Raiders of the North Sea (Finally)

Supporter
Review

Well it took a good while (which is why I'm going to finally win again haha), to get my winning game to the table.  I'm not a full reviewer type of person, I don't think I know enough about the hobby.  But I am excited to share a few of my thoughts about the game.

If you are really interested in the game I might suggest watching the following video before reading (I think it'll help make sense of my comments).

How To Play Raiders of the North Sea

First, if you are a fan of worker placement I highly suggest checking this game out.  It is a fun take on worker placement with the way you play but also with the different types of workers and where they can be played in the game.  Also, everyone is sharing the worker pieces which is really cool.  One thing I noticed is I pushed hard to get a grey workers (black in the basic worker and grey and white allow you to do upgraded abilities on half of the board).  I was thinking, I really need the grey worker.  Until I realized that as soon as I played it everyone else would have access to a grey worker.

Pros:

1. It is a quick teach and play (about 45 - 60 total time with 4 players), but still strategically deep.

2. For worker placement there is a decent amount of player interaction.

3. At first I thought it would be easy to pick your two "engine building" actions

4. The cards are really fun, and the multi use abilities make strategizing with them really fun.

5. I love that some of the cards allow for a "Take That" mechanism

6. You are forced to adjust your strategy based on the other players.

7. At first I thought it was going to be easy to plan out my turn but found options I wanted not available

Cons:

1. I know many here play at 2 players and I don't think it'd scale well less than three.  One of the players actually thinks they like it more than Viticulture (@philryuh)

2. I could see using the solo variant to play as a team with my kids to get them into the game and get them familiar with what the actions are before allowing them to play on their own.  However, it's basically impossible to find.

I can't wait to get the Hall of Heroes Expansion out the next time we play.


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10 months ago

How much does the Take That mechanic come into play? This was on my wishlist for a while, but the rest of my group really doesn't like negative player interaction. They're more of the multiplayer solitaire types.

Supporter10 months ago

Also, how does your group do with trying to get to spots before others?  I remember when we played I had a big plan totally unravel because the person two turns ahead of me took the raid action of the person one turn ahead of me wanted.  That caused the person one turn ahead of me to take the spot I was going after.  I also did quite a lot of looking around the table to see if people could go to the location I wanted to go to before I took two turns and that sometimes affected me changing my strategy.

Supporter10 months ago

You could potentially play with all the Take That cards and never use them for that ability though.  I personally would never do that because I love negative player interaction.  Basically you wouldn't want someone like me playing with a group of people who don't like it.  Because I'd probably use it a lot to mess with your plans and aid mine.

Supporter10 months ago

I think there were a total of 4 - 5 cards played in the game with "Take That" instant ability.  Because the cards have two abilities you sometimes have to think about if you want to use the Take That ability or hire them into your crew.  Having said that I've heard that if you have either expansion you could potentially take all the Take That cards out of the game and still have a full deck.  Both expansions come with extra cards.

10 months ago

Eh, i know my group wouldn't go for it if the cards can be very disruptive and I would be the person to use them that way. I'm also not a fan of changing a game like that to remove a mechanic that a game was purposely designed with, I'd just choose a different game.

10 months ago

How would you say this compares to Paladins of the West Kingdom?  I have that one.  This game is sitting on the shelf of one of our local stores for $20 or $30 and I'm debating.  The parts and pieces look so similar to Paladins that I'm afraid I'd being buying a copy of the same game.

Supporter10 months ago

You know, I've never played the West Kingdom games.  I do think it's easier to learn and it is also Worker Placement.  I don't think I'll go after the West Kingdom games because they are also Worker Placement.  I'm basically taking a break from any new Worker Placement games at the moment.

10 months ago

That is extremely helpful and sort of the direction I was leaning in.  

Supporter10 months ago

I mean I do believe these games are built around their own type of Worker Placement.  I just know for me, at this point the Worker Placement would have to be crazy innovative for me to get another one.  Plus I'm going to do my best to back Oath and then not buy any new games this year.  Unless I am able to go beyond by Game Play Resolutions.

Supporter10 months ago

That does sound quite a good price for this. 

Supporter10 months ago

Wow, that's a great price for Raiders at a local store. I would've expected quite a bit higher than $30.

Supporter10 months ago

Thanks for the great review Scott!

Supporter10 months ago

Great review. 

I didn't know there was a solo deck you could buy or print. I really wonder how that AI is? I also wonder if you can play 2 or 3 player and add the AI for a other player?

Supporter10 months ago

I didn’t even think of adding it to a two player game.  I’ve never had to play Scythe two players but if I did I’d probably use the Automa.  That might work for this game too, if I could actually find the solo deck somewhere.

Supporter10 months ago

I think it’s only available from the publisher. 

Supporter10 months ago

Thanks for the heads up.  I found it there.  But yikes shipping is $6, that's over 50% of the cost of the deck.  Maybe I'll look into some reviews first.

Supporter10 months ago

If you do find it, let us know how it works 

Supporter10 months ago

Hahaha glad you got around to this! (There's a missing "h" at the end of my username there by the way)

And I actually haven't played this yet so I'm not sure who you were talking with about Viticulture vs. Raiders (was it @Skyw3rd?) I have been eyeing on this and Architects for the longest time though so it's a highly likely purchase this year for me because I've repeatedly heard nothing but good things about Raiders. I can't remember at the moment but likely u/Skyw3rd mentioned that theres a must have expansion if I'm looking to try Raiders with 2 players.

10 months ago

Yup. Hall of Heroes makes the two player game really great. Base Raiders with 2 can end up being a race and a blow out.

Supporter10 months ago

That's good to know.  Does Hall play well with 5?

10 months ago

I've only done up to 4, but I'm sure it would. As long as folks aren't struck with AP or think about their turn before it comes it should go smoothly.

Supporter10 months ago

Sweet, I actually don't have a lot of AP players that I play with so I think it'll go just fine.

Supporter10 months ago

Oh I was just thinking back to when you were looking for games to play with your wife.  One of the players said he liked Raiders better than VEE so it got me thinking... maybe you’d want to look into it to play with her (and maybe some friends).

Supporter10 months ago

Gotcha, and yup--Raiders is one that I've looked out for the longest time out of any other games, particularly because u/Skyw3rd has repeatedly mentioned how good it is.

Supporter10 months ago

I do like it, it is simple to learn but still makes you think while you're playing it.

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Raiders of the North Sea