Saturday, September 1, 2012


Raiding Parties is a neat little card game I've had on the list to review for far too long.
I had actually thought I had covered it, then recently came to realize I haven't shared this solid game with readers, so here goes.
Let's start by stating the game's theme centres around pirates. Really do I need to say much more? I mean pirates are just fun. From the days of Long John Silver as a kid through to Pirates of the Caribbean, most boys (men) at least have thought of being a pirate at some point.
So Raiding Parties immediately has a draw.
It doesn't hurt that the art on the cards by Don Maitz is fantastic. There is a ton of detail in the art that crosses somewhere between realistic and whimsical.
Raiding Parties is a game design from Nick Pace, and is just new to the marketplace. Well it's been out long enough to spawn plans for a Series II of cards to expand the game, but that is getting ahead of things here.
The original series comes with a 'Hit the Deck' set of playing cards, again with Maitz's great pirate art highlighting the standard 52-card deck of cards.
The 54-card Raiding Parties deck is where the art gets really fantastic, but the cards do have a black back and the edges are prone to 'chipping' where the black flakes off. If you want to maintain a pristine deck, get some cards sleeves before you play them too much.
There are some hit tokens you can cut out of the box top too, but opt for some pennies or something. This is one area the game could use an upgrade, but remembering it is a self-published effort you can pretty quickly overlook this shortcoming.
There are three levels of play, one where ships and forts are not allowed in one's raiding party, one where you can have one ship or one fort, and one where you can have two in any combination.
The regular playing cards are used as a flip deck, as Raiding Party members hit depending on the suit turned up. It's a simple mechanic without using dice.
You can attack opposing cards through projectile fire, or melee, relying on the 'hit the deck' flip to determine successes.
As you might expect cards may have special abilities, such as evade, which can modify the way combat resolves.
With a limited card stock party creation is also limited in set one, but the game is still fun.
With the aforementioned Series II on the horizon deck building will get to be more fun, especially with the addition of one-time effect cards, and land cards.
The game is going to grow in depth and that will keep it fresh.
That said as a base game Series I is very solid, thanks to theme and great art work helping create the atmosphere to have fun.
A definite winner as a two-player card game.
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-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Aug 29, 2012 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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