Kevin Goodman
Canada
Ottawa
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My wife doesn't like San Juan and therefore won't invest the time to learn to play Race for the Galaxy. So, my question is this: if I buy the base game + expansion, does it make a very good solitaire game?

 
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Brad
United States
Iowa City
Iowa
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The solitaire game is excellent--I'm currently addicted to it. However, learning the rules of the game and how to run the solitaire game at the same time might be a bit difficult. It could be done, but it will take some effort.

Additionally, it will be harder to figure out strategies when you are only playing the robot since it simulates the end results of an opponent but it doesn't actually play a hand the same way another human does. You will be able to learn from your own hand, but it just takes a little longer than when you can observe other people's hands.

I wouldn't recommend to someone that they try learning the game and the solitaire rules by their self, but I certainly wouldn't stop them, either. The game is damn good when you get up and running.
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JR
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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I just got the expansion yesterday and cracked out on the solo game last night, playing about 6 rounds of easy against the robot. It's actually quite clever and had me fairly interested. I felt like I was solving an interesting puzzle more than just playing alone.

I don't know if I'd be as enthused about ONLY having the option of solo play. If you will never get to play with anyone else, it's a tough call. But if you think it's a game that you would definitely enjoy, then it's likely to be one of the best solo games you'll get anyways. Me, I'd probably sooner find something my girlfriend will play. If she won't play anything, then consider upgrading the wife.
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Garrett Rooney
United States
Canton
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I've played the solitaire game a few times at this point, and I like it a lot. Like you, I tried to convince my wife to learn, but she's just not interested, so solitaire it is.

I do think the solitaire version has a bit of a learning curve though, and if you don't know the base game first it would be extremely difficult to learn the solitaire version and the base game at the same time. If you know the base game, and you recall how much of a pain it was to pick up what all the iconography meant, the solitaire version is comparable, if not slightly more complex.

Also, it's worth keeping in mind that while the robot player in the solitaire version is quite good, it isn't the same thing as playing against another human. I mostly play 4 or 5 player games with people at work, and it takes some adjustment to deal with the fact that the robot is random (although with probabilities for different actions altered to match what a player with a given start world would likely do). I was playing this morning and the robot got to the point where it could have ended the game on me and won easily, but it got some unlucky rolls and I managed to pull it out in the end. No human player would have done that. You also can't base your phase selection on what your opponent is likely to do, which is a big part of the base game.

Still, it's a fun game, with other humans or with the solitaire robot, so if you already know you enjoy the base game I'd totally recommend picking up the base plus the expansion for solitaire play.
 
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I have yet to play the solo game, but will say if you've played the base game before, you still have a learning curve, but it shouldn't be too bad. The expansion rulebook is 5.5" x 7.5". Half of that covers rules for solo play. The other half is the usual spiel... introduction, setting up, the new material and mechanisms introduced in the expansion for multiplayer games, etc. The other half was an easy read for someone who's played the base game before.

If you haven't played the base game, then it's quite a learning curve for ya. For me, I got it down, but it took 5+ plays. Still, it could be a good learning experience. If possible try to see if you can wrangle your wife into just one game (read the rules ahead of time of course), or just find a group of friends to squeeze in a few games. Otherwise, you may try to learn with a few mock games where you control multiple players yourself. There are solo variants for the base game, but I can't recommend any since I haven't tried any of them.


offT: Does your wife like Puerto Rico then?
 
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Lonnie H
United States
Everett
Washington
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As another option.....I have really enjoyed playing the original game solo. I just try to get to a certain points range in ten turn (or less){>=35=C, >=40=B, >=50=A...with 5 bonus points for each turn finished before 10 turn}....kind of like a game of bowling. This way I have been able to get a feel for how the cards interact(to get the base game down), and then when the robot is finally available here in China, I try that new challenge.

I have been able to teach a few other opponents, but the wife wasn't too interested in "learning" the card set.
 
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B C Z
United States
Reston
Virginia
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Free 2-5 player game with every solitaire purchase.

She can't/won't invest the time to learn it if it's not in the house.

And, liking San Juan and RftG don't seem to be corelated.
 
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El-ad David Amir
United States
New York
New York
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First of all, I agree with the previous comment. While RftG and San Juan have some in common, they are completely different games. It is quite possible she'll like Race even though she dislikes San Juan. However, a bit of warning: I only saw it work on the reverse (people who like San Juan and dislike Race).

Personally, I wouldn't buy Race just for the solitaire mode. The robot is nice, it's definitely challenging, but it is far from satisfying. Perhaps one day someone will release a good AI for the game, but for the time being, the robot is too abstract in my opinion. It plays a separate game, which somehow affects your game, but it does *not* play Race.

(luckily, my wife plays Race )
 
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IirionClaus wrote:
Personally, I wouldn't buy Race just for the solitaire mode. The robot is nice, it's definitely challenging, but it is far from satisfying. Perhaps one day someone will release a good AI for the game, but for the time being, the robot is too abstract in my opinion. It plays a separate game, which somehow affects your game, but it does *not* play Race.

(luckily, my wife plays Race )
I don't think that should still be a major reason against getting exp#1 for the solitaire mode. Sure, it ain't a real RftG game, but for some people, what works, works. What gives people entertainment, despite circumstances (not being able to find other players) or simply out of sheer enjoyment (I don't doubt that some people find the solitaire mode more enjoyful). For example, in this day in age, many console/PC games offer online play. There are many who still enjoy single player play.
 
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