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Subject: It does exactly what it says on the tin. rss

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David Reed
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You got a tin?!

Nice review and overview.I hope to have a copy of my own very soon, though I'm not holding my breath - the number of copies that made it to the US did not match the pre-ordered quantities, so many of us will have to wait, I fear.
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I had a guide, a Bedouin man, who called me 'Abu el Banat'. And whenever we'd meet another Bedouin, he'd introduce me as Abu el Banat. And the Bedouin would laugh and laugh and offer me a Pint of beer. (cont below)
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OK you seem to have a good grasp on the game, and until a help video comes out the rules have confused me again.

I get the face that if you have an Imperium card you mark it on the purple, and Military worlds are also marked and your total score is marked.

During the Settle phase is when you can attack another players Military planets......but where does the take over disk come into play? is that based on the symbols on the new cards?

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Jacob Ossar
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One small nitpick
Styfen wrote:
Rebel Cantina:
This world is fast becoming one of my favourite worlds to play with in the game. It has a built in "light" contact specialist, which allows you to settle non-Alien military worlds as if they were non-military. This ability stacks with any discounts you may have from other sources (like Replicant Robots or Contact Specialist).


According to this thread, the Contact Specialist is a separate power and cannot be used to give a discount when using the Rebel Cantina.
 
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Lukasz Biernat
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Quote:
Of the remaining five one is actually a fixed VP development - Pan-Galactic Research. It’s a Mix and Match Explore, Development cost reduction, draw when producing development which also increases your max hand size.


actually, it's not M&M Explore, but +2L/+1K

Great review though, I really enjoyed it. Thumbs up from me.
 
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Brendon Russell
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jossar wrote:
Styfen wrote:
Rebel Cantina:
This world is fast becoming one of my favourite worlds to play with in the game. It has a built in "light" contact specialist, which allows you to settle non-Alien military worlds as if they were non-military. This ability stacks with any discounts you may have from other sources (like Replicant Robots or Contact Specialist).


According to this thread, the Contact Specialist is a separate power and cannot be used to give a discount when using the Rebel Cantina.


In this case it doesn't make a difference - the Rebel Cantina provides no discount anyway, so there would be no benefit to combining it with the Contact Specialist's power.

The case where it does matter is Rebel Alliance and Contact Specialist, which both have discounts, but the two cannot be combined.
 
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Great in depth review! I remember Tom mentioning 3-player drafting (60 card deck) somewhere, but I was surprised by the 5-player option in the rules. Do you think a 36 card deck is a little small? I'm just imagining crazy situations involving deep explores without enough cards in your draw deck. Throw in cards like Hidden Fortress and Pan-Galactic Research and maybe they're not that unlikely.

Styfen wrote:
Imperium Lords
Imperium Lords is a straight military world with a lot in common with Separatist Colony, it’s capable of massive point games thanks to its Imperium tag name and the extra military verses Rebel worlds but on the whole it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. I do appreciate the guy on the artwork who looks like he walked straight out of the old classic Amiga game Syndicate (or Speedball 2 as my mate pointed out recently).
No big deal, but you mean IMPERIUM Warlord here.
 
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Hugues Paradis
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Personally after playing a few games I feel that the added take over doesn't have enought impact for the added complexity.

If I can manage to do it I plan to re-do all the cards whitout the takeover symbol and use them as such.
 
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Matthew Barratt
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Quote:
. The new colour is violet/purple.


Personally I would have said violent purple rather than violet/purple.
 
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Chris Linneman
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mormeguil wrote:
Personally after playing a few games I feel that the added take over doesn't have enought impact for the added complexity.

If I can manage to do it I plan to re-do all the cards whitout the takeover symbol and use them as such.


Forgive me if I misunderstand, but did you say you are planning on whiting out the takeover symbol on all the cards? You can simply play with takeovers "off", ignore the symbol, and play normal Race for the Galaxy. They have other powers too! I mention this because in future expansions I expect the takeover powers to have a bigger impact in the game and it would be a shame if you had damaged your RvI set to make it unplayable with these rules.

I, too, wished takeovers had more impact on the game when I first played the expansion. But at the same time they change the game considerably so I'm glad the designers chose to ease us into it. In one 2p game my opponent tried to take over one of my military worlds, Star Nomad Lair. Doing so would have given her my 5pt most Explore goal (10pt swing), earned her the 5pt Brown/Blue goal (+5pts), earned her the world (+1pt) and cost me the world (-2pts since I had a 6-dev for it). That's an 18pt swing from one Settle! Then we realized that Imperium Seat only lets you attack Rebel worlds so she tried to take my Rebel Warrior Race, until we looked it up and found that the defender gets to use their specialized military on their own planets in defense. So she couldn't use takeover at all against me. I'm glad it wasn't that easy--I had been developing my miltary as best as I could and was only 1 behind her (and ahead on vs Rebel military). It would have been a real disappointment to lose the game that way.
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Chris Linneman
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Styfen wrote:

First of all I have to report that I’ve now ‘solved’ the solitaire game and play it on the hardest difficulty with a reasonable win rate.


Could you please flesh this out? After having my butt kicked once again, 42-17 or something god-awful, on Normal difficulty, I'd like to hear how you've solved the game.

I hope it's not something boring like, "always Explore." That would really kill Solitaire for me.
 
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JW
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QBert80 wrote:
Then we realized that Imperium Seat only lets you attack Rebel worlds so she tried to take my Rebel Warrior Race, until we looked it up and found that the defender gets to use their specialized military on their own planets in defense. So she couldn't use takeover at all against me.


I thought that having the Imperium Seat would let you takeover any military planet from a tableau that already has a Rebel Military World in it, providing you match the total military plus the defense of the world. So if you had the Rebel Warrior Race, then you'd fulfill the condition of being vulnerable to Imperium Seat's takeover power; and since Star Nomad Lair isn't a Rebel, your specialized military against Rebels won't help defend against the attack on the Star Nomad Lair.

Thus if she had one more military than you did, I'd think that yes, the Star Nomad Lair would have changed sides.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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Nope, the Imperium Seat allows takeovers only against Rebel Military Worlds.
 
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Ted Vessenes
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I confess I'm extremely hesitant about a mechanic that almost never matters, but occasionally can have a massive impact.

Imagine if gambling world had a consume power that read, "roll two dice. If you rolled 12, gain 12 points". This is an average of 1 point every 3 consume phases, or 2 points if you are picking consume x2 every time, so in theory it's balanced on average. But losing the roll is annoying for you and winning the roll is soul crushing for everyone else.

Now you could argue that takeover mechanics are different because players can boost military to protect worlds or rely solely on contact specialist and such to retain them. But it seems like a dangerous strategy to modify your play on the off chance someone will draw one of four cards in a 150 card deck. Most of the time they won't draw the takeover cards, and you have to live with the inferior results of making conservative plays.

I mean, takeovers seem interesting. But I just don't see how they make the game more fun, and the fact the rulebook suggests not always using the mechanic is a sign that many play testers didn't like the rule either.
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Matthew M
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tedv wrote:
the fact the rulebook suggests not always using the mechanic is a sign that many play testers didn't like the rule either.


No it isn't. That's like saying that the Family Game rules for Agricola are a sign that many play testers didn't like the Occupation or Minor Improvement cards. I doubt either is true. Rather, in the case of RvI, it's a recognition that some people simply don't like the possibility of conflict in games, so the rules provide an option to remove it.

-MMM
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Tom, is there an official ruling on what to do if the draw deck runs out and there are no cards in the discard pile?
 
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Tom Lehmann
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There's a big difference between a mechanic with an occasional massive effect that is purely random versus one that is a strategic variable you can affect -- either by making conservative plays (of various forms), keeping military cards in reserve, possibly building defenses (Rebel pact), etc.

Sure, it's a risk/reward trade-off. 4 cards may seem small, but there is a lot of card flow in RFTG (and card flow increases in this expansion due to the greater need to explore to counter the streakiness of the larger deck and the increased number of explore powers). It is not uncommon for a single player to see 50 cards during a game (including setup). This translates to about a 70% chance of a given player seeing at least one takeover power over the course of the game.

(These odds increase in games with 4+ players, as the discards then recycle, often multiple times. Since 2 of the takeover powers are one-shots, the odds of seeing them go up.)

Whether players are able to exploit takeover cards they draw is a different story, but one that's largely up to them, their evolving game plans, and how flexible a play style they have. Whether they have valid targets to takeover is up to the other players, their risk/reward decisions, evolving game plans, and play style.

I designed takeovers (3 years after designing RFTG) both for thematic reasons (war is going to start occurring as expanding empires begin to bump into each other) and in response to player feedback. About 20% of the players we showed RFTG to at conventions (before publication) indicated that they really wanted some military interaction in the game; about 40% were opposed to this; and about 40% were unsure or could go either way. I already wanted war to be a strategic "guns vs butter" decision within the game itself. Having this player response told me that making it easy to turn on or off would also be desirable, so I implemented it this way. When I then presented this expansion to Jay Tummelson of RGG (a year before RFTG was published), he confirmed that this player feedback matched the feedback he had been receiving during his convention playtests, and approved the overall design, stating that he really liked the modular turn on/off feature, given the different player reactions to the game.

So, yes, we fully expect some players to completely ignore takeovers and others to embrace them.

I personally play alternating style, both for playtesting reasons and because I find that takeovers balance the almost "free lunch" of putting down just a little bit of military and a military windfall to jumpstart your economy. Now, you have to worry about the long-term consequences of doing this. Similarly, if you are a Contact Specialist or Rebel Cantina player with a tableau free of Rebel military worlds and get greedy and slap down Imperium Lords for lots of cards, suddenly, you might have a Rebel Alliance player taking your worlds. There should be some cost for turning to the "dark side"! ;-)
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Tom Lehmann
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Re: running out of cards. This has never happened in over 15K playtest games. Did it actually happen to you (playing by official rules) or is this just a theoretical question?
 
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
Re: running out of cards. This has never happened in over 15K playtest games. Did it actually happen to you (playing by official rules) or is this just a theoretical question?
Theoretical. Extreme example because it's easier than figuring out the minimum for it to happen: 5-player drafting (36 card deck), 13 cards in tableau (including Hidden Fortress and Pan-Galactic Research), 5 goods, 12 cards in hand, Explore+5 to find Terraforming Guild (which you know you have in your deck and you hope is not one of those 5 goods).
 
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Ted Vessenes
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I've never tried drafting with more than 3 players because presumably if the decks get too small, there's less variety in the possible plays and as a result fewer strategic options available. But the real cap seems to be minimum deck size.

So rather than ask, "what happens when you run out of cards?", I'm inclined to ask, "how many players can now participate in a draft?" 5 players (36 cards) seems a bit touchy, as you'll go through your whole deck at least twice during the game. I could see 4 players (45 cards) working though. I'll see if I can convince my gaming group to try a four player draft tonight and see how it goes.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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Glad to hear it's just theoretical! ;-)

In theory, this could happen with just the base set, but -- to the best of my knowledge -- it's never happened (using official rules). And, given that some players stretch the base set to play with 5 players (not recommended) and haven't reported it happening, I think it's unlikely to do so (yeah, yeah, now someone will do it deliberately).

With over 10K playtest games before publication (across various playtest groups), we were pretty confident it wouldn't happen in normal play, which is why we decided not to cover this in the rules.

When we were designing/testing the drafting game, we tried to see if start worlds plus 30 card decks could work and actually ran over the limit twice during actual play, which resulted in our revising the drafting rules so that players always had 36 or more cards. We also tested an unpublished constructed deck 2-player variant, where each player -- using a separate set -- simply chose a start world and 35 more cards from the full card set. This produced some pretty degenerate deck designs and we still never ran out a 35 card deck during play (though we came awfully close a few times).

I agree that if the deck is going to run out, it is most likely to do so in a drafting game with the maximum number of players.

If it ever occurred, my ruling would be that the player simply, after reshuffling all discards, draws all the cards in the deck. If it's an Explore and the player has enough cards to keep, then that player simply loses any remaining card draws. If it's some other situation where a player is entitled to cards in hand that aren't available, the player takes "tokens" (pennies, beads, whatever), which each count as one card for the purpose of payments and discards, as well as counting against the player's hand limit at the end of round. Continue play.

This is what we did in the games where we actually ran over the (playtest only) limit of 30 cards (plus a start world). It worked fine, but wasn't something we wanted in the actual rules, so we changed the drafting numbers and players.
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
A lot of good stuff.
Thanks as always for your input and for your presence here on BGG!
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Anthony Martins
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MBarratt wrote:
Quote:
. The new colour is violet/purple.


Personally I would have said violent purple rather than violet/purple.


I, for some reason, couldn't stop starring at the new violet cards. It's such a pretty shade...
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