A game of Myrmes is played over the course of 3 game years. Each year is divided into 4 seasons. During the first 3 seasons the player will play a normal turn while winter is a special season in which they'll have to draw from their stored food reserves.
Each player has an individual board which represents its ant colony. This board is divided into various parts:
A Event track, which indicates the event of the current season B Larvae room (and birth track), where the larvae are stored C Nursery (and birth track), where the nurses are stored D Soldier room (and birth track), where the soldiers are stored E Worker room (and birth track), where the workers are stored F Atelier, where the nurses who aren't participating in the births will be able to go work G Storeroom, where the resource cubes will be stored H Ant colony, divided into 4 levels. At the beginning of the game, only level O (the highest one) is accessible. The left column of the ant colony is made up of rooms in which the workers will be able to go work. The right column shows what options are available to workers going outside.
The players start the game with 3 nurses, 2 workers, 1 larva and a tunnel exit which represents their exit point to the garden area.
The main board is divided into multiple areas:
A Score track: this track shows the score of the players during the game. The players will score points by placing phero- mones, hunting prey, cleaning up opposing pheromones and completing objectives. B Year and season tracks: the year track shows the current year and what the players will need once winter arrives. The season track is made up of 3 spaces for the season dice. At the beginning of each year, the dice will be rolled and will indicate the events for the year to come. C Garden area: the workers which leave the individual board of each player will exit from a tunnel. They will then move over the terrain and will be able to place pheromones (which will give them access to resource cubes), clean up empty pheromones (to make space), hunt prey (by discarding soldiers) or place special tiles (but only if they've developed the ant colony). D Atelier: in this area, the nurses placed by the players in the atelier will be able to dig new tunnels, improve the ant colony, make new nurses or complete objectives. E Objectives: during the game, 6 objectives can be completed by discarding elements. There are 2 objectives of level 1, 2 of level 2, and 2 of level 3. F Starting positions for 2/4 players G Starting positions for 4 players H Starting positions for 3 players I Prey token space J Adjustment to the objectives de- pending on the number of players K Prey board L Year track
Important: at any point during their turn, a player can decide to sacrifice larvae to gain food cubes. For each set of 3 discarded larvae (or portion there- of), the player gets a food cube which can be placed in their storeroom or dis- carded for winter (see further).
A normal season (spring, summer, fall) is made up of 6 phases:
Event: for each season an event will be determined by the die for that season. During this phase, the players will be able to modify that event by spending larvae. The events allow players to obtain special bonuses for the season.
Births: each player will use their nurses to give birth to new ants. Larvae (which are used to modify events, create new nurses during phase 5 and food during winter), workers (which will work during phase 3) and soldiers (which will be used to hunt prey, invade enemy pheromones and guard food during winter). In addition, some nurses can be set aside for phase 5 (Atelier).
Workers: each player will use their workers, whether to send them in their ant colony, or to make them go out into the garden. A worker who is working in its ant colony will generally bring back one resource and will be able to be used again next turn. A worker who leaves for the garden will automatically be discarded after its action. In the garden, a worker can use 3 movement points to:
- Find prey, which will then be hunted by discarding soldiers
- Place pheromones, which will be filled with resource cubes and later harvested
- Clean up empty pheromones, to make space
- Place special tiles, such as the Aphid farm which allow players to gain one cube of food per turn
Harvest: each player will take 1 cube of their choice from each owned pheromone and place it in their stock.
Atelier: each player will use the nurses placed in the atelier during phase 2. These nurses allow players to:
- Dig new tunnels, which will allow better exit options for the workers,
- Improve the ant colony, by spending resources which will allow access to lower levels.
- Create new nurses, to have more options during phase 2.
- Complete objectives set by the council of the Queens, which will allow players to score victory points.
End of turn: each player updates their stock and the first player token moves.
During winter, the player must discard food cubes or lose points. However, the soldiers protect the food and allow players to save food.
At the end of 3 years, the player with the most points wins the game.