Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Bruno Cathala & Bruno Faidutti


No. of Players:

G@mebox Star



Raptoris a two-player game whose setting reminds me of Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Lost World, and even though the game's authors Bruno Cathala and Bruno Faidutti chose to let Jules Verne's Professor Lindenbrock explain the setting, it could well have been Doyle's Professor Challenger who is leading the hunt for a lost species on this isolated island.

Both the setting and the rules can be grasped within a couple of minutes, and so the two players take the different sides in a savage struggle. On the one hand we have a full-size Velociraptor with her 5 Baby Raptors, and on the other side stands a team of 10 scientists who want to capture either the Mother-Raptor or three of her babies. My wife Nicole always wants to play Mother Raptor, since she will not forgive those cruel scientists their hunt for these "poor" baby raptors…

Anyhow, back to the game. Mother Raptor tries to help at least three of her babies to escape from the gameboard, and alternatively she tries to free the whole board from scientists since this is the second possibility for a Raptor victory. The game begins with all raptors and 4 scientists on the gameboard, but up to 6 more scientists can be brought into the game in order to intensify the hunt.

Each player possesses a deck of 9 cards, with each of the cards being numbered from "1" to "9" and also listing a special action. The players have a random hand of three of these cards, and the decks will be reshuffled if a player's draw pile ever runs out. During a round of play, both players simultaneously chose one of their cards, and the first thing they do when revealing their cards is a comparison of the cards' numbers. If both players should have chosen the same number, nothing will happen, but if they went for different numbers it will be the player with the lower numbered card who is allowed to perform the card's special action, whereas the player with the higher numbered card will not perform his card's special action, but instead he gets a number of action points equal to the difference of the values of both cards.

Depending on the side, the players can spend their action points for a number of actions. The scientists can move from one space to the next, they can put Baby Raptors on neighbouring spaces to sleep, they can capture a sleeping Baby Raptor, or they can even shoot Mother Raptor, resulting in the Raptor player taking one of five Sleep tokens which are necessary to put her down. Mother Raptor on the other side can move much quicker since she can move as far as she wants in a straight line, and she does not bother putting someone to sleep. If she stands next to a Scientist, she will simply kill him in order to save her offsprings.

Quite interesting is the choice of options available to the players on their playing cards. So, the scientists actually can make long movements using jeeps, they can use sleeping gas and they can even set a blaze, hindering the Raptors on their movement and forcing Mother raptor to spend action points to extinguish the fire. The Raptor player on the other hand can frighten Scientists into paralysis, call the Baby Raptors onto the same tile as their mother, or hide Mother raptor in the undergrowth, making her reappear at a different place.

The game builds up tension right from the beginning, and after the first two or three rounds of cardplay the players are in the middle of a rather challenging duel with different possible actions on both sides. Since the cards used by each player in previous rounds remain openly on the table, there is a possibility to make some preditions which cards the other player might use next, and due to this strategic element Raptor is not really a luck-dominated game, despite the fact that the new Action cards are drawn at random.

Dense and full of action, Raptor is one of those games which can be learned by doing, and due to the different abilities of both sides the players will need to develop different strategies to have success in the game. The scientist player will try to delay the escape of the babies in order to get more scientists onto the board, whereas Mother Raptor usually is out for a lunch, trying to get one of these tasty scientists whenever possible, but disappearing in crucial moments just when the scientist player thinks he has set up a perfect trap.

[Gamebox Index]

Google Custom Search

Impressum / Contact Info / Disclaimer


Copyright & copy; 2015 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany