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Subject: 3 Quick Games rss

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B C Z
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I played three quick two player games with my wife this evening, and she pulled a win on the third game, which is always nice because I tend to have a 25-40% margin in VPs over her.

We played with a variant that says:
Start with 8 cards, pay for 1 world with other cards in your hand (military defense as the cost if that's what you play) and keep the rest as your starting hand. +1 for green windfalls and +2 for yellow windfalls.

Well, wouldn't you know, I got dealt an alien (yellow), cost 5 windfalls and no ther start worlds for the first game. Forced to play it I discared my other seven cards and looked ahead. I chose IV/$ (Consume/Trade) and V (Production) as my first two action, since I had no hand to speak of. The second round, armed with choices, I did another IV/$ and V which would take me to 10 cards in hand if she didn't play II (Develop) or III (Settle), and I'd have to discard if she chose I (Explore). She played Develop, and I was able to drop Replicant Robots, again emptying my hand. The trade yielded a few mid cost worlds, but I neede cards, so I continued with the IV/$ & V plan.

The game ended brutally fast and we tore through the deck fairly quickly, a bit of an oddity for the two of us.

-=-

The second game saw me with four producers of three different colors, Diversified Economy and Galactic Trendsetters out as my first six cards. Two rounds of IV/x2 & V netted 10 VP per round and cards in hand to leech off of II/III actions. Probably the fastest two player we've had since purchasing the game.

-=-

The final game was fairly close until the last turn, when my wife played III/III to my I/+1+1 and IV/x2. I knew the game would end, but didn't have the cards to pay for anything. I was hoping she'd play II so I could drop one of the many diamonds in my hand -- but no such luck.

Her final two planets were the 7/7 and 6/6 Rebel planets, which she played for 4 and 3 cards due to Contact Specialist and Replicant Robots. She'd also managed to get Pan Galactic League out early, which cinched the victory for her firmly. It was an incredible end game play and netted her 15 points with 2 cards... PLUS she got to mooch off of my IV/x2 action for a few extra VP chips. We both were laughing about how incredible that move was as we packed up the game for bed.

....
Some notes:
3 games and not once did either of us go for a military strategy...

Diversified economy is incredibly powerful in a two player game. With IV/x2 & V, it nets 6 VP and 3+ cards per turn. Everything else would be gravy in that situation and the opponent doesn't have long for those 24 VPs to run dry.

An early alien windfall in this 'draw 8, pay for homeworld' variant is incredibly powerful as a card generator... and the extra cost at the beginning of the game only helps to mitigate it. On the other hand, the cycle chosen by a player with an alien good homeworld, especially in a two player game, are extremely predictable, so the opponent could plan accordingly.
Note: We were happy with the 'extra' cost of yellow/green worlds as a start world in this Draw8 variant, but probably need to revise it so that a windfall of any kind is worth an additional +1 card (beyond being green or yellow)

Finally: the two player game is a very different beast from the 3-4 player interaction, now that I've had ample opportunity to play both. These three games of Race were absolutely brutal in terms of tempo and cards selected on both sides of the game.
 
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Roland Wood
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byronczimmer wrote:
We played with a variant that says:
Start with 8 cards, pay for 1 world with other cards in your hand (military defense as the cost if that's what you play) and keep the rest as your starting hand. +1 for green windfalls and +2 for yellow windfalls.


Could you clarify this a bit please? Are you saying this is how you came up with your starting world? And the +1 and +2 were cards you had to pay above the cost printed on the card? Thanks. Sounds interesting.
 
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B C Z
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Roliander wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
We played with a variant that says:
Start with 8 cards, pay for 1 world with other cards in your hand (military defense as the cost if that's what you play) and keep the rest as your starting hand. +1 for green windfalls and +2 for yellow windfalls.


Could you clarify this a bit please? Are you saying this is how you came up with your starting world? And the +1 and +2 were cards you had to pay above the cost printed on the card? Thanks. Sounds interesting.


Start with NO homeworld and deal 8 cards to each player.
From the worlds dealt to you, select one and pay for it.
Cost is it's Settle Cost or Military Defense +1 if it's a green windfall or +2 if it's a yellow windfall.
The remaining cards (however many there are) form your starting hand.

So, for example, the Alien Windfall (5/3vp) I got as my ONLY world in the first game cost me 5+2=7 (or my entire hand) whereas my wife put down New Earth (5/3 Rare Earth producer) which cost her 5, leaving her 2 cards in hand.

Playing the 'normal' start worlds means you actually start with a few extra cards in hand (most of them cost 2).

Mostly we were being lazy and not wanting to fish the start worlds out, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and let us play around with other start worlds.

 
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Jim Krohn
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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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My family has been playing this game a lot so we have been playing with that variant to increase the already high replayability. It's a lot of fun and I recommend it.
 
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