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Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium» Forums » Reviews

Subject: 50 Games of RvI in 6 days. rss

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Jimmer Sivertsen
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A friend was kind enough to pick up a copy of RvI for me from the Origins convention, returning to Seattle on last Tuesday evening. Since then, all of my Race friends have looked me up for some games during the day/night - every day.

This review is from a standpoint of ...a lot of... games pre-RvI. With the first and now the second expansion, you have to relearn the 'real' value of each card in a situation.

New Explore power: you get to merge your explore with your hand, then discard from the pool of cards. It's flexible, best used with a large explore range. A shortcut for explaining/resolving it - explore becomes draw X, discard Y. (Where Y is X minus the-number-of-cards-you-should-keep-from-a-normal-explore.) It does increase the slow-play factor for new players and existing players who spend more time studying cards.

Takeover: I've seen it happen in 4 games so far. It needs several elements for it to work:
1. The person drawing it, needs the military in play to make it work.
2. There needs to be the correct kind of victim - if you can steal rebel worlds from an imperium tableau, there needs to be someone with both of those cards, as well as a weaker military than you.
3. Stealing a planet has to be better than whatever else you would settle from your hand. Generally, if you can steal a planet, it's a weak planet from a weak military, while you have a fairly good military.

It was used twice to good effect - once to stop the end of a game, the second time to switch leader on most-brown+blue planets. The other two times was just to be able to say the player has done it.

New goals: "Most Explore powers" gets a lot of interest, especially with all of the 'smuggling' type planets with the new explore power. "First to 3 Uplift cards" is tough - getting enough uplift worlds is difficult. 3 Gene worlds, sure. 3 Uplift, much harder. It does give you a reason to choose Uplift worlds, before you find the Uplift Code sixer. "First to 8 cards in play" is often shared in multi-player, but really drives 2-player games to an even more frantic pace. "Most Rebel Military planets" and "First to have 4 goods" are sometimes a bit tough.

New starting planets, new start method: Universally welcomed, the new start method of "choice of 2 starting planets", combined with the ability to look at the starting hand/goals...it eases some of the pure-randomness of a start, mellowing out some of the harshness of the previous start method. It gives a much faster start in the beginning - one 2-player game started with 2 develops and 2 settles - a player ending with 5 cards in play on turn 1. The Imperium Warlord has demonstrated a lot of power in games - multiple sixers give points for Imperium cards, and the number of Rebel cards increased. It's worth 2 VP and has an explore - preferred to New Sparta, certainly.

Adds another player: Sadly, the game days and game nights I attended did not reach 6 players at a time. I can only imagine a crazier version of 5.


MVP cards of the set:
In the first expansion, Improved Logistics was often hoped for, along with the power of the Terraforming Guild sixer. The second expansion features a lot of quality power.

Galactic Advertisers: 3-cost development, granting an extra trade bonus as well as a card draw during consume. In a 2-player game, it grants a couple extra cards during your consume. In a multiplayer game, it grants an extra card nearly every turn...generally someone's always consuming. It also stacks with the trade guild & New Economy sixers, which were already pretty good. (It also improves the calling-trade-hoping-for-someone-else-to-Settle strategy - you'll get a card regardless.)

Pan Galactic Research: 6-cost development, 4VP. Played in the first half of a game, I believe that player always won. In 2-player games, starting with that card in one's hand frequently started the game with an explore/develop. And when I say frequently, I mean ALWAYS.

Galactic Exchange: 6-cost development, basically the bigger brother of Diversified Economy. The more colors you have in play, the more it's worth, as well as having a forgiving (and good) consume power. Get each of the colors in play, 10 VP. That's 4 planets, and you're generally getting consume-produce play in the meantime.

Some other cards get an extra boost, for duplicating effects. The Prospecting Guild sixer can help a SETI strategy, as well as Mining Guild (often doing more for bonus points than Mining Guild). SETI was boosted a fair amount, just by the amount of additional explore powers and the Most Explore bonus tile. Galactic Bankers provides a boost to the lovely develop strategy of Galactic Federation...a little slow to start, but a machine, also chipping in points for Interstellar Bank and Investment credits that were often also a factor in GFed strategies. Imperium Lords and Imperium Seat share so much of a bonus due to Imperium cards, I remember discarding Terraforming Guild, getting more from an Imperium card....and not just having that happen once.

Favorites that don't break the game:
Galactic Salon - a free VP during consume, can be doubled. In a develop-heavy strategy, you can leech a little on a produce-consumer, without calling Settle (which typically accelerates the produce-consumer). Towards the end of one game, with Salon and Galactic Trendsetters (as my only consume powers), I was able to Consume x2 several windfalls, as neither of us was willing to commit to ending the game.

Gambling World - I think in the previous 400 or so games, it was useful in one game, needed for its consume in a tight economy. The new one is excellent - ante a card, reveal its cost/defense in cards, keep one if any of them had exceeded the ante's cost, in addition to keeping the ante. Depending on the stage of the game, you can show a 1-cost you don't plan on using for an extra card, somewhat reliably. In late games, show a Consumer Markets for a decent shot at a random 6 (a mid-range explore).

In short, I've really enjoyed the past week. A fair mix of multiplayer and 2-player games showed that Rebel vs. Imperium will be an excellent long-term value for Race players.
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figures why (even if it is a "small consolation") that Pan Gal Research can't be used towards the Galactic Status first goal. It's gotta be a 6-cost with a '?' in the hexagon.


I also figured that takeovers weren't gonna be THAT prominent. It IS a eurogame afterall. So far, kind of prefer it that way. I'll need to try it out to be absolutely certain, but so far, I like the game just the way it is without any "hostilities". Perahps Brink Of War will bring on takeovers and battles in a major way.
 
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Anthony Rubbo
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With regard to the MVP section: Have you seen Hidden Fortress w/ New Galactic Order yet?

Pretty insane.
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Maël Brustlein
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I have, in a 3-player game, but it didn't make the one who played these cards win
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Alien Toy Shop
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From the crazy card combo department:

Trading a blue good for 10 cards, and have 4 cards out that let you discard for vp, on consume/trade get 10 and discard 7 for vp.

Settling Rebel Base (9 cost military) with rebel cantina power on turn two (2p advanced) of the game.
 
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Poruchik wrote:
Settling Rebel Base (9 cost military) with rebel cantina power on turn two (2p advanced) of the game.
?? I think you meant Rebel Stronghold. Rebel Base has a def of 6

Also, how would that work anyways?

You start off with Rebel Stronghold, so you have 3 other cards in your hand...

turn 1
Explore +1 | 3 to 5 cards
Produce | 5 to 6 cards

turn 2
Explore +1 | 6 to 8 cards
Produce | 8 to 9 cards

Turn 3 is where you'd be able to build Rebel Stronghold with Rebel Cantina as a start world.
 
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Eero
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He probably used Colony Ship. That's exactly what I did in my first RvI game (turn 3, IIRC). Tasty, I must say.
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roxon wrote:
He probably used Colony Ship. That's exactly what I did in my first RvI game (turn 3, IIRC). Tasty, I must say.
Over 100 plays IRL and I have yet to get the "Royal Flush" (Colony Ship/Doomed World + Contact Specialist + Rebel Homeworld). Perhaps one day. Or, I could just try to actually get a royal flush in poker ninja


Colony ship 'll do. I'm assuming that turn means phase and not round in a 2pa game. Otherwise, yeah, all it would take is...

II:
play Colony Ship for 1 or 2 cards

III:
discard Col Ship to place Rebel Stronghold.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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I probably would not bother to Colony Ship a big rebel world that early. The resources would be better invested in tableau that actually does something. Lost Species Ark World is still the #1 choice for Doomed World because of the early cardflow.
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MrWeasely wrote:
I probably would not bother to Colony Ship a big rebel world that early. The resources would be better invested in tableau that actually does something. Lost Species Ark World is still the #1 choice for Doomed World because of the early cardflow.
And then there's the S@#$storm if someone manages to get 9 - 13 military strength plus the appropriate cards to take it over. That would be quite a big step backwards
 
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MrWeasely wrote:
I probably would not bother to Colony Ship a big rebel world that early. The resources would be better invested in tableau that actually does something. Lost Species Ark World is still the #1 choice for Doomed World because of the early cardflow.


In my case Rebel Stronghold wasn't completely useless. Produce was chosen that same turn and my homeworld was Rebel Cantina, so I got my first extra card right away (and more later). At least I tried to convince myself that was the reason for Settling RS, not the fact that it was a sexy new world.
 
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