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Explore, Settle, Develop, Trade, Consume, or Produce? Which do you need the most? Which of Earth's former colonies will be most successful at settling the galaxy, now that JumpDrive exists? Who will discover the secrets of the mysteriously vanished Alien Overlords? Your goal: to build the most prosperous and powerful space empire!
|Race for the Galaxy is a modern card game that really conveys the theme of building a civilisation in space that can work well together and therefore be successful in various different ways. Players have a hand of cards that can be laid down in various different ways and the cards also double as currency ala San Juan. The players choose an action from a choice of Explore (draft more cards into your hand), Develop, Settle, Consume, Produce goods. The trick is to build a tableau where the cards play off each other and trigger combo type effects thus yielding more produce, money, military value or victory points. I quite like this game although I must admit it has a steep learning curve, as the graphic design (in particular the iconography) is quite clunky and cluttered so it makes it difficult to understand what the cards actually do. The first time you play will take significantly longer, and it took me several games to get up to speed, in fact I am still rubbish at it as I don't fully understand all the cards! It is a classic game, and well worth a look, and make sure you have a good teacher to start with!|
|By||Hopuk||From||Lancs in United Kingdom|
|RftG has its roots in San Juan, which Tom Lehmann helped to develop. Many of the cards have icons which you need to learn what they mean, so your first game or two will be very much a learning curve. However, once you get by that you will find an excellent game here, especially for its 30 -60 minute playing time.
Each player is trying to set down 12 cards in front of them and to do this the cost of the cards comes from other cards in your hand, so you have to decide what cards to sacrifice to get other cards into play. Each turn you can only play one action card, so at most, in a 4 player game, only 4 of the 7 actions will be available. (NOTE: Although there are 5 phases, 2 of them have 2 choices, thus making 7 actions possible). And often, players will play the same action so there are even less actions available each turn, but those who play the same action will benefit from the action bonus (for example, those who play the Develop action which lets you put a Development card into play, will play 1 less to do so).
At first, it seems that there is no player interaction and you just play the actions you want to do, but the player who trys to work out what other players might play and try to benefit from that will go much further to winning.
For example, if you want to Develop AND Settle on your next turn, you need to consider if another player will be choosing one of these actions, while you choose the other. Or, if it looks like a player will do the Produce action, because their planets are empty, it may be worth you choosing the Consume action so you can empty your planets which Produce will refill again.
All in all, this is an excellent card game which is worth getting a game or two played to reveal the deeper game that can be found beyond.
|By||Oridyne||From||Staffs in United Kingdom|
The players build up civilisations using cards that represent planets or developments. Each turn takes the form of one or more of five phases. Each turn the players choose one of seven action cards and reveal them. For the phases selected every player performs the phases actions, whilst the selecting player or players gets an added bonus.
"Develop", for example, each player may select a development from their hand to build. Each player then adds his development card to his civilisation discarding cards from his hand equal to it's cost. Each player who selected "Develop" pays one less card as the bonus. "Explore" allows players to draw cards and select which to add to their hand. "Settle" allows players to colonise a planet and add it to his civilisation. "Produce" allows those planets that produce goods to produce a good, represented by a face down card on the planet. These goods can be discarded for Victory Points or sold to add cards to your hand by selecting "Consume" Military planets can only be placed when you have sufficient military might to concur that planet.
To build a successful empire you must manage these tasks wisely as well as anticipate some of what the other players may be doing or require.
The winner is the player with the most victory points.
It is one of those games where the first game is really a means to learn how to play and I would suspect subsequent games would be more compelling as you now have some idea how the mechanics and strategies work.
I enjoyed this game, despite not fully understanding what I was doing as I still managed to get a healthy score at the end.
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Rio Grande Games
Spirit Games (Est. 1984, Lefglow Ltd) - Supplying role playing games (RPG), wargames rules, miniatures and scenery, new and traditional board and card games for the last 35 years
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