Raiders of the North Sea vs Paladins of the West Kingdom comparison

I got to play Raiders at our monthly board game night and can now compare these two great games.  We played with the mead hall expansion which seemed to me to add a nice option to the base game (For Raiders).  

Firstly, they are different enough that I would consider owning both games (I own Paladins).  Although they are both worker placement, the mechanics are quite different and gameplay and strategy varied.

The parts and pieces look the same, the art is the same, the box size and setup and takedown are about the same, and they are both worker placement games.  Those are the primary similarities.

Raiders is more player interactive whereas Paladins focuses more on your personal board and the player interaction is minimal.  There are several selections in Raiders that directly impact other players on your turn and Paladins doesn't have anything that directly impacts other players outside of the inquisition.

I think another similarity was that deciding what path to take toward winning seems about equally difficult in both games.  Having never played Raiders I did very little raiding and focused on trying to get the most out of vikings in my boat.  I grabbed 7-8 of the adventure cards from area that had been raided and never went for the high point raids when I did raid.  I ended the game with a high Valkyrie score due to everyone in my boat being dead as won the game with 5 points more than the next closest player (I was in last before final scoring for reference).   

One huge difference between the games are the worker placement mechanics.  In Paladins, you are working toward as many placement actions as you can take in a round to maximize what you accomplish over the course of the round.  In Raiders, you only take two actions a turn at most and one if you are raiding.

Raiders takes a little less time to play at around 1.5 hours with 5 players whereas I'd put Paladins at 2 hours with 4 players.  

Hopefully this is helpful for those who have eyed both games :)

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Supporter10 months ago

Cool comparison. Good thing I picked Paladins. I think I’ll like that one much more. 

Supporter10 months ago

Thanks! I feel like this question gets asked very frequently in all of the different communities (me included).

Edit: Another one I often ask is Raiders vs. Architects.

Supporter10 months ago

Also, reading the comparison makes me want to play Raiders again with the Expansion.  I can definitely see it moving into my top games.

Supporter10 months ago

This is great.  I have Raiders (I think most people know), and it sounds like it is a better game for me and my gaming group.  I really value player interaction and I found at 4 players it played in about 45 - 60 minutes.  Although we didn't play with the expansion so maybe that would add some time.  I think I'll skip Paladins though even though it looks very fun.

How did you like the different color worker mechanic?  Having to plan for what worker will end in your possession was a lot of fun for me and for thinking about my plans for the future.

10 months ago

How does it play at 2 players?

Supporter10 months ago

I don't think the base game would scale well at 2 players.  But someone on my review post who's played with one of the expansions said it does play well at 2 if you use Hall of Heroes.

10 months ago

I enjoyed that mechanic and liked the complexity such a choice add to planning.  Because I was mostly trying to do the most efficient action on every turn I didn't find myself hindered too much during the game.  There were a few turns where I wanted to take two actions that no one was on and had the spread actions across a couple turns, but that was an exception.  Paladin's has about 6 colors of workers so this was less taxing as far as the worker choices go. 

Supporter10 months ago

Ah, goya.  That's cool.  I really enjoyed looking around the table before my turn to see if I had to go for a raid or if the other people wouldn't be able to take my spot anyway during their next turn so I could get ready for two turns.  If that makes sense.  

Basically I had a white worker, and wanted to raid a Fortress.  But I looked at the rest of the table and saw that no one else had a white worker.  So my plan was to try to take my turn and end it with a white worker.  I knew no one could take my spot because they only had grey workers.  That was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game for me.

That and multiple card powers.  I loved being able to either hire vikings or use them for a one time ability.

10 months ago

This is relevant to my interests.

Raiders is my favorite game (though Architects is catching up) and I have Paladins on the way. I'm very eager to play it.

10 months ago

Do you like it for 2 players?

10 months ago

I mostly play with two players.

Short answer: Yes, if you play with the Hall of Heroes expansion.

Long answer: Base Raiders with 2 is just an alright experience. It's always turned into a race and someone gets stomped. Now Raiders with Hall of Heroes is where it really shines and I always play with Hall of Heroes. I also have Fields of Glory and it's fine, but I think it adds too much complexity for too little return. BUT FoG does give you the valkyrie dice and I only play with those now.

10 months ago

Good to know. Thanks!

10 months ago

I only played this with the five player game we had at our game night.  I don't see why  it wouldn't work with two players reasonably well.  Seems like you'd get more opportunities for the raids in general. 

Supporter10 months ago

It is a helpful comparison. Thanks.