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Subject: If I like Among The Stars, will I like this? rss

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Sebastian Zarzycki
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I like Among the Stars and I can't help the feeling, that Roll for the Galaxy is, in a way, a bit similar, in terms of gameplay. Obviously, the flow is different and components are different, but all in all, there's little interaction, there is some tile building (though no spatial factor). Is this game different enough to justify another space-themed game on the shelf? How much replayability is there?

- I love dice and don't mind the randomness, if it can be mitigated somehow. (for example: I like Quarriors).

- I don't like Race for the Galaxy, played it only couple of times, but was repelled by the ugliness of the game. The mechanics were "ok".
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Jon Ben
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Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee.
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thumbsup Space theme
thumbsup Tableau building
thumbsup Dice
thumbsup Indirect player interaction

They are certainly different enough to own both. Your tastes align with Roll very well based on your post so I would say it's very likely that you would enjoy it.
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Dan Licata
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I love AtS and so far really enjoy this game but they are completely different in play style IMHO. Also I really enjoy RftG so that may affect my judgement as well. That said the points made above do apply so it is very possible you would like it.

What did you consider ugly about RftG? A lot of the art is the same/similar there are a lot of icons still (but a lot of text describing them as well). So if it's the art that you caused you to dislike the game then you may still find it ugly. I think it looks great the graphic design seems to be well done.

I would suggest trying it (as I did) before buying.
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rattkin wrote:
I like Among the Stars and I can't help the feeling, that Roll for the Galaxy is, in a way, a bit similar, in terms of gameplay. Obviously, the flow is different and components are different, but all in all, there's little interaction, there is some tile building (though no spatial factor). Is this game different enough to justify another space-themed game on the shelf? How much replayability is there?

As a reminder to anyone else unfamiliar, but also to myself, we got "the true 7 Wonders in space" vs. "multiplayer solitaire... with dice" as our 'prized fight'.

Given your paragraph, you just yourself described how different they are, sans the sci-fi theme. IIRC, AtS has ways to negatively affect your opponents (besides denying cards from the draft)? I'd say so. You're building your empires in 2 very different ways. Dice rolling vs. card drafting being the major thing.

rattkin wrote:
- I love dice and don't mind the randomness, if it can be mitigated somehow. (for example: I like Quarriors).


-When you do the mandatory taking ONE die and putting it onto the black box to select a phase, that can be a die of any result
-A Dictate action where you "sacrifice" (just goes back into you cup w/o getting used) to turn any other die into any result.

-abilities from start tiles give you a leg up in one or 2 areas, allowing you to pursue other 'requirements'.
-some dice have 1, or even 2+ wild sides which can help get you want you want when you want.
-some tiles give some reassign powers. There are roughly 18 in the bag, so while they're not predominantly there, they should come out enough in frequency to make a difference. Hell, the rulebook even mentions the # of these abilities in the bag.


rattkin wrote:
- I don't like Race for the Galaxy, played it only couple of times, but was repelled by the ugliness of the game. The mechanics were "ok".
"ugliness" is strictly the gameplay, or art? I'm thinking you were referring to art b/c you mentioned mechanics in the next sentence?

If art, note that this game rips almost all of the art on the tiles from Race (and its 1st and 2nd arc). Some may be new AFAIK. If it's more of an aesthetic thing like the dice are bland and could've been etched/embossed/whatever, then I'd counter to say this is something at least I was able to get over given any "functionality over form" factors I've seen, and how this game is already $60.

AFAIK mechanics go, many parts of it feel like Race. The tension of will other players be a jerk and not select what I need , should I build the dev or the world? How do I get $$... V, or I? Which tile should I keep on an Explore? That said, the dice game transmogrification of it (from Race) is different enough for me, and I suspect you'll like this given it's a dice game, and not too shabbily done either.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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I didn't like the iconography and some art, but above all, all the functional graphics (card borders, etc) was not to my liking. I looked at some photos of Roll tiles, and it seems that the artwork is better.

I don't necessarily enjoy the fact that AtS has little interaction, but with some expansions, the interactions actually is there, to a certain extent. I've heard many times that Roll plays almost like a solitaire and the only "interaction" is in predicting phases, which quickly wears off, as most people just optimize within their own boards.
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Eric Matthews
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Gameplay is pretty different.

Much of game in Roll for the Galaxy revolves around manipulating both the number of dice rolled as well as manipulating result of those rolls to mitigate all that luck. The rest is primarily role selection and filtering of the tiles/cards (just like the rest of the for the Galaxy/ San Juan type games).

So no, very different mechanically from AtS drafting mechanic for its tableau.

It is certainly a lot faster to set up than AtS, and will ultimately play faster for most people. AtS feels like a richer theme to me, but the fidley set up does keep it from getting played as much as I'd like at my table. Especially as AtS feels like a lighter game than befits it's playtime, and Roll for the Galaxy is deeper than its playtime suggests. (New Dawn feels like a better fit for the AtS universe to me, for the record)

E
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Eric Matthews
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Oh and on ugliness, the Race for the Galaxy theme itself isn't so ugly, but it's rulebook is both ugly and dry. It's unfortunate since both games are pretty terrific.

Why they don't try a graphics/ art only retheme baffles me entirely.


That being said, AtS has it's own critics of its art, which is pretty dark in color and not the easiest to read. It's also frankly a bit cliche. All that black and purple can be a real turn off for anyone not totally enamored with the theme and all of it's worn out conventions. I enjoy it personally, but have had the game refused multiple times by different people in my group because of the art.

E
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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I absolutely love AtS art, even though it's pretty generic, there's is distinct nice feeling about it. My group also loves the art. This is one of my concerns, that Roll for the Galaxy, in essence, looks (though the art is mediocre, when compared to AtS, but at least the design is way cleaner, compared to Race) and feels similar to AtS, and ultimately will lose to AtS for the table time. Sadly, noone around with the box to let my try it before buy.
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Scott Russell
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I am so not an art guy, so can't comment on appearance, but the icons in Race (and to a much lesser extent Roll) are way more functional that AtS color-coding, especially to me as a color-blind player.

The feel of the game is completely different. Other than general statements like space theme and indirect interaction, there's not much similar.
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Serge Levert
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I have the opposite question.

If i love Roll/Race, will i like Among the Stars?

I like drafting mechanics, always enjoyed it in Magic. Not a big fan of 7 Wonders, got bored of it pretty quickly. Haven't gotten over the hump in Seasons.

rattkin wrote:
I've heard many times that Roll plays almost like a solitaire and the only "interaction" is in predicting phases, which quickly wears off, as most people just optimize within their own boards.

The interaction quickly wears "on", not off. The better you get at the game, the more you pay attention to what your opponents are doing and what you should do in response.
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John
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Ganybyte wrote:
Oh and on ugliness, the Race for the Galaxy theme itself isn't so ugly, but it's rulebook is both ugly and dry. It's unfortunate since both games are pretty terrific.

Why they don't try a graphics/ art only retheme baffles me entirely.


Rulebooks should be functional and clear. RftG had a perfect rulebook in my opinion. Making role books less dry is a bad idea, Jamaica has a rule sheet that is a work of art, but it folds out bigger than the board so is terrible if you need to look up a rule.

A retheme makes no sense business, how many new sales would they get? Would they retheme the expansions?
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Scott Russell
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entranced wrote:

If i love Roll/Race, will i like Among the Stars?

I like drafting mechanics, always enjoyed it in Magic. Not a big fan of 7 Wonders, got bored of it pretty quickly. Haven't gotten over the hump in Seasons.



Among the Stars feels a lot like 7 Wonders to me. I like 7W, so that's ok, but sounds like you should try before you buy. The drafting is really similar to 7W, but there is an added spatial component. You score more or less for putting certain cards (or types of cards) together or apart. Some placements require a certain distance from other cards to be legal.
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Rafał Kruczek
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rattkin wrote:
I like Among the Stars and I can't help the feeling, that Roll for the Galaxy is, in a way, a bit similar, in terms of gameplay. Obviously, the flow is different and components are different, but all in all, there's little interaction, there is some tile building (though no spatial factor). Is this game different enough to justify another space-themed game on the shelf? How much replayability is there?

- I love dice and don't mind the randomness, if it can be mitigated somehow. (for example: I like Quarriors).

- I don't like Race for the Galaxy, played it only couple of times, but was repelled by the ugliness of the game. The mechanics were "ok".

I begin with that I consider Race art and graphics design as exemplary good.
But about questions.
Is AtS and Roll different? (I own both games and played then many times)
- Both have square tiles/cards.
- One special cards in Ats requires to roll a die.
- some of cards in and tiles have end of game bonus.
- you can pack Roll in AtS box and it will fit ( but probably both games wouldn't fit together).
That's all simiralities.

I played over 20 games of Roll I didn't even begin to master it's strategies. There are 81 combinations of starting faction + world for one player, so probaly I have at most 1-3 repetitions of staring tiles combinations. Replyablility seems to be comparable to base Race.
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Rafał Kruczek
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Ganybyte wrote:
AtS feels like a richer theme to me, but the fidley set up does keep it from getting played as much as I'd like at my table.

I stopped worrying with fiddly setup, and I started to play with apparently official variant - "just shuffle all locations and deal cards"- I don't remember how it is called...
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the game end trigger is when all point tokens are out, or someone build a predefined amount of locations/tiles/whatnot. Is that right? I don't think I like "point gathering" games with mechanisms like that, as opposed to set amount of rounds. This works quite poor for Abyss (which is, otherwise, a very cool game), and essentially turns each game into a race, that is won not by strategy, but by pure math, because the person triggering the game end will usually win with sheer amount numbers (most tiles etc).
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Serge Levert
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rattkin wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the game end trigger is when all point tokens are out, or someone build a predefined amount of locations/tiles/whatnot. Is that right?

Yes and yes.

rattkin wrote:
essentially turns each game into a race, that is won not by strategy, but by pure math, because the person triggering the game end will usually win with sheer amount numbers (most tiles etc).

This is far from the case in both Race and Roll. Triggering game end in no way guarantees that you win.

In Roll if you can trigger game end from VP chips, either you win; end the game giving the win to someone else; or Trade all goods for credits to extend the game.

In Race if you can trigger game end from VP chips, usually you have no choice and often lose. On rare occasions you can prolong the game if you'd lose, by making weird uses/order of your consume powers.

In Roll if you can trigger game end from tableau tiles, you are forced to, and often lose to smaller tableaux with higher point density and/or VP chips.

In Race if you can trigger game end from tableau cards, either you win; end the game giving the win to someone else; or choose to pass to extend the game.
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Scott Russell
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Another key distinction between RftG (both) and Abyss is that the round finishes when someone triggers the end game.

But the strategy is in gathering as many points as possible (relative to opponents) in most games.
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wayne r
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After watching a video of AtS, I did not get the impression that it was anywhere near similar to RftG. The 2 games' gameplay is vastly different so this should answer your question about the 2 being different enough to own being pretty moot.

Some other things you mention that I will touch on:

Dice. As the game progresses, you may find yourself rolling more and more dice (although this is mitigated by how much you can "buy" each round). Depending on the tiles, you can gain greater control over the randomness of the dice rolls.

Artwork. Some artwork is reused (from Race for the Galaxy) but I never thought that the artwork from Race was bad. There are many new artwork in Roll and personally, I love the artwork on the tiles!

Mechanics. The flow of the game is similar to Race but feels more streamlined. The heavy iconography present in Race is not as prevalent in Roll. The game is made easier to understand by each tile having a comprehensible explaination of what it does. having said that, I feel Race is a more deeper game than Roll.

Solitaire play. It is true that RftG feels very solitaire except during the reveal of chosen phases. There is very little you can do to your opponent except through phase selection.

End game trigger. This, beside the art, may be a turn off of RftG to you. The end game triggers when a player lays down his 12th tile or if all the victory point chits are gone. In essence, it is still a race game (like Race for the Galaxy) but you are incorrect in thinking that just being the first to gather up all the victory point chits or being the first to have 12 tiles will be the winner. It comes down to how well you are familiar with the tiles and by extension, knowledge of the different routes to victory.

Random thoughts:

I absolutely love the flow of Roll for the Galaxy. It feels smooth and makes sense. It adds to making for a very enjoyable gameplay

The duality of each tile. Each tile has a tech on one side and planet on the other so there is really no "dud" tiles.

How each color die emphasizes a predisposition to a cerrtain phase.

The noise produced by shaking dice in the provided cups. We all loved shaking our dice in the cup.

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