Raiders of the North Sea Review

Plait those beards, slam that mead and jump on the longboat – it’s pillaging time!

Raiders of the North Sea is brought to us by Renegade Games and designed by Shem Phillips. From the outset, the game looks super complex, with the amount of placement spots for your workers and the range of items and printed directions on the board. But when you get going, it is anything but. The game relies on a very simple mechanic of ‘place a worker, pick a worker’ and that’s it. The strategy comes in deciding what resources you want to build and where you are going to attack next.

The game has a great feel of pillage and plunder and actually moves at quite a clip when it gets going. You will definitely have to think several moves in advance when it comes to your moves, lest the other players (up to 4 total) take the provisions that you needed to raid that next Monastery or Fortress.

Raiders of the North Sea Board

Gameplay

The goal of the game is to impress the Chieftain by being the Viking who gets the most Victory Points by games end. You do this through a few ways:

  • Card management – both playing and placing townsfolk cards to make up your work crew;
  • Building your armour;
  • Killing Valkyries during raids;
  • Raiding a range of fortresses, harbours, monasteries and outposts as a way of building both victory points and supplies.

To do this, you will have a worker in hand to place in an empty spot. When you place your worker you can take the action of that spot and then pick up another worker taking the action of the place as well. Your turn is now over.

Look and feel

This game looks fantastic and you really get a lot packed into the box. The art is great, with a whimsical clash between cartoon and aggressive Vikings on all of the townspeople cards. The board is bright and a matte finish, the cardboard tokens are pretty standard but the real standout is the silver coins that you receive with the game that have some real heft and weight to them.

Who is it for?

  • Anyone who loves worker placement games and is looking for a new mechanic;
  • Newer players to worker placement – while it looks advanced, this is a great game that plays very quickly once it gets going.
  • Families with older kids – anyone 10 and up is going to be able to enjoy this with a little bit of watching.

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