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Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm» Forums » General

Subject: New Player - Best way to learn rss

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Andrew Wallwork
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Have just purchased RFTG and the Gathering Storm expansion. Have never played RFTG before and don't have a human opponent to play against. So I will be learning the game from scratch against the robot. My question is, what is the best way to do this? Is it even possible to play the solitaire game without having played the base game? Have I just wasted my money I'm sure I haven't but just trying to figure out the best way to learn.
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Valery Prikhodko
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I think the best way is:

1. Read the Rules
2. Download Keldon AI.
3. Play it.
4. PROFIT!!!
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Federico
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Welcome to RftG!

Even if your goal is to play solitaire with the robot, I'd suggest you to get acquainted to the rules by playing with Keldon's AI. The program enforces the rules automatically, so it might be easier for you to get the hang of the rules. I learned RftG this way.

Another way is to learn from Wei-Hwa Huang's videos.

On BGG there are also a few videos on how the solitaire game with the robot works, but I haven't watched any of those, so I cannot recommend any in particular.

Hope you have fun!
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Chris Laudermilk
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Probably Valery's suggestion is best. That will help you get the base game down, and provide some insight to the more complex interactions (like scoring 6-? developments).

When my son and I started with the game a little over a month ago, the base game was enough to worry about. It took a couple of plays to wrap our heads around the main mechanics & the majority of the icons. It took another 2-3 just to wrap our heads around the Consume phase.

I wouldn't want to start by trying to learn the base game + the AI (I haven't even read those rules yet--no solo play needed so far). That's a lot to digest all at once.
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John
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tasmanuk wrote:
Is it even possible to play the solitaire game without having played the base game?

It must be but it's obviously going to be slightly more difficult. Gathering Storm doesn't add that many new cards so learning with Gathering Storm won't be that much harder. There is a lot to take in learning base game and the robot. You could try playing 2 player game with the starting hands and playing both sides to get to grips with the mechanics before moving on to the robot.

As others have said Keldon's AI is a good way to play though I think I might have been confused by some things if I had learnt the game on Keldon's AI - make sure you read the log so you know what's going on.
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B C Z
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When I first got this game, I had the benefit of a partner who wanted to learn it and a lot of time to play that could not productively be used for anything else.

We had a second print of the rules, so instead of one teaching the other we both read the rules in full before the first play. This made sure that both of us had to misunderstand a rule to truly get it wrong.

We played probably 10-15 games back to back before we had to prep for dinner. The first few games we used the premade hands as starting points. We'd play to completion. Then we could start again with the same starting hand or switch to a different faction. We repeated this and over and over, because the goal was to understand the game. Eventually we felt brave enough to go with random starting hands. That changed everything, and we explored new tactics, like starting with expensive cards, or finding synergies between our starting hands and possible homeworlds. by the time we ended, we understood the game and had developed enough of a patter to teach it.

I recommend starting with the premade hands. I recommend rapid-fire, back-to-back plays the first time you play, with a commitment from everyone to accept that the first play or two could potentially be difficult.

I also wouldn't add Gathering Storm until you understand what the base deck is good (and not so good) at. Once you've grok'd the base game, Gathering Storm is an easy pick up and you'll be able to steer your play towards the new game elements that get added in the expansion.

All that said, if you cannot get a human opponent, then the question is what is your goal?

If you want to learn to play the robot; play the robot in Gathering Storm. It has a different ruleset, it doesn't feel like the same game to me.

If you want to learn the normal game and are opponentless, Keldon's AI is excellent. Be aware that the AI is going to trounce you for a while so don't get discouraged. The first win will feel that much more special.
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Andrew Wallwork
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OK I have downloaded the Keldon AI. How does everyone use this? Do you find the cards it has onscreen and replicate that on your table with the physical cards (which must take a while to dig through the cards to find the right ones), or do you just play on the computer. The program looks really good so why did I need the physical game, especially if I am only playing solo.
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Federico
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tasmanuk wrote:
OK I have downloaded the Keldon AI. How does everyone use this? Do you find the cards it has onscreen and replicate that on your table with the physical cards (which must take a while to dig through the cards to find the right ones), or do you just play on the computer.

Yes, play on the computer.

tasmanuk wrote:
The program looks really good so why did I need the physical game, especially if I am only playing solo.

The program does not have the solitaire robot which comes with The Gathering Storm, so if you want to play that you need the cards.

Also, there is always a chance to get someone else to play face to face
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Chris Laudermilk
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tasmanuk wrote:
The program looks really good so why did I need the physical game, especially if I am only playing solo.


To support the designer?

I grabbed the Keldon program and have used it a couple of times, but mainly play FtF.
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Serge Levert
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tasmanuk wrote:
The program looks really good so why did I need the physical game

To teach and spread the Race love to other people!
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Tim Schmitt
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You may have discovered this already, but be aware that as a newb, both when playing against Keldon and playing against the robot, your victories will be few and far between.
 
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Andrew Wallwork
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Have managed 2 games now. First one I got spanked 63-35. Forgot that there are only 24vps so just played until 12 cards were on the table. Just finished my second game and while I still lost it was only 37-32 this time. Would have had a better chance if he hadn't pulled Rebel Outpost for 5 vp. I find my strategy changing depending on my cards. I was planning a produce consume strategy but then I went military but finished up settling as many production worlds as I could as I had the Merchant Guild development card, which if I understood correctly gave me 2vp for each production world, so I ended up with 12 vp from that.

Have found the game very easy to understand and can read the robot actions without the rule book now. Some excellent videos from BGG on both the base game and the expansion have been invaluable. Now if I can just work out how to get the robot to stop rolling x2!!!
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Tim Schmitt
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tasmanuk wrote:
HI was planning a produce consume strategy but then I went military but finished up settling as many production worlds as I could as I had the Merchant Guild development card, which if I understood correctly gave me 2vp for each production world, so I ended up with 12 vp from that.


You understood it correctly. cool
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