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Roll for the Galaxy» Forums » General

Subject: San Juan vs Roll rss

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walloftruth
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Adrian
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I've played San Juan before, but it's kind of on the lighter side. How does Roll compare to SJ for people who've played them?
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Stephen Sanders
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Henderson
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Ooh, tough call. If I count the expansion cards in San Juan with Ambition exp. for RftG, virtually equal. I would play either one if offered both - maybe a slight edge to San Juan for the decisions with the card play.
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ackmondual
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SJ doesn't have as much going for it. The 1st edition expansion (New buildings and event cards), breathes new life into, but still pretty simplified.

If I were to get into them these days, I'd rather save the money from 2nd edition SJ and use that money towards Roll with Ambition exp.

It's possible rftG is "as shallow", but I've only played that about 5 times. Not enough to really have things figured out.
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Sebastian
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Hürth
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They really don't compare.

Race is SJs complexer brother.
Roll takes elements from Race and adds totally new mechanics with the dice and Stack management.

So Roll is a mere distant related to SJ in my opinion.
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Walt
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Roll.

The problem SJ has, in my opinion, is that only two basic strategies exist: production buildings and purple buildings. You have to choose one at the start of the game, or you weaken yourself by splitting your efforts.

And, you can't stand to hold onto the bonus card for that choice during the game--the hand limit is too small.

So, you make your choice at the beginning, so plays are obvious from then on. At the end, you might get a second meaningful decision about which bonus building to build, but that's it: two moments of thought in the whole game.

I don't recall if I've played the expansion. Obviously, I don't play SJ much.
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ackmondual
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Tall_Walt wrote:
I don't recall if I've played the expansion. Obviously, I don't play SJ much.
For Roll or SJ?

For the former, there's the orange and black dice. Another thing that stands out or "roughly double" the homeworlds + faction tiles

For the latter, 1st edition, separate expansion has event cards (they have no cost, so they stand out). For both 1st or 2nd editions, new buildings like Harbor, Bank, Cathedral (this "card" is actually a tile), Goldsmith, Customs Office, and Guard Room.
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Walt
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I meant SJ, but I don't think I've played the Roll expansion either.
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Adam Blanchard
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I prefer Roll, but I like San Juan as well. They are similar in their action selection mechanism and engine building aspects. The main difference is that Roll is based around the dice assignment mechanism, which I think is a really interesting brain puzzle. The abilities of many of the developments that you build in Roll are based around working with this dice assignment task. This has been criticized by Race fans before, as it's often argued that the card abilities in Race are more varied and interesting. I would say that while San Juan is a less complex game than Race, this argument might apply a bit with San Juan as well, as I feel the variety of building abilities does make it interesting. I do not really agree with the person who said that strategies in San Juan are limited and you basically pick one at the beginning and then make obvious choices from there. I feel like in San Juan there is room for a main strategy and several smaller strategies, depending on what small strategy buildings you pull early in the game. The buildings that let you stuff cards under them, the score multipliers for building with certain trends, like all of the monuments or matching costs. Roll has this type of thing with the 6+ cost cards, but they're kinda more difficult to pull off. Roll's development abilities are more focused around dice management, shipping bonuses and your money making engine. I do feel like that's kinda less interesting and I would count that against the game, if not for the fact that I enjoy the dice management aspect of the game so much. It's a different game. I think the strategies are more limited and more focused, but this game makes that work. It's more of a brain burning puzzle and rewards your ability to work it in an optimized way by predicting what your opponents are going to do and piggybacking or blocking. It's a super interesting strategic game in a way that San Juan isn't.
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