Episode 155: Rurik: Dawn of Kiev

Click here for the direct download link for this week’s episode

1) The Pegs discuss their recent game plays including Tapestry, Hadara, and Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North and many more;

2) All the Pegs review the worker placement game Rurik: Dawn of Kiev; and

3) Look back at Root.

Join in the conversation for this episode over at our Board Game Geek guild

Show Notes

00:01:04 – Trivia


00:06:50 – Sneaky Trevor
00:10:45 – Origins of “Pyranoir
00:12:16 – Christina Goes to Indy
00:22:30 – Robb Ages Ungracefully
00:25:00What’s That Smell? [Buy]WowWee


00:31:34Tapestry [Buy]Stonemaier Games, Designer: Jamey Stegmaier, Art: Andrew Bosley, Rom Brown

00:41:50Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North [Buy] * – Portal Games , Designer: Ignacy Trzewiczek, Art: Roman Kucharski

00:50:55Old West Empresario * [Buy]Tasty Minstrel Games, Designer: Stan Kordonskiy, Art: Sergi Marcet

00:58:42Hadara [Buy]Hans im Glück, Designer: Benjamin Schwer, Art: Dominik Mayer

01:06:38Doctor! Doctor! * – Indie Boards & Cards, Designer: Robert Couch

01:15:105211 [Buy]Next Move Games, Designer: Tsuyoshi Hashiguchi, Art: Chris Quilliams


01:20:20Orlean: Stories
01:26:00Aeon’s Trespass: Odyssey
01:37:30 – Stack Up

Peghead Spotlight

01:42:20Power to the Meeple

Rurik: Dawn of Kiev * [Buy]

01:44:44 – Rules Breakdown

Rurik: Dawn of Kiev is a 1 to 4 player worker placement/area control game designed by Stan Kordonskiy and published by PieceKeeper Games in 2019.

In Rurik, players will compete to hold territories, gain resources, complete objectives, and battle opponents to gain victory points.  Players will earn the majority of their points in the end game based on their position on one of four tracks reflecting controlled territories, buildings constructed, goods collected, and battles fought.  Smaller amounts of points are gained by completing deeds over the course of the game and completing a secret objective. It must be noted that Rurik is a relatively low scoring game, however, so victory might hinge on the swing of a couple of points.

The main activity of the game takes place on the Strategy board.  Here, during the Strategy phase, players will select a worker from their supply and place it in one of five columns corresponding to five basic actions: placing units on the board, moving units around the board, collecting resources from the board, constructing buildings, and collecting Scheme cards.  Within each column, there are versions of the basic action ranging from strong to weak in descending order down the column. For example, the strongest Move action provides four movement points with which to move units, while the weakest version costs two coins for a single movement point.

Each worker in a player’s supply has a value of 1 through 5, indicating both its strength as well as the order in which the worker’s action will eventually resolve.  When a worker is used, it will bump down previously placed workers of lower strength to claim the highest available position in the column. Previously placed workers of higher or equal strength retain their spot.  Key to this action, however, is the ability to Bribe. When a worker is sent to an action space, the player may send with it one or more coins. Each coin increases the worker’s effective strength but maintains its resolution order.

When all workers are placed, the Strategy phase ends and the Action phase begins.  In turn order, players will select their lowest numbered worker on the Strategy board – ignoring any coins placed with it – and execute its action.  If, when claiming a worker, the player no longer wants to or cannot take its action – for example, if the placement of a stronger worker knocked the player’s piece to a space requiring a coin they don’t have – they can claim a single coin instead.  This continues player by player until all actions have been resolved.

Rurik uses a simple combat mechanic to resolve attacks: if you initiate combat, you take an enemy unit off the board.  There are no strength checks or random dice rolls. Instead, the aggressive player will draw one or more Scheme cards, which double as indicating potential casualties.  At most an attacking player will only lose one unit, though some circumstances may require the attacker to draw multiple Scheme cards, increasing the chances of that casualty.

Each player will also be assigned a Leader, which serves as a standard unit on the board and gives the player a unique power that will affect whatever territory the Leader is in.

The game continues for a set number of rounds based on player count, with players gaining some additional workers as it progresses. At the end, points are tallied and victor declared.

01:48:06 – Review
02:12:20 – Ratings


02:22:53Root [Buy]Leder Games, Designer: Cole Wehrle, Art: Kyle Ferrin

* Disclosure: These titles were received free of charge by the publishers or distributors.

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