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 :)