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

Subject: Thoughts after 40 games.. rss

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Milinius Corazon
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Summary: its fun!

+ Having the choice in opening worlds makes everything a whole lot better.

+ Explore got a major boost! As did Diversity.

- I noticed Alpha Centauri is less powerful as the density of brown planets goes down. (not a negative, just a noted consequence)

- Aliens really didnt gain anything, relatively speaking. In fact i consider aliens worth even less. Perhpas I could be wrong, but at the very least Research Labs could have become an "Alien" card. Not much love for the Aliens it seems.

++ All players seem to have more of a fair chance.

-- The takeover mechanic doesnt seem well thought out. There aren't many takeover cards, so when they do come into your hand, most of the time it doesnt fit, or its randomly very good. Also the timing mechanic of how the announcing of the takeover after settles are done seems a bit strange. I don't think takeover mechanic is very polished as a game feature.

-- Old Earth and Epsilon Eridani still seem poor, relative to the other starting planets. Perhaps this is just the opinion bias of my playgroup but in general, they are going to be more bad than good on an average distribution of start hands.


Also, I have to say since the other game expansion we have been playing was the Dominion Intrigue expansion.. the Dominion expansion seems to be the definition of a perfect expansion set. The R4TG expansion is great overall, but the way the Dominion Expansion worked just seemed brilliant without words.

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Michael Brough
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Old Earth is actually quite good, it's just generally a slower start than the other worlds. If you look at the Genie stats here http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/422484/page/2 you'll see it has a very low winning rate overall, but a decent winning rate among high ranked players (Eridani's similar). Still lower than most of the rest, but respectable. I take this to mean that it's balanced, but harder to learn how to play with. (Plus it's my highest-winning start world on Genie, so it can't be that bad.)
Also, the ability to choose start worlds strengthens it a lot - if your hand isn't going to work with it, you can take the other one.

And Alpha Centauri isn't that much less powerful; it's main advantage is being a windfall world, and that isn't affected.
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Eric Jome
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rook2pawn wrote:
Old Earth and Epsilon Eridani still seem poor...


When a player flips up Alpha Centauri, it's obvious what they'll be doing. They'll be trading away that good for some more cards. And they'll probably play brown worlds for a discount. But it's a windfall world - you can get a good on it again by playing Produce and there are Mining Robots in the deck to help out even more. Produce/Trade, Produce/Trade... a card drawing engine and a strategic direction, too.

But when we look at Old Earth it is not capable of production. To the beginning player, it's clearly inferior to Alpha Centauri... but is it really? If Alpha Centauri has New Vinland in it's starting hand, what does that mean to Alpha Centauri? Very little or nothing - it's just a blue world worth little points. But to Old Earth? That's a power card.

See, that's Old Earth - it's just as strategic and useful and effective as Alpha Centauri. It's just going to take getting a production world in play to get started. It's got better growth potential than Alpha Centauri. It'll work with anything that falls into it's lap.

And Epsilon Eridani? This is the ultimate toolbox starting world. From here, with anything in hand, you can go anywhere. You can quickly branch into military with a built in way to leech production players. You can use your token military to help you get quick worlds for your production engine, with a great consumption ability off the bat.

I'll go out on a limb here and guess that most of your games are not won by people who use the production/consumption strategy, right? Then these worlds, which are largely oriented around it, are going to seem weaker. Instead, try playing them every game and see what you can do to make them win. I think you'll find they aren't subpar at all.
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You get any goods and trade, that +1 from OE is nice. Even nicer for production worlds if you get to trade more than once. It's really paying for itself then so to speak.



A nice thing about EE and OE is if you can do a little planning and some decent draws, you can nab the first to 5 VP goal. That's 8pts right there. If you continue with a P/C strategy, then you're already set up.
 
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John Richert
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I think something that will help is if you do not think in terms of color strategies anymore. Alien worlds are very powerful and score a ton of points.

EE and OE are great starting worlds. However, they are jack of all trade worlds.

Takeovers may be clunky, but that is in large part due to the lack of frequent play. They can be powerful though.
 
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Rob Neuhaus
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I think Old Earth still mostly sucks, as far as homeworlds go, even for really good players. Furthermore, I think that it's suckiness is underrepresented in Genie, where most games are 2 player advanced, and a settle/trade windfall is viable in 2pa, where as it's not a safe play in multiplayer. In multiplayer games, you are squeezed a lot harder, since you either have to blind trade and risk missing the settle, or settle and risk getting hit by a blind trade that consumes your good away. I'll crunch the data some time now that we have an order of magnitude more, but I expect that OE gets dominated by AC across all skill levels, especially in > 2 player games. Skill might help close the gap a bit, but I really doubt it totally makes up for it.

I'd hypothesize that OE only gets worse in RvI, since it doesn't have any really great single card synergies. Since you can condition your homeworld selection on such synergies in RvI, other start worlds are likely to come with a good aid. OE isn't as lucky.

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Kester J
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Yeah, Old Earth suffers in the expansions. You have no choice but to make risky plays in the first few turns in order to catch up, and now that you can't blindly run a produce/consume cycle unless you have great cardflow, it doesn't have the late game power it used to either. If you're Old Earth versus Galactic Developers in a multiplayer game, you're getting taken to the cleaners unless you can accurately predict someone else calling settle or produce for you in the first few turns. (ELC has most of the same issues, but there are a few tricks you can play with it with the right cards.)
 
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Kester wrote:
(ELC has most of the same issues, but there are a few tricks you can play with it with the right cards.)
Such as, if you don't mind elaborating?
 
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Kester J
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ackmondual wrote:
Kester wrote:
(ELC has most of the same issues, but there are a few tricks you can play with it with the right cards.)
Such as, if you don't mind elaborating?


Oh, nothing too fancy. Just that Produce/Trade the first two turns, which is normally a bit of a poor prospect, becomes much better with cards that will make your second turn trade more lucrative if you get the chance to put them down. Spice World is a particular favourite, but Distant World, Galactic Advertisers, Trading Outpost, Export Duties, Secluded World, New Vinland, or even a cheap windfall can all work. If the right phases don't get called, at least you get a couple of cards - not great, but not terrible. If you don't get the right calls with Old Earth, you don't have anything to fall back on.
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Mark Delano
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I think Old Earth is weakest with 3 players. As you add more players it starts becoming much stronger with the greater chances of leaching plays off other players.
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Matt N

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I don't see the homeworld choice as a benefit, unlike virtually everyone else. I prefer the games where both players have mediocre cards, and giving players a choice just means that people are more likely to have a good start and feel that they're awesome. It's not inherently better to lose with a good strategy against a great one, as opposed to losing with a mediocre strategy against a good one.

On Old Earth:

ELC's advantages over Old Earth are that it's a blue world, which is useful for goals, and that it's a blue world, which produces a good. Old Earth's advantages are a trade power, which is useful for goals, and two consume powers, which you may or may not need to use (and can backfire, as mentioned earlier). If you don't use the consume powers, then you've picked Export Duties as your homeworld... wow. I've always preferred ELC over Old Earth, but Old Earth was still a pretty good starting world in the base set. With the addition of the expansions and the weakening of produce-consume, it hasn't kept up, and I really feel that it's one of the worst ones now.

Current Genie stats are that it's the second-worst world, and I can't really argue with that after using it extensively with the expansions. I'm pretty sure it only gets worse in 3+ player games; it's a terrible world with windfalls, so you're limited to produce-leeching with a good tradable production world.

As far as choices go in the second expansion, it's my least favorite to have as an option. Doomed World has the advantage that it's a high variance world, so you could have a great start with a great production world or have a terrible start, in which case you pick your other world. (Yes, they can predict your settle, but not if you decide to be spiteful and do something else from time to time.) RvI means that you need a better strategy to win, and Old Earth doesn't help you there. You presumably need a 2x strategy with draws to win, and those draws usually come from developments that have consume powers already.

I don't think Epsilon is a top world, but it's at least useful for a lot of good strategies, not just produce/consume. One military power can do an awful lot.
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Wei-Hwa Huang
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rook2pawn wrote:

- I noticed Alpha Centauri is less powerful as the density of brown planets goes down. (not a negative, just a noted consequence)


Base set: 9 out of 40 non-Military Worlds are brown = 22.5%

With both expansions: 14 out of 62 non-Military Worlds = 22.6%
 
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Simon Johnston
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onigame wrote:
rook2pawn wrote:

- I noticed Alpha Centauri is less powerful as the density of brown planets goes down. (not a negative, just a noted consequence)


Base set: 9 out of 40 non-Military Worlds are brown = 22.5%

With both expansions: 14 out of 62 non-Military Worlds = 22.6%

Surely the relevant statistic is % of cards in the total deck?
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Tom Lehmann
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9 out of 114 cards = 7.9%
14 out of 180 cards = 7.8%

The proportions and deck variance haven't changed that much; what has changed is the "streakiness" or variability in the subset of the deck that each player sees during a game. That goes up as the deck size increases.
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Brian Bankler
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Alpha Centauri weakened via dilution? The new cards include:
Prospecting Guild (a huge VP boost for any rare strategy), Gem Smugglers (a discount for rare cards, plus the exploration power) and Interstellar prospectors (produce on a rare windfall, which AC starts with). And that's not even counting the Imperium Blaster Gem Consortium (which can be a huge card, but depends more on the power. Still, AC is more likely to be able to play it than anyone else excepting Doomed World).

I've had two games where AC got Mining Robots + Gem Smugglers ...

I'm not sure if AC got better, but I doubt it got worse.
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Well, there sure are 2 of them. ACs that is. Gem Smugglers is practically that, but better in almost every way except where you have a chance of getting AC for free by starting off with it.


Bankler wrote:
Alpha Centauri weakened via dilution? The new cards include:
Prospecting Guild (a huge VP boost for any rare strategy), Gem Smugglers (a discount for rare cards, plus the exploration power) and Interstellar prospectors (produce on a rare windfall, which AC starts with). And that's not even counting the Imperium Blaster Gem Consortium (which can be a huge card, but depends more on the power. Still, AC is more likely to be able to play it than anyone else excepting Doomed World).

I've had two games where AC got Mining Robots + Gem Smugglers ...

I'm not sure if AC got better, but I doubt it got worse.
 
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