Not everyone has what it takes to become a kingpin, but every kingpin needs people working in the shadows doing their dirty work.


MicroMob Cover

microMob: red (2020)
Designer(s) Marc Di Stefano Artist(s) Marc Di Stefano Publisher

Nice Games

2-6 10+ 10-45m

Growing up, I loved beat'em up video games, and I still do. A game I discovered in high school that came out many years before was River City Ransom (RCR). I love the characters, the humor, and the overall gameplay. When I first saw the artwork for microMob, I immediately thought of RCR. Obviously, they are very different games, but I look at the characters and just visualize them crossing over between each game. 

In microMob, you are trying to ally with, bribe, and take out various mob members. Each of those decisions come with different perks such as victory points, additional crew to do your bidding, and unique abilities. All three options are available to you, but you must decide wisely how to use your cards best to earn the most victory points by the end of the game. How will you lead your crew to victory? 

Box and Components MicroMob 7

The version I am reviewing is the microMob: red box; the blue box is coming to Kickstarter on April 20, 2021 and should provide the same game play with new modules for more variety and larger games when combined with the red box. I expect the quality will be very similar. 

The game comes in a box roughly the size of two standard card boxes side-by-side.  The box isn't the sturdiest, but it does the job just fine. I like the artwork on the cover of all of the little mobsters including a few mid-fight; it is a cute little box. There is even a cardboard divider to help keep the cards in place. 

The game includes the following components: 

  • Four Mob Modules: Each Mob module contains 15 cards with a unique background color on the Boss side of the card; the cards are doubled sided with the boss and goon version of the character shown. Each card consists of set of symbols and an ally ability. 
  • Six Base Cards: Each player will have a base card that will sit in from of them. It will be used to track the state of cards they claim. 
  • Four Player References: These give a break down of a turn and brief explanation of the ally ability icons. 

MicroMob 1 MicroMob 2

Left Image is showing the boss side; right image is the goon side. 

The cards are pretty small and compact; I believe each card is the size of the small euro cards. They aren't too thick and will start losing their shape when bent beyond 45 degrees, which people should avoid in general with their games. If you are worried about the cards getting bent, you should be able to find a set of sleeves for the cards; the box should be able to hold the cards sleeved. 

The icons on the cards are as follows:

  • Hit: This is represented by a Weapon icon, which may show a different weapon type but are all the same mechanically. This is used for the Hit Action. 
  • Hire: This is represented by a Money icon, which may show a different currency symbol but are all the same mechanically. This is used for the Hire Action.
  • Ally: This is represented by a Hands icon. This is used for the Ally Action.  
  • Mob Suit Symbol: This is the symbol by Hit icon. The Mob Suit is used during final scoring. The last card remaining in the city is the Kingpin and taking "Hits" on members of his mob is a bad thing resulting in 0 points for those cards. 
  • Ally Power (Boss Side Only): These icons in the lower left are the ally powers that will be explained later. Essentially, when a card is an ally, it grants the listed power; the player reference provides an idea of what the power is.  

The rules are on a doubled sided single sheet of paper that folds up. The rules are pretty clear, but there are some basic grammar errors. I don't imagine most people will have any issues with this, but it is something that jumps out when I read over sections. I had to read the rules twice and felt I had a solid grasp on the rules after the second pass through. Probably an hour or two of editing could easily fix these rules; I could even see someone taking on this challenge posting them to BGG since the rules are on standard paper. Again, they are perfectly fine at getting the rules across. 

MechanicsMicroMob 3

The gameplay is very quick and straightforward. Use abilities of your allies and decide how to best use the Goon cards in your hand to earn the most VP before there is only one Boss card remaining in the deck. 


  1. Give each player a Home card. 
  2. Depending on the number of players, you will combine a set number of Mob Modules and shuffle them together leaving the Boss side face up. You can use more modules for longer games; each module is estimated to be roughly 10 minutes of gameplay. 
    • 2 Players: 1-4 Modules
    • 3 Players: 2-6 Modules
    • 4 Players: 3-6 Modules
    • 5-6 Players: 4-6 Modules
  3. Flip over two cards (goon side up) per player onto their Goon side in the city area (ensure each Goon has a $ value of 2 or more). Select someone to select the first card from those shown; each player will take a card going around the table clockwise until each player has two cards. 
  4. Repopulate the City with 4 Bosses (2-3 players) or 6 Bosses (4-6 players); the 4th/6th card will remain at the top of the deck and is available to target during the game.MicroMob 4

The player to draw the last card will be the first player. 

Player Turn

Players will perform the follow two actions in order:

  1. Use Ally Powers: You may use all of you applicable ally abilities if you want. The abilities are described on the player reference card. 
  2. Take 1 Action: Decide whether you will eliminate a boss earning their VP (Hit), hire a boss to become your goon (Hire), ally with a boss for their powers (Ally), or is it time to pay your crew (Payroll). 
    • Hire: There are times when someone may be more useful as part of your crew and doing your bidding sending their card to your hand. This action provides the least VP at only 1 but provides access to their resources to perform more actions on future turns. 
      • To hire, you must spend (fatigue) a number of goon cards from your hand with equal or greater total Hire ($ icon) than the target's Hire value. The target is flipped to the goon side and taken into your hand. This card will remain your goon and is able to be used as such. 
    • Hit: Sometimes you need to show your crew and other crews in the city who is boss by eliminating the competition. This action provides the most VP but none of their resources. 
      • To perform a hit, you must spend (fatigue) a number of goon cards from your hand with equal or greater total Hit (weapon icon) than the targets Hit value. The target Bosses are placed on the left side of your Home card beside hit with their boss side up. This card will remain here until the end of the game and provides no further benefits beyond their VP value, which is their Hit number. 
    • Ally: Some Bosses offer powers that are too powerful to waste; ally with them to gain access to their resources. This action provides 2 VP and access to their unique ally powers. 
      • To become allies, you must spend (fatigue) a number of goon cards from your hand with equal or greater total Ally (hands icon) than the target's Ally value. The target is placed below your home card with the Boss side up. This Boss' ability is available on all of your future turns. 
    • Payroll: This allows you to pick up all of your goon cards that were fatigued from actions performed on previous turns. 

Fatigue cards are played on the right side of your Home card beside Fatigue. 

End GameMicroMob 6

Once there is only one boss card remaining in the city, the game is immediately over and final scoring begins. The last Boss card is referred to as the Kingpin. Scoring works as follows:

  • 1VP for each of your hired Goons (both in your hand and Fatigued)
  • 2VP for each ally card
  • 0 for any Hit Boss cards that match the Mob Suit of the Kingpin card. 
  • All remaining Hit Boss cards are worth their Weapon value in VP. 

Whoever has the most VP is the winner. There is no Tie Breaker mentioned so either house rule it or play again.  

Ally Powers

Ally Powers provide perks that provide minor but powerful perks and others that violate the typical rules of the games. Some powers give you simple +1 perks to certain stats such as Hit and Hire while others allow you to chain actions allowing you to take more than just 1 action per turn. There are  even some powers that allow you to switch your collected cards between the different states such as moving a Hired Goon to your Hit area and even some end of game scoring perks. Make the best use of these powers to win the game!

Final Thoughts

microMob originally was on Kickstarter in 2015 under the title chibiMob (which I really like that name a lot actually), but it was unable to reach it funding goal. Luckily, they brought it back under the microMob name because it is a fun little game. The mechanics have a lot in common with a lot of other games but presents them in a tiny package. 

There are only a few minor issues I have with the game. The first is the rules could use a little editing clean up, but again, they are perfectly readable. One Player Reference had a City background instead of the Turn breakdown; this could be an isolated issue with my copy. Luckily, there are 3 other player references so it isn't really an issue. Again, these are very minor things. 

Overall, microMob is a straightforward card game with a few decisions and strategies players must decide on. Do you focus on high value Hit targets and keep a small hand of cards that requires a lot of Payroll actions, or do you build up a large crew of Goon early to draft a lot of cards later. Or do you focus on ally powers since they are re-useable each turn. There is no right answer since each game will be different based on the order of cards revealed. The rules are simple enough that almost anyone could learn the game in under 5 minutes. 

I am really curious to see the new modules in the microMob: blue edition Kickstarter launching on April 20, 2021. Be sure to check it out when it goes live if this game looked like something you would enjoy.  MicroMob Port


microMob Board Game Geek Page

Publisher Product Page

microMob: blue Kickstarter Page


We received the product in order to write an honest review; all reviews reflect the honest opinions of the writer.