Charging Ahead

In my last two articles, I introduced you to sabotage and mark, the feature mechanics for Anarch and Criminal in Midnight Sun and the Borealis Cycle. That leaves one more feature mechanic to share. Today, it’s time to meet charge, the Shaper mechanic of the cycle.

Charge is quite simple: Whenever a player is instructed to charge, they add one power counter to one of their installed cards that already has at least one power counter hosted on it.

This is perhaps the most elegant of all of our new mechanics. Charge emerged from a thought experiment in the early days of designing Borealis, when I spent time finding three evocative words to describe each faction. For Shaper, the words were “curious,” “inventor,” and “seeker.” The idea was that the manipulation of a simple game token is an experimental, incremental, and science-oriented process that fits what Shapers represent perfectly. Captain Padma Isbister, who you can meet here, is the new Runner who uses charge.

Charge is a mechanic that, in true Shaper spirit, encourages creative deckbuilding, looking at cards in a new light, and squeezing a little more mileage out of them than a Criminal or Anarch might. Whether it be as simple as adding a counter to an active Earthrise Hotel, firing off an extra shot with your Revolver, or perhaps helping out “Baklan” Bochkin, charge has myriad uses. 

But who am I kidding? You probably have bigger plans. 




Shaper Hardware: Console – Vehicle

Cost: 8 – Influence: 5


When you install this hardware, place 3 power counters on it.

The first time each turn you make a successful run, place 1 power counter on this hardware.

2 hosted power counters: Break up to 2 subroutines.

Limit 1 console per player.

Illustrated by Anna Butova

Endurance, an all-in-one solution to breaking ice, will happily be a battery for as many power counters as you want. It takes a lot of energy to chew through all that ice, so charging up Endurance will ensure you can keep making those crucial runs. It is a very big boat, however, so you’ll need a bit of help getting it installed. 

Rigging Up

Rigging Up

Shaper Event: Mod

Cost: 0 – Influence: 3

Install 1 program or piece of hardware from your grip, paying 3credit less. You may charge that card if able. (If it has a power counter on it, add another.)

Edie doesn’t mind the noise. She’s happy just being nearby.

Illustrated by Benjamin Giletti

Reminiscent of a largely unplayed Shaper card of yore, Rigging Up helps you get cards like Endurance installed and charged up. 

A major theme of Shaper in Borealis came from the oft-unfulfilled Shaper fantasy of having a huge rig of expensive and interesting cards. Expensive cards have the major drawback of leaving the Runner too low on credits to meaningfully interact with the Corp. Sometimes it can be too slow to set up these big pieces and recoup their cost, or just awkward to figure out when to take the plunge and install them. With Rigging Up putting Endurance into play cheaper and with more power, you’ll be able to start attacking Corp servers immediately. 

In Midnight Sun, Shaper plays on the small scale of tinkering with counters, and on the massive scale of icebreaking ships. Look out for cards that use power counters in all of the Runner factions of Midnight Sun to deck build with and charge up in the coming days!

Rigging Up
Rigging Up, by Benjamin Giletti

Midnight Sun will be released on July 22, 2022, as physical cards via NISEI’s print partners and pay-what-you want files for downloading and printing at home!


  • June Valencia Cuervo

    June was Null Signal Games' lead game designer. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and spends her days scribbling game designs into notebooks, roller blading, and playing poker.