- S Hilliard(SJH1510)United States
Wrangling a Game out of Her
First, let me describe the gaming relationship that I have with my wife. She’s not all about games. For example, the other day she remarked, “I’m bored.” I replied, “I’d never be able to complain about that if I knew that there were whole shelves of games I hadn’t played.” However, she often indulges me…and often wins. Typically, though, our gameplay involves something light, like a game of cribbage at Your Favorite Mass Market Coffee Shop with Controversial Holiday Cups. We’ve played San Juan a lot, to the point where the winner just comes down to who can execute the violet building strategy the best. But based on her familiarity with the mechanics, I proposed a game of Race for the Galaxy.
“Does this have expansions in it?”
“Well, yes…but just the cards. Not the extra little goals. I don’t know if I could even sort out the expansion cards.” (I probably could)
I then proceeded to explain the rules of the basic game, not the more advanced 2-player variant where each player selects 2 phases. She followed along well enough, and by random selection she received Earth’s Lost Colony, while I received Alpha Centauri. Attempting to make thing a little more even to account for my dozens of play against the AI and familiarity with the cards, she received the starting hand for Earth’s Lost Colony, while I received four random cards.
The first round, she chose Settle, and I chose Consume ($). During the Settle phase, she placed the Spice World, and I placed the Rebel Fuel Cache (Military 1, a lucky draw for me). After the Consume ($) phase, I picked up the Galactic Federation (-2 for developments). What luck! With 6 cards in my hand, I could’ve played it the following turn, and then cheaply built developments for the rest of the game to head down the road to an easy victory…and no more games of Race for the Galaxy. So I went a different route, playing Replicant Robots, Terraforming Robots, and a couple of Rare Earth production worlds. My wife, meanwhile, mostly alternated with Consume ($) and Produce, settling more Novelty worlds for free after playing Replicant Robots of her own. Towards the end of the game, she asked me, “OK. Can you explain what these two cards do?” She revealed New Economy (+2 per Consume dev, etc.) and the Free Trade Association, (+2 per Novelty production world, etc.) “Oh, well this one is clearly better.” I could see the end spelled out ahead of me. I didn’t draw any more 6-dev cards, and she won by a final score of 39-31 after I built out to 12 (she also built Galactic Renaissance, for +1 VP for every 3 VP in chips).
Soothing the Fragile Ego
A little later, I explained how I had given up the Galactic Federation, because it would’ve just been unfair and not fun.
“Oh, is this like that time when I beat you at table tennis and you had to let me know that you were playing with your left hand?”
“Um…yeah, I can see the resemblance. Oh, and it really would’ve been better if you had used the Consume x2 power. You could’ve been raking in 10 VP at a time.”
“Oh, so now you’re telling me how you would’ve played the game better than me…the game that I just beat you at?”
Later that evening, after a more romantic mood had been established, I made a certain decent proposition to her. Without looking up from her magazine, she quipped, “Is this just so that you can feel like a man again?”
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- B C ZUnited States
- So... how did the second game of Race for the Galaxy go that evening?
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- Antonia(Muad Dib)Germany
If you really did not played the best way (in your opinion) possible I would be annoyed by that. The game is about winning after all and that would remind me of my grandmother letting me win back when I was a kid. Even with 5 years I realized that playing like that is no fun
By the way: in our relationship it is completely different. I want to play board games and especially to convince him to play Race is always a drag. He is convinced that Roll is the better game, I tend to disagree. (We also do not own it).
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