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Raiders of the North Sea» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Strategy question for base+HoH rss

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Andrew Boyd
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Last night we played a 5-player game of the base game plus just the Hall of Heroes expansion. The guy that ignored questing and avoided valkyries destroyed us. It has me wondering if raiding is stronger than the other options for scoring.

To obtain 3 quest tiles and a reputation tile, you have to add enough cards to your hand to discard them. Thats easily 3-4 turns at the gatehouse and 3 turns at the mead hall. For all of that time, you've earned yourself a total of 5 victory points for game end and some plunder off the tiles.

Simililarly, it takes 4 valkyrie steps on the valk track to score a total of 4 victory points at game end. For those four points, 4 of your crew members are removed meaning you need to draw 4 new cards and hire those cards at the barrack. That's a lot of actions for 4 points.

In the meantime, the player that won was avoiding quests (saving turns), avoiding Valkyrie when possible (to save crew members), and could get 6 points from one monastery raid. Since he didn't lose any crew members, he just needed another turn or two to get the provisions and maybe a gold and he was ready to hit the other monastery for another 4-6 points. This player is also set up best for raiding fortresses since they have a big crew already.

Am I playing a rule wrong? How is questing and advancing on the valks track competitive with someone that only focuses on raiding?
 
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Bill Buchanan
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HopRodRye34 wrote:
Last night we played a 5-player game of the base game plus just the Hall of Heroes expansion. The guy that ignored questing and avoided valkyries destroyed us. It has me wondering if raiding is stronger than the other options for scoring.

To obtain 3 quest tiles and a reputation tile, you have to add enough cards to your hand to discard them. Thats easily 3-4 turns at the gatehouse and 3 turns at the mead hall. For all of that time, you've earned yourself a total of 5 victory points for game end and some plunder off the tiles.

Simililarly, it takes 4 valkyrie steps on the valk track to score a total of 4 victory points at game end. For those four points, 4 of your crew members are removed meaning you need to draw 4 new cards and hire those cards at the barrack. That's a lot of actions for 4 points.

In the meantime, the player that won was avoiding quests (saving turns), avoiding Valkyrie when possible (to save crew members), and could get 6 points from one monastery raid. Since he didn't lose any crew members, he just needed another turn or two to get the provisions and maybe a gold and he was ready to hit the other monastery for another 4-6 points. This player is also set up best for raiding fortresses since they have a big crew already.

Am I playing a rule wrong? How is questing and advancing on the valks track competitive with someone that only focuses on raiding?


Well, the game is called "Raiders of the North Sea" for a reason! Like most Euro games, you'll have to very tactical in how you make decisions and most of that will depend on the state of the board at the time.
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Aaron Gelb
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what were your end scores?

I don't think focusing on Valk track is necessarily a good strategy, as you lose crew, which is a signifcant set back.

I think of it as an extra benefit IF you lost crew to valkyries...although grabbing a few points from the track isn't bad if others are. But I don't see it as a winning strategy. Don't focus on getting your dudes killed.

I personally avoid Valkyrie unless I have the crew member that lets me take dead crew back into my hand, or if its a really nice pile of loot.

 
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Andrew Boyd
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asgelb wrote:
what were your end scores?

54-39-34-31-29

I guess that Valkyrie track is a decoy. I'm used to thinking if there's a score track I should try to advance it. Now I know.


What about the questing brought on by Hall of Heroes. Is that a viable winning strategy or another red herring for the losing players to grab some consolation points from?
 
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Molokov (AU)
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I think no matter what expansions you use (or not), you should always play to the strengths of your crew - which of course is generally the luck of the draw when you have cards.

If you have the Hero that rewards valkyrie advancement with strength, it may be worth going for valkyrie-filled raids to kill off weak crew members as it strengthens your hero.

If you can get a Gatekeeper early on, then it's much easier to get cards (Draw 3 at the gatehouse instead of 2) so then getting rid of these cards on quests may assist in earning VP.

I suspect that raiding *is* where players will get the majority of the VP, but the other tracks (armour, valkyrie, quests, and fame in FoF) plus the offering tiles are good way to *boost* your VP as well as in-game benefits such as strength or extra plunder/reputation bonuses.

But definitely players need to adapt their strategy based on the cards they can get, and the layout of the plunder.
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Jordan Booth
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Generally in eurogames if one player is the only one performing a certain strategy uncontested, they will do better than other players who are getting in each others' ways. As mentioned, you should play to the strengths of the cards you get taking into account the plunder distribution of the game. Your assessment of VP/turn is not accounting for the fact that you are more likely to pursue those options when you have crew that make those strategies more efficient. Also, don't just go for any quests/relics, plan to get the ones that fold back into your engine and/or let you grab some valuable offerings.
 
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Andrew Boyd
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Ok thanks. I've played many euro games and I'm not complaining that I lost - that's fine. I just wanted to see if anyone else has noticed that players do best by ignoring quests and avoiding valkyries. Based on my game, those actions seemed to be a waste of time.

Since I sat directly after the leader in a 5 player game, I couldn't do much to keep him from getting the gray or white workers.

I'm actually pleased that the game has some strategic depth. Thank you for the excellent replies. It sounds like building a crew and raiding should always be the default strategy unless you have crew cards that improve the efficacy of armor/Valkyrie/quests. The offering tiles seem to be universally a good way to use plunder from raids.
 
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Joe Chang
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I've played a game where someone won by scoring high on the valkyrie track, you just have to do it when it makes sense. I've also won by going hard on offerings, and I recently won by doing quests and only like 3-4 raids. This is with 4 players, and I think 5 players really pushes the limits of the game.
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Bill Buchanan
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HopRodRye34 wrote:
I just wanted to see if anyone else has noticed that players do best by ignoring quests and avoiding valkyries.


I think it's more you can probably still win by avoiding quests and valkyries (even though you need to raid to move up the Valkyrie track), but you probably can't win by completely avoiding raiding.

I think, maybe obviously, that the best strategy would be evaluating the board and making the best tactical play at the time based on the crew, your cards, resources etc.
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Shem Phillips
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In one of our 6 player tests with both expansions, we saw a player come a very close 2nd by only raiding once. It was an Outpost too. Quests can be very strong, especially if you pair them with Offerings.
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Andrew Boyd
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shem84 wrote:
In one of our 6 player tests with both expansions, we saw a player come a very close 2nd by only raiding once. It was an Outpost too. Quests can be very strong, especially if you pair them with Offerings.


Doesn't the questing/reputation track top out at 15 points? Assuming you need at least 45 points to be a close 2nd and that person raided an outpost, I'm guessing their score was 4 points at outpost / 15 from quests / 25+ points from offerings.
 
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Shem Phillips
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Sounds about right. I don’t remember all the details, but they may have had points from remaining plunder and crew too.
 
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Andrew Boyd
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I definitely next game will think more about trying to complete quests that have rewards that match up with offering tiles. That could be a nice combo. Provisions, crew members and gold are the necessary pieces for raiding.

I also was concentrating on armor early, which takes some doing since it requires a gray worker and stone. Maybe armor should be a secondary focus to raiding outposts since outposts are a limited opportunity.
 
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