensive deluxe edition with wooden Daimyo meeples, a recessed triple-layer board for the modular tiles and a game box. Even tho' it has its own playing board, Loyalty & Deceit is an expansion rather than a standalone game, so you'll need the original Micro Dojo to play. The expansion still uses markers, coin and food tokens and building chits from the original game. However, the core game should also be available through the new KS campaign. Click here to check out the KS and nab your copy of Micro Dojo: Loyalty & Deceit.