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Race for the Galaxy» Forums » General

Subject: 12 Card Tableu Limit - Game Length? rss

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I've played about 10 games so far with my gf and we both feel that the 12 card limit is pretty short and sudden. It might be that we're new or how we're playing, but it seems that games end just as they are getting good. Do any of you feel the same way or have you even home-ruled a higher limit?
 
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Ron K
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'80' maxlength='250'> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="15%" align="right"><b>Avatar OverText</b></td> <td width="85%"> <input type="text" name="overtext[avatar]" value="Train Game anyone?
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I have a two fold answer to you query,

1. As I understand it, playing longer just ends up widening the gap between 1st and the rest, so there is no real point.

2. It's a short game, so play best 3 out of 5 or 4 out of 7.
 
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Guy Srinivasan
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Tom (the designer) described his reasoning behind the limit. After lots of playtesting whoever people thought was ahead when a tableau reached 12 cards almost always turned out to be the winner in a longer game. Cutting the game off there makes it shorter and avoids the "well now we have to play 6 more turns even though everyone knows Professor Space won..."

If your goal in playing RftG is to see your awesome galaxy-spanning card bonus powers civilization in action getting you 17 cards a turn, you will be disappointed. That's not the design goal. Just as you shouldn't play Settlers hoping for the day that you cover the map in cities and get 10 resources on every roll, you shouldn't play RftG hoping for the day that you Consume x2 for 20 points.

No really, I mean shouldn't there. It's not designed for that. Maybe you prefer a game where you should hope for that type of thing, but RftG is not that game. If you can change your anticipation away from watching your built empire flourish, you will enjoy RftG more. Saying "just as they are 'getting good'" means you have the wrong anticipation about what "good" is for RftG. That's where the disconnect is coming from.
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Henry Allen
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My wife and I sometimes play with the game end trigger at 20 cards. It is amusing and works ok but after a few tries I prefer the standard 12.

Playing to 20 is still fun (and does let you sometimes do bigger consumes). However, I'm not sure that the cards are as well balanced for this. Many cards seem better when you can play to 20 but some are ... more better . Also, whenever we play one of these games I don't enjoy it any more than a game to 12.
 
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I'll just try to be more patient or play more games.
 
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Greg Jones
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12 is good. I have a friend who always thinks like you, that the game should be longer, bigger, more. Play it that way if that's what you like, but many games get unbalanced if you play them ways they weren't designed for like that.

I played once in RftG to 20 buildings, and using all 48 VP chips for only two players. I scored 95. I had the military strength 6-cost development and the rebel 6-cost development. By the end I was consuming using Galactic Trendsetters and several others. I think my Consume/2xVPs total was 10 per turn. I also had Galactic Renaissance, which rewards your VP chip stash and has a bonus for Galactic Trendsetters.

Strategy spoiler:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

Before I tried it, I thought the problem would be that at a point in RftG, you switch from a building strategy to a consuming strategy. Once you have enough produce and consume buildings, they provide more points that way than you could build per turn. Once all players switch over, you're never going to get to 20 buildings. In some games you never get to 12. You just run out of VP chips. That's how my 20-building game ended, although we did build up to 16 and 17 buildings by that time. I think we wouldn't have gotten that far, but I was going military so I wanted to build a lot.

You are probably new players, and haven't discovered the superiority of consumption strategies.

The major importance of the 12 building limit is to give building strategies (particularly military) some chance vs. consumption strategies. If you can use up the whole pile of VP chips, the person who gets a significant majority of them will probably win. The building strategy player needs the game to end quickly before the consumption strategy player can earn a lot.
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Cameron McKenzie
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That's absolutely correct.
Production strategies have a score that grows more quickly, but takes more time to set up. If you graphed the score of a production strategy, it would start out increasing slowly, and then grow more rapidly.
The settle/develop strategies are a bit more linear. They don't score points as rapidly as production strategies, but they get going a lot sooner.

The result is that shorter games tend to favor settle/develop strategies, and longer tends to favor production strategies. Adjusting the game length in any manner will effect the balance of these two strategies. I suspect if you go any higher than 12, the producers are going to win every time.
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Eric Jablow
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It also depends on the number of players and the corresponding VP chit limit. A lucky draw in a 2-person game can give a 6VP/turn engine by turn 4, which will end the game by turn 7. (ELC, Galactic Trendsetters, and a blue windfall). The owner can end the game before his opponent can get anywhere close to the tableau limit. In a four-person game, it would take 6 produces and 6 consume x2s to end the game, as the opponents will be scoring some VP. The opponents won't cooperate fully, and so that's 10 turns or so. What can they do in 10 turns?
 
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AB
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Have you seen this variant "Super Race" suggested here by BGG user onigame?

AB
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