Reavers of Midgard hopes to duplicate the success of Grey Fax Games’ Champions of Midgard from 2015, although both the designer (JB Howell) and illustrator (Yaroslav Radeckyi) are different.
Reavers is at heart a role selection game in disguise. Over six rounds, two to four players will take turns choosing one of the actions on the board. Whoever chooses the action gets a bonus, and going clockwise around the table the other players follow, sometimes also getting a bit of a boost. Once an action is taken, it’s unavailable for the rest of the round. That part is Puerto Rico in Viking garb. (No doubloons on unused actions, though.)
Bolted onto this are two main sub-systems: custom dice and multi-use Reaver cards. Dice come in three different colours with each colour having different faces. When you acquire one you roll it and place it on your player board, where it can be spent in various ways. Reaver cards can be used to get more dice, or extra actions you can trigger, or boosted into leadership where they give you onetime bonuses plus ongoing wildcard abilities.
The rest of the actions are about acquiring different kinds of territory or treasure. There are always tons of decisions to make. Do you conquer the farm for food, or loot it for treasure and acquire Terror, which are negative VP at the end of the game? Do you toss your current leader over the side (where he joins your Glory pile for endgame scoring) and replace him? (The answer to that is generally yes.) Do you bribe the town to join you, costing you resources, or risk combat? Treasure is a set-collection deal with its own set of risks and rewards.
All in all, if you like games with a lot of moving parts and tons of decisions you will probably also enjoy Reavers. But beware of playing with players with Analysis Paralysis: it will turn a ninety-minute playing time to easily double that. Click here to order your copy of Ravers of Midgard.