Raid and Trade--A Double-Take Preview

"People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now."

-Book of Eli

Today we're taking a look at Raid & Trade from Mage Company, who brought us the very successful 12 Realms via Kickstarter earlier this year. 

Raid & Trade is a game set in a post-apocalyptic world where you'll be raiding houses for items to then... wait for it... Trade... or craft into other items... or complete quests... well, you get it, sort of. 

Raid and Trade is on Kickstarter right now. Let's look at it.

First and foremost, we got a prototype with prototype rules that are still being tweaked and worked on--in fact, we've seen several revisions since the time we got our hands on it. But this is generally what it will be. 

The board is a modular nine-section board that basically lays out nine city blocks with roads connecting them all, complete with roadblocks, and other post-apocalyptic rubble. Each of those boards has a space to place house tiles on--there are 3 different sizes/levels of house small, medium and large.


Players get a player board that will--in the final version--feature three spinner-dials to track Action points, Skill points and Favor/Blacklist points. The Favor/Blacklist dial is split in the middle, so that if you take Blacklist points it will cause you to turn the dial one way (putting you in the negative Favor points) and if you gain Favor, it moves the other way. 


There are also a pile of resources--Drills, Food, Clothing, and other various items--Global Events that affect the whole game, and Item Cards that are specific items you can craft. These are important because crafting gains you skill points on your skill dial (spoiler alert, Skill points are a win condition!). As well as Quest Cards, Incident Cards, Blacklist Tokens and Favor Discs. There are a LOT of  cards in this game!

Jeremiah--There are a lot of bits and pieces to this game, for sure! We don't know what the final quality/thickness will be, but we can say that from what we see of the artwork and graphic design they will be SWEET to look at! Yes, it's set in a nasty future type setting, but it's not overbearing or too dark. The look is very artistic and stylized, and I for one really like it! And word on the street is that there are some sweet character miniatures in the works as well!

Firestone--Yeah, I like the art style. It's not too dark, or too cartoonish. It's somewhere between that just works. The great thing about the components is how much replayability they allow. The boards are all modular, so setup will be different. You'll have different-sized buildings on the spots every game, too. And even the Outpost might be one of a few that the game comes with. So while it won't be hugely different every game, it's unlikely to be the same game twice. 

On a turn players will be able to move, and perform one other action: Raid, Attack, Trade, Visit the Outpost, or Craft an item. Let's talk about 'em!

Raiding! There are a few different ways to successfully Raid a house depending on the Raid card you pull. Sometimes it is a roll of the dice, and other times it will require taking Blacklist points on their Blacklist/Favor dial. The bigger the house the more stuff you'll find. 

Firestone--This was my first red flag. Some cards have you roll a d6 and depending on what you roll you either get the full amount of resources or fail and get fewer resources. The other cards automatically give you resources, but you either get to move up on the Favor dial--which is one of the ways to win the game--or you have to go down on your Disfavor dial--which directly works against one of the three ways you win the game. I don't understand the thinking on this. These three options are not equal, and it's all based on the flip of a card. 

When it comes to attacking, and defending against attacks this is where the custom dice come in. We didn't get them in the prototype but it promises to be a sweet element to the game! The defender can successfully defend and pretty much nothing happens. If the attacker wins they can gain anything from an item crafted by the defending player, to a handful of action points, to Favor points. 

The other really important thing we need to tell you about, is the Quest cards. They're kind of important because one of the win conditions is completing three of them! Basically you have to turn in a whole bunch of resources to complete a Quest card, but you also gain an extra ability once you've done so, and of course once you've collected three of them, you win!

So how else do you win? 

We'll you'll notice a lot of actions require you to take Blacklist points, that's because one win condition is to gain 10 Favor points, and the way the Favor/Blacklist dial works taking Blacklist points also reduces your Favor points (if you have any) or puts you farther away from gaining Favor points.

The last win condition is to gain 20 Skill Points. You gain skill points for Crafting items so raiding houses for resources is a pretty big deal.

Jeremiah--The multiple paths to victory as well as the open "sandbox" feel of the movement adds depth to the game. Each character has a different set of items they can craft, which also adds depth and variety to the strategies that players are employing. It might be worth it to go around attacking everyone to steal their resources, or you may sneak your way to victory by quietly raiding and crafting items for that Skill point victory. Quest cards seem to be a little tougher to win by because there are a limited number of cards in the game depending on the number of players. You do get some spiffy bonuses from them, but someone else can come along and complete one and block that path to victory for you.

So, like we said you players take turns in rounds, each player starts the round with 15 Action Points, and on their turn can move and take one extra action (provided they have enough points to spend), also at the beginning of a round a new Global event card is drawn and resolved. Once everyone has either passed (which leaves you out of the rest of the round) or spent all of  their points a new round is started with the player who has the least amount of resource tokens.

This continues until someone wins.

Jeremiah--We've given you a taste of the game play here, but as with any sandbox game the replay value is very high, and the strategic possibilities are also very high. At first this was a little tough to wrap our minds around, because it was still very much a work in progress. But with the multiple rules revisions we've been receiving, Mage Company has shown they won't be satisfied until the game plays well. Once we got a round or two into it, the game really picks up. Our best advice is, if you really like sandbox games, definitely check this one out. It's not for the casual/family game night but your gamer friends will enjoy it, and the theme is fun and well done!

Firestone--I like the style, the theme, and the fact that there are multiple ways to win. And I commend them for trying to create a game that mashes up Euro mechanics with Ameritrash confrontation. But the sheer amount of luck means it's just not a game for me. But there's a difference between a bad game, and a bad game for me. If you don't mind luck in a game, and have an interest in the theme, definitely check this out. It's wild and wide-open, and I'm well aware there are plenty of gamers out there who will love what Raid & Trade game brings to the table. 

Thanks to Mage Company for sending us the prototypes. Raid & Trade is on Kickstarter right now.

Are you backing Raid and Trade? Let us know below!