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Micro Midgard

Micro Midgard is something of a departure for designer Ben Downton and publishers Prometheus Game Labs because their previous games have mostly been themed around Japanese history and mythology (Micro Dojo, Loyalty & Deceit, 99 Ninja) but Micro Midgard is based on Nordic mythology. And despite the title, this isn't a 'micro' game: it's played using several dual-layer boards and it comes in a box that's only marginally smaller than average.

Micro Midgard is a two-player game but it comes with rules and additional components for solitaire play where you'll be competing against Loki's scheme deck... Gameplay builds on the mechanics Ben Downton has applied in his previous games, where players can move any piece to take the worker placement action at that piece's location but the same piece can't be moved on consecutive turns. In Micro Midgard tho' the movement is on a roundel representing the Nine Realms of the Nordic mythos. Players can move clockwise or anti-clockwise to visit adjacent locations or they can move to Midgard in the centre of the roundel. In addition to collecting resources, you can activate 'Blessings' of the gods, moving your marker up the relevant track, or you can activate the ability at your level on the track or below, or collect a relic on the track for the abilities it will give you.

During the game, Fenrir wolf tokens move around the outside of the Nine Realms roundel, and when a token completes its transit it triggers Ragnarok, which will result in the destruction of one of the Realms (ie: flipping one of the segments of the roundel to its destroyed side). The Realms due to be destroyed are determined by the Prophecy tiles, randomised in set up.

Micro Midgard feels like a step up from Prometheus Game Labs' previous designs but it's still very accessible. You'll need an eye for the Nordic runes, particularly in the randomised set up, but the game's iconography is reasonably straightforward. It's a race to be the first to hit nine victory points (or to have the most points when Ragnarok has destroyed all the Realms on the roundel). You'll be collecting gold and mead and taking Blessing and relic acrions to convert those resources into points. Knowing where Ragnarok is due to occur and making an informed judgement call over whether it will be triggered during the day or the night is part of Micro Midgard's decision space: when you take an action on a Blessings track or collect a relic, you reset your position to the bottom of that track but you want to be ahead on the track where Ragnarok is triggered because that will give you a point towards victory...

Shown here on Board's Eye View is a preview prototype of the deluxe edition of Micro Midgard. The game is currently midway through its Kickstarter run, where it funded in just 45 minutes! Click here now to check out the campaign.

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