Load up the long boats – It’s time to join the Raiders of the North Sea!
Our friends at Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy brought over a game I think deserves a lot more attention: Raiders of the North Sea!
Raiders of the North Sea is orginially from a successful Kickstarter Campaign. It’s the second game in the excellent North Sea Trilogy. If you’re unfamiliar with that series, it features Shipwrights of the North Sea, Raiders of the North Sea, and Explorers of the North Sea. Each game is different and has different mechanics but they tie into each other in a very cool way. They can each be played independently or you can keep track of your score for each game and total them up at the end to see who wins overall. It makes for a really great afternoon of gaming as each game has a different level of strategy, complexity, and social interaction. I have really enjoyed each game and recommend all three!
The big thing about Raiders of the North Sea is that it’s finally back in stock! The only reason I had even heard of this game was my friend got his copy from the Kickstarter – I could never find this game in stores. Now I know why! The company that was producing/distributing this one couldn’t seem to keep up with the demand. I don’t know all the details but it looks like the game is being published in the US by Renegade Game Studios now. Regardless, I’m just glad to see the game back on shelves!
Mechanically, Raiders is probably the most complex of the trilogy. It’s a worker placement game where players are co-operating (to an extent) to Raid locations on this coast. You share worked in a cool “Trade-in” type of mechanic and you all have access to the same buildings. However, you’ll have to change out your strategy based on what workers are actually available.
On your turn you place a worker at a location and you get whatever resources are there. You also must pick-up a worker that has been placed previously (it can’t be the worker you just placed). You also get the resources from that location when you pick-up the worker. The goal of the game is to accumulate Victory Points – but even those can be scored in different ways. You can get points for raiding the locations across the sea. Those require certain resources available to commit those raids. You can also give tributes to the chieftain to score points. Upgrading your Armor can score you points (and help you with the raids) and finally, you can also get Valkyries which represent your crew who died on the different raids. You crew is a side deck of cards that can also give you other bonuses.
The art style for all the North Sea games is done by the same person and they share themes and characters. The components are also really well done and I really appreciate the color palette they used for the game as well. It’s just a really great presentation and package. If you can’t tell, I really like the North Sea Saga and I’m pumped it’s back in stores so more folks can play it! So what are you waiting for? GO! Get to your FLGS and pick-up Raiders of the North Sea (or any of the other games) and give them a shot.
Raiders of the North Sea is set in the central years of the Viking Age. As Viking warriors, players seek to impress the Chieftain by raiding unsuspecting settlements. Players will need to assemble a crew, collect provisions and journey north to plunder gold, iron and livestock. There is glory to be found in battle, even at the hands of the Valkyrie. So gather your warriors, it’s raiding season!
The aim of Raiders of the North Sea is to impress the Chieftain by having the most Victory Points (VP) at the game’s end. Victory Points are gained primarily by raiding Settlements, taking Plunder and making Offerings to the Chieftain. How players use their Plunder is also vital to their success. The game ends when either only 1 Fortress raid remains, all Valkyrie are removed, or all Offerings have been made.
Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever…