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User Rating Comment Status
Marcin Krupiński
Poland
Warsaw
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This space is available for rental
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10
May 2014
Rating based on one play with additional cards. I didn't play with Alien Orb so my rating can change.

-- edit --

At first I though I was gonna hate Orb. But actually it's pretty fun add-on to a great game. And new cards are awesome

-- edit --

I have lots of fun playing with an Orb and new cards. I think this is my favourite expansion of all.
2014-05-21
Owned
Andrew
United States
San Francisco
California
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10
Nov 2013
The deck is smaller than I expected, but the effects can be felt.

The 6-costs are weaker, and more focused on powers than scoring; you're less likely to be interlocking 3+ 6-costs for a mega-combo. Economic engines are powerful again, and I was very surprised to see Mining League and Pan-Galactic League pay off so well. The new cards have a fresh mix of familiar powers; Settle-discounts are much more prevalent, and consume powers are rare, making cards like Outlaw World and Old Earth actually valuable. The new homeworlds aren't ground-breaking but are pretty strong, and you're more likely to play them from your hand than in the first arc.

Playing with the orb changes the game quite a bit, and while each explore suddenly becomes an order-of-magnitude longer, mechanically the Orb isn't as intrusive as you'd think. You have to be careful that players don't AP with the Orb-card placement, as a slowdown in the only sequential part of RftG makes it a painful experience. The artifacts provide a nice dose of spice with their powers and the bonus points, and it's actually quite fun to navigate the Orb. It's not what you'd expect from a game about the macro-level of galactic empires.

I wrote a review for the expansion.
2013-11-29
Owned
Want To Play
Eric O. LEBIGOT
China
Beijing
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10
Nov 2014
I enjoyed the Orb, but the game definitely lasted longer. The wait, with 2 players, is not too bad, but I'm not sure about more players.

After a few hiccups with the rules, everything was fine. The questions were:

- Does the "Go through barrier/+1 Military" Alien artifact give you +1 Military even during a Settle even though "Go through barrier" is only for the Orb Step.

- About the priority change at the beginning of the Orb step, I did remember at first that it happens simultaneously for all players (even though the simultaneity implies that it has to be done before each player takes his turn).

Plus, I forgot the following rules:

- When reaching a "spontaneous generation" square, the new Orb card cannot touch at all the cards with the triggering team.

- Temporary (Military) Settle powers can be used for barriers during the Orb step. Now that I think of it, this is logical, as Permanent Military powers *from this phase* can be used.

What I like in the Orb is that the artifact powers really give a nice boost, and allow players to do something a little exceptional (like paying for a really expensive world), which feels like powerful technology indeed.

That said, I find that the additional downtime and general slow down of the game might not fully be worth it. The jury is still out.
2013-12-07
Owned
Suzan
Netherlands
Enschede
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10
Mar 2014
Owned
Nicolas Dementen
Belgium
Sombreffe
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10
Dec 2013
Plays recorded here are to keep track of the second arc plays. they are also added with full details under the rftg entry. so If you want to know how many games of the first arc I played you take rftg plays - AA plays.

Love it as much as the rest of the first arc! Excellent rebbot, gives a whole new feeling although it is still race... Love it!
2013-12-11
Owned
clarence
United States
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10
Apr 2011
Joe J. Rushanan
United States
Bedford
Massachusetts
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Board Gamers Never Are
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10
Jan 2014
Owned
Mark Saya
United States
Los Angeles
California
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10
Dec 2014
Not surprisingly, an excellent reboot of one of the very best games of the 2000s. Lots of fascinating new worlds and developments. Have only played non-Orb games thus far. Troubled by the volume of negativity for the Orb game. Will keep an open mind and reserve judgment until I give it a decent chance myself.

Update: finally tried the Orb and thoroughly enjoyed it as an extra dimension to the game. What rubbish from all those anti-Orb whiners! [11 plays, two w/Orb]
2015-01-15
Owned
Chris Tannhauser
United States
San Diego
California
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GET OUT
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10
Jun 2014
Ship's Log, Scientific Cruiser Skłodowska-Curie, on-site at Alien Orb

Day 1: It's a goddamn circus out here. Ships from every upstart empire, commonwealth, federation, confederation and solar sway are buzzing around the thing, each declaring sovereign volumes and eager to plant the first flag. There are also a disconcerting number of derelicts in eccentric orbits. Initial scans show some of the crews appear to have committed mass suicide...

Day 3: After being violently rebuffed by what we thought were docking tubes, we decided to breach with a volley of science torpedoes. There is now a good-sized science hole in the structure through which we can begin our survey.

Day 7: We have begun packing up everything that isn't bolted down or running away. Not really sure what any of this junk is—at our scale cleaning protocols and warbots are pretty much the same thing. It all looks expensive, though.

Day 421: The damn thing shifts and shifts and
shifts—losses stand at just under a thousand souls. The jumpdrive techs keep using the term "tesseract". Also, it turns out the "feeding tubes" dispense pellets that eat. I could go on but suffice it to say that Hell would be more hospitable—at least that place was made for people.

/\Å/\ mb

An epic sci-fi smash-n-grab. I really enjoy the unique flavor of the orb game, so much so it's the only way I'll play AA from now on. After all, it's the whole point of this arc! If I have the urge to go small-deck/simple I'll just play the base game or base + Gathering Storm.
2014-11-05
Owned
Jason Carlough
United States
Seattle
Washington
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High adventure in the world of high finance...
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10
Apr 2014
I play RftG 2-player Advanced 95+% of the time.

Alien Artifacts is the pinnacle of RftG for me, the new cards create a very tight, balanced game and the Orb is nice new way to change the dynamics and add a little variety to the experience.

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I really like this expansion. We have the first cycle through RvI and we haven't played it once since alien artifacts came out. For what it's worth we have also been playing a lot more RftG since AA came out (this might just be a coincidence).

For the first 20 or so plays we played with just the cards and no Orb game. Lately we have been including the Orb and I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised. I like the Orb game much better than the goals from the first cycle.

The Orb gives you a bit more to think about, mixes the game up just a little and adds some texture to the experience. It takes an extra minute or two to setup and adds probably an extra 15 minutes or so playtime to the 2p advanced game. Extra playtime is a plus for me because I often feel like I want just a little longer of a game than RftG give me.
2014-07-27
Owned
Harold Jansen
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
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Can I drive the bus?
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10
Mar 2015
Rating is just for new cards, not orb scenario, which I have not tried.

Brilliant additional cards expand the range of possibilities in original game and increases viable strategies without adding to game complexity. I'd recommend this as an ideal first expansion for newish RFTG players.
2015-03-07
Owned
Robin Levins
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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Nothing's ever simple.
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Nothing's ever simple.
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10
Apr 2015
Owned
Ramsay Jackson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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designer
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10
Aug 2014
Owned
Brian Knowles
United States
Feeding Hills
Massachusetts
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10
Jul 2012
Owned
Joel Petersen
Denmark
Copenhagen
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Waiting in line for RFTG: Alien Artifacts since 2010
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10
Jan 2014
I really really like the new cards. Great new possibilities, I dont even miss the goal cards. The expansion cards also interact very nicely thematicly, so big thumbs up (I have yet to even read up on the orb). I will just keep this expansion mixed in now, maybe try it with goals at some point
2014-01-30
Owned
Zoran Rilak
Serbia
Beograd
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10
Jul 2012
Tomi Mononen
Finland
Kuopio
Pohjois-Savo
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10
Aug 2014
Owned
Will M. Baker
United States
Alameda
California
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10
Apr 2014
Preordered
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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I'll think of something witty to put here...
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10
Aug 2014
Owned
Christopher Birkbeck
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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10
May 2015
Haven't tried the orb, and I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to do so. But the new cards do add a new twist to a very solid game.
2015-05-10
Owned
Tóth Attila
Hungary
Budapest
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10
May 2015
Owned
Eddie H
United States
Los Angeles
California
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Sorry about that, Chief
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10
Dec 2014
Owned
shinseong lee
South Korea
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10
May 2013
Owned
Kathleen Perdriat
France
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10
Dec 2013
Owned
Nathan Milbrath
United States
Fridley
Minnesota
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10
Jan 2014
The new cards are great and while I initially was a bit unsure of what I thought of the orb, I'm really starting to like it. It does slow the game down a bit, but not nearly as much as people were making it out to be. You get some nice bonuses from exploring and it can really change up your strategy if you pick up something nice.

I intend to play with the orb more often then not with the newest expansion.
2014-01-15
Owned

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