You’ve probably used Meeples in board games before, and not given them a second thought. They’re just little, wooden figures used to mark the place of workers on the game board, right? Well, the true history of the Meeple is a lot more action-packed than that. Originally, Meeples were giant (well, relatively giant) machines of war, constructed and used for the sole purpose of fighting in deadly combat and destroying anything that stood in their way.
In Meeple War, you take on the role of the chief of a tribe of Lilliputians. Each tribe has their own Village that has to be constructed using the various Building tiles. Space is tight in your Village though, so you’ll have to prioritize which Buildings you want to work on. Once created, they grant your tribe powerful actions that can strengthen your forces, such as reinforcing outside territories, firebombing enemy Buildings, or even converting enemy Meeples over to your side! Buildings have branching action paths your workers can take, so be sure to choose your actions wisely. Only with a formidable army and good tactics will you be able to crush your enemies into dust.
Between the Villages is a vast landscape filled with different types of terrain. Sending out your Meeples to scout the situation is important as you might come across dead-ends, where the forest becomes too thick for you to make it through, or entrances to underground tunnels that can be used to traverse great distances with relative ease, or even ancient shrines to long-forgotten gods. Those gods still hold great power, letting you sacrifice Meeples in order to receive their favor. You might even stumble upon forges, independent Villages, or druid’s huts. Massive stone towers also dot the landscape. Controlling any of these will grant you a distinct advantage when it comes time to battle with your opponents, which is bound to happen sooner or later.
The goal of the game is to earn the most victory points, and there are a number of ways that you can gain them. Destroying enemy Meeples allows you to track of your kills on the Bravery Ladder. Upon reaching the top, you’ll get points and then be sent back down to the bottom to climb it again. You can also earn points by destroying enemy Buildings. If you manage to get your Meeples all the way into an opponent’s Village, you set about destroying all that they have worked so hard to build. Get enough Meeples to attack a Building, and it will be ruined. The Meeples responsible for the carnage move to Bravery Mountain and the Building is removed from the enemy’s Village. The final way to score victory points is by controlling Tower terrain pieces. Obviously, such spaces will be very hotly contested during the game!
Combat in Meeple War is quick and decisive. Whenever two players’ Meeples are in the same location after moving, they fight. You and your opponent both remove Meeples, simultaneously, until only one of you still has any left standing. The attacker (the player who moved their Meeples into the location last) moves up the Bravery Ladder one rung for each enemy Meeple they destroyed. The defender doesn’t go away empty-handed, though. They go up the Ladder by one rung for every two enemies they destroyed (rounding down). In times of war, it’s a good idea to be on the offensive!
Meeple War is a quick, strategic game. Figuring out where you want to place your workers in your Village and deciding when to send out your Meeple forces is key to victory. After playing this game, you’ll have a slightly different view of Meeples than when you started.
Meeple War will be available in your FLGS on September 29.
Find out more about Meeple War here.