Take this boat and bring it back full with loot...
Designer: Shem Phillips
Artist: Mihajlo Dimitrievski
Playing Time: 60-80 Mins
BGG Rating: 7.7
BGG Ranking: 99
Publisher: Graphill Games
Mechanics: Contracts, Hand Management, Worker Placement
Sleeves: SWK 54x86mm
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. To do so, players need to assemble a crew, collect provisions, and journey north to plunder gold, iron and livestock. Glory can be found in battle, even at the hands of the Valkyrie, so gather your warriors because it's raiding season!
Quick play overview:
Players try to Impress the Chieftain by collecting the most victory points, mainly by raiding settlements, taking plunder and making offerings to the big boss.
The main mechanic is worker placement where a player will place one worker to do a certain action and then collect another worker from the board to do the 2nd action.
The board is divided into the village area where you will place workers to gather new crew members and rations for the raiding part.. which coincidentially is the other part of the board. Here your crew will ransack the ports, monasteries and fortresses for better loot and VP.
Once only one fortress remains untouched, the Valhalla is full (enough crew memebers have died) or the Chieftain's house will burst open from all the offerings, the game ends and players count up their VP and see who wins.
The trick of placing and removing a worker is a superb change to the standard worker placement mechanism. Some crew members will improve the available actions as well, so you will push a certain action because of the extra rewards. Finally going to raid for the much needed resources before you are ready, just because you think that your opponent might have the same target in mind… excellent collection of mechanisms and time pressure.
The placing and removing workers to get 2 actions per turn is a nice trick. When your opponent places his worker on that perfect place, where you will remove it on your turn… it just lightens up your day 😊
Art & Graphic Design: 10/10
The board and the cards are beautiful. It gives a relaxing vibe.. the calm before the storm.
Graphic design is perfect. Once you learn the general flow of the game, you can guess what each symbol means without the book.
Rules & Complexity: 8/10
Player's turns are quick and the rules make sense and are easy to remember.
This game offers you a lot of options to get points and the mechanisms don't get in the way.
Recruiting new crew members, trying to be the first to raid a spot to get loot and trying to make your chieftain/village happy is a good theme for a boardgame in my book.
Fun & Replayability: 9/10
I had a great time playing this game and I plan to play it more. At least until the game gets too samey.
The crew members will push you into taking different actions more frequently but the main actions will remain the same between the games.