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Raiders of the North Sea» Forums » General

Subject: Hero Crewmembers in the base game rss

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Donald Wisniewski
United States
New York
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So we recently started playing Raiders of the North Sea in our group of 3 and overall we really like the game a lot. The one flaw has been with the 3 hero cards in the deck of 71. The winner of the game has always been one of the players who have lucked into one, and we have one player who has played 4 times and has never once received a hero card. That players interest in the game has definitely waned. I am curious if anyone else has felt that the game does come to be lucky enough to grab one of the 3 super cards in the deck, or if this is a problem that is only occurring in our group. I hate to see a really good game fall to the wayside due to the luck factor of the three hero cards.
 
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Per Glöde
Sweden
Svitjod
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"Gain one strength for..."
Brynjar: ...every 3 armour you currently hold.
Folke: ...all other hired crew members.
Ragnhildr: ...every 2 Valkyrie you have taken.
How can you regard these as overpowered? Noone else has ever suggested heroes as OP. Are you playing some rule wrong?
You seem very focused on strength points, used for gathering VP from fortress raids. But there are a lot of ways to win without being the top VP collector from fortress raids.
You can raid without gathering direct VP, just gathering the spoils, and transform them to VP in other indirect ways. An example: Hire a Cartographer, "Pay 1 less gold when raiding a fortress". Then rush fortress raids with a minimal weenie crew of low-strength townsfolk for the spoils only. The game will be over before the opponent "Glass Cannon" large crews will gather any VP.
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Joe Chang
United Kingdom
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Agree with gaaloechild. Hero cards have never been swingy for us, if anything, they've been quite useless in terms of ability when you've not focussed on whatever track they give bonus for.
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Nate
United States
Dayton
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Agree with Per’s comment above. I’ve played several games of Raiders over the last couple of years and have never considered the heroes overpowered. Neither has anyone else who I’ve played the game with. In fact, there are several other crew members I’d rather have than the heroes. Perhaps you’re playing something wrong, or maybe your group isn’t playing in a way to take advantage of the strengths of the other crew member cards?
 
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Mário Sousa
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I don't consider them useless neither OP. They can be a bit stronger then other cards always depending on your tactic for the game. I have had a hero in my team and still lost the game.
 
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Nate
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Didn’t have time to write more earlier. There a couple different things you can try. As someone mentioned before, go with a weenie crew and see how that works for you. When doing this you can try to raid places, including high value places, before your opponents. Sure, you may not get the max points, but you’re robbing them of the opportunity for points and you’re getting plunder. A couple things to keep in mind:

1) With a cheap crew losing them to Valkyrie tokens isn’t as big of a loss because they only cost a silver or two and can be replaced for another coin or two with your weenie strategy. However, make sure you’re not killing off ones that are helping your engine. For instance, the Cartographer can be great for raiding fortresses because he decreases gold cost. There’s one villager (I forget her name) that gives you an extra provision for going to the mill, which helps you get provisions for raiding quicker. Those are just a couple examples.

2) Use all the plunder you get to acquire offering tiles. Not only can you get a lot of points this way, you could end the game before your opponents get to raid a lot of the fortresses or other high value raid spots

3) While losing crew members hurts, keep in mind that the Valkyrie track caps at 15 points and the armory track caps at 6. That’s a 9 point difference so if it works out where you can sacrifice crew members and then cheaply get others the Valkyrie track can be a nice addition to all the offering tiles you get.

Also, you don’t have to go hardcore one way or the other with your strategy. Maybe it’s a mix. I think the important thing to do is to play to the strengths of the cards you get and be as efficient as possible with them while keeping an eye on what your opponents are doing and adjusting accordingly.

Also, other crew members provide end game points. The only card from the original game that I thought was maybe too strong was the Merchant (get 1 point for each livestock token you have at the end of the game). There’s been a lot of discussion about it in another thread and the card has been updated to give 1 point for every two livestock tokens. Even with the original rule I don’t think it was game breaking but I do like the change. Anyways, I mention a card like the merchant because if you start off with him or another end game victory point card it can provide you with some direction on the strategy to take as well.

Hopefully some of the advice you’re getting on this thread will help your group enjoy the game more because it’s great.
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Donald Wisniewski
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New York
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So what weve seen is that the heroes end up being worth 7 strength (specifically folke) which is as strong as any 2 crew me members of another team and arent particularly more expensive. So basically we get a team with one hero that just rolls the big fortresses before anyone else can get close to the number getting consistently the middle points. We did have a player go heavy on the offering titles last game but was unable to keep up with the fortress point raider. I will say its Folke specifically that has dominated most because in general your hiring crewmembers anyway as he reaches 7 strength very easily.
 
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Nate
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I’m trying not to discount your experience, but this has never been brought up as an issue (that I can see) and the game has been out for years. So I’m trying to think through how this is such a problem for your group.

So with Folke is the player getting him and then just buying cheap crew members, which means overall your crew still wouldn’t be incredibly strong. Or, is the person going for attack heavy characters, which are more expensive? In which case others could begin raiding quicker with cheaper crews. Again, you can raid even if you don’t meet the strength criteria. You get plunder but no VP. However, it takes away the opportunity for someone else to raid it. Additionally, as Folke’s crew collects Valkyrie tokens Folke gets weaker as crew members must get discarded and then you have to hire more crew members, which takes time.

The heroes just don’t get all that powerful until after several turns, and if someone is focused on buffing a hero crew member it seems like they would be neglecting other avenues, which you or others could capitalize on.
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Donald Wisniewski
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Typically the hero team is building around that hero (and they are getting it in the opening hand). The crew one is usually a mix with hero berserkers and maybe a jeweler or the guy who hired for one less coin so they can rehire fast. So in our four games one player has had a hero all 4 games, another 3 of the 4 games and the third has never once gotten a hero. The winner has always had a hero and the outside of one time has a non hero come ahead of those with heroes. The player who has never had a hero is overall a decent board game player so I dont think it's just skill. It just seems that the strength gets so high with the hero teams that even trying to attack fast is tough because your crew members die first. It just seems an odd decision to have specialty cards that are so infrequent in the deck.
 
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Nate
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I guess I’m just not seeing how a few attack points is so game altering. If you want to attack build up the armor track. I’d rather plunder quick and do that than try and build around Hero (not that I wouldn’t build around one, but it just seems like I’ve been able to have a high attack crews with out needing a hero).

Also, just a couple things to make sure rules aren’t being missed:

- After a raid, are you discarding a crew member for each Valkyrie token collected?

- Are you ensuring that everyone is discarding the required provisions and/or gold required to raid?

- Are you ensuring that everyone has the appropriate number of crew members to raid since it can vary?

- Are people aware they can raid the higher value areas without meeting even the lowest attack value posted? So you raid and get the plunder, but no VP.

- Are you adding the armor track to attack values?

- Are you rolling the red attack dice where appropriate?

That’s all I’ve got for now I’ve played with different group of people, all gamers, and no one has felt heroes are overpowered. It also doesn’t seem to have been anything brought up in these forums as an issue. And with such a popular game if it was a problem I’d expect to see posts about it. Hopefully you and your group keep playing and try/discover other strategies as I do think this is a really good and well balanced game.
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Donald Wisniewski
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Thanks for your help. We have been doing all those rules correctly and I agree it's not an issue I found in these forums (I searched first). Clearly it's a group issue and not a game issue but i do worry it will lead to the game being set aside.

What a interesting is our one player who has never had a hero isnt the complainer of the group and doesnt mind losing at all which is why I went out of the way to ask. It seems like this is likely just a mental issue of seeing something other players get that they dont within the game.
 
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Josh Rumble
Canada
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DonColtsfan wrote:
Clearly it's a group issue and not a game issue but i do worry it will lead to the game being set aside.


This is a really great game and it'd be a shame if this was the case. That being said, if it's just a couple of cards that bother the group, I say take them out of the deck (or deviously shuffle them to the bottom).
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Donald Wisniewski
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New York
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My understanding is that the heros were kickstarter stretch goals correct? It why I'm always iffy about stretch goals. I feel like this game would be me smoother or more easy to get my group to play if they weren't added on or if there were 3 of each hero so people would have a chance.
 
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Rainer Fuchs
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I was going to suggest the same -- don't let a great game be lost on you because of three cards someone in the group doesn't like. Just remove them from the deck and enjoy the game again.
 
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Chris Mikols
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Avondale
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Of course I'm not suggesting going out and grabbing every expansion and every promo but you can up the chances of getting a hero by adding some or all.

With your current deck of 71 cards there's a 4% chance of getting a hero. My Raiders deck is 169 cards deep 18 of which are heroes coming out to an 11% chance of gaining a hero.
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