Meduris: Mystical Magical Mountain
Tribes surround the base of Mount Meduris…
Your tribe must efficiently collect resources and make offerings to the Celtic gods.
Can you make better offerings than your fellow chosen ones, and curry mercy from the gods by gaining the favor of the druid? Meduris: The Call of the Gods is a 2-4 player resource management and worker placement game from HABA.
Give each player a set of huts, meeples, and two temples in their chosen color. Each player also receives one of each of the four resource tokens (stone, wood, wool, and gold).
Place the six bonus chips randomly on fields around the mountain, leaving some space between them.
Place the druid in his temple and the rune stones near the board. After selecting a start player, take turns to place your meeple workers on resources in “the high plains” until they are all placed. All workers on a given plain must be in a single stack, no more than three workers high.
Begin your turn by rolling the die for the “small yield” phase. The +1 faces provide one resource to each worker in the appropriate “high plain”. The other two faces, a generic +1 and a generic -1, cause all players to gain or lose a resource token of their choice.
In the second half of your turn, choose action to perform: either build a hut, build a temple, or gather the big yield.
The Big Yield
Need more resources? Move one of your meeple workers to the top of any stack of workers in a different plain (remember, no more than three workers in a plain). Then each meeple in that stack gathers resources, from top to bottom; one resource for each rank. In a stack of three workers, the top worker gathers three resources, the middle gathers two, then the bottom gathers one. If resources run out, they’re gone.
Building Settlements: Huts & Temples
To build a hut, pay the two resource tokens on the empty field where you want to place that hut. Multiply each token by the number of huts that will be in the town after the hut is built: this is the total cost to build the hut. Take the rune stone associated with that area of the board.
To build a temple, simply pay the two resources in the empty field where you want to build your temple.
Whenever a player builds a hut or temple, the druid moves. Once he has traversed the four steps down from his temple, he follows the path around the mountain, moving from settlement to settlement.
When the druid stops at a settlement, he visits every hut. Each hut owner can elect to pay one token of either resource pictured at that hut, for one point. Or, they may pay one of each resource pictured to get as many points as there are huts in the settlement. If the player makes no offering, they lose a victory point.
The druid moves to the next hut in the settlement, until he gets to the end. When the next build happens, the druid skips to the first hut in the next settlement.
Whenever the druid crosses the great river, players score one point for each rune marker they have.
End Game Scoring
Once a player builds all of their temples and huts, each other player gets one turn and the final phase begins.
Place a marker at the location of the druid. He then travels clockwise to every hut on the board, seeking offerings. Paying resources for offerings works just like before. Once the druid completes his circuit, score temples and rune stones.
Temples score one point for each hut in the settlements on either side of it. Settlements can score for multiple temples if there is one on either end.
Finally, score rune stones. The first stone is worth one point. Each additional stone is worth one more point, so a player with three rune stones at the end of the game scores six points.
The player with the most points wins!
We love the theme idea of Meduris and wish there were more games even loosely exploring Celtic history and mythology. In reality, it’s kind of pasted on, but the art and design of the runes are engaging nevertheless.
We also really enjoy playing Meduris, and it has a lot of hallmarks of a HABA game. Large, wooden, chunky pieces? Check. Quick turns? Check. Great organization? Got it.
But once we started into the game, the multiple layers of strategy and the relatively complex scoring left us wondering: “Why is this a HABA game?”
I’m not sure kids could play Meduris without an adult present, at least for a few games. The scoring isn’t as intuitive as it is in most HABA games. If you mismanage your resources, you’re penalized for it by losing victory points; a fact that definitely frustrated our younger gamers. Meduris is rated 10+, and that’s an absolute minimum. HABA games usually skew younger for us but it’s not the case here.
We were also disappointed that Meduris was not as color-blind friendly as it could be. Player pieces are solid colors with no other differentiation. I would have loved to have seen some designs on the pieces to reflect the different players.
Which isn’t to say Meduris is a bad game. In fact, it’s probably my favorite HABA title in general *because* it’s a little deeper, but it still leaves me with that “why HABA?” question.
Meduris isn’t complicated, but it definitely requires planning at a level I haven’t seen in HABA games before. It also punishes players for failing to plan correctly, another distinctly un-HABA like trait. Nonetheless, it’s still a great game with many layers of strategy that we’re still unlocking multiple plays in. We’re likely to keep Meduris in our collection, but probably not with the other HABA games we have.
If you like resource management with a hint of worker placement and a dash of luck, definitely give Meduris a look. There’s really nothing like it out there.
The Family Gamers received a promotional copy of Meduris from HABA for this review.
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Meduris: The Call of the Gods
- Art - 8/108/10
- Mechanics - 7/107/10
- Family Fun - 7.5/107.5/10
Age Range: 10+
Number of Players: 2-4
Playtime: 75 minutes