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Of course, for those who've played TGS/e1 or beyond to BoW/e3

Every time I play arc 1 without goals, it does feel empty


EDIT: another thing I did not address initially was the Orb Scenario seems to have a sense of spatial locality, for the first time in any RftG game. Before, you can reorder cards on your tableau, arrange them in an alternate way, it didn't affect gameplay. Here, it does matter.
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Robin Levins
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They don't for me. The goals provide a sort of re-valuing for cards in a game - military cards become more valuable in a Most Military goal game, in a way they don't when the goals are Most Blue/Brown Planets and Most Explore Powers.

The Alien Orb is another beast entirely, which doesn't have a unique effect on cards you draw in different games. I miss the goals when I play without them.
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ackmondual wrote:
Of course, for those who've played TGS/e1 or beyond to BoW/e3

Every time I play arc 1 without goals, it does feel empty


It is different, not necessarily worse. But if you really like the goals, you will probably miss them.

(in general I like the full base arc better, but I haven't played AA enough yet)
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Thesp wrote:
They don't for me. The goals provide a sort of re-valuing for cards in a game - military cards become more valuable in a Most Military goal game, in a way they don't when the goals are Most Blue/Brown Planets and Most Explore Powers.

The Alien Orb is another beast entirely, which doesn't have a unique effect on cards you draw in different games. I miss the goals when I play without them.


I think in a sense the Orb does re-value certain cards, just on a smaller scale. Like if you draw a hand of orb cards that has lots of military barriers, or your opponent blocks you with one, you may be interested in investing in the military power to pass through them for some tasty bonus tiles.

Overall though I'd agree the Orb has a very different feeling than the goals. It makes the game take a lot longer and you need a lot more table space.
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Donkler wrote:


Overall though I'd agree the Orb has a very different feeling than the goals. It makes the game take a lot longer and you need a lot more table space.

Orb makes executing turns longer, but not always makes game longer. Some of artifacts (Yellow good for example) are equivalent to major tempo increase.
I don't have any statistics , but I suppose that games with Orb, and medium amount of exploring can be on average 1 turn SHORTER.
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It makes sense that the game takes an average fewer turns with the Orb. The Explore action basically does all it did before plus the opportunity for the artifact tokens which can give you some awesome pushes.

I am coming from the perspective of someone who has only played a handful of games of AA with Orb, which skews my perspective about the increased game length. In those games, it seems like someone would take the explore action every single round and then half the round time was everyone doing Orb stuff. We were all still just learning how it worked, and there was plenty of hemming and hawing about where to place the orb cards or even what was considered a valid placement. And then later there were more decisions about when to spend those new bonus tokens we had been acquiring. All this would speed up considerably if we were playing it more regularly.
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Donkler wrote:
It makes sense that the game takes an average fewer turns with the Orb. The Explore action basically does all it did before plus the opportunity for the artifact tokens which can give you some awesome pushes.

I am coming from the perspective of someone who has only played a handful of games of AA with Orb, which skews my perspective about the increased game length. In those games, it seems like someone would take the explore action every single round and then half the round time was everyone doing Orb stuff. We were all still just learning how it worked, and there was plenty of hemming and hawing about where to place the orb cards or even what was considered a valid placement. And then later there were more decisions about when to spend those new bonus tokens we had been acquiring. All this would speed up considerably if we were playing it more regularly.
I've taught RftG base game and with just TGS enough times to have witnessed that players who know the game play it in 30 minutes, while those who don't take 50 to 60 minutes.
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ackmondual wrote:
EDIT: another thing I did not address initially was the Orb Scenario seems to have a sense of spatial locality, for the first time in any RftG game. Before, you can reorder cards on your tableau, arrange them in an alternate way, it didn't affect gameplay. Here, it does matter.


There is still no spatial element to tableau organization. Obviously that's a huge component of the orb itself though.

My first few times playing AA, I missed goals, but I think you just have to treat it as a different beast.
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Tried a game with the Orb Scenario. It makes the game take MUUUCH longer. (first game 2.5 hours, admittedly with newbies to the series though). However, I enjoyed it much more than goals.
 
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