There is nothing more dangerous than a mother protecting her young.
We have recently learned that somehow, on an isolated island in the Pacific Ocean, there is a female velociraptor living with five offspring. As a paleontologist and adventurer—as a man of science—your mission is to capture the baby raptors alive, or at least neutralize their fast, powerful, and protective mother by tranquilizing her. This is chance of a lifetime—to become one of the few humans who have seen a living dinosaur. It also means engaging in a ferocious struggle with one of the most vicious predators who ever walked the earth.
Raptor is a two-player board game of strategic movement and careful planning, designed by Bruno Cathala and Bruno Faidutti. One player takes control of a family of velociraptors; the other controls a team of brave, determined scientists. The raptors win if three of the babies escape capture or if they eradicate the scientists. If the scientists manage to neutralize the mother or capture three baby raptors, they win. Each side has its own unique actions and abilities in this quick, easy-to-learn, card-driven game where both players are simultaneously predator and prey.
A Ferocious Struggle
The game begins with the mother raptor occupying the middle of the board, her babies spread out in the surrounding area, and four scientists encroaching upon them from either side. You and your opponent both shuffle your cards and draw a hand of three. From that hand, you select one card to play and place it face down. Both players reveal their cards simultaneously.
If both players’ cards have the same numerical value, the cards are discarded, you refill your hand, and a new round begins. If you played the card with the lower number, you go first and perform the action indicated on the card. If your card had the higher number, however, you don’t perform your card’s action. Instead, you get a number of action points equal to the difference between the cards: if you played a card with a six and your opponent played a card showing a four, you then have two action points to spend however you want. Moving a scientist one space on the board costs an action point, as does capturing a raptor, attacking a scientist, or putting out a fire.
In every round, you must choose between the powerful actions offered by your cards and what you might accomplish with a few action points instead. You can play low-valued cards when you need to perform the action on the card far more than you need any action points. When you want action points more than anything, play the highest-valued cards.
Playing the Predators
The raptors have two goals in a game of Raptor: to get the baby raptors to safety by moving them off of the game board and to kill the scientists who are threatening your safety. As the player controlling the raptors, you have five actions to spend your action points on. With one point, a baby raptor can move into an adjacent space and its mother can put out a fire, kill a scientist, or wake up a baby raptor that is sleeping. One point also enables the mother to go as far as you want in a straight line, as long as she doesn’t run into an obstacle. If she’s wounded by the scientist’s tranquilizer darts, however, you must spend action points equal to the number of wounds before she can move.
The raptor cards add five more actions into play. By playing cards 2 or 6, you enable the mother raptor to hide herself in the landscape after the Scientists have moved. Next turn, your opponent must reveal his or her card before you select yours. Cards 3 and 8 enable you to frighten a scientist and render him inactive. By playing card 1 or card 4, you let the mother raptor call her babies towards her and away from danger. Finally, if the scientists have managed to shoot the babies or the mother, cards 5 and 7 allow you to remove sleep tokens from the raptors so they can recover and wake up.
Hunting the Prey
The team of scientists aims to either capture the baby raptors by putting them to sleep or neutralize the vicious and protective mother raptor. To accomplish this, the Scientist player has five different point-driven actions. One point enables a scientist to move one space or recover from being frightened. Once per turn, you may also spend a point to shoot at a baby raptor, capture a sleeping baby raptor, or take aim at the mother.
Your cards give you even more ways to track down, surround, and subdue the raptors. Cards 1 and 4 let you use sleeping gas to lull nearby baby raptors into slumber. Cards 3 and 8 give your scientists a jeep, which can take him or her as far as possible in a straight line. If you want to block the movement of the raptors, you can play cards 5 and 7 to place fire tokens on the board, which the raptors cannot move through. Finally, you can play cards 2 and 6 to enlist more scientists, in case the mother raptor has killed some of your team members and you need reinforcements.
Stay Vigilant, Move Fast, Be Ruthless
The mother raptor is going to do everything in her power to keep her babies from being captured: call them towards her, send them away, stamp out fires, frighten the scientists, and even kill them. To triumph against this smart and ferocious dinosaur and her cunning babies, the scientists will need to use every tool they have: the jeep, sleeping gas, tranquilizer darts, and one of mankind’s most primal weapons, fire. Both humans and raptors are hunting each other, and both species are being hunted. Therefore, both need to keep their wits about them in this epic fight. You must stay vigilant, move fast, and be ruthless to win in Raptor.
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