Until last Friday, I’d always wanted to visit Hong Kong. Then there were four totally unrelated murders within an hour of each other. One of them went unsolved. The other three had all been carried out by police officers.
All too often, worker placement games cast their players as glorified clerks, a few tall steps removed from the action. Take Lords of Waterdeep, for instance. Despite being a reasonably solid game, its main attraction — that static resources were replaced with heroes and scoring was accomplished by completing quests — was something of a ruse. A purple cube might have represented a wizard, but it never behaved like anything more lifelike than a block of wood splashed with indigo dye. A quest might have claimed you were undertaking a dangerous venture, but as long as you showed up with the right team, success was guaranteed.
There are plenty of recent worker placement games that sidestep this problem. And now Champions of Midgard can be considered one of them.
A lot of people are bored of the zombie thing. Not me. For one thing, the appeal of straightforward bad guy artificial intelligence is undeniable: they walk towards you, walk some more, and then paw at you like a drunkard on the subway. There are no cover mechanics to worry about, no flanking, no need to do anything other than walk and paw. And anyway, aren’t they sort of a Metaphor? For death, or how you don’t like spending time with your grandma because she’s slow and she paws at you?
I suspect Run, Fight, or Die! is a metaphor too. Possibly for death. Maybe for boredom.