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Roll for the Galaxy» Forums » General

Subject: We are enjoying after 3 plays... But?? rss

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Michael Mench
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Annandale
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So, we aren't sure about this game. Trying to like it and think my first two games shouldn't dictate how I feel about it. I played two as two player trying to learn the game and we had a huge walk away victory by my son. He ended up with two 6-tiles that gave him a third and half (I think) again victory points and there was no way I could ever catch up. Nor, could I figure out a way to keep it from happening.

The third game was with my other son too and three player seemed much better. First son went wild building as many tiles as he could and got to 12 when I had 7 and the other son had 8. This was fine, because this game I HAD the 6-technology that gave me a third extra points at the end and I won by 2 points.

I guess it seems balanced, and I really don't mind a bit of luck in a game when that's what I expect, but maybe my question is...

How do you multi-play players manage what the other players do? One son's strategy was buy as many as possible to end game before we can catch up... He also had extra money whenever he used develop or settle! My other son was trying to produce to catch up, but didn't make it. I was lucky to pull the 6 tile and get an extra 8 VP at the end to win. But if I hadn't, it would not have been close.

How do you ensure keeping it close with the random tile draws?

Sorry, early AM ramble.

-Mike
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Brent Mair
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This is an engine building game. If your son is getting down two six cost developments and you don't have something equivalent then you need to look at your engine.

Best not to blame your loss on tile draws. The explore action allows you to fish, to some extent, for tiles. You don't have to just resign yourself to what you draw.

Keep playing, especially if you enjoy it. More plays should lead to better understanding of the engine you need.
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Michael Mench
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Spielguy wrote:


Keep playing, especially if you enjoy it. More plays should lead to better understanding of the engine you need.


Thanks for the quick reply. I think THIS is the answer! We are in the middle of a move back to the States and my other 130 games are gone already so no distractions! We do typically like games where the mechanics often 'hide' just to drive the theme, but do enjoy games that are more like this too. I don't think we came into it understanding how much of engine building it was. The third game got us 'into' the game... So everything after will/should be better.

Thanks for the tips, and for the reminder to KEEP PLAYING it.

Will do.

-Mike
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Graham Robinson
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CaptainMench wrote:
One son's strategy was buy as many as possible to end game before we can catch up... He also had extra money whenever he used develop or settle! My other son was trying to produce to catch up, but didn't make it.


This bit is the key for you. If your sons are pursuing these strategies, their phase calls become quite predictable. Which means you can leech off them without having to call the phases yourself.

One of the key skills in Roll (and Race) is to call phases that help you more than the other players, while benefiting from the phases they're going to call.

So, if son 2 is following a produce/ship strategy, and has no planets with goods, he'll likely call produce. You can therefore leave that one die that rolled produce in that phase, confident that it'll move onto a planet. Next turn, he'll likely call ship, and you can get 2-3 vp or a pile of money for very little work. Meanwhile, you make your calls based on your own strategy.

For son 1, where is he getting all these tiles from? If he's exploring himself, leech off those calls. If he's exploring when you call it, don't! Make him explore himself, slowing him down.

Hope that helps!

Cheers,
Graham
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Michael Mench
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Nice! Thx -M
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Orion Anderson
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Quote:
How do you ensure keeping it close with the random tile draws?


If you only look at a few tiles, you have to get lucky to find the ones you need. Get around this by looking at a *lot* of tiles, which you can do by discarding a lot of tiles.

When you use a worker to scout, you can discard any number of tiles and draw replacements, and you should discard all or almost all of your tiles every time. Suppose you select an Explore phase on the first turn of the game and use your first die to scout. You could draw one tile, choose the side that goes best with the two tiles you already have, and stick it underneath, where you won't be able to get it until later. Or, you could discard both the old tiles and draw 3 new tiles all at once. This is usually better, because you can look at both sides of each tile to find the best combo, and stack them so that the tile you want first is on top. Sometimes I'll immediately discard those 3 and draw 4.

Generally, you'll end up finding one or two tiles you want to save -- that's the hope. But whenever you have multiple scouts in once turn, you can afford to be ruthless. Keep the very best tiles, but discard the merely good ones. If you started the turn with 3 tiles in the construction zone, and you 2 scouts, you *could* discard 3 to draw 4, and discard 4 to draw 5. So when you look at the 3 tiles you have, if there's one you're tempted to keep, ask yourself: "Is it likely that this tile is better than any of the next 9 tiles in the bag?"

If you scout with 2-3 dice at once, prune tiles aggressively, and refuse to build tiles that won't help you (by reassinging develop dice to other phases to avoid accidentally building a tech you don't need, freeing you to discard it later), you will find valuable tiles almost every game.
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Ian Collier
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Quote:
Keep playing, especially if you enjoy it. More plays should lead to better understanding of the engine you need.


Totally. We're just coming to the end of a six-month work visit to India (in Hyderabad, where it's pretty much impossible to get boardgames) and we brought Roll with us precisely because we always felt it had potential but we'd not really played much and were luke warm on it. Best move, because my goodness we play and play and play this and can't get enough. I think it might now be my favourite game ever.
 
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Adam Blanchard
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CaptainMench wrote:

How do you multi-play players manage what the other players do?...

How do you ensure keeping it close with the random tile draws?...


You don't manage what other players do. There's almost no direct player interaction in this game. The main thing you should be trying to do is to predict what phases your opponents will choose, then try to piggyback off of that. Then you'll be able to do more actions than them and get out ahead. You do this by carefully chosen phase selection and die re-assignment. Unlike Puerto Rico/San Juan, you don't get a bonus for choosing a phase, so you can't really effect the other person by choosing a phase they wanted. You can do something like a bluff, where you abstain from choosing your most obvious phase, which could throw your opponent off if they were trying to mooch off of you and make them waste dice.

For the 2nd question, you need to be discarding tiles more often when you're exploring. This mitigates the randomness of the bag draw and lets you get tiles that you need more. Granted, this is the part that slows down the pace of the game the most, until you start to become more familiar with what tiles exist and can recognize what you want and what you don't faster.

Other than all that, this is an engine builder. You need to complete the right tiles which work together with your strategy. In the early game, you need to get your money engine established ASAP so you've always got plenty of dice in your cup. You don't want to always have a bunch of extra money though, as it's an indication that you're playing inefficiently and the effort to get money could have been directed elsewhere. Then in mid-game you can start to concentrate more on a point making strategy, or whatever else you're planning; your son's rush strategy for example. In this game you need to pay attention to when the end-game is happening and be ready to put your main strategy on the back-burner and try to squeeze as many points out of what you've already got before the other person builds that last tile. Don't let the end of the game sneak up on you.
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Michael Mench
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Thanks for the help. We are still playing it! - m
 
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