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Subject: The bottom 20% of cards in the base set rss

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Matt N

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The purpose of this post is to rank the cards, from worst to best (within this bracket). The rankings are based on a vague mixture of how often the cards are usable, how good they are for their cost, and how big the opportunity cost is. I ranked them while weighing two player and 3p+ somewhat equally. Rest assured, I know that no card is useless and that every card has a place. Still, certain cards are less useful than others.

The bottom cards in Race for the Galaxy generally fall into one of two categories:
-Weaker cards which are often not good to play even when they are potentially useful.
-Cards that are very good in rare situations, but are extremely situational.

A lot of these cards tend to be grey worlds as there are better things to do with a settle, such as building a produce/consume strategy.


95. New Sparta


+ Free, only 2 defense, significant military power boost
- Two defense is too high for when you need military
- Low value grey worlds have a high opportunity cost
- How often is this card really good?
- Leonidas is dead

New Sparta is pretty forgettable as a playable world, mainly because it’s often a start world. I tended to forget it when coming up with lowly cards. However, New Sparta stands apart for being difficult to effectively play early (as the only start world that can play New Sparta is, uh, New Sparta) and being unrewarding as a played card. Going from 2-4 military only opens up a few worlds and is almost invariably better done by a development, while New Sparta suffers from the usual grey world problems (gives your opponent a settle that can fit an engine). Speed military strategies do not need New Sparta and big military strategies will find it to be overflow quite a bit of the time. There’s synergy with New Galactic Order and New Military Tactics, but that is generally still not very good. Situational with low payoff = the bottom of the list.


94. Gambling World


+ Cheap generic consume power
+ Gamble for 6 costs or cheap worlds
- Low value grey worlds have a high opportunity cost
- Gambling rarely pays off and generally doesn’t pay off big
- Seriously, high opportunity cost

Gambling World was generally my go to card for the worst card in the game, while also having the best table in the game. The gambling power offers little reward; gambling for sixes is cool but very hard to hit with just a single card, while gambling for twos takes ages to pay off the card. It’s a grey world; your opponent can probably play something better. A key rule is “don’t play bad settles”; like most rules it’s usually right.
The odd part is that a single generic consume power can actually be a strong reason to play a card and gambling world (or expanding colony) can be very useful when getting that crucial 3rd point in a produce/consume strategy. So, like every other card in Race, gambling world should not be automatically thrown out; it is still not a good card.


93. Expanding Colony


+ Cheap generic consume power
+ Windfall production power can make expanding colony a 1 cost ELC
- Low value grey worlds have a high opportunity cost
- Limited supply of blue windfalls that are immediately playable
- Production power can be redundant when pushing produce-consume
- Seriously, high opportunity cost


Expanding Colony can mostly be summarized in the same way as gambling world. It is slightly better because it is possible to have a blue windfall, which makes Expanding Colony better than a one cost ELC (better due to world-specific trade powers). Sadly, those worlds are uncommon and the non-military ones don’t do very much, meaning that the blue windfall is generally the worst windfall in your hand. Playing a windfall + expanding colony combo just isn’t an efficient use of settles and then expanding colony just goes back to being a weak grey world.


92. Outlaw World


+ 1 defense generic consume power with a card draw
+ Can make for a nice leech power for production or windfall spam
- Low value grey worlds have a high opportunity cost
- Free is sometimes still too expensive…


I judge random people for playing Outlaw World (if they picked settle). If they settle the card, I assume they aren’t very good. Feel free to use that against me; you’re still stuck wasting a settle on Outlaw World. Outlaw World is how a free world can still be too expensive; the multiplayer solitaire crowd tends to not notice that playing free worlds has a downside, sets up their opponent with free settles and loses due to “bad luck”. Low-scoring grey worlds are not a good idea in general and Outlaw World is not good specifically.
Outlaw world can be pretty handy when you have a pile of windfalls with unconsumed goods, which sometimes happens with a speed military strategy. Other than that, the consume power can occasionally be very handy. Still, use this world sparingly.


91. Epsilon Eridani


+ 1 military and generic consume power can boost many strategies early or late
- Low value grey worlds have a high opportunity cost
- Two cards is quite expensive for either one military or a 1:1 consume power
- The cost of opportunity is high


I suppose versatility puts EE above the other weak grey worlds. Sometimes you really need that military or you need a consume power; EE is there for you. As far as military goes, you’re generally better off not picking settle for EE, but sometimes you are just leeching someone else’s settle. Occasionally it’s even worth opening with EE + a 1 military windfall with a double settle. In the end, EE is still awfully pricey for a world with just one consume power and it’s still very situational, but versatility is important.


90. Research Labs


+ Better with 3+ players
+ Explore power can be very powerful without needing appropriate cards in hand
+ Big military greatly benefits from +1 keep during explore +5
+ Other powers exist too
- 4 cost to get one card during explore? Ew.
- Seriously, it’s too expensive early on. Spend your cards on something better.
- Leeching explore for +1 keep isn’t actually that great.

As the lowest-ranked development on my list, Research Labs has many powers; none of them justify the cost by themself. The explore power looks cool, but then turns out to be overly expensive when just keeping one card. The expert will then say that it is better used as a reason to E+5 and keep two cards; they are correct. Unfortunately, you then need to call explore to make your development worthwhile… which makes it awfully hard to have a real strategy. This is occasionally okay in 3-4 player, but is death in 2 player. The one time that Research Labs can be impressive is when hunting down big military or alien cards, but the cost is very high. Against pretty much everyone, I’m happy to see them play research labs early, because they could have done something better (or at worst, picked E+5 to find something better).

The other powers exist, I guess. Research labs is much better if you can use the other powers in conjunction with the explore power, but it’s so rare that research labs is actually good. Research labs is probably at its best in Rebel vs Imperium, but hunting for good cards is just not rewarded enough in the base set.


89. Terraformed World


+ High point value; the best point value in the game if you have one spare good and consume x2
+ Consume power can finish off a produce/consume strategy
+ Colony ship opportunity
- 5 cost
- Terrible early play, with or without colony ship

Terraformed world exists for the points. It is very situational, but it is at least very useful in that situation (a last turn play or a late game play for points) as the highest-scoring non-military world (in a vacuum). Keep in mind that multiple goods or consume powers can push other worlds ahead, but there you go. Also, keep in mind that contact specialist + big rebel can be about as good in terms of value.

Mainly, don’t sneak out Terraformed World early-mid game with colony ship. People do this and it’s not worthwhile (unless you really need the consume power). Save your cards and your colony ship. Speaking of which…


88. Colony Ship


+ Combos with LSAW and other less exciting worlds
+ Combos with contact specialist for big Rebels
- Loss of tempo
- Waste of a phase for what may be a minimal discount
- Unused colony ship is the least efficient scoring development in the game
- Can’t be used for yellow worlds and I’m tired of bugging beginners about that

Colony ship seems so much cooler in theory. Play some giant world for free and knock your strategy up a notch. Unfortunately, you are wasting a develop phase and you don’t even come out that much ahead in cards. I’m not offended by colony ship’s existence, but I do think it suffers from a lack of supporting worlds. There aren’t cool combos where you can get a nice functional world out; there is no giant windfall that you can play. There’s one spectacular production world (lost species ark world) and then a lot of good but unspectacular choices in the 4-5 cost range. Toss it quickly if you don’t have a card to play it with and sometimes even if you do.

The contact specialist + giant rebel + colony ship combo is nice but it’s never really that great. Again, there’s no giant military world (playable with colony ship) that kickstarts your economy early on. So… what’s the point? Colony ship will rarely trick you into doing something dumb (other than using it on terraformed world), but it’s just not very useful.


87. Alien Rosetta Stone World


+ Better with 3+ players
+ Very strong combo and discount power
+ Producing on an yellow windfall can pay off big
+ Point value is good
- Very hard to actually play and use in a timely fashion
- Not very strong when combed with a single yellow windfall
- Many players will have big military or a consume x2 on the last turn, leaving them with many options other than ARSW’s 3 points.

Alien rosetta stone world is a great thematic card with limited application. It scores well, but only as well as a windfall that is eaten with a consume x2. The world is obviously great when boosting an alien strategy… except that the strategy is too expensive to be used in most cases. If you play the cheapest non-military alien world, that world costs 4 - 2 cards. You need 4 cards in hand to play alien rosetta stone world in the first place, meaning that you need to explore just to be able to keep that card.

So, the path is explore +1, then pick settle, then settle again, then pick trade, then you have a 5-6 card hand. That is a very long way to go for a single windfall. In most cases, you’re better off exploring and playing the alien windfall first, but then you’re relying on chance to make alien rosetta stone world actually good. The fact is that alien rosetta stone world is just too expensive to be good early game; even the perfect combo (the two military windfall alien robot sentry) requires an explore before you can push out both cards in a row. The card feels like it’s balanced more for the alien world spamming strategy, which just isn’t that good without massive loads of luck along with ATI (alien tech institute) or replicant robots. Cards need to be useful early or to be very strong later in the game; alien rosetta stone world is neither. I’ll almost always throw away alien rosetta stone world without a combo and I’ll often throw it out even with a combo.

A general point that I will try to harp on is that alien strategies practically require you to have a windfall or a few turns of trading to make them possible, at which point the extra trade value from the alien good is minimal compared to a decent strategy.


86. Galactic Engineers


+ Better with 3+ players
+ Great potential value as a 2 cost “production-equivalent world” and leech for trading
- Low value grey worlds have a high opportunity cost
- Power is often redundant when pushing a produce-consume strategy yourself
- Windfall + galactic engineers is an inefficient way to make an engine
- Engineers can’t be trusted in general

Galactic engineers sure would be great as a development; unfortunately, it’s a world. A high value production world at the cost of two is very handy. The major downside is that you are often producing, making galactic engineers have a redundant power. If you can leech effectively or somehow played two windfalls, galactic engineers can be useful, but it’s rare for that to be an optimal path.

Also, play the windfall before galactic engineers. Some people do that the other way around and it bugs me. +1 for trade is minimal compared to having the cards earlier and not giving away your settle; you can also leech a produce to get the good back a decent fraction of the time.


85. Mining Robots


+ Better 3-4 player
+ Combos with alpha centauri for a leech in the develop phase
+ Brown windfalls are relatively common
+ Brown discount exists, I guess
- Power is often redundant when pushing a produce-consume strategy yourself
- Very difficult to make efficient use of the brown discount without Alpha Centauri in play
- Bulk brown worlds do not consume themselves
- Not very useful without a highly specific combo

Mining robots is really a combo-only card, and even then you might still chuck it away with a brown windfall in hand. You need to trade the good to get your cards back. It can still be useful; a brown leech in the develop phase is good. Still, I’m not excited about it and it’s very situational to begin with.

People sometimes fuss about which of the mining cards to keep when they draw several of them. The answer is “not mining robots” unless you have a really specific reason to keep it over the other far stronger cards.


84. Old Earth


+ Two generic consume powers are very strong and very rare on a single card
+ Excellent last turn play with spare goods on a consume x2
- Grey worlds have a high opportunity cost
- Far too expensive for the trade power to be useful
- Not worth playing except as a consume world (where it is typically outclassed by tourist world)

Old Earth always feels a bit awkward; as a start world, it’s very slow to get going and as a played world, it has an essentially useless trade power. You will not get your money back from old earth and if you do, it was a bad idea (excluding trade league). So, Old Earth is essentially a world just for consume powers. It does a good job with those consume powers; the downside is that it is a world, and by playing it you are giving your opponent to drop a produce+consume world or a superior consumer (tourist world, trendsetters). The production developments tend to do a better job supplying consume powers and have nice drawing bonuses besides. Mining conglomerate does the exact same thing as old earth for brown worlds, but is a development and has a produce bonus.

Old Earth can be very powerful in the right situation, but it tends to be better as a backup plan rather than a card to immediately chase… unless you already have your engine nearly done.


83. Destroyed World


+ Cool theme
+ Useful opener for Old Earth
+ Neat $/V opening for ELC
- 0 point windfalls are pretty worthless later on
- Even as a free play with Alpha Centauri, it’s often not worth calling settle
- Easy to get this leeched when starting with New Sparta or EE

Destroyed world is not useless despite being worth 0 points, but it is a niche world. I prefer it over many of the grey worlds just because it can turn a bad start into a mediocre start, and games are easier to lose early than they are to win later. Destroyed world is mainly useful for boosting a non-military starting world that needs a boost; specifically, Old Earth and sometimes ELC. Settle/trade is a pretty obvious move with Old Earth, but it’s honestly okay to sometimes play destroyed world on someone else’s settle and let the good be eaten. You lose the good, but you can at least do your own produce/trade instead of just feeding them cards with explore. ELC has the nice $/V opening, although it’s pretty hard to call a first turn settle in the base set relative to expansions with start world choice.

Speaking of 1st turn settles, I don’t generally consider it worthwhile to settle/trade destroyed world with New Sparta, as you are too likely to be leeched by a good player. This concept is generally true for non-military windfalls, but is more true for destroyed world because it doesn’t get you any points or powers.


82. Alpha Centauri


+ Early game uses similar to destroyed world
+ Settle powers can occasionally be very helpful
- Still horrible for points while being 2 cost instead of 1 cost
- Brown military only gets you more windfalls by itself (or is useless with 2+ military)

Mostly, see above. In general, I would probably play a disjointed alpha centauri over destroyed world under the assumption that I could draw a brown production world later on (or even make use of the brown military). However, it would be a close decision, so I’d play destroyed world instead if I wanted to keep a useful card.

Brown military unfortunately does little here, because you need to draw a matching windfall and then be able to use it. Stacking windfalls is not a good strategy unless you have Mining League, which is just one card. The mining robots combo is okay but not great, since you are hoping for a future brown world at the expense of one develop phase you could be using on something better. (By the way, alpha centauri + mining robots means you should probably be using explore +5 over explore +1/+1.) If I can’t make use of a second brown military windfall, I’m more likely to hunt for some other military rather than use alpha centauri.


81. Asteroid Belt


+ Early game uses similar to destroyed world
+ Fairly useful on the 2nd to last or last turn with a consume x2
- The usual low value windfall disadvantages

Again, see above. I’d probably take asteroid belt over alpha centauri if there’s no combo in hand and alpha centauri would not be my first world played. A significant advantage for Asteroid Belt is that it has much more late game value; there are plenty of two point worlds but not that many 3 point worlds, and it’s often possible to consume the extra good. Overall though, you shouldn’t be going out of your way to play cards like this, with no major card advantage relative to a military windfall and no major point value.


80. Blaster Gem Mines


+ Better in 3p+
+ Somewhat useful early
+ 1 military is nice, right?
+ Quite useful on the 2nd to last or last turn with a consume x2
- Settle/trade with this doesn’t even turn a profit
- 1 extra military is less useful when you already have a windfall

Rankings are fairly subjective, and blaster gem mines could easily end up a few places higher or lower. I do think that the military and point give it the edge over asteroid belt, even if the military is not necessarily useful right away. Sometimes, that extra military can push you to a better windfall (genes, alien, pirate world); that is not ideal but gives you flexibility if you’re making a diversified economy and at least gives you immediate cash.

Blaster gem mines itself does not generate money, even if you count the settle bonus. If you play this early, you are basically cycling your hand and giving yourself a world so you can push produce/$. In the late game, this world can get you 4 points. That’s not bad, but it’s not good enough to keep this world out of the bottom 20%.


79. Alien Robot Scout Ship


+ Free alien goods generate a lot of money
+ Military scaling with a military world can combo well with alien military or new military tactics
- 4 military and it can’t be used with contact specialist… for a two point world
- Lack of utility compared to the contorted combos used to play this early
- Title would work fine with just three words

Alien robot scout ship surprised me when I was thinking of cards to throw in the bottom 20%, but it honestly belongs here. This card frequently ends up in the “big military, discard without thought” category, yet does not do a good job for big military as a low scoring world that still takes 4 military to play. So… what niche does this card exactly fit?

I will give alien robot scout ship some credit; if you can play it naturally (e.g. with permanent development(s) and your starting world), it’s a strong early card that gives you one of the elusive alien goods. Military ramping, even with +1 military, can be a big deal that lets you play a high scoring world to counter those tedious produce/consumers. Even the new military tactics play can be worthwhile. It’s just that playing this world is often so much trouble that you might not care by the time you get a chance.


78. Deserted Alien Library


+ Net cost is very low if you can trade the good
+ Top scorer late game
- Can’t be played 1st turn, even if opening with explore +1/+1
- Practically requires a windfall out and traded to play this windfall
- Largely too expensive to play with comboing cards at a decent speed
- Where did the nerdy aliens go?

Deserted alien library is often the same as terraformed world at +1 cost; both cards are niche. Deserted alien library has the advantage that it generates a trade good; that can be a big deal, but often does not come into play. Settle/trading windfalls repeatedly is just not a good strategy against produce/consume and going toe to toe with big military is risky (and generally requires ATI). Playing deserted alien library out of your opening hand without a windfall requires complicated scenarios like playing a production world (but only if someone explores), then doing V/$ for two turns, then playing this card and finally trading it. Sure, it can work with spice world, but lots of things work with spice world.

Deserted alien library can work with some fun trade-based strategies; there is no better world to dump into your own trade league in games where you can make that work. The late game value is very potent, and sometimes you even just need to dump cards on a settle when you are generating a lot of cards from produce/consume. Still, deserted alien library is situational.


77. Former Penal Colony


+ Reasonable opening for New Sparta
+ Military on a free windfall is handy
- Many better windfalls exist at 2 defense
- Quite weak at generating cash compared to other military windfalls
- Color does not help out diversified economy

Former Penal Colony… exists. It’s not necessarily bad, but it doesn’t do anything very well. You can use it with New Sparta for cards and military scaling; that’s a pretty decent use. Other than that, Former Penal Colony is often the worst playable military windfall if you have small military (or contact specialist) and want to kick off a strategy. The 2 card trade value really is a big downside and a small military production strategy generally does better with a rainbow or diversified economy strategy. As a 1 military world with a 0 point value, this world could be much more useful; given the current powers, it mainly feels like a backup plan.


So, feel free to give feedback about which cards should be higher/lower or neat tactics that I missed. Theoretically I’m going to rank all of the cards, but the timeline for that is quite vague.

Edit: Replaced alien with yellow in a few places
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John
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I'm assuming you're rating the start worlds solely when playing from your hand.

New Sparta - one if the best uses of it is when you hold space marines and can get +4 military in a single turn. Particularly fun if you didn't call the settle phase.
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Serge Levert
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Very nice. Couldn't find a single point of disagreement. Although looking through the base cards, seeing a few missing that i think are worse than some of the later windfalls. Bio-Hazard Mining World, Black Market Trading World, Distant World, Imperium Armaments World,

I find it very difficult to rank devs and worlds alongside. Ranking devs? Easy. Ranking worlds? Easy. Even comparing 6devs vs 1-5devs i couldn't do.
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I think all of the analysis is excellent. This piece is a clear contribution to RftG Strategy.

That said, I don't think the individual ranks are very useful information. These cards all fall into the category of "situational", i.e., they could be just what you need if the situation warrants it. Knowing which situation to consider using them is useful, and I think you get at that in your descriptions. But saying that New Sparta is 18 ranks lower than Former Penal Colony doesn't really say much: whether or not I play either depends on the situation. It's not a matter of one being clearly better or worse, its whether at that time I need +1 military or a blue good more.
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John
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Many of these cards were given a boost in AA. Two of them score 3 points on a 6-cost, and anything with a consume power that consumes any colour good is more useful. The deliberate boosting of these cards in AA backs your argument that they're not so good in base.
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Colony Ship doesn't work with YELLOW worlds or "worlds that contain alien goods". If you say ALIEN worlds, they'll think that all cards that have ALIEN in the title are also off limits, which ironically enough, the next one on your list is Alien Rosetta Stone World laugh


I use Formal Penal Colony with dev military str to get me to 3-defense worlds if I'm not starting off as New Sparta.

zabdiel wrote:
Many of these cards were given a boost in AA. Two of them score 3 points on a 6-cost, and anything with a consume power that consumes any colour good is more useful. The deliberate boosting of threes cards in AA backs your argument that they're not so good in base.
I really do like how the base game cards do indeed form the foundation that is the RftG card game itself, but also how many of these base game cards are "fleshed out" more with the expansions.
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Matt N

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zabdiel wrote:
I'm assuming you're rating the start worlds solely when playing from your hand.


Yep. For the new sparta play... I almost feel like if you have to leech the world, it doesn't really count. I suppose that's a big difference between worlds and developments.

entranced wrote:
Very nice. Couldn't find a single point of disagreement. Although looking through the base cards, seeing a few missing that i think are worse than some of the later windfalls. Bio-Hazard Mining World, Black Market Trading World, Distant World, Imperium Armaments World,


I have distant world quite a bit higher than you would. I was rather expecting people to complain about plague world not being in here, actually.

entranced wrote:
I find it very difficult to rank devs and worlds alongside. Ranking devs? Easy. Ranking worlds? Easy. Even comparing 6devs vs 1-5devs i couldn't do.


Well, I don't really consider it based on absolute powers; as we would both agree, genetics lab is a better card than galactic engineers even though galactic engineers has a better power. I tend to think more on how situational a card is and how good a situation is. Sure, it's fuzzy.

Rainstar wrote:
I think all of the analysis is excellent. This piece is a clear contribution to RftG Strategy.


Thank you.

Rainstar wrote:
That said, I don't think the individual ranks are very useful information. These cards all fall into the category of "situational", i.e., they could be just what you need if the situation warrants it. Knowing which situation to consider using them is useful, and I think you get at that in your descriptions. But saying that New Sparta is 18 ranks lower than Former Penal Colony doesn't really say much: whether or not I play either depends on the situation. It's not a matter of one being clearly better or worse, its whether at that time I need +1 military or a blue good more.


So, it's true that rankings are fuzzy and differences between close numbers are far less than the cards in your board, the cards in your hand, your read on what your opponent might do, and what your opponent probably thinks you will do. That said, that can be true even when comparing the worst cards to the best cards. I thought about clumping cards together, but that isn't really as satisfying as picking a number and justifying it; if nothing else, it helps to flesh out reasoning.

That said, part of the value from ranking cards comes from being able to judge players fairly quickly. If I play some random person (let's say 3p+ so they don't have to feel bad about not doing a double settle) and they settle New Sparta, I'm going to think:
1. They probably aren't very good and just like to ramp military, or
2. There are some big military worlds coming out soon and I'm in trouble.

(I'll lean towards 1.) Former penal colony just doesn't set me off that same way; I nearly threw it into the next tier of cards (which are still below average, but whatever). A random blue windfall with +1 military just doesn't tell me much and could just be a setup for a standard produce/consume strategy, or a slow military ramp, or just a mistake... but I don't know that yet.

For the record, I was okay with any of the following as worst card in the game:

New Sparta - already explained

Gambling World - My choice for a while and a prototypical example of why grey worlds aren't good to settle

Expanding Colony - Blue windfalls worth playing are rare (and often unplayable) and it's much worse than gambling world without them

Outlaw World - The specificity of gambling world/expanding colony combined with not being able to play it half the time that you need it.

Research Labs - A massive waste of money in most cases and is hardly ever fantastic compared to the worlds.
 
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Peter Folke
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Rainstar wrote:
I think all of the analysis is excellent. This piece is a clear contribution to RftG Strategy.

That said, I don't think the individual ranks are very useful information. These cards all fall into the category of "situational", i.e., they could be just what you need if the situation warrants it. Knowing which situation to consider using them is useful, and I think you get at that in your descriptions. But saying that New Sparta is 18 ranks lower than Former Penal Colony doesn't really say much: whether or not I play either depends on the situation. It's not a matter of one being clearly better or worse, its whether at that time I need +1 military or a blue good more.
I think the ranking is useful when evaluating starting hands and explores early in the game. It helps answer the question "Which of these cards am I most likely to happen to be in the right situation for?"
 
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Stunna wrote:
Yep. For the new sparta play... I almost feel like if you have to leech the world, it doesn't really count.

Yes, I suppose any world you wouldn't call settle for isn't that good, though it can be worth having them in hand. With expansions Improved Logistics & Imperium Supply Convoy make small military works slightly more viable for a rush.

Stunna wrote:

I was rather expecting people to complain about plague world not being in here, actually

Really? It seems like a reasonably useful card to me. It's the cheapest green or yellow production in the base game so useful for setting up a diversified economy engine. Yes, there are cheaper green windfalls but you need to draw them, have not played another colour windfall & sometimes a production world can allow you to consume x2 a turn earlier if your opponent calls produce on the turn you get it down. It's also one of the few base game cards which can consume it's own good which is always nice for adding to an engine.
 
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Mike Forrey
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Every card you list has a use in the right situation. It is impossible to rate cards in RfTG in a complete vacuum because of all the different combinations they can be used in.
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Jeff L
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bearn wrote:
Every card you list has a use in the right situation. It is impossible to rate cards in RfTG in a complete vacuum because of all the different combinations they can be used in.


There is a situation where I would use this: http://www.amazon.com/Hutzler-571-Banana-Slicer/dp/B0047E0EI...

I would rate this higher though: http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-8-Inch-47520-5-2063-...
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bearn wrote:
Every card you list has a use in the right situation. It is impossible to rate cards in RfTG in a complete vacuum because of all the different combinations they can be used in.
I rate them on how much use I'd get out of each card across say... 100 games. After that, you tend to notice certain cards get played more than not (e.g. Galactic Federation vs. Gal. Ren.), even though you do need to account for your preferences and biases.
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John
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New Sparta is better than a banana slicer.
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zabdiel wrote:
New Sparta is better than a banana slicer.
I don't know... New Sparata looks menacing. OTOH, you can actually hurt yourself or someone else with a banana slicer!
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One thing I don't agree with is how low Terraformed Earth and Deserted Alien Library are in this list. In the Base Game and Alien Artifacts, both are good cards to finish the game with, and I will often hold on to one of them for exactly that purpose. They are both inefficient, but efficiency doesn't matter at all for your last settle of the game, only the absolute number of points.
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Jacob Busby
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The card values increase with other expansions in the mix increase the value of several of these cards. Most of the Alien cards vastly improve with Alien Artifacts, for instance.

* New Sparta is a great boost from low level military to something more substnatial. Space Marines + New Sparta gets you up to 4 military pretty efficiently, if you need to change tack part way through a game. NS is pretty sweet with New Galactic Order too, once you've played out your big hitters and want to close the game out before your opponents catch up.

* ARSW is 3 points for a 3 card cost, which is pretty damn efficient, regardless of the abilities on the card. It's a nice card to see late on for a cheap leech settle and it also works quite well if you're trading alien and then leeching off the other player's.

* Research Labs is all about the leech on Explore. It fits in with a set that includes Galactic Bank, Replicant Robots, Advertisers (and Galactic Salon in one of the expansion sets) to penalise your opponents and close down their options. Also don't overlook RL as a late game drop with Galactic Rennaissance when your opponents hit 11 cards in their tableau and you won't have time for another Produce / Con-2 cycle.
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Jacob Busby wrote:
The card values increase with other expansions in the mix increase the value of several of these cards. Most of the Alien cards vastly improve with Alien Artifacts, for instance.

* New Sparta is a great boost from low level military to something more substnatial. Space Marines + New Sparta gets you up to 4 military pretty efficiently, if you need to change tack part way through a game. NS is pretty sweet with New Galactic Order too, once you've played out your big hitters and want to close the game out before your opponents catch up.

* ARSW is 3 points for a 3 card cost, which is pretty damn efficient, regardless of the abilities on the card. It's a nice card to see late on for a cheap leech settle and it also works quite well if you're trading alien and then leeching off the other player's.

* Research Labs is all about the leech on Explore. It fits in with a set that includes Galactic Bank, Replicant Robots, Advertisers (and Galactic Salon in one of the expansion sets) to penalise your opponents and close down their options. Also don't overlook RL as a late game drop with Galactic Rennaissance when your opponents hit 11 cards in their tableau and you won't have time for another Produce / Con-2 cycle.
RL is also improved in AA with yellow worlds being having more prominence. I still manage to make use of RL's IV power to be able to do something with that green good.
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Good list. My only disagreement would be Mining Robots, mainly for positives you cite. In the base game, I tend to play Mining Robots more often than Genetic Labs, which I find to be more situational (things change with TGS because of the Ancient Race start).
 
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psrv wrote:
Good list. My only disagreement would be Mining Robots, mainly for positives you cite. In the base game, I tend to play Mining Robots more often than Genetic Labs, which I find to be more situational (things change with TGS because of the Ancient Race start).
Ditto. While I don't mind getting 4+1 cards, Genetics Lab is mostly for the V power, whereas I find myself using both powers on Mining Robots more. I suppose it hurts GL that there aren't as many green worlds out there.
 
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James Sitz
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This is a useful and instructive list.

I lived the Mining League dream today with Asteroid Belt, Destroyed World, Mining Robots + Conglomerate, and Alpha Centauri as the starting world. It took quite a bit of luck though.
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Gary Bradley
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As a new player to this game, I would give anything for a full list of all the cards in the base set, but with the kind of evaluation and commentary the OP has provided for the bottom 20%. Does this exist anywhere?
 
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I don't think there is anything with that level of detail. There was a review of all the base game cards somewhere but I don't think it had this level of detail. If you are playing with other new players then I'd suggest not reading strategy articles (unless the other players are too) in case you end up winning all the time and everyone else gets fed up with playing.
 
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How does Radioactive World compare to Asteroid Belt?

95 unique cards, however there are only 91 if you exclude the cards where the only difference is name & artwork:

Asteroid Belt / Radioactive World
Avian / Aquatic / Reptilian Uplift Race
Comet Zone / Mining World

So there are only 72 more cards to analyse!
 
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