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Subject: We played this six times in a row rss

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Norbert Chan
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Calgary
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Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
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In December, I had asked the local game store if the game had arrived yet, and I was told that all copies were “recalled” due to a component problem, so I was forced to wait. In February, Don had said he already ordered the game, so today was out first crack at it. Craig had played this five player, and historically, Craig wasn’t a huge fan of Race for the Galaxy, while Don and I really enjoyed it.

Game 1: I was New Sparta with the destroyed colony, Don was Earth’s Last Colony with galactic religion, while Craig was the damaged alien factory. So I started with 3 red dice in my citizenary. Red dice are more favourable towards rolling settle actions, so my game plan was pretty clear. Settle until the uplift gnarsh came home. I settled the rebel miners which added another 2 red dice. Don was producing and shipping; all I had to do was find a dice with produce to add a good to my alien planet, and find a dice to ship when Don did either action. I could sell for $6 and virtually get 7 dice back into the cup. My settle strategy worked better when I got the replicant robots (-1 settle dice for settling), and I ended the game with 12 tiles.

Scores: Norbert 41 (30 tableau, 11 consumption), Don 36 (18 tableau, 18 consumption), Craig 33 (23 tableau, 10 consumption).

My tableau with 41 points, mostly from settling.

Don had said the galactic religion (gain $1 if during the develop phase you have unused cyan dice in your citizenry) was pretty useless, something that I wouldn’t realize until I tried it out. Noting how I was able to leech on to his produce/shipping, Don thought about producing all at once, or shipping all at once rather than give me options.

Game 2: Craig was Doomed world, Don was Earth’s Last colony again with consumer markets, and I forgot the starting planet I was, which you will see why when you see the score. Craig was going for a blitz approach of settle and develop to hopefully build the biggest tableau. Don was consuming at a good pace with 3 blue planets and 3 blue dice. He managed to get the Free Trade Federation down for 8 pts before Craig closed the game down. Craig thought he might have won, but Don prevailed. I was stuck spinning my wheels, without getting more dice or having any plan.

Scores: Don 30 (14 tableau, 14 consumption, 2 Free trade association), Craig 24 (24 tableau), Norbert 22 (16 tableau, 6 consumption).


Don's winning tableau with 3 blue planets and free trade association.

Game 3: Craig was Alpha Centauri with destroyed colony, Don was New Sparta with Galactic religion, while I was old earth with improved reconnaissance. I got the mining league (2 pts for each brown planet) early and did a lot of exploring for brown planets. So I thought was in good shape. Craig had the five cost development which lets you move any two dice to an action, and he did that to settle, having the replicant robots to reduce settling by one. Craig improved on his settle strategy to find big planets and uses tons of dice on settle to pound out big planets. I lost by one point, and I realized I should have been able to consume more with 4 brown planets and 4 brown dice.

Scores: Craig 45 (39 tableau, 6 consumption), Norbert 44 (28 tableau, 8 consumption, 8 mining league), Don 40 (24 tableau, 12 consumption, 4 for ‘6’ development).


Craig settled 8 dice in the last turn to push out 2 planets.

Game 4: Craig was damaged alien factory with alien archaeology, Don was earth’s last colony with mining industry, while I was epsilon eridani with improved reconnaissance. As luck would have it, I did get the mining league early, and so I decided to refining what I did in game 3. This time, I consumed a little more with brown dice, and the game ended with all the VP chits going. There wasn’t much time to develop a tableau.

Scores: Norbert 51 (27 tableau, 18 consumption, 6 mining league), Craig 40 (21 tableau, 19 consumption), Don 37 (22 tableau, 12 consumption, 3 galactic reserves)


My tableau with mining league and 3 brown planets.

Game 5: Craig was alpha centuari with alien archaeology, Don was Doomed world with mining history, while I was damaged alien factory with consumer markets. Craig was able to put down a lot of planets and ship with the galactic saloon to keep up with me in shipping. He had 10 dice to construct a bigger tableau than me; all I did was produce and ship on respective turns to see if I could win the game on consumption, but it was definitely not enough.

Scores: Craig 43 ( 27 tableau, 15 consumption 1, galactic reserves), Norbert 35 (11 tableau, 24 consumption), Don 34 (22 tableau, 4 consumption, 8 system diversification)


Craig has the biggest tableau and did enough consumption to win.

Game 6: Craig was epsilon eridani with consumer markets, Don was separatist colony with alien archaeology, and I was damaged alien factory with galactic religion. Don got the galactic bankers (get 1 VP per development) early and played a balanced game with developments, and with 12 dice was able to put down a big tableau. Don used his alien archaeology with yellow dice to get $4 during explore when he could. Craig put down a big tableau as well, but at the end of the game, we quizzed Craig on when he collected his income for various tiles; he thought he collected them every round no matter who called the phase. He didn’t realize he needed the phase to be active for the tile to pay off. So we gave the win to Don, since Craig was taking $3 a turn for a long time.

Scores: Don 49 (35 tableau, 9 consumption, 5 galactic bankers), Craig ~45 (32 tableau, 11 consumption, 2 ‘6’ development), Norbert (22 tableau, 12 consumption, 3 free trade association).


Don's tableau with the galactic bankers and 5 developments.

That was a lot of fun. The last time we played a game over and over, was well, Race for the galaxy. Don remarked that the dice game is a bit more streamlined- when you earn money, you don’t have to deal out cards, and the variety with 9 start tiles and 9 double tiles means that you will have many permutations to experience, sort of like Small World. One thing I felt was that our consumption strategy (game #5 for me) with blue planets seemed a bit weak. I’ll have to go back to the drawing board to see if I can make it work. In particular, my tableau didn’t have a lot of VPs, since my dice were either on planets or being used to ship, and no dice were being used to develop or settle.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Thanks for the reports!

You can earn a lot of VPs with blue consumption. (I have ended with 36 VPs, and I'm sure it's possible to do better than that.)
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Robert Bormuth
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Nice report Norbert, I am not at home at the moment, so I cannot be 100% on this, but you wrote galactic religion only gives you 1$ per unused cyan dice in your citizenry at the end of the develop phase. This means: Each cyan die in citizenry is 1$, not only unused ones, you can use them to settle, develop or scout beforehand and if they end up in your citizenry and develop gets triggered you get money for them!
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Norbert Chan
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Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
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bormuthr wrote:
Nice report Norbert, I am not at home at the moment, so I cannot ne 100% on this, but you wrote galactic religion only gives you 1$ per cyan dice in your citizenry at the end of the develop phase. This means: Each cyan die in citizenry is 1$, not only unused one, you can use them to settle, develop or scout beforehand and if they end up in your citizenry and develop gets triggered you get money for them!


Right, that is a good point. It seems hard to get cyan dice in the citizenry at the end of the develop phase. Cyan dice roll better for produce and consume phase. But I'm sure with the right tile mix you can make galactic religion work.
 
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