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Roll for the Galaxy» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Explore: Scout rss

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After a few dozen plays, it seems to me that the biggest source of randomness is the tile draw. In Race, the high card churn allows for more targeted/narrow strategies. In Roll, I feel like I often only see a handful of tiles from the bag per game, but spending a round or two just to pull a small number of tiles (even with abandons) from the bag seems like too much of a tempo hit. Usually I just pull a couple tiles and hope for the best, instead of the more flexible Explore+5 or high-value trades in Race. How much/often do you scout? Maybe I’m just not being flexible enough?
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Ryan Keane
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The main difference I find with Race is that because you are not using the tiles as money, you’re simply not going to see anywhere as many tiles as you do cards in Race.

So yes, for me Roll is much more do the best with what you draw rather than searching the deck, which is one of the reasons I prefer Roll. Race gives a bigger advantage to those that know the whole deck well and what optimal synergies exist to hunt for.

To see the most tiles, you need to build up a large stack of tiles, and then basically discard all of them each time you scout in the future. But having a bunch of unbuilt tiles at the end is not efficient. Obviously if I’m focusing dev and/or settle then I’ll scout a lot more than if I’m focusing on produce/ship. But even with dev/settle strategy, I’m probably not going to scout more than the 7 times I need to end the game.

The double-sidedness of the tiles does help you see twice as many as you would.
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john newman
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I have not played Race so I don't know how they compare. Nor do I claim to be an expert at Roll, but my strategy is to concentrate my scout on one turn near the beginning of the game. Getting several scouts in one turn allows you greater opportunity to find something that may synergize with what you already have. Scout early, because that establishes the engine you are working towards. If I were to scout again, I could concentrate several cubes on that action to increase my odds of drawing something useful. I don't scout often, but when I do, I go big.

So, I agree with Ryan in that I wouldn't use too many resources to scout, but I attempt to get combinations whereas Ryan is willing to work with what he gets. Interested in what others think.
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Tom Lehmann
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Do you "satisfice" (find something that works) or try to optimize (find the best path)? That's the question that Scout often poses to players in Roll.

A not uncommon situation is to start with ~7 dice, leech a bit of exploring -- building up your tiles to ~6 in your construction stacks -- while getting your economy up and running by placing a world that grants, say, a genes good and then selling it for $ to get all your dice into play.

Rolling 8 dice, 4-5 of them Home dice, is likely to produce ~3 Explore or wild faces. Choose Explore, dictate for another Explore, and you can Scout 5 times, turning in something like 4, 5, 5, 6, 6 tiles to see 30 double-sided tiles, ending with 10 tiles in your construction stacks. That's comparable or better than the ~40 cards you'll see in a typical Race game.

But, if you're cautious about what you abandon, don't leech for as many tiles to begin with, and settle too easily for tiles that are good, but not great, then this same Explore might see you turning in something like 2, 2, 3, 3, 3 tiles, seeing only 17 tiles, and having the last tiles you do find buried below others that might not be as good. Now, you're seeing fewer tiles, even factoring in their 2-sided nature, than cards in a typical Race game.

Learning how to set up a huge Scout turn and then being ruthless in abandoning tiles that are good but not great is an important skill in Roll.
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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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I'll agree with what Tom said by observing that I not uncommonly see experts look at an amazing number of tiles in one Explore phase and go on to win.
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