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Subject: How many games with beginger preset hands? rss

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Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
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I just got this game and my husband and I are going to be playing it without any mentor to help us.

I understand that for our first game we play with start worlds 1 and 2 and their corresponding preset hands.

I thought we'd play our second game with start worlds/preset hands 3 and 4.

How many games should be try with the preset hands before graduating to the random hand rules?

I thought we might at least each play each preset hand once which is 4 games.

Also, I see a basic strategy for preset hands 2 (brown worlds) and 3 (military) but not for hands 1 and 4. Any quick suggestions for those two?

For preference the preset hands are:

1) Epsilon Eridani
Rebel Fuel Cache
Gem World
Public Works
Colony Ship

2) Alpha Centauri
Rebel Miners
Comet Zone
Expedition Force
Mining Robots

3)New Sparta
Former Penal Colony
Malevolent Lifeforms
New Military Tactics
Export Duties

4) Earth's Lost Colony
Spice World
Avian Uplift Race
Contact Specialist
Space Marines


Thanks

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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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I think we only used the preset hands the first game. After two games you'd definitely be ready.

I think we started the "advanced 2-player" rules (where you get 2 actions each) after 4 or 5 games.
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B C Z
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When my wife and I first got this, we were lucky enough to be stuck on a train with a club car. We planted ourselves at a table and rapid-fire played with the starting hands until we were comfortable we'd exhausted the various intended first/second turn moves at which point we packed it up and went to our 9:00 dinner service. We probably played a dozen or so games in that five hour period (first games were slow, later games got much faster), changing which start world we were using, allowing the loser to keep/change per their desire.

After dinner we played a few random hands without a hitch.

How many times should you play with the presets until you "graduate"? I'd say until you're comfortable reading the cards and understanding the decisions you're making.

As to strategies, look in the forums for "Strategy" articles and then sort by "Hot". The top ten or so articles are very good at what they do (hence all the incoming thumbs).

Beware: Reading those can significantly fast forward your understanding of the game. If you're one of those folks who likes to discover things on your own, use sparingly.
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Joe Thor

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Ultimately it is up to you. I think we played 2-3 times with the preset. Once you start grasping the iconography of the cards is a good way to determine if you are ready to move on beyond the recommended starting hands. Or if you get tired of fishing out the starting cards from the deck, give it a shot.
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Chris Laudermilk
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Answer: Until you feel you're ready for random hands.Really, play the presets until you feel you are comfortable enough to ditch them.

I think my son and I played about 2-3 games, then went to the normal rules.
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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byronczimmer wrote:

As to strategies, look in the forums for "Strategy" articles and then sort by "Hot". The top ten or so articles are very good at what they do (hence all the incoming thumbs).

Beware: Reading those can significantly fast forward your understanding of the game. If you're one of those folks who likes to discover things on your own, use sparingly.


This. My fiancee and I have played ~15 games and are really enjoying discovering strategies through play. We have yet to read a single RFTG strategy article, and are no worse for the wear.
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Marco Schaub
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I think I only used them for my very first play. Honestly, they're not that big of a deal. You can probably only play one or two of those cards anyway because you have to discard cards to play cards. Also, getting them out from the deck after each game is a bit of a nuisance.
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Scott Russell
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As long as you are finding new ways to play them. I could see getting several games out of them, but I had trouble getting our group to even use them once.....
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Jason Bush
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Chris Johnson
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Use them until you're comfortable with the mechanics. Maybe two or three games.

Then, come back to them occasionally...as your skill improves, you find more and better things to do with those hands, they are really quite nice.
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Simon Kamber
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rainbowrose wrote:

Also, I see a basic strategy for preset hands 2 (brown worlds) and 3 (military) but not for hands 1 and 4. Any quick suggestions for those two?

For preference the preset hands are:

1) Epsilon Eridani
Rebel Fuel Cache
Gem World
Public Works
Colony Ship

4) Earth's Lost Colony
Spice World
Avian Uplift Race
Contact Specialist
Space Marines


1 and 4 are more open starting hands. They do not point towards one single strategy, but leave the door open to different approaches.

For instance, the Earths Lost Colony hand usually leads you towards playing Avian Uplift Race and trading it to get the ball rolling, but leaves it up to you whether you want to use Contact Specialist or Space Marines to get there.

With those hands, I would usually explore before deciding which route to go. Maybe a card shows up that fits better with one approach than the other.
 
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John
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4 seems reasonable to me. Don't read strategy articles unless your husband is too or you'll probably end up winning all the time.
 
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Serge Levert
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rainbowrose wrote:
Also, I see a basic strategy for preset hands 2 (brown worlds) and 3 (military) but not for hands 1 and 4. Any quick suggestions for those two?

1) Epsilon Eridani
Rebel Fuel Cache
Gem World
Public Works
Colony Ship

4) Earth's Lost Colony
Spice World
Avian Uplift Race
Contact Specialist
Space Marines

1) get the first 3 cards out, do lots of producing and consuming.

2) several ways to go here, but i'd suggest focusing on Spice World, producing and trading.
 
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Jesse Edelstein
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DanielFirestorm wrote:
0 times.


In my view this depends on the players. If they've all played a lot of role selection games (San Juan, Eminent Domain, many others) then sure, skip the preset hands and make the first game interesting. But for a newbie it can be frustrating to have a difficult hand that does not afford an obvious opening.
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Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
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Thanks everyone.

I've had a chance to play a few times with friends. Still haven't gotten it to the table with my husband. After just a couple of games, I did feel ready for random start hands. Although I still score quite low. When I finally get my husband started, I was thinking of giving him a preset hand and handicapping myself with a random hand.

fnord23 wrote:
Use them until you're comfortable with the mechanics. Maybe two or three games.

Then, come back to them occasionally...as your skill improves, you find more and better things to do with those hands, they are really quite nice.
(I added the bold.)

Sounds like an awesome idea. I think I'll keep a record of my score each time I use a preset hand to see if I can best my own score for each of them. Kind of a measure of how I'm improving.
 
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Simon Kamber
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rainbowrose wrote:


Sounds like an awesome idea. I think I'll keep a record of my score each time I use a preset hand to see if I can best my own score for each of them. Kind of a measure of how I'm improving.


I would be careful with that approach, for two reasons:

- The game length differs. Having a higher score doesn't necessarily mean that you did better. It could also mean that you just had more time.
- The goal of the game is not to have a high score, it is to have the hgihest one. That means that you have to take into account how your play affects he scores of other players, in addition to your own. Sometimes, calling a phase that is slightly less useful to you is a better play, because it is even less useful to your opponent.
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I never used em! Hardcore. To be fair I never use "intro" rules in games, I jump in head first. Then I teach it to my wife simultaneously! Fun.
 
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Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
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79strat wrote:
I never used em! Hardcore. To be fair I never use "intro" rules in games, I jump in head first. Then I teach it to my wife simultaneously! Fun.


When I become a more experienced gamer, then I might go that way but right now I can use all the help I can get to learn the rules.

Although, I did skip the beginner rules for Fantastiqua but it was a struggle to learn that game and I wished I had tried the beginner rules first.
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