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Subject: Sailing Thor's raft across the Pacific rss

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Rob Gaines
United Kingdom
Reading
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This game is all about a rather famous raft journey and on each turn players expend counters to move a single raft (which all payers use) across the board and collect duty points en-route. The player with the most duty ponts at the end of the game is declared the winner.

Each player starts with 15 counters, five each of red, yellow and green. On a players turn these are used to pay for the movement of the raft which can be moved one, two or three spaces along the board. These payments go into that players numbered tray which is alloted at the start of the game.

In the opening stretch any counters can be played but after reaching a whirlpool the counters needed will be of a specific colour. Players have to stop on reaching the whirlpool which consists of a circular cardboard disc with a path shown going through it and a circle indicating what colour is to be used on the next route, the player who lands on the whirlpool becomes the navigator and turns this disc to decide the rafts next route across the board. When this disc is turned a colour will be exposed in the circle which represents the colour of counters to be used for the next leg of the journey. This player also receives a navigation card which they can redeem for three more counters of their choice and also counts towards victory points at the end of the game. Also when on a whirlpool any player may ask for the duty tiles to be reshuffled.

On their journey players can land on certain spaces which allow them to collect duty cards. There are 4 types, fishing, radio, cooking and equipment. A player who lands on one of these spots receives the relevant duty card. These duty cards are used for scoring points at the end of the game. Players scoring higher for collecting sets of a specific type. They can also be exchanged for 5 movement counters.

When a player is running short of counters for movement they can expend duty cards or navigation cards that they have aquired to get extra couters. Further when a players tray has ten counters in it they may be exchanged for an extra duty card.

When the raft reaches Raroia the game finishes and the players score 3 points for each navigation card they possess and the relevant number of points for each set of duty cards. The player with the highest score is the winner.

Thoughts

This game is a nice simple resource management game, time is spent working out if you can maneuver the raft to be the player who will reach the whirlpools and duty cards but at the same time you have to keep an eye on what counters you have available for future stages of the journey. It seems to play best with two as with more players you have less influence on tactically influencing play in your favour.






 
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Barry Kendall
United States
Lebanon
Pennsylvania
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Rob, thanks for bringing this game to light; I never knew it existed.

As a kid I received a lovely illustrated youth-edition of Heyerdahl's book which I must have read a dozen times. What an adventure!

Sounds like fun with the right group of players willing to enter into the spirit of the thing.

I can't help but think that this would make a good movie since the story is no longer widely known. Who knows, maybe even with a game tie-in.
 
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Rob Gaines
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It seemed a shame for a pretty decent game to have no reviews so it tempted me into writing my first one. It looks like the game itself may never have made it across the Atlantic and maybe not even out of the UK.

I pretty much grew up with the game, but it inspired me to go see the museum when i was up in Norway, i have the book but haven't got round to reading it yet but would agree theres probably a film opportunity out there.

 
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Laurence Parsons
United Kingdom
Charfield
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Thank you for the review. I used to play this a fair bit as a child, but I'd forgotten about it until today, when there was a Google Doodle celebrating Thor's 100th birthday! That reminded mt that there was a game, and you've just reminded me how it was played!

I'm not sure it would stack up well against today's games. Board games have move on somewhat from those days. However, it was a nice trip down memory lane
 
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