First solo play with Raiders of Scythia

Premium User

Becky and I enjoy this game and I see getting 10-12 plays in with her this year.  #Raiders of Scythia is easier to setup and take down than either #Paladins of the West Kingdom or #Viscounts of the West Kingdom .   I think #Architects of the West Kingdom is roughly the same.  The Automa for Raiders is as easy to run at Paladins if not easier.  I played against the easiest AI opponent on my first run through because I'm a cowardly raider and wanted to win and was actually terrified that I just suck at gaming after scoring poorly on 5/6 solo games of #Clans of Caledonia .  

The AI for Raiders feels similar to playing against a human opponent.  I believe playtime took roughly an hour if not less.  Resetting for a new game was also quick and easy and took maybe 2 minutes.  

For those not familiar with Raiders, players are gathering resources necessary to go on "raids" in Chimera, Assyria, Persia, and Greece.  By pillaging women and children....just kidding.  

Each player starts with a "Leader" and one crew member.  The Leader does not add to the raid strength like the crew members generally do.  There are 8 "village actions" with a couple of options at each action generally depending on the color of worker players are using (blue, gray, red).  

For the most case this is a worker placement game.  You place your worker on a free space, take the action, and pick up a worker on another space and take that action.  If your are raiding, you need toe appropriate colorded worker to raid the country selected to raid and the provisions/wagons required to discard for the raid.  Each available raid location can only be raided once during the game will will provide the raider with various supplies (gold,livestock,equipment, or wagons) and a new worker (gray or red).

Each location also reveals a quest at that location once the location is raided.  Quests are completed through a village action and are another option for obtaining end game VP.  Raids themselves provide VP depending on the final total power of the raid.

Each raid will require a certain number of crew (2-5) in addition to the required provisions/wagons.  Each location, the raiding player will roll 1-4 die (depending on location) + die for gold if gold is available in the plunder.  The die will show additional power to add to the raid AND any wounds the raiding party must take after the raid.  Die rolled for gold do not add power and only add wounds.  

Every raid is a success, however, the total power you obtain during the raid base on (base crew power + die roll + crew abilities) determines how many VP you will obtain from the raid.  If placing wounds on a crew member causes the number of wounds to exceed the strength of that crew member, then the crew member is killed.  Some crew member give rewards when they are killed, other give rewards for wounds, others reduce wounds in certain areas)

Additionally, there are eagles and horses that can be purchased in the village.  Eagles either double a crew member bonus when triggers or provide an additional "town center" action.  Horses provide additional strength or endgame VP.  The eagles tend to help players make more of the resources they have while the horses tend to boost the overall strength.  

Crew members with more strength tend to cost 3-4 coins while weaker crew members tend to provide nice bonuses.

The endgame is triggers when there are only two more spaces to raid (typical) or only 2 quests remaining on the board.

The primary race is to raid as many places as possible quicker than you opponent.  The quests are a bit of a catch as they are worth variable point values and are drawn randomly.  So the game state is in flux to so degree with each revealed quest and with which places get raided.  Greece is the toughest place to raid and takes wagons to raid there, so if you didn't get wagons on previous raids, then village actions must be used to obtain the necessary wagons.  The puzzly part of the game is determining how to utilize your leader and crew abilities in the most efficient way possible to gather necessary supplies and make the most of the raids and action spots (pretty typical for most worker-placement games).

Solo experience seems somewhat unique from the human opponents in that it seems to grab more quests from the board than a human typically does.  I have a hard time telling how well I was doing during the game because the AI was grabbing high value quests for several turns and not raiding.  Turns out the easy AI was pretty easy, but since he didn't raid quite as much I was able to obtain more from the raid spots available.  

I'll be trying another game here in a bit with the toughest AI (there are 4) and see how that goes.  In general, I'd say this is decent to above average solo experience with a solid and easy to teach and play multi-player game.  

If you've played #Raiders of Scythia what was your experience?


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3 months ago

Thanks for your review. Just ordered my copy to play primarily solo with! It seems that the overwhelming consensus from content creators is that RoS = better base game than RotNS, but that RotNS is better with BOTH expansions. I would rather spend the cost of one game than have to dish out the $ for two expansions.

3 months ago

Thanks for the review.  This is on my wishlist (maybe for 2021?). I enjoy #Paladins of the West Kingdom and the solo version on that.

Premium User3 months ago

Thanks for the write-up! This one is pretty high up on my wishlist, so I'm glad to know that the solo mode is enjoyable as well.

Supporter3 months ago

Have you played the original game? How does this stack up?

Premium User3 months ago

I enjoyed #Raiders of the North Sea and played it with one of the expansions (can't remember which one).  I had thoughts about getting it over the years but knew that I would only enjoy it if I had the expansion as I found the base game alone somewhat lacking.  

I feel like #Raiders of Scythia is a more complete game, perhaps like the original with all the expansions and then some.  I have a buddy who has all the original and expansions he will likely just stick with those (as I likely would), but I'm glad Scythia was released.

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