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Race for the Galaxy: Retrofit Cards» Forums » General

Subject: Tweaks, rebalances and design rss

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Robledo Gonzalez
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Good evening

At this post: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/528817/secret-history-r...

Tom explained the design behind Brink of War, he quoted...

"This expansion was the first designed after the publication of the base game. The two previous expansions, The Gathering Storm and Rebel vs. Imperium, were designed a year after the base game and first expansion, respectively, before the base game was published. This had allowed us to go back and tweak the base set slightly, before publication, knowing what was to come."

So, the base game was designed considering GS and RvI, but not BoW.

Then Kester asked:

"You've mentioned before that designing the first two expansions before release of the base set let you tweak some base set cards in preparation for the expansions. If you had the chance, is there anything you'd've done to the base set given what you know from designing Brink of War? Are there any cards which would gain a prestige?"

Which Tom replied:

"Possibly. I went through the base set and first two expansions at one point and noted a dozen or so cards -- 8 from the base set -- that have gotten over-shadowed by later cards. One of my goals for the next arc is to make sure these cards get some synergies to help them stand out more."

Which I ask:

12 cards, 8 from the base set, these 5 are "tweaks" intended to rebalance the game?

Now 12-5 = 7

Can we expect more tweaks? Which cards are these?

I'm very interested in these design question. It has an incredible beautifull aestethics!

Thanks in advance
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Tom Lehmann
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I did review my old 8+4 card list when I looked at 2nd Edition Race. A few base set cards were a bit weak in the first arc, but are now fine in the both the base set and other arcs. Therefore, they didn't get changed.

A good example would be Expanding Colony.

In just the base set, this card earns its place, in part due to the two Novelty windfall worlds with "this world" powers (Star Nomad Lair and Pirate World), the general lack of military consumption, and Galactic Resort.

It's ok in the Gathering Storm due to Galactic Bazaar and another "this world" power (on Rebel Sympathizers) but suffers in RvI (as all of its Novelty windfall worlds are cheap). In BoW, it gets one great synergy (Alien Tourist Attraction), but this is a bit undercut by the pay-for-windfall power on Universal Exports.

However, in both AA and XI, A) there are more Novelty windfall worlds and B) more of these worlds are "important" worlds strategically. This makes Expanding Colony viable in those arcs (while being just "ok" and very specialized when playing all of arc 1). Given this, I didn't revise it in 2nd Edition.

The changes that I still thought were most needed or which increased the "strategy space" a bit (Merchant Guild), I did make.

In some cases, the changes I did make also helped weak cards in the first two expansions, so that I no longer felt they needed adjustments.

For example, the cheaper Black Market Trading World makes placing it in military strategies a lot more viable. This makes the quick tableau strategies easier to do which, in turn, makes cheap military windfall worlds more desirable. Similarly, the revised Merchant Guild makes the windfall production powers and cheap production worlds slightly better.

Every change affects other cards and relative card balance...

No card changes affecting play are planned for the 2nd Edition first arc expansions.
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Robledo Gonzalez
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Thanks Tom,

Clarified everything.

I hope you continue being such a prolific game designer and that the RftG family keep going amazing us, with new stuff.

I'll take a more deep look at the cards mentioned in front of me as I like doing it. Good insights from your reply. Try to think new strategies...

The 8 + 4 cards, I think we saw you commenting 7 of then

The Retrofit

1-Bio-Hazard Mining World
2-Merchant Guild (most important tweak)
3-Imperium Armaments World
4-Black Market Trading World (helps military)
5-Outlaw World

6-Terraformed World (was placed at 3 points in Terraforming Unlimited)
7-Expandind Colony (explained in detail in this thread)

The next 5, who knows...

Thanks in advance
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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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So it sounds like the retrofit cards are only really needed if we play with Arc 1? Since Arc 1 makes the originals a little underpowered?

I have Arc 2 and Arc 3 (since those are more for beginner players) and have not bought Arc 1.

Would there be any reason to get these retrofit cards now, or just wait until I start buying Arc 1?
 
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Tom Lehmann
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
So it sounds like the retrofit cards are only really needed if we play with Arc 1?
Incorrect. As I stated above, I *did not change* the cards that were underpowered only in the full arc 1 (BoW) environment. This is why only 5 cards changed (from my original longer list of potential changes).

The ones I *did change* -- the retrofit cards --- were the ones that I felt needed adjustment considering the base game and *all the expansion arcs*.
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
JohnnyDollar wrote:
So it sounds like the retrofit cards are only really needed if we play with Arc 1?
Incorrect. As I stated above, I *did not change* the cards that were underpowered only in the full arc 1 (BoW) environment. This is why only 5 cards changed (from my original longer list of potential changes).

The ones I *did change* -- the retrofit cards --- were the ones that I felt needed adjustment considering the base game and *all the expansion arcs*.
OK thanks, I guess I was confused by this part in bold:

Quote:
Then Kester asked:

"You've mentioned before that designing the first two expansions before release of the base set let you tweak some base set cards in preparation for the expansions. If you had the chance, is there anything you'd've done to the base set given what you know from designing Brink of War? Are there any cards which would gain a prestige?"

Which Tom replied:

"Possibly. I went through the base set and first two expansions at one point and noted a dozen or so cards -- 8 from the base set -- that have gotten over-shadowed by later cards. One of my goals for the next arc is to make sure these cards get some synergies to help them stand out more."
Thanks for making these and the new start worlds available on the Geek store, I will be buying one of each cool
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Tom Lehmann
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
I guess I was confused by this part [...]
I understand. Those quotes are ~8 years old and presented without much context by the OP.
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Robledo Gonzalez
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I think I mentioned that Terraforming World was a card cited with potential change, but received 3 points in a card from expansion Alien Artifacts!

I agree that the way I posted it, it’s somewhat out of context, but I correctly imagined that Tom or every person who read the older threads would have all the references needed to reply!

Sorry to conduct to a misinterpretation! 😔 It was never my intention!

I never imagined that the supposed 12 cards mentioned was to be changed in a way that prioritize the arc 1 only! I see Race telling a continuing story...

I imagine that if Tom had stopped in the arc 1 than more changes would have been made...

I like and own all the Race family, as matter of fact, I really like the first arc most. To me I would prefer a Race more balanced considering just this arc, but never thought that it would be made having two more arcs!

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Robledo Gonzalez
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Just to add...😂

If Tom decides to make the 12 cards or more, or even include other cards focusing on a fresher rebalance just to make his ideal arc 1, not to consider arc 2 and 3.

I would buy it instantly, and would never bother to revert to “older” cards when playing other arcs!
 
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Robledo Gonzalez
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
So it sounds like the retrofit cards are only really needed if we play with Arc 1? Since Arc 1 makes the originals a little underpowered?

I have Arc 2 and Arc 3 (since those are more for beginner players) and have not bought Arc 1.

Would there be any reason to get these retrofit cards now, or just wait until I start buying Arc 1?
Johnny, look at this thread:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1078234/alien-artifacts...

This thread above is when Alien Artifact was released

Grautur asked:

”Did you ever consider doing a full reboot”

Tom repplied:

”We decided not to do this.

For price-conscious customers, it takes all of 2 minutes to swap cards between expansions (we've timed it). Why make them buy a new base game?

We'd have to put a fair number of "virtual" duplicates of cards from the old base game in a new base game (just to make the game work), particularly given the need to keep things simple for beginners. Why force people to re-buy a bunch of re-titled cards that do the same things as existing cards?

Since we're keeping the first arc in print, this would create unnecessary confusion in the customer's minds (can I use this base set with that expansion?). Why create this confusion?

This is one of those ideas that might seem reasonable at first blush, but gets worse the longer you stare at it.”


I think these tweaks are just a midpoint between the arcs, not a kind of optimised specific arc!

So, I would say more...

If Tom decides to make cards tweaks or new cards for make his ideal each arc, I would indeed buy them all!

But this is not the philosophy, it has to be cost effective
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