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Subject: A Snowy Night in Space rss

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Alex Durkee
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It's been snowing a lot around here recently, but instead of hunkering down and watching anime, my boyfriend and I decided to spend our night with my newest game- Race for the Galaxy. Oh, and he refused to read the rules.

Yeah, I'm surprised I still wanted to play, but that must just testify to RftG's appeal and replayability... or how much of a sucker I am. Anyways, the first thing I did was hide these:



Naturally, he couldn't stop looking at them. But, after thirty minutes of questions and clarifications, we chose our planets. Since it was his first time, he chose to start with the classic Epsilon Eridani rulebook hand. I randomly chose the Alpha Centauri set.





I then decided that the phase cards would have been better not just with a different back (you can't see that while you're holding them), but perhaps in a different shape. Also, I was surprised to hear him think each phase card had to be used once before they could be recycled. It sounds like a potential challenge for some later time. Has anyone tried that before on here?

Anyway, we spent the next five minutes trying to figure out what our hands were good for. Having played before, I knew that these cards might not be all that useful, and decided to try for the military strategy that Rebel Miners and Expedition Force suggested. I had never tried a military strategy before, so what the hell. Besides, brown cards are boring.

Of course, the first thing we did was a couple Explore +2/+1, and I immediately drew another Expedition Force. At least discarding wouldn't be a difficult decision. Neither was continual exploring with the E Force bonus, taking advantage of my bf's tendency to build. By then, I still didn't have anything I liked, so I played Blaster Gem Mines for the military bonus. After that though, I drew Galactic Imperium, and tossed the rest of my cards to play it. Even though I had no Rebel cards. Oh well! (On a side note, Rebel cards should really have the planet circle colored in, not just the tiny little circle below)



Meanwhile, my bf played Public Works and Rebel Fuel Cache. The latter made me question if he really knew what he was playing, and my suspicions were confirmed when he played Alien Tech Institute without any Alien cards. I did tell him Aliens were rare and expensive, but he played it and then didn't draw another Alien again.



However, he then played two Drop Ships, which kind of annoyed me with my whole New Galactic Order in my hand thing. Luckily though, I drew into Rebel Underground and still had Rebel Miners, and tossed down Alien Robot Sentry for the Windfall. I had just learned the value of Windfalls as quick card sources a few turns earlier, and wasn't going to ignore my luck. Of course, he got Rebel Outpost, so maybe neither of us was particularly lucky.





His last cards were Malevolent Lifeforms, Rebel Warrior Race and Pirate World. He played them quickly because they were easy to play and worth two VP each (and I was almost done).



My final cards were Rebel Homeworld (!), Galactic Federation, Space Marines and Lost Alien Warship. The homeworld got me really excited, especially when I realized that it was the highest priced card in the game. I played Galactic Federation because I knew I was going to have at least three six point Developments, which made it a valuable card. When I had ten cards down and had the Warship, I realized my best chance was the other, never used Explore. I drew 8 and kept the Marines, playing the last two cards on the same turn! I felt very accomplished.



The end score was 45 to 17, and I felt that those were both decent scores based on our experience levels. This was also the first time that so few physical VPs were gained- the only one was a Windfall I forced him to Consume, because neither of us even tried to create an economy.

I will definitely have to try a new strategy next time, though my boyfriend wants to start with New Sparta now. Lol okay. Let the Race begin!
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Jason Pytka
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A few useful and/or annoying tips (depending upon your perspective ) :

1. No, you don't have to use each action card once before playing them again. You could choose the exact same action every turn if you like (though probably not advisable).

2. Once you've played once or twice, start worlds should be shuffled and dealt randomly to each player. In some expansions, each player gets one red numbered and one blue numbered start world, keeping one and discarding the other.

3. Each player may have only one of each card in their tableau. This only matters with developments as all worlds are unique. All 6-cost developments are unique as well. All other developmemts have at least two copies in the deck. So, playing two Drop Ships was actually an illegal play. Also, if he played both on the same turn, that would also be a separate kind of illegal play, as you may only develop one development per round in which develop is chosen. Same with settle--one world per round in which settle is chosen (unless you're playing with the Improved Logistics expansion card, but that's a whole can of worms I'd rather not get into... ).

I had many a good time teaching this game to my then-girlfriend (who eventually got good enough to keep me on my toes). Happy racing!
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Serge
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Durkmenistan wrote:
(On a side note, Rebel cards should really have the planet circle colored in, not just the tiny little circle below)
That probably wouldn't work since colored in worlds represent the type of good they produce.
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John
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entranced wrote:
Durkmenistan wrote:
(On a side note, Rebel cards should really have the planet circle colored in, not just the tiny little circle below)
That probably wouldn't work since colored in worlds represent the type of good they produce.
They have the word rebel in a bold red font! What more do you need ;-)
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Alex Durkee
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I understand that you don't have to; it was just what he thought was natural. I was suggesting it as a possible alternative ruleset.

I randomly chose my planet but used the matching cards, since I had played before but was rusty. I don't have any expansions yet- do you have a favorite?

We stuck to all the rules you mentioned except the doubles rule, which I had forgotten. Although in this case it didn't do him any good anyway.
 
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Alex Durkee
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Maybe a dotted or striped overlay in a contrasting color could have been an alternative to the small circle.

The word Rebel certainly helps, but am I correctly recalling that not all Rebel planets actually say Rebel? Besides, the cards usually mimic the circle symbol to refer to Rebel planets, so it's not super helpful until you understand the symbol.
 
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Nathaniel Hobbes
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Yeah, none of the symbols are helpful until you understand them, and that takes a couple of games. Once you get it, though, it's lovely.

All rebel planets DO say have the "Rebel" keyword in bold red, in addition to the small red circle. Some developments also have the "Rebel" keyword.

Personally, I like the first two expansions in the first arc, "The Gathering Storm" and "Rebels Versus Imperium."
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John
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Yes, all the Rebel words have the circle, and only Rebel worlds have the circle. ACtaully the circle is coloured - a salmon pink colour, the same colour as the "+4 military to pace rebel military worlds" symbol on Galactic Imperium:


I think the circle is always explained when it's used elsewhere - e.g. on Galactic Imperium (above) or Rebel Resistance from Alien Artifacts:



Durkmenistan wrote:
I don't have any expansions yet- do you have a favorite?

Probably Alien Artifacts (AA), though I've only played that and The Gathering Storm(TGS) so far. I plan on getting Rebel vs Imperium and probably Brink of War at some point (these two require TGS).

AA gets you more cards, 5 new start worlds and a choice of red or blue start world at the start of the game, and has the optional orb game (which doesn't seem that popular)

TGS doesn't get you as many new cards, has 4 start worlds (and no choice), but also has goals (things like 3VP for first to get 3 Alien cards or 5VP for most military) and a solitaire robot (which is excellent if you want to play solo and is simpler than it looks).
 
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Ira Fay
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Durkmenistan wrote:
I don't have any expansions yet- do you have a favorite?
FYI, the Hampshire library has the first three expansions!
 
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