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Raptor: 2 player brilliance in the Jurassic era

Raptor: 2 player brilliance in the Jurassic era

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Raptor

  • Designer: Bruno Cathala and Bruno Faidutti
  • Artist: Vincent Dutrait
  • Publisher: Matagot
  • Player count: 2
  • Play time: 25 minutes
  • Mechanics: Action point allowance, hand management, simultaneous action selection.

Mamma Raptor has escaped from her run and laid her eggs in the park. A team of scientists must neutralize her and capture the baby raptors before they run wild into the forest.

Overview:

Raptor is a 2-player, asymetrical card game from the design duo of Bruno Cathala and Bruno Faiduti. 1 player plays a group of scientists who want to capture and study the baby raptors. The other player plays the raptor family consisting of 5 babies and one very cranky mama raptor.

The board is set up using square tiles in a 3 x 2 grid. Also, there are 4 L-shaped exit tiles which go on each end of the board. On each of the double sided central tiles, you place rocks as depicted on the art. These block movement and line of sight for both scientists and the raptors. The raptor player places the mother on one of the 2 middle tiles and one baby on each of the other tiles. The scientist player initially places 4 out of his 10 scientists, each on one of the exit tiles.

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Nowhere to run!

Both players have a deck of 9 cards and will have a hand of 3 available to them during each round. These cards have a number from 1 to 9 on them and an associated action. For instance, the scientists player can set fire to the jungle,call in reinforcements or put baby raptors to sleep. The Raptor player has completely different card abilities. The mother can possibly disappear from the board to ‘scout’ placing her back on any spot after the scientists used their action. He can then wait with selecting a card until after the scientist reveals theirs.

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sample cards

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Sample cards 2

A round resolves as follows: After both players have selected and revealed a card, the card with the lowest value gets to perfrom the action of the card. The other player gets action points equal to the difference between the two cards. If players would reveal cards with identical value, both would be discarded without effect. The action points can be spent on several things, again varying per player. The Raptor player can use these actions to move the raptor babies one space, move the mother in a straight line, eat adjacent scientists, wake up sleeping babies or put out fires. The Scientists can use their points to put to sleep babies or put a sleep token on the mother raptor (restricting her movements in the future), catch a sleeping baby raptor, move scientists one space or calm down scared scientists. One thing to note is that each scientist figure can only do one agressive action each turn, so it’s impossible to put to sleep a baby and capture it with one scientist in a single turn.

Play continues untill one of the victory conditions are met. For the Raptors this means either having 3 baby’s escape off the board or ending a turn without scientists on the board. For the scientist it’s either capturing 3 baby’s or subdueing the mother (putting 5 sleep counters on her).

 

The review:

When I play boardgames, more often then not it will be in a group consisting of at least three players. That being said, I have a really big soft spot for 2 player games. Especially ones with an Asymetrical nature. I’ve read about this game just before Essen 2015 and I was immediately intrigued by the idea. Especially when I heard that my favorite duo of Bruno’s were going to be the designers. It’s taken me quite a while to track down a copy of the game, but I’m really happy I eventually did. Man this game is so good. It ticks all the boxes of what I like to see in 2 player games.

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Box contents

What I like about the game:

  1.  Component quality: The game is beautifully illustrated. From the cards to the tiles. A couple of things stand out: The tiles are double sided, with different art on them. Absolutely unnecessary, but a lovely little detail. The second thing that stood out to me is the 10 unique figures for the scientists. Really nice!
  2. Well presented theme: The art is really evocative and the miniatures help in this regard as well. I can really see myself in Jurassic world while playing.
  3. easy to setup and teach: The rules for this game are very easy to teach and you can get a game going in less then 5 minutes.
  4. Play time: The game easily plays in under half an hour. It’s really easy to play multiple times after each other.
  5. Clever mechanics: I really like the cardplay in this game. Especially the action points you get for the difference between two card. This makes for some very interesting decisions.
  6. Great player aids and rule book: These are just outstanding. They even had Dutch rules which were actually not just thrown through google translate. As this is a bit of a pet-pieve of mine I really think it deserves a special mention.
  7. Dinosaurs: Nuff said!

What I didn’t like as much:

  1. Balance?: It might be a little bit early to say after 5 plays, but to me it seems a bit easier to win as the scientists. I’m pretty sure the game is actually very well balanced and it will equal out after more plays. I do think that the scientists are a tad easier to play at first, though.
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Clever Girl!

Final Verdict: 8,5/10

 

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About omesjtollie

Engineering change Coördinator Father of 3 Board game enthousiast Roleplayer Blogger

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