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Subject: Raptor - My all-time favorite 2-player game rss

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guest guest
United States
Danvers
Massachusetts
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Hey everyone!

I just wanted to talk a bit about Raptor and hear the opinions of other people. It's not really a pure review hence the general forum instead of the reviews or variants forum.

It's such a great game. It's fun and tense and tactical and offers a ton of replayability. It really has a very unique combination and ratio between being fun and tense. It feels tactical and a tiny bit abstract like chess but also cinematic, which creates the fun part in this equation.

I also wanted to talk about something else but didn't want to mention in the title because I didn't want the game to come across in a negative way. The game really is a ton of fun and I wish I could play it every day, but out of all the games we've played so far around 70-75% were won by the scientists. We tried different tactics and approaches but even when it looked like the scientists were in a position where they just can't win they usually ended up winning anyway.

Have any of you experienced the same? Have you guys houseruled it? I'm sure the designers playtested the game to hell and back and have a far deeper understanding than I have, but I also wouldn't say that we have no idea what we are doing. Perhaps we are missing something but it feels like the raptor player just has the weaker options.

I think what weakens the raptor side is the fact that the only useful unit is the mother. The babies pose no threat to the scientsist while every scientist is a threat. Also the babies usually only serve in hindering each other and the mother when it comes to moving. Very early on the raptor mom has the perk of positioning. The scientists are on the outskirts of the map. But that usually changes very fast. While the mom can move like a champ and get rid of scientists, the scientist player still has reinforcements. The scienists can also shoot the mom and slow her down which robs her of her biggest advantage. And since the raptor player has no low card that gets rid of those markers (the lowest card is 5 which is right in the middle) it's not that easy to get back to speed.

I thought about that and considered houseruling the game if this raptorlosing trend continues but before we try it I'd like to hear from you guys what your thoughts on this are. Both on the apparent imbalance and my idea to fix it.

My idea is this:

When the raptor player played the higher card, the mother gets one free extra action for each baby the scientists have captured so far. That would boost her in the later stages of the game when often there are many scientists and perhaps a couple snooze markers on her. Thematically it could be viewed as her getting angrier with each baby that has been taken. Or perhaps another buff could be that each tie means the raptor mom can take one action. I haven't tried it yet because I wanted to hear what you guys have to say about this. So please let me know! But you can also just talk about the game in general without addressing my balancing suggestion.

As a bonus question, does anyone think it's possible to create a proper 4-player variant using two copies of the game?
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Dave
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Raptor might suffer more from a sort of play style bias than most other games. In our house the raptors win most of the time. And I’ve seen claims by others that one side or the other always seems to win.
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Arnaud MATAGOT
France
Bordeaux
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Hello,


In the final development phase I played over 100 games in a couple weeks. There was no imbalance. But I definitely see that depending on players and their styles it can be unbalanced for a while.


Have fun playing.
Arnaud.
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Jānis Rudzītis
Latvia
Jūrmala
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arnaud4matagot wrote:
Hello,


In the final development phase I played over 100 games in a couple weeks. There was no imbalance. But I definitely see that depending on players and their styles it can be unbalanced for a while.


Have fun playing.
Arnaud.

+1. I can completely agree with Arnaud. My observation: in many asymmetrical 2 player games I saw that my opponents know how to attack/ to be aggresive but they are not so good in defense and vice versa. Another game, often accused to be imbalanced, is "Dracula" (M.Rieneck) but I like to play Dracula (it's very challenging to win as Dracula)
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
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Gene Ammons - Boss Tenor
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I agree with the others that developing different approaches to playing the raptors is your best course, rather than diddling the rules. If you could play people from outside your current circle it would be very helpful, but you can do it on your own by discarding old habits and starting fresh. As a starting point, I picked out one statement that's worth pondering:

Guest wrote:
The babies pose no threat to the scientsist while every scientist is a threat.

I'd say the babies pose a considerable threat, in that three of them scooting off the board wins the game. Each side has two primary game winning strategies. A strong player will try to keep both viable initially and employ the one best fitted to the situation as it develops.
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Steve Shockley
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Seffner
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I'm usually all for house rules, but Raptor works like a well-oiled machine! I wouldn't tweak it, even a little.
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ozzy perez
United States
Hialeah
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I think this game is extremely balanced. Experienced players of both factions can absolutely have equal chances at any given time. I am quite lethal with the raptors, and I have taken people out within 10 minutes. My g/f is very clever with the scientists though, and we have really good fights. However, she cannot, for the life of her, win any games with the raptors lol. Amazing game!
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