L M S Introduction
Ah, the Midgard map! The name "Midgard" comes form Norse mythology and translated into English means: "Middle Earth". In 2008, the original Classic and Middle Earth maps were redesigned due to copyright concerns. Middle Earth was replaced by a map named Centerscape which had "diamonds" as regions, connected by lines, similar in nature to Classic Shapes. The game-play stayed the same, just the looks and the name changed. Midgard replaced Centerscape following an open competition to redesign the look of the map, which was won by RJBeals after a vote by the Conquer Club Community. After the redesign, again the game-play stayed the same. The original Middle Earth map was based on "The Lord of the Rings" by Tolkien and many of the region names reflect this to this day.
Size: Medium (50 regions)
Bonuses: Balanced (7 traditional bonus zones) Complexity: Easy Features One-way borders: Borders where assaults can only occur in a single direction. Sauron one-way assaults Four Lakes. How to play Midgard
show: 2 players 1v1
In a 2 player game, each person will start with 15 regions. 16 regions on the map will remain as neutral regions. This opening set up can present several challenges right from the start. The player going first will have an immediate advantage, having 5 troops to deploy. The first player should make it a priority to reduce the opponent's region count to at least 14, denying the same initial 5 troop deployment. Player two's options become limited quickly in this game type. Player 2 must deploy troops in order to try and increase his or her deployment count to equal that of player 1. Preferably, this is done by assaulting player 1 instead of wasting resources on neutral regions. Unless there is a
very easily attainable bonus zone that is naturally defended by neutral regions, it is not recommended to concentrate your early game efforts on gaining a bonus zone. There are so many neutral regions on the board at the start of a 1v1 game that it is definitely worth paying special attention, strategically, to how they may be used to your advantage. For example, if used as a neutral compliment to a player's troops, the many neutral regions are an excellent defensive barrier to fortify strategic positions across the map.
show: Doubles or 4 Players
Each person will start with 11 regions and 6 will remain as neutral regions. This is a significant strategy-related issue, as the immediate goal is to obtain 12 regions, improving your troop deployment to 4 instead of three, at the same time reducing an enemy player to 10 regions.
Crystal Shires is a +2 bonus zone and is the most commonly fought over bonus zone as it has the fewest number of regions to hold. However, it has 3 regions to defend against, making it a risky choice early in a game. Doomfire Mountains offers you a +3 bonus zone. While it contains 6 regions opposed to Crystal Shires' 4 regions, it could be argued that it is "easier" to hold once completely taken since it is defensible using only 2 regions. If either of these bonus zones are obtained and held for even one round early in a game, it usually spells a quick victory. Your favorite spoils settings can be used interchangeably for the most part and it won't affect gameplay too much...I suggest flat rate or no spoils in a 2 or 3 team doubles set up. Fog of war adds an interesting element to Midgard because there are some sneaky mid-map bonuses that can be held, especially since not many opponents will be on the lookout for them. Holding Enting Forest as a +4 bonus zone - defended by single troops for example, can be quite the game changer indeed!
The layout of Midgard lends itself nicely to the "escalating sweep." Lacking in dead-ends and as long as you don't block yourself in, clearing the entire board by eliminating players and using multiple spoils cashes in a single turn makes for an exciting end to many games and is one the best reasons to play Midgard. Hubcity is a wonderful launching point for this 'end-game' strategy as it has easy access to several bonus regions and is dead center of the map. Luce and Marillo are both adjacent to 6 regions, being the two regions with the most reach in the entire map, stacking these regions gives you significant reach as well.
Midgard works well with any number of players but I would recommend no more than 6. More than 6 players could lend itself to early elimination due to low starting region counts. With respect to seven player games the initial region count will be at only 6 for a 7 player game, with 8 remaining neutral regions. This may seem reasonable, until you consider that you may be starting in 7th position and have been subject to attacks by all previous players. This could essentially end your game before it begins. In an 8 player game, the initial region count will be only 5, with 10 regions remaining neutral. It is quite easy to imagine a situation where you will not even get a turn having been eliminated in round 1 before your opening move. Assassin and terminator style games are just as entertaining as standard and team games on the Midgard map and it is recommended they are played using escalating spoils. This setting will help reduce the chances of a stalemating/stacking game.
show: Flat Rate And No Spoils
Flat rate brings an interesting element to this map, especially in a triples game or 3 team doubles. The added worry of making sure spoils are obtained, as they should be by every player in a flat rate game, sometimes requires an advanced level of problem solving and strategic planning. With not much room in those situations to move freely about the map, coordination amongst the team is paramount. Do not over-extend just to procure spoils though; losing a team mate is all but certain death.
In singles play, with multiple opponents and the flat rate or no spoils setting, it is often best practice to not overreach to eliminate a player. Play some defense and build up for the strike. Securing a 12th region, obtaining a bonus, and getting spoils every turn (if applicable) remain the main goals.
show: Nuclear Spoils
Be aware, especially when playing games with smaller teams or multiplayer games, nuclear spoils have a good chance of being the game-changer. A strategy to explore could be to identify which neutral regions a player has a spoil for, then prepping to take a bonus once the given region is nuked to a single neutral troop. In addition, you might wish to avoid large troop stacks in favor of several smaller stacks in case of a nuclear strike. Care also needs to be taken that you don't accidentally nuke your own troops. Pay attention to your spoils and if they correspond with held regions, be sure to reinforce your troops to safety prior to cashing in your nuclear spoils.
show: Manual Deployment
Manual deployment can add a very exciting twist to the game play on the Midagrd map. However, caution needs to be taken when this setting is chosen. For example, in a 1v1 setting, manual deployment is likely to exponentiate the first player's advantage. The initial manual troop deployment will of course reflect the sizable number of regions on the map, allowing an equally high number of troops at your - and your opponent's disposal for initial deployment. This means there could be a huge stack of troops ready for the first player to move, swarming the opponent's stack or taking an uncontested bonus.
show: Team Games
Quadruples games are tough on Midgard. With only 5 starting regions per player and 10 neutral regions, early elimination of a teammate is likely and can be devastating. Try using the commonly employed strategy of targeting the last player on the opposite team to move for elimination by coordinating your team's attacks. If you choose to play a quadruples game, no spoils makes for the best strategic matches.
Triples games work well on Midgard. Triples teams will start with 7 regions for each player and there will be 8 neutral regions. Medium sized maps afford luxuries in choosing varied settings and developing a game-plan to take advantage of your favorite settings. Try coordinating your teamwork to acquire a bonus as opposed to player elimination; this team-focused strategy works quite well in triples games. Doubles games are a very good setting for Midgard. Most often the team holding a bonus in doubles games emerges victorious, so work towards this goal. Absentia, Hub City, and Geolwe are important strategic points to launch assaults from, as well as important defensive positions for you to consider when developing your strategy. Try 3 team, flat rate spoils with chained reinforcements and no fog of war. For whatever reason, this setting usually has reasonably fair starting positions for all involved and by targeting one player on each remaining team, a strategic win like this is quite satisfying. Other related strategy guides and topics: