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Subject: Concerned about the new edition? Don't be. rss

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Matt F
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After playing Ra on iOS, I became interested in owning the physical game.

But after watching some reviews, and reading some very strongly worded comments on BGG, I was on the fence about getting the Asmodee/WindeRider printing. I was concerned that the aesthetics of this new version would be detrimental to the gameplay, and that I should seek out an old copy instead - which are pricy and hard to come by.

If you're a prospective first-time Ra owner in a similar situation... let me ease your mind.

Buy this new printing. Play it. Have fun. Don't worry for a second about how it compares to older versions. Trust me.

The lack of wooden suns, or a wooden vs. plastic Ra token, or oh-so-slightly less distinguishable monument tiles - or any other "negatives" you might have heard - are not going to make this game less enjoyable for a new player. It's truly beautiful, and the gameplay is, of course, fantastic!

I'm saying all this simply because I don't want gamers to pass up this great game just because of the comments of those who are very, very partial toward their old copies. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

But I was definitely doubting my own purchase of this edition, all the way up until I opened up the box and was immediately impressed - and thrilled to get playing.

So... buy and enjoy, I'm pretty sure you'll be glad you did!
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Sam Hillier
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I agree. I have the new edition and am very happy with it. The components are beautiful, and I have no problem distinguishing the pieces.
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Mark Nicosia
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It doesn't bother me that they took away the nice chunky wooden bits... only that they're charging like they were still in there.

I agree it's a great game, worth playing any version.. but for this one I'd recommend waiting for a sale.
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Matt F
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zenpunk wrote:
It doesn't bother me that they took away the nice chunky wooden bits... only that they're charging like they were still in there.

I agree it's a great game, worth playing any version.. but for this one I'd recommend waiting for a sale.


I certainly won't argue against your point that this is pricy game - it is.

But, I suspect that for some, just being able to play a previously out-of-print classic like this is worth the price of entry. And I would say it definitely looks more expensive than older versions when it's out on the table, besides the lack of wood.

(Personally, I was spending store credit I received from selling Magic cards I never would have used, so... it kind of put me in a spendy mood! I might have waited, too, if this hadn't been the case.)



 
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Matthew Cortnik
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I agree. I have the old RGG version, which I like, but the art was a bit cartoony for my liking, and the tablets were lousy. I was weary to buy the new version, and I did when it went down from $60 to $50. I have to say that the quality is very good, the plastic Ra token is very nice and has a good weight and feel to it, the suns are a good size, the art is realistic and beautiful, and the player aids are a nice addition. I would say if you can get it for $50 or less, it's a no brainer. It's one thing to look at pictures to make a decision, and it's another to physically see and play a game to make a decision. I can vouch for the components.

(Now I may be a little biased since this is my favorite game, and one that I think may be one of the best if not the best designed games ever!)
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Gláucio Reis
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I have recently had the opportunity to play this version and must disagree. I have no attachment to any previous edition and actually like the plastic Ra figure, but the confusing artwork on some of the tiles bothered me quite a bit.
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Matt F
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GSReis wrote:
I have recently had the opportunity to play this version and must disagree. I have no attachment to any previous edition and actually like the plastic Ra figure, but the confusing artwork on some of the tiles bothered me quite a bit.


Can you elaborate on which tiles you found "confusing"?

I'll admit, when first playing the game on iPad, I found ALL the tiles to be confusing. After maybe 5 or 6 plays, I finally figured out how they all scored without having to look them up.

Looking at this edition, I don't see how any tiles are more or less "confusing," if you're familiar with the rules from other editions. Unless you mean that some are now too similar looking, making them confusing to tell apart? Which, I could see as a valid criticism some might have, but personally I don't find it to be a problem.
 
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Gláucio Reis
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mofo83 wrote:
Unless you mean that some are now too similar looking, making them confusing to tell apart?

Yes, that's what I mean.
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David B
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hellohooray wrote:
I agree. I have the old RGG version, which I like, but the art was a bit cartoony for my liking, and the tablets were lousy. I was weary to buy the new version, and I did when it went down from $60 to $50. I have to say that the quality is very good, the plastic Ra token is very nice and has a good weight and feel to it, the suns are a good size, the art is realistic and beautiful, and the player aids are a nice addition. I would say if you can get it for $50 or less, it's a no brainer. It's one thing to look at pictures to make a decision, and it's another to physically see and play a game to make a decision. I can vouch for the components.

(Now I may be a little biased since this is my favorite game, and one that I think may be one of the best if not the best designed games ever!)


No need to "think" this is the best designed game of all time. Rest assured that it is legitimate to KNOW it is the best designed game of all time.
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Me nah play no 'ide and seek
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What's got two identical thumbs and is happy to have gotten the Uberplay version for like $8 when Uberplay was clearing out their warehouse through Tanga?

thumbsup This guy thumbsup
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Bojan Brankov
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mofo83 wrote:

The lack of wooden suns, or a wooden vs. plastic Ra token, or oh-so-slightly less distinguishable monument tiles - or any other "negatives" you might have heard - are not going to make this game less enjoyable for a new player.


Haha, you just made me feel glad I skipped the new version and bought 1999 alea version. Also, it wasn't pricey at all. I payed around 25 EUR at Essen Spiel.
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Eddy Sterckx
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dukelander wrote:
mofo83 wrote:

The lack of wooden suns, or a wooden vs. plastic Ra token, or oh-so-slightly less distinguishable monument tiles - or any other "negatives" you might have heard - are not going to make this game less enjoyable for a new player.


Haha, you just made me feel glad I skipped the new version and bought 1999 alea version. Also, it wasn't pricey at all. I payed around 25 EUR at Essen Spiel.


Still looking for someone to tell me why I should pay double the price for a version without all the good-looking wooden bits. I get more convincing arguments from Nigerian princes in my mailbox.
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Matt F
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
dukelander wrote:
mofo83 wrote:

The lack of wooden suns, or a wooden vs. plastic Ra token, or oh-so-slightly less distinguishable monument tiles - or any other "negatives" you might have heard - are not going to make this game less enjoyable for a new player.


Haha, you just made me feel glad I skipped the new version and bought 1999 alea version. Also, it wasn't pricey at all. I payed around 25 EUR at Essen Spiel.


Still looking for someone to tell me why I should pay double the price for a version without all the good-looking wooden bits. I get more convincing arguments from Nigerian princes in my mailbox.


I think you're both missing my point... I'm not saying the new version is BETTER, or a better value (or even a good value).

I'm saying if someone wants to own this game, and the only version they can find is the new one, don't hesitate to buy it. It's much more fun to play this game without wooden bits than to not play it at all. And this edition is undoubtedly beautiful, too.

Also, not everybody can just stroll down to Essen to pick up a copy of an older version. In the U.S., eBay is pretty much the only convenient option, and copies priced at less than $50 or $60 come up on there pretty infrequently.
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Adam P
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Isn't the board larger, too? I was wondering if it took up a lot of room on small tables.
 
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Matt F
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adamredwoods wrote:
Isn't the board larger, too? I was wondering if it took up a lot of room on small tables.


Judging by Zee Garcia's comparison video the board does look slightly larger, but not by much at all: https://youtu.be/yvNSOTQCE20?t=2m58s

It's not a large board compared to most games, in general.

The box, however, seems to be much bigger, which of course isn't ideal for storage. But, the tiles are also bigger and thicker (and there are SO many), so the box would have to be a little bigger, I would think.

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David B
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mofo83 wrote:
adamredwoods wrote:
Isn't the board larger, too? I was wondering if it took up a lot of room on small tables.


Judging by Zee Garcia's comparison video the board does look slightly larger, but not by much at all: https://youtu.be/yvNSOTQCE20?t=2m58s

It's not a large board compared to most games, in general.

The box, however, seems to be much bigger, which of course isn't ideal for storage. But, the tiles are also bigger and thicker (and there are SO many), so the box would have to be a little bigger, I would think.



Yeah, I think the thicker stock used for the tiles and the fact that the tiles are larger is what drives the price up. Plus, I've heard the box is one of the biggest portions of production cost. Wooden bits don't have as much a share of the cost/price as you would think. So, given that the box is larger, the tiles are thicker AND larger, 50 to 60 retail is not surprising. But my question is: why did we need such a large and extravagant box for a 30 minute game? Ra is a simple and quick (and nearly flawless, mind you) game. It does not need to be presented like a new Rosenberg gigantic box table hog game. I think it was entirely possible to have an upgrade, but keep the box a reasonable size.
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Matt F
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pfctsqr wrote:
mofo83 wrote:
adamredwoods wrote:
Isn't the board larger, too? I was wondering if it took up a lot of room on small tables.


Judging by Zee Garcia's comparison video the board does look slightly larger, but not by much at all: https://youtu.be/yvNSOTQCE20?t=2m58s

It's not a large board compared to most games, in general.

The box, however, seems to be much bigger, which of course isn't ideal for storage. But, the tiles are also bigger and thicker (and there are SO many), so the box would have to be a little bigger, I would think.



... But my question is: why did we need such a large and extravagant box for a 30 minute game? Ra is a simple and quick (and nearly flawless, mind you) game. It does not need to be presented like a new Rosenberg gigantic box table hog game. I think it was entirely possible to have an upgrade, but keep the box a reasonable size.


I'm sure it's the same as with many, many other games - a bigger box means they can charge more. Take Splendor, for example; that's another quick game that could fit in a box 1/4 the size. And there are countless other instances.

Silly? Yes. Wasteful? Yes. But if the economics of it work in the game company's favor, they'll keep doing it.
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Zeb
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I wish the bag was bigger. It's too small to mix up all the tiles.
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Jonathan Schindler
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In this case, I think the bigger box is to match the "Euro Classics" line. And the three together (Samurai, Tigris & Euphrates, and Ra) do look great. I agree; I'd prefer a smaller box for storage, but this is a game I'm willing to cede greater shelf space for.
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Matt F
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Stinkfoot71 wrote:
I wish the bag was bigger. It's too small to mix up all the tiles.


Agreed! I pour them into the box top, mix them up a bit, then pour them back into the bag.
 
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Matt F
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Goatcabin wrote:
In this case, I think the bigger box is to match the "Euro Classics" line. And the three together (Samurai, Tigris & Euphrates, and Ra) do look great. I agree; I'd prefer a smaller box for storage, but this is a game I'm willing to cede greater shelf space for.


Ah, you are probably right. I did see that "Euro Classics" logo on there, but didn't think much of it.

And it's definitely not outrageously large, by any means. There's a lot of stuff in there. I've dealt with games that have similar size boxes but WAY less components!
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Adam P
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Still, quite expensive for what it is. I'll wait for the price to fall.
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Stinkfoot71 wrote:
I wish the bag was bigger. It's too small to mix up all the tiles.
For the Uberplay version, somebody poured the tiles into a mixing bowl with that cooking wooden oar to shuffle them
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Matt F
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mofo83 wrote:
eddy_sterckx wrote:
dukelander wrote:
mofo83 wrote:

The lack of wooden suns, or a wooden vs. plastic Ra token, or oh-so-slightly less distinguishable monument tiles - or any other "negatives" you might have heard - are not going to make this game less enjoyable for a new player.


Haha, you just made me feel glad I skipped the new version and bought 1999 alea version. Also, it wasn't pricey at all. I payed around 25 EUR at Essen Spiel.


Still looking for someone to tell me why I should pay double the price for a version without all the good-looking wooden bits. I get more convincing arguments from Nigerian princes in my mailbox.


I think you're both missing my point... I'm not saying the new version is BETTER, or a better value (or even a good value).

I'm saying if someone wants to own this game, and the only version they can find is the new one, don't hesitate to buy it. It's much more fun to play this game without wooden bits than to not play it at all. And this edition is undoubtedly beautiful, too.

Also, not everybody can just stroll down to Essen to pick up a copy of an older version. In the U.S., eBay is pretty much the only convenient option, and copies priced at less than $50 or $60 come up on there pretty infrequently.


Now that I've played this more... I'm actually going to double down on my assessment and say that the new version IS, in fact, much better looking than the old version!

This is a really beautiful game. And the tiles are not difficult to distinguish, IMHO.

I think PART (not all) of the problem is that many people are so used to the old tiles, that the new ones - simply by virtue of being different - seem harder to distinguish. With time, I wonder if it would still present difficulty.

Also... at the risk of being berated... honestly, the sun tiles don't need to be wood. I prefer these much, much nicer looking (and pretty high-quality) cardboard pieces to the cheapo looking design of the old wood sun pieces. And the new Ra statue is just fine; I really can't fathom how a wood block makes the game more enjoyable than a (pretty high quality) plastic statue.

The board is undoubtedly nicer looking and better quality, the art of the tiles is less silly/cartoony, the victory point tablets are both nicer looking AND easier to understand, the bag looks nicer, the player aides are very helpful and easy to understand... it's a very nice package.

Again, if you want to play Ra, and don't want to track down an old, out-of-print copy, my opinion is that you shouldn't hesitate to buy this version, if you feel it's worth the money to you.

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Matt F
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mofo83 wrote:
mofo83 wrote:
eddy_sterckx wrote:
dukelander wrote:
mofo83 wrote:

The lack of wooden suns, or a wooden vs. plastic Ra token, or oh-so-slightly less distinguishable monument tiles - or any other "negatives" you might have heard - are not going to make this game less enjoyable for a new player.


Haha, you just made me feel glad I skipped the new version and bought 1999 alea version. Also, it wasn't pricey at all. I payed around 25 EUR at Essen Spiel.


Still looking for someone to tell me why I should pay double the price for a version without all the good-looking wooden bits. I get more convincing arguments from Nigerian princes in my mailbox.


I think you're both missing my point... I'm not saying the new version is BETTER, or a better value (or even a good value).

I'm saying if someone wants to own this game, and the only version they can find is the new one, don't hesitate to buy it. It's much more fun to play this game without wooden bits than to not play it at all. And this edition is undoubtedly beautiful, too.

Also, not everybody can just stroll down to Essen to pick up a copy of an older version. In the U.S., eBay is pretty much the only convenient option, and copies priced at less than $50 or $60 come up on there pretty infrequently.


Now that I've played this more... I'm actually going to double down on my assessment and say that the new version IS, in fact, much better looking than the old version!

This is a really beautiful game. And the tiles are not difficult to distinguish, IMHO.

I think PART (not all) of the problem is that many people are so used to the old tiles, that the new ones - simply by virtue of being different - seem harder to distinguish. With time, I wonder if it would still present difficulty.

Also... at the risk of being berated... honestly, the sun tiles don't need to be wood. I prefer these much, much nicer looking (and pretty high-quality) cardboard pieces to the cheapo looking design of the old wood sun pieces. And the new Ra statue is just fine; I really can't fathom how a wood block makes the game more enjoyable than a (pretty high quality) plastic statue.

The board is undoubtedly nicer looking and better quality, the art of the tiles is less silly/cartoony, the victory point tablets are both nicer looking AND easier to understand, the bag looks nicer, the player aides are very helpful and easy to understand... it's a very nice package.

Again, if you want to play Ra, and don't want to track down an old, out-of-print copy, my opinion is that you shouldn't hesitate to buy this version, if you feel it's worth the money to you.



Okay, I need to soften my stance slightly; I'll admit that after a few more plays, there are TWO types of the Monument tiles that do look too similar, and it is not difficult to get them confused.

...BUT... I would still never advise someone against buying this version because of it. It's a smallish nuisance.

It is certainly easy to fix, too - just make a tiny "dot" with sharpie on each of one type of the difficult-to-distinguish Monument tiles, and voila, they're easily distinguished! (OF COURSE, one should not have to do this in the first place, and I'm making no excuses for this oversight - especially with a game at this price point - but I'm just saying...)

Again, the important thing is - if you want to own RA, buy whichever copy you can find and PLAY! It's a GREAT GAME.
 
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