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Race for the Galaxy
List Price: $34.95
Your Price: $27.99
(Worth 2,799 Funagain Points!)
from 8 customer reviews
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The players all compete to explore the galaxy by exploring new worlds and developing new technologies. Each turn each player chooses one action, but the others will share in the actions chosen. In the end, the player with the most points is the winner!
- 5 start world cards
- 109 game cards
- 4 sets of 7 player action cards
- 8 cards for experienced two player game
- 4 summary sheets
- 28 victory point chips
Average Rating: 4.6 in 8 reviews
This game is excellent with only one flaw that I can see. When people see the rules or the game in play it's a typical response for them to say "Woah, way to complicated for me!" All I can say to that is make them play! This game is fantastic but it takes two or three times of playing it through to completely understand it. Other reviews have given a decent explanation of the game so I won't bother you with it, but my one recommendation for people who want to teach their friends is don't let any rule that they are confused on go unexplained. What will happen is people will decide that economy is too hard to learn so I'm just not going to deal with it and only play military worlds. Make sure that the consume and produce phase are well explained or new comers will lose a huge portion of the game. I pick these two phases because they are the most complicated in my opinion. Once this game is grasped by all players though, it will become a gaming favorite no questions asked. I played this game for almost 6 hours with new people because each time we finished, they all learned a little more and had to try a new tactic. It's is a fabulous game and if you can beat the learning curve, (which is doable!) it is a must buy.
This is such a great game! It is simple and I play this with my pals every weekend! I suggest getting this game now!!! It is supremely amazing! I really like how you have to always be paying attention to win, this is not a luck game! I tried to teach my wife and she had trouble learning but it was easy for my friends. This is probably my best purchase of all time!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
This is hands down the best game that's come along in a long time. Extremely well balanced, high replayability, quick, fun, challenging, subtle, portable, and very easy to learn. Race for the Galaxy clearly benefits from unusually extensive playtesting and a rare (perhaps unique) attention to detail in the presentation of information on its components. This is the first game I've played in a long time that has required no referring to the rules or the excellent (but entirely unnecessary) play aides.
Race for the Galaxy brings all the atmosphere of Lehmann's earlier classic games (esp. 2038, Time Agent, and Throneworld) to a game that's much more accessible, and that for me, completely replaces both San Juan and Puerto Rico (which will now stay in the closet for quite some time) and (strangely perhaps) even Magic the Gathering.
This is a game that plays well with any number of players (up to 4; The Gathering Storm expansion adds solitaire play and a 5th player), and, despite some claims to the contrary, is highly interactive in the best way: it is simply impossible to win without paying close attention to what your opponents are up to, and guessing what they will do next.
Though it hasn't been my experience, some players (in reports I've read) find this game complex. I suspect this is really a matter of learning style, because everyone I've taught it to (including kids) has learned it in less than a minute. Often I'm stopped in mid sentence ("ah I get it, it's all on the cards by phase, and the symbols explain what happens") by players who are ready to start right away. Your mileage may vary.
Opening the box I was impressed with the quality of materials. Cards, box everything has good artwork. The learning curve was pretty easy for me. There's not much text on cards and everything (almost) is explained with iconography. This is very positive for me bec. I live in a non-English speaking country and not all my friends speak english, but they can enjoy this game without some conversion.
The gameplay is smooth after couple of plays, simultaneous play achieves turns being with zero downtime. Within 2 hours we have managed to play 3 games excluding out test runs at the start (2 player games). And we were really eager to play more. I am very positive it'll hit table more than anything else.
Within cards they're combos and good winning mechanics hidden. The tricky part is what type of strategy to choose and the ability to adapt new ones if the cards don't support your initial ideas.
I feel for it's cost it's a great deal, don't miss it.
Great theme, and compelling game play make for a fun game. It works quite well as a two-player game. (I have not yet had a chance to try it with more players.) The learning curve is a little steep, requiring at least a couple sessiosn to really get all the nuances (and especially the available strategies). But, is well worth the time to learn it.
You have a 110 card deck and a few victory point chips. The cards are large (which helps accommodate all of the information therein) and readable. It may take a couple of sessions to get to know all the symbols used. But once learned, the symbols are an effecient use of the cards' space. The victory point chips have "laser" hashes representing their value, in keeping with the theme.
Cards come in two types: 1) Development Cards and 2) Worlds. Development cards always give special abilities, but never produce any goods. Worlds may give special abilities and may also produce goods.
Cards can be used one of three ways. Either they are 1) played as the Development or World cards from your hand; or they can be 2) "discarded" from your hand as a payment (when necessary); or finally they are 3) placed face-down (directly from the draw deck, without anyone seeing the card) on worlds as goods produced.
There are five possible phases in this game. Players choose which phase (or in a two-player game, which two phases) they want to do on a particular turn. All players simultaneously reveal which phase (or phases) they have chosen. The only phases which happen are the ones which were chosen by the players. Each phase has a bonus for the player(s) that chose it. Phases always happen in the same order.
Phase 1 - Explore. Draw two cards, keep one. (Bonus: draw more
and/or keep more cards)
Phase 2 - Develpment. Play a development card. (Bonus: -1 to the cost)
Phase 3 - Settle. Play a world card. (Bonus: Draw a card after settling)
Phase 4 - Consume. Trade goods in for victory points. (Bonus: either get extra victory points, or more cards instead of VP)
Phase 5 - Produce. All worlds with the ability (and not already containing a good) produce one good. (Bonus: Produce a good on a Windfall World*)
*Note: A Windfall World normally only produces a good once, when it is initially played.
The cost of Development and World cards is clearly stated on the cards. Players are only able to consume or produce if special abilities on cards they have played give them the ability to do so.
The cards you play usually give you some victory points. (Certain Development cards have a variable VP value - based on the other cards you have played). At the end of the game, you add up all the victory points from the cards you have played with the victory points you have earned in Consuming Goods. The player with the most victory points is the winner.
There are several possible winning strategies that can be employed. And there is a lot of variety in the cards. So, even if the one card you were hoping for does not turn up for you, well, you can still find several more that just might help you out anyway.
There are no direct "mess with your neighbor" options in this game. As a result, some people may find the player interaction lacking. But, if you are a savvy player, you will be able to make Phase Selections based on what you think other players will choose in addition to what you want to accomplish.
My husband and I have been playing this game regularly since Christmas and have found ourselves continually coming back for more.
There are always interesting choices, and the winner is almost always in doubt until the end.
Race for the Galaxy has a unique blend of ease of set up, with game-experience complexity and a miriad of strategic options to compel you to come back for more.
Many comparisons have been made to Puerto Rico. However, this game can be played over a lunch break at work, and still maintains a high degree of complexity. The net result is that unlike PR that is played over 3 hours, this is a concentrated strategic trip into the same realm over short time periods.
Once the mechanics of the game can be digested (this can take >6 sessions) a 2-player game can be completed in half hour.
RfTG definitely has an element of luck. However, this is not bad because it makes players adapt to the various routes a game can take. The other element that I like is that it lends itself to solitaire play. There are guides for many solitaire modes published in the Board Game Geek site. This can also be used for new gamers to become familiarized with the intricacies of this game.
My only beef is with the rules, although compact and efficient, they beg for examples of play since the confusing aspect of this game is the icons and symbology used. Also, to the new gamer the overall concept of phase mechanics does not become apparent until 2-3 sessions are played. The end result is that patience is a must for new players, unless you have the luxury of having an experienced gamer to walk you through the game.
Overall, though, this is a game that it will keep you coming for more and will remain in your favorite stack for a long time.
If I had to summarize this game in one sentence, it would be the following. If you like San Juan, you should buy this game.
Having recently returned from Prezcon in Charlottesville VA, I can report that this game was easily the most popular new game among the Eurogamer set. There are very many concepts that adapt straight from Puerto Rico and San Juan, so if you are a fan of either of these games then Race For The Galaxy is a natural fit. It seems to play in just about the same amount of time as San Juan, but players have more options and really need to pay a lot of attention to what other players are doing to get a sense of what actions will be played each round. Unlike PR and SJ, in RFTG each player secretly chooses and simultaneously reveals one of the five phases that can occur in a round of play. As a result there are often rounds when only a few actions are taken, as players may select duplicate actions. Anticipating what options may or may not be chosen is more difficult as a result.
Unlike the first reviewer, I can testify that there is definitely a bigger learning curve to overcome in this game than in San Juan. The game is simply more complex, and I mean that in a good way. Anticipate spending the first few games figuring out the nuances of a production world and a windfall world, how to use your production cards given multiple options in the consume phase, and learning all the various icons on the cards. Just like in Puerto Rico, once you get it, you get it and the game moves quickly. But it takes a little bit of time to explain and figure out.
Having said all that, once my gaming group figured out the game we really enjoyed playing it, and San Juan may gather dust for a while as a result. Unlike the previous reviewer, however, I don't anticipate this game pushing Puerto Rico into a corner any time soon, as Puerto Rico is a classic board game and this is a card game. They are simply too different to be in direct competition with one another.
Usually when you see a game that's closely modeled on another it's hard not to feel like it's a rip-off -- especially when the game it's ripping off (in this case San Juan) is such a favorite. But Race to the Galaxy takes San Juan's basic form and improves it by tiny tweaks that makes it a notch better than the original. Besides, its space theme made it an instant favorite with my game-playing offspring.... Let's face it, it's a lot more fun to build a Galactic Imperium than it is to make an aqueduct. (Sorry, Romans.)
If you play San Juan, picking this game up is easy. The same basic economical principals apply: you use cards as developments, the goods they produce, and for currency. The game is played in rounds broken down into phases (collecting more cards, building, producing goods, selling) and, as with San Juan, players choose which of the phases will be played in the round by selecting which role they will play (builder, producer, trader, etc). In both games the phase does not occur if a role is not selected, though in this game the phases (if they occur) will always happen in the same order. The main difference between the two games is in the choosing of these roles/phases: in San Juan, players choose their roles one at a time (so if you pick later you know which phases will occur) but here everyone chooses secretly and simultaneously, which adds another dimension to the game (guessing what your opponents will do and planning accordingly, and the possibility that a phase may not occur for several rounds). Moreover, because there are more cards with more different powers, there also seem to be more paths to victory than in San Juan. The graphics are mostly very pleasing though the icons that explain the cards' powers (instead of the words on San Juan's cards) are less pleasing and less intuitive than I might have liked. But so far this game is a major crowd-pleaser for the parents and kids in this game-obsessed household.