It was the year 2015, and a young Shem Phillips was creating one of the milestones of the Eurogame genre, Raiders of The North Sea.
Placing workers is one of the board game-related activities that has brought more satisfaction and success to the genre. This particular mechanic can be considered as the forerunner of the Eurogame genre, as well as a founding piece for the gaming revolution that saw the birth of the so-called “modern board game”. The worker is conceptually a pawn that, placed on a board, allows the player, during his turn, to trigger other mechanics, obtaining resources, unlocking upgrades, attacking artificial intelligences or (usually indirectly) other players, etc. The boards of games with worker placement are usually colorful table covers with a whole series of spaces that can accommodate various workers, and the game flow is usually characterized by the continuous placement and removal of workers, increasing resources available and, why not, placing the spanner in the works to your opponents!
Games organized by us such as Agricola, Cavern, A Feast for Odin, Viticulture, Lords of Waterdeep are among the founders and most successful worker placement games: authors like Uwe Rosenberg have made this mechanic the flagship of many publications, creating masterpieces.
Shem Phillips, however, is probably one of the authors who made worker placement his trademark, declining this mechanic in truly surprising ways.
Raiders of The North Sea was the masterpiece that consecrated this author: the placement of workers is aimed at managing resources, but the key to win here is the raids (well placed, of course!).
We therefore decided to organize his entire subsequent trilogy well. Architects of the West Kingdom is a fast-paced game where the following mechanic reigns supreme: placing your workers on the right spaces, at the right time, is the key to winning. With Paladins of the West Kingdom, things get a little complicated, becoming an upgrade to the first title. With Viscounts of the West Kingdom, a compromise is reached between the two previous titles, in a fantastic trilogy born of perfectly timed Kickstarter campaigns.
Shem then returned to its early days, creating Raiders of Scythia, which we have organized, an upgrade of Raiders of The North Sea, revised and corrected. This game amazed us from the very beginning: although on paper it may be seen as a game for “hardcore gamers”, in reality it could be one of the definitive introductions to newcomers to the Eurogame genre. It has all the credentials to be played by everyone: it is fast, simple but at the same time very strategic and with a very low level of randomness. Like it or not, it’s difficult for a worker placement title to reach, at the same time, this level of lightness and depth, like does Marauders of Scythia.
The challenge, for us, was to organize each of them inside their small boxes (both for the West Kingdom trilogy and Raiders of Scythia, the size is about half of a standard box). Whoever knows these games, knows how difficult it can be, sometimes impossible, to get all the material into those boxes, including also enveloped cards. But we succeded with some really captivating solutions. Architects and Raiders of Scythia fit perfectly in their boxes. All of Paladini’s material is inside an HDF (High Density Fiber = our wood material) castle, designed for an immediate setup. And for Visconti, the castle replaces the base of the game box, allowing an immediate setup not only of the base game, but also of the The West Kingdom Tome Saga, both protected by solid walls.
Let the placement begin! (Well organized, of course!)
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