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Subject: Ra: The Dice Game Rules now available! rss

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Simon Duff
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A PDF of the game rules http://riograndegames.com/uploads/Game/Game_325_gameRules.pd... are available from the Rio Grande Games Website (http://riograndegames.com/games.html?id=325)

The game has quite a few components for a dice game, 5 colored dice and 92 wooden cubes (it also includes 1 game board, 4 summary boards and 1 Ra figure). The game plays 2 to 4 players, who aim to score the most points as possible over the course of 3 epochs (turns). Players score points for having cubes of their color in various areas, specifically, Pharaoh, Nile, Civilization and Monuments.

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Matt Davis
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Mmm...just what Ra needed...little wooden cubes.
 
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Thanks for the heads up about the rules. I'm glad to see that the scoring follows Ra pretty closely. I'm definitely going to pick this one up. I do have a question about the rules that I didn't understand.

On page three in the section that explains the scoring of pharaohs, the rules state:

Quote:
Pharaoh: The player with the furthest advanced marker on the track
scores 5 points. The player with the least advanced marker loses
2 points. If there is a tie, all involved players score 5 or lose 2 points.
If all players tie, there is no score. Players who score 5 points move
their markers 2 spaces backward on the track;
players who lose 2 points advance their markers 1 space
.

The emphasis is mine and this is the section that I do not understand. This final sentence just doesn't make any sense to me. If anyone can explain it (I'm likely missing something in the rules), I'd appreciate it.
 
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Mark Bigney
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When you score points for pharaohs, you lose two; when you lose points for pharaohs, you gain one.
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Joe
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Probably just intended to prevent a runaway in the pharaoh department. In Ra this is a situation that other players can work to prevent by bidding accordingly. When rolling and assigning dice, there's nothing other players can do, so an artificial "catch-the-leader" mechanism.
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Crazy Bob
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Looks like a step up from Roll Through the Ages.
 
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1603-1714
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Gyges wrote:
When you score points for pharaohs, you lose two; when you lose points for pharaohs, you gain one.

Oh, now I see. I thought "the track" referred to the score track not the pharaoh track. Now it all makes sense. It's funny how many times I read through the paragraph trying to make sense of it. Thanks for the explanation.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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dedbob wrote:
Probably just intended to prevent a runaway in the pharaoh department.


You may very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment.
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Seth Jaffee
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The game does sound better than Roll Through the Ages...

A couple parts sound unnecessarily confusing though. Like Nile scoring. I'm pretty sure (based on how Ra works) that the intent is that you score your Nile progress as long as you have at least 1 Flood counter, and you don't score it if you have no floods. Would it have been so hard to put a Flood box at the end of the Nile track where you deposit Flood cubes? The scoring paragraph is very confusing...

Suppose you collect 3 niles, then a Flood, then 3 more niles, then another flood. How many points is that worth? 6? 9? 12? 15? I'm pretty sure it's just 6. then you lose all but 1 marker - presumably you choose to keep the one that's furthest along the track, not a flood you got a few turns ago.

That's all just phrasing though... the Monument placing restrictions sound a little crazy as well, but I don't know if it's just because the wording is weird, or because it's supposed to be really restrictive in how you can place monuments markers.

I'll give this game a try when I see it, probably at a convention.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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sedjtroll wrote:
I'm pretty sure (based on how Ra works) that the intent is that you score your Nile progress as long as you have at least 1 Flood counter, and you don't score it if you have no floods.


That is what happens.

Quote:
Would it have been so hard to put a Flood box at the end of the Nile track where you deposit Flood cubes?


That wasn't ever suggested in my hearing. One advantage of the current process is that you only need to look in one place, because ...

Quote:
Suppose you collect 3 niles, then a Flood, then 3 more niles, then another flood. How many points is that worth? 6?


Yes. You move the marker three spaces, then put a flood on top of it (as the rules say) then as the marker moves another three spaces so does the flood on top of it. (The scoring rules refer to the space, singular, your markers are in.)

Quote:
presumably you choose to keep the one that's furthest along the track, not a flood you got a few turns ago.


That's based on a misunderstanding. There's only one pile of markers, nile plus floods on top (in effect, though that's not how it's worded) and you remove the floods.

Quote:
the Monument placing restrictions sound a little crazy as well, but I don't know if it's just because the wording is weird, or because it's supposed to be really restrictive in how you can place monuments markers


It is restrictive, and intended to be, and I think quite clearly explained twice. Only your first monument placement in a turn can be in a column you are already in. Note that this means that if you roll three monuments on your dice in turn 1, your resulting two monument markers must end up in different columns, and to get three in a column will take at least three turns. (This is in addition to the colour restrictions.)
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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elcomadreja2 wrote:
Looks like a step up from Roll Through the Ages.


The design of Ra the Dice Game precedes the publication of Roll Through the Ages, with no advance information either way, so they are entirely independent designs (except in that both draw on the long legacy of dice games with re-rolls). When I first saw Roll Through the Ages I have to admit I thought "bother" that it got published first (though I'm really just a spectator, it's good when your team comes in first).

Personally (and let me stress that word) I think Ra the Dice Game and Roll Through the Ages are both fine games, that we're better off with both than with just one (either). They obviously have their similarities (how disasters happen in particular) but their differences are significantly greater. I expect to be playing both (once I get my copy of Ra the Dice Game).
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Brian Philpott
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Is this just Ra with the best bit taken out - the auction mechanism.

The painful bidding decisions with your sun tiles and the strategic timing of the auctions by calling Ra are the mechanics which make game great for me.
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Seth Jaffee
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blueboo wrote:
Is this just Ra with the best bit taken out - the auction mechanism.

The painful bidding decisions with your sun tiles and the strategic timing of the auctions by calling Ra are the mechanics which make game great for me.

I think the way to look at it is that this is not "Ra with Dice" - rather it's a Yahtzee variant (like Roll Through the Ages) with Ra-inspired scoring.
 
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Jim Cote
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sedjtroll wrote:
blueboo wrote:
Is this just Ra with the best bit taken out - the auction mechanism.

The painful bidding decisions with your sun tiles and the strategic timing of the auctions by calling Ra are the mechanics which make game great for me.

I think the way to look at it is that this is not "Ra with Dice" - rather it's a Yahtzee variant (like Roll Through the Ages) with Ra-inspired scoring.

Except in Yahtzee, it's pretty much multi-player solitaire. In this game, there are still decisions to make about competing for Pharoahs, Niles, Monuments(?), and the speed of the round (advancing Ra).
 
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Kevin Warrender
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Based on the rules I have to give this a solid "meh". I'd like to try it out regardless, but it seems like they just replaced the cards with dice, a board, and cubes (and took out the bidding altogether).

So instead of calling Ra and hoping to out-bid someone for a juicy set of cards, you are on your own to decide what you want to "go for" this turn, probably dependent on what you roll in your first attempt.

The only "interaction" is trying to score more than the other players and possibly hurting them if you manage to roll 4 or 5 suns.

It seems like a good representation of Ra, but not THAT different. Just my opinion though. Admittedly, it could change once having played the game.

 
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Mark Crane
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Dearlove wrote:
dedbob wrote:
Probably just intended to prevent a runaway in the pharaoh department.


You may very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment.


I love that show.
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Scott Nelson
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The unique bidding was what set RA apart from other games...and they took it out. hmmm...
 
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Chris
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The Monuments rules threw me for a few times but I think I got them now. When is this due to release?
 
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Chris
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jerkules wrote:

It seems like a good representation of Ra, but not THAT different. Just my opinion though. Admittedly, it could change once having played the game.



Since I don't own Ra this may work for me. I like the RTtA sort of interaction and gameplay. I think I may pick this up if the price is right.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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ekted wrote:
Except in Yahtzee, it's pretty much multi-player solitaire. In this game, there are still decisions to make about competing for Pharoahs, Niles, Monuments(?), and the speed of the round (advancing Ra).


(I assume you omitted disasters because they were already mentioned.)

Not much competition over Niles/Floods, except via disasters. Pharaohs are of course pure competition. You omitted Civilizations, which are a competition because of the N-1 spaces rule. With 2 players in particular competition can be stiff. I'm not sure why the (?) after Monuments, because yes, there's real competition there, especially with more players. Glad you mentioned the speed of the round, I've certainly modified my play for that reason (in a turn when the game would end with two suns rolled, but if that went up to three or more, wouldn't).
 
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