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The boards and cards from Race to the Raft

28th September 2022 0

Yesterday I revealed the first details for Race to the Raft and today I’d like to start diving into some of the key components.

Island boards

The Isle of Cats is on fire and smoke fills the air, nothing seems to be where it once was, and the island cats are disorientated.

When you first open Race to the Raft you will find 8 island boards made up of scrambled terrains. There are 2 sizes (4 large and 4 small) with each board having a normal side and a fire side, by combining the boards you can create the island (play area).

The game will inform you of how many boards, which sizes, and what sides to use during setup.

As long as you use the correct size you can use any board for any part of the island offering a variable setup each time you play.


There are 4 types of cards in the standard game:

  • Location, representing the starting point of each cat.
  • Raft, representing the destination we are trying to reach.
  • Fire, representing areas of the island that are already on fire.
  • Pathway, representing the different terrains of the island which we’ll use to create new paths.

There are 81 scenarios in Race to the Raft and each one comes with a setup diagram instructing you on where to place the location, raft, and fire cards on the island.

In the example above we are using:

  • 2 large boards – 1 fire side, 1 normal side
  • 2 small boards – 1 fire side, 1 normal side
  • 3 location cards – cards 3, 5, and 7
  • 3 cat figures – 1 is placed on each of the 3 location cards
  • 1 raft card – card A
  • 6 fire cards

Primary objective

There are several other key components in the game and a variety of objective modifiers, but for this article I want to focus on the primary objective: Building pathways to get the cats to the raft.

Pathway cards allow us to add new squares of terrain to the island, they can be placed anywhere on the island except over fire or on top of cats. Cards can be rotated, they may overlap, and do not have to touch previously placed cards – You may place them in the middle of the island if you think it will help you later on!

There are 5 different coloured cats and they can only move across their favoured terrain type.

  • Red over the red forests
  • Blue over the blue water
  • Orange over the orange sands
  • Green over the green grass
  • Purple over the purple ruins.

To win the game you must build paths for each cat so they can move along their favoured terrains and get to the raft.

In future articles I’ll talk more about the other elements of the game, how scenarios work, and the impending doom that turns a nice stroll across the island into a race to the raft.

Frank West

Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!

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