We Were Playing It Wrong: Blood Rage

Blood Rage, by Eric Lang, 2015, Cool Mini or Not, Art by Adrian Smith, 2-4 Player (base game, expands to 5)

The Basics: 2007 was probably the greatest year in terms of board game publishing. Agricola. Race for the Galaxy. Last Night on Earth. Brass. Talisman (4th). Zooloretto. Container. Tammany Hall. BANG! The Bullet. Case Blue. Galaxy Trucker(!). And, tucked snugly into the hip pocket of 2007 was a small game that I had the pleasure of playing many times—Eric Lang’s Midgard. Originally a relatively straightforward drafting and area control game with middling art direction and components that were average for the time, Midgard reemerged with a vengeance last year when it Mr. Lang teamed up with the folks at Cool Mini or Not and designed a new edition that features approximately all of the bells and whistles available for a crowdsourced project of this day and age. The resulting Kickstarter went on to generate a brazillion dollars and, more importantly, produced a lovely new version of this game which is quickly becoming a legend unto itself.

What we did wrong: Many, many things. Our rules guru for this game is an old friend of mine from out of town (coincidentally the same one who introduced me to Midgard all those years ago now). Initially we took most of what he was saying on faith, but towards the end of the learning game a lot wasn’t adding up, so we actually read the rulebook and found that we had a lot to learn. Anyway, here’s a rundown:

  • Ragnarök phases kill figures in the province’s supporting fjord in addition killing everything in the province.
  • Pillage tokens are placed on the board with their reward side face up so everyone can see what they get for pillaging a given location.
  • Each player participating in a battle must contribute a card to the battle unless they’ve nothing in hand. Losers in the battle reclaim all played cards back to hand. Additionally, only the player who took the pillage action is eligible to claim the pillage bonus.
  • Pillaging all provinces triggers the end of an age.
  • Not a mistake per se but new players typically have a difficult time remembering that their Horns value is a limit on how many figures they can field. Might be worth keeping an eye on. New players also sometimes forget how reinforcement works.

…to be honest I am not even certain this was all we ended up doing wrong.

Conclusion: I LIVE! I DIE! I LIVE AGAIN! Welcome back, Midgard!

We Were Playing It Wrong: Blood Rage