Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Race for the Galaxy» Forums » General

Subject: Does the multi-player solitaire feel disappear with prowess? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Bill Parker
United States
Bethel
Vermont
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Looking through BGG user comments (plus some threads here), you will see a lot of mention that playing RftG feels like a game of multi-player solitaire. I would like to know if that is still true for the folks here who have logged a lot of plays, particularly against experienced opponents.

It seems like there would be a lot of value in (1) knowing which roles others were likely to choose and (2) avoiding being in a situation where you feel the need to pick a role that helps the leader as much as yourself.

I can understand that there may just be too much else going on to worry about this at first. But I wonder whether an experienced group finds themselves both anticipating and reacting to what other players are doing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Clyne
England
Hazlemere
Bucks
flag msg tools
Empire of the Midnight Beard
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Does the multi-player solitaire feel disappear with prow
Having played a lot of the game I find mysef trying to work out what roles each player will choose, and therefore what role I need to achieve my objectives for the turn. As such I find it a major part of the skill in the game.
Richard
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ralph H. Anderson
United States
Prospect
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Does the multi-player solitaire feel disappear with prow
Leeching is essential. Leeching = using knowledge of what others will play to allow you to use that power while getting to do another thing for yourself that will not help the other.

Some hands lend themselves to this more than others, but it is a thing to look out for at all times.

So although it is "solitaire" what the other players are doing makes a lot of difference.

Another thing to watch for is to hold the key cards they are looking for (especially the 6 point Developments and the large Rebel bases, for example).

I prefer to call these "indirect confrontational games" as opposed to "direct confrontational games". It is more subtle but every bit as vicious.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Does the multi-player solitaire feel disappear with prow
Until you have played a lot of games, it's hard to adapt to what your opponents are doing, just because it's hard enough to figure out what all of your cards are and what they do, without trying to keep track of every card that all of your opponents play, and what they do.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll also point out that this game plays extremely quickly with experienced players, so even a little bit of interaction per turn is a lot of interaction per hour. I do find myself asking frequently "how do I take best advantage of what my opponents are likely to do?"
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wei-Hwa Huang
United States
San Jose
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Does the multi-player solitaire feel disappear with prow
DragonCat wrote:
Leeching is essential. Leeching = using knowledge of what others will play to allow you to use that power while getting to do another thing for yourself that will not help the other.

Some hands lend themselves to this more than others, but it is a thing to look out for at all times.

So although it is "solitaire" what the other players are doing makes a lot of difference.

Another thing to watch for is to hold the key cards they are looking for (especially the 6 point Developments and the large Rebel bases, for example).

I prefer to call these "indirect confrontational games" as opposed to "direct confrontational games". It is more subtle but every bit as vicious.


It's worth pointing out that even further down the learning curve (and especially with the expansions!) leeching becomes even more important, but withholding becomes less so.

Leeching is a special side of the more general question of "Pioneer strategy or Leech strategy?"

A "Pioneer" strategy is one where you tend to go in a direction that no one else is going. It has the advantage that other players can't really take much advantage of your actions (so if you're executing well, you'll be able to distance yourself from the pack), but has the disadvantage that other players probably won't be helping you on the side either. For example, in its most basic form, building a Research Labs on the first turn is a Pioneer strategy. Your Explore bonus (keep one extra card) means that you gain a huge advantage from choosing Explore, and other players tend to not want to choose Explore because they'll often be helping you more than you help them. A common result is that you'll end up choosing Explore every turn, and hoping that you can convert that extra income into points by riding on other player's actions.

A "Leech" strategy is one where you tend not to strike out strongly in any direction, but make sure that no matter what the other people choose, you won't be able to fall behind too much. So, for example, if a Pioneer player plops down Galactic Federation, threatening to play Develop repeatedly, you respond by playing Interstellar Bank so that you can at least get a card each time they do so. (Yes, the Interstellar Bank can also be used to augment the Pioneer player's Development strategy.) The advantage here is that the Pioneer player can't pull away from you quickly because he can't execute without dragging you along some ways as well; but the disadvantage is that you're always going to have a close game and so good endgame timing is essential.

As for withholding key cards, it becomes less useful as players get more experienced, because experienced players tend to adopt more fluid strategies that don't have to commit towards a particular direction -- and having albatrosses in your hand that you can't spend can hurt you more than it does me. Sure, if the deck is about to run out, it might be a good idea to withhold until after the reshuffle, but if I'm, say, putting down a lot of Alien windfall worlds, I'm probably already winning no matter whether you withhold the Alien Tech Institute or not.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ralph H. Anderson
United States
Prospect
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Does the multi-player solitaire feel disappear with prow
Good points and yes - withholding gets more powerful as the game develops. No sense in even worrying about it until players have a number of cards down because of the flexibility. But it is very effective as you near the end of the game. I searched through 46 cards (10 per explore plus other multiple draw options) trying to find either a 6 Development or at least some large point Rebel bases. Of course, they were being held by the other two players who had a large hand size of 10 cards each - so it wasn't hurting them at all. (dang Consume-Producers!)

Believe me, in our games if you don't know how to handle this properly you will get spanked.

And the beauty of the game is that it is so short you can play many games in a short time and so "prowess" increases quickly. Although I don't have much claim to prowess as the other two main players in my group usually beat me blush
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.