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Tom Vasel
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Direct Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCl01NfRn80
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Brad N
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Great review Tom.

I haven't played Ra: The Dice Game, but I've played Ra. During this review, you said that after each epoch the cubes are removed and then you removed the monument cubes. Is that correct? Everything else, scoring-wise, seems to follow Ra. Are the monuments scored after each epoch or only at the end of the game (I'm assuming only at the end of the game based on a glance at the quick reference file here on BGG).
 
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Kevin Duffy
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Monuments are scored only at the very end.

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One thing in error I believe. You only need 1 die to place 1 monument, an extra 2 gets you a second in a turn and 5 dice showing monuments lets you place 3 in the same turn.
 
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Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
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The big difference between this game and RTTA is that in this game what you roll is what you get. In RTTA you can do things do improve your dice rolling on next turns.

I can tell you I had a game of Ra TDG where I had an average of 2 suns per turn. Not three, not one, but 2. That means that on average I didn't get to use 40% of my dice. The other games had on average about 0 or 1 suns. Guess who lost. There wasn't anything I could do in this game that let me improve my chances in future turns either. And that's why I didn't like Ra TDG. I still love Ra though, as it has about the best auction element ever
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Surya wrote:
I can tell you I had a game of Ra TDG where I had an average of 2 suns per turn. Not three, not one, but 2.


It's not the average that matters but the distribution. But let me quote a bit more first.

Quote:
That means that on average I didn't get to use 40% of my dice.


Not quite. You only get a 40% loss if you get 2 suns every turn. That is the worst result. But a 2 sun average could also be alternating 1 and 3, which is only actually wasting 10% of your dice. Or even alternating 0 and 4 which doesn't waste any dice. Yes, I can see several responses to that. I'll consider some of them now and one of them after the next quote.

I've said 3 and 4 suns aren't wasted. But how good are they? First of course 4 suns can be wasted, in particular if it's the first turn. But in general it pays off quite well when used against civilizations or floods in particular (or pharaohs with two players). After all each point your opponents all (or those that matter) lose is the same as points to you. Now what about gold (3 suns)? That's one point per die. Is that good or bad? I would say that overall it's about average. Of course there are better results (for example three dice for one civilization for five points) but there are also worse.

Quote:
The other games had on average about 0 or 1 suns. Guess who lost. There wasn't anything I could do in this game that let me improve my chances in future turns either.


The first thing to consider is not whether you could improve future turns but how to improve this turn. It's a dice game, there's luck. And you can get 2 suns regardless of how well you play. But you can improve your odds. Do you start with 2 suns or work up to them? If you start with 2 suns then consider rolling more dice, aiming for 3 or 4. If you are starting lower and ending on 2 are you rolling too many dice? The bird in the hand may be worth more than the two in the bush.

Improving your position is a double-edged sword. (Actually that's a rotten metaphor but everyone knows what it conventionally means.) Done badly it becomes a "rich get richer" mechanism. Done well it can make a good game. And as you note RTTA does it, and RTTA is indeed an excellent game. (How do I compare it with Ra the Dice Game? Different and I enjoy both.)

Quote:
And that's why I didn't like Ra TDG. I still love Ra though, as it has about the best auction element ever


We mostly agree on the latter point. I don't know about best auction game, there are other strong candidates (particularly by Knizia) but Ra is up there contending. And I finished a good game not much more than an hour ago.

As for Ra the Dice Game, well like most games some like it, some don't.
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Gordon Adams
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I am attracted to RtDG because there is no auction ! I might buy it and play it solo as two players
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Eric Atmaja
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ordered this one right after watching this review... blush
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Dearlove wrote:
Surya wrote:
I can tell you I had a game of Ra TDG where I had an average of 2 suns per turn. Not three, not one, but 2.


It's not the average that matters but the distribution. But let me quote a bit more first.

Quote:
That means that on average I didn't get to use 40% of my dice.


Not quite. You only get a 40% loss if you get 2 suns every turn. That is the worst result. But a 2 sun average could also be alternating 1 and 3, which is only actually wasting 10% of your dice. Or even alternating 0 and 4 which doesn't waste any dice. Yes, I can see several responses to that. I'll consider some of them now and one of them after the next quote.

I've said 3 and 4 suns aren't wasted. But how good are they? First of course 4 suns can be wasted, in particular if it's the first turn. But in general it pays off quite well when used against civilizations or floods in particular (or pharaohs with two players). After all each point your opponents all (or those that matter) lose is the same as points to you. Now what about gold (3 suns)? That's one point per die. Is that good or bad? I would say that overall it's about average. Of course there are better results (for example three dice for one civilization for five points) but there are also worse.

Quote:
The other games had on average about 0 or 1 suns. Guess who lost. There wasn't anything I could do in this game that let me improve my chances in future turns either.


The first thing to consider is not whether you could improve future turns but how to improve this turn. It's a dice game, there's luck. And you can get 2 suns regardless of how well you play. But you can improve your odds. Do you start with 2 suns or work up to them? If you start with 2 suns then consider rolling more dice, aiming for 3 or 4. If you are starting lower and ending on 2 are you rolling too many dice? The bird in the hand may be worth more than the two in the bush.


Maybe I didn't make my point clear enough. When I said "on average" I meant that on like 90% of the turns I actual rolled 2 suns in the first roll. And in most cases I didn't get a third one on the reroll. That means that in practice, I actually didn't get to use that 40% of my dice. I tried getting more suns, of course. And once or maybe twice is succeeded in that. But that doesn't cut it.

I don't mind a bit of luck in a dice game, but I want to have things to control that luck to a certain degree. RTTA lets you do that by buying more dice, buying reroll capabilities and such. This game has none of that, and that's what bothers me. If the playing time of the game was half of what it was, maybe it wouldn't have bothered me, but as it is, it does.
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Christopher Dearlove
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Surya wrote:
When I said "on average" I meant that on like 90% of the turns I actual rolled 2 suns in the first roll.


Well, you are either the subject of extremely bad luck, or selective memory (or both).

The odds of rolling two suns on the first roll are slightly less than one in six. To be precise it is 5C2 x (5/6)^3 x (1/6)^2 or about 0.161

Now if you have ten turns, the odds of rolling an initial two suns on nine or more turns is p^10+10p^9(1-p) where p is the value above, which is about 7x10^-7. Or in other words less than one game in a million. Except that actually 9 in 10 turns should be more like 18 in 20 turns, which is a much lower figure.

Quote:
And in most cases I didn't get a third one on the reroll.


Now that depends of course on how many dice you reroll, and what you try to keep. Note that I am not necessarily advising rolling as many dice as possible (a monument, for example, in the right place can be well worth keeping). But if you were to reroll to the maximum extent, the odds of getting no more suns is about one in three, (5/6)^6 to be precise, about 33.5%.

The chance of a two thirds chance happening less than half of the time is a lot lower than one in three of course.

Quote:
That means that in practice, I actually didn't get to use that 40% of my dice.


As I note, it can happen. But a lot less than one game in a million to actually get close to that 40%.

Quote:
I tried getting more suns, of course. And once or maybe twice is succeeded in that.


That relates to the probabilities above. If you were to try 10 times the odds of only succeeding two times with a one third chance of failure is about a 30% chance. Trying 20 times the odds of only succeeding twice is about a 2% chance.
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DaveD wrote:
One thing in error I believe.


Actually more than one. It's a little hard criticising Tom when he's in enthusiastic flow, but some details were a bit glossed over (fair enough except when actually misleading) and I spotted three actual errors.

Quote:
You only need 1 die to place 1 monument, an extra 2 gets you a second in a turn and 5 dice showing monuments lets you place 3 in the same turn.


I'm counting that as one error, not two. Someone else above has noted that you do score monuments at the end of the game (in fact only at the end of the game). I think that was almost certainly a slip of the tongue, although sweeping the monument cubes away just before that was confusing. I also think he said two cubes to flood, where it is three, but I admit I didn't rewind to check that. On the slightly confusing front were the comments about monument columns and extra civilisation cubes. But I didn't catch an actual error. And of course details were missng, but of course, this was a flavour not an explanation.
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Dearlove wrote:
Surya wrote:
When I said "on average" I meant that on like 90% of the turns I actual rolled 2 suns in the first roll.


Well, you are either the subject of extremely bad luck, or selective memory (or both).

I can assure you I don't have a selective memory, nor do the 3 other people I played with. They too where amazed with how bad I rolled. I tend to de less than stellar with dice games, but this was horrible
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Tom Vasel
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My apologies for the confusion and the slips of the tongue. I actually play the game right. I swept away the monuments to clear the board for the video. I can see how it was confusing. And yes, it's three cubes for flooding, and one cube for a monument. I'm a Yankee, and we talk too fast, my apologies.
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Surya wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
Surya wrote:
When I said "on average" I meant that on like 90% of the turns I actual rolled 2 suns in the first roll.


Well, you are either the subject of extremely bad luck, or selective memory (or both).

I can assure you I don't have a selective memory, nor do the 3 other people I played with. They too where amazed with how bad I rolled. I tend to de less than stellar with dice games, but this was horrible


In which case since what you quoted was at least millions, and assuming your game actually went to a typical length, billions to one against, any conclusions you draw from it are basically irrelevant.
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TomVasel wrote:
My apologies for the confusion and the slips of the tongue. I actually play the game right. I swept away the monuments to clear the board for the video. I can see how it was confusing. And yes, it's three cubes for flooding, and one cube for a monument. I'm a Yankee, and we talk too fast, my apologies.


I hope you didn't find my comments too harsh. If I had any financial interest in the game (I don't except I will probably get a copy) I'd swap ten technically flawless but dull reviews for one enthusiastic presentation with a couple of slips any day.
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Dearlove wrote:
any conclusions you draw from it are basically irrelevant.

Quite possible. The other gamers came to the same conclusion though: the game simply wasn't fun for any of us, and we all wanted to quit before it was over. And that conclusion had little or nothing to do with my bad luck
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dave baldwin
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Re: [Video Review] Ra: the Dice Game...rules
Tom Vasel gushed. So i decided to purchase Ra dice. A friend tried to learn Ra dice without any previous experience with Ra the boardgame. This proved to be a mistake. Basically the group aborted the session after only 1 epoch being completed and no gushing over this new title.
The rulebook is poorly written and felt incomplete. That was the general feeling after 30 mins of frustration. Questions regarding Nile flooding and the starting position of a new Nile boat was an issue. Another question is restrictions regarding placement of cubes on Monument track.
Finally, when are points given for moving the Ra token and when are they not awarded. It seems like a good idea to give points every time the Ra figure moves but not sure the rules state that. In closing, Ra the dice game could have been decent but without a better, more complete rule set
(with final epoch scoring illustrations) this group will never really know.
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mixsea wrote:
Finally, when are points given for moving the Ra token and when are they not awarded. It seems like a good idea to give points every time the Ra figure moves but not sure the rules state that.


They don't, because you don't. In fact you never get points when Ra moves (except of course for your other dice).

It seems to me you've started with a preconception, and then felt the rules are incomplete when they don't agree with it.
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The misconception that i had was that Ra dice was a very short game that chimes in at about 30-40 mins. That was the misconception. So when one round(epoch) took that amount of time i was alittle surprised. I understand it's a new game and there be extra time for consulting with the rule book but this seemed abit much. Players also were playing conservatively and choose to build up their positions in favour of selecting the Ra die symbol for the most part.But still, it seemed abit too long. So, awarding points every time the Ra figure moves will encourage (motivate) players to move things along. Right? Unless you have a considerable lead there would be no motivation to select a single
Ra symbol since points aren't awarded. Unless,of course, you just want to see the game end.
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Chris Dorrell
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mixsea wrote:
The misconception that i had was that Ra dice was a very short game that chimes in at about 30-40 mins. That was the misconception. So when one round(epoch) took that amount of time i was alittle surprised. I understand it's a new game and there be extra time for consulting with the rule book but this seemed abit much. Players also were playing conservatively and choose to build up their positions in favour of selecting the Ra die symbol for the most part.But still, it seemed abit too long. So, awarding points every time the Ra figure moves will encourage (motivate) players to move things along. Right? Unless you have a considerable lead there would be no motivation to select a single
Ra symbol since points aren't awarded. Unless,of course, you just want to see the game end.


(16th November: I have edited this article to change the use of the term "RA symbol" to describe what Christopher Dearlove quite rightly points out later in this thread should be called the "Sun symbol")

I may be wrong but it sounds like you are playing incorrectly with regard to Sun symbols!

Each die that shows a Sun symbol has to go on the RA track! You cannot reroll them or choose to ignore them. When you have finished your rolls, you use your non Sun dice as you wish and then action any Sun dice on the track as follows:-

If you have one or two Sun dice on the track move RA 1 or 2 spaces accordingly. For three Sun dice you don't move RA and you score 3 points.
Four or five Sun dice allow you to declare a disaster and again you don't move RA.

The important thing is that you have no choice when you roll a Sun symbol. The die has to go on the RA track.

I hope that makes sense and helps. This is a really good filler game and for us usually lasts about 30 minutes or so with two or three players.

Chris

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Thanks. We were playing that rule incorrectly. We gave players the option to reroll the Ra symbols. What about the rules regarding flooding the Nile and starting a second boat before the end of the round. Is that an option? If so, what is the starting spot for such a boat? Thanks in advance for your clarifications. When playing a new game for the first time mistakes regarding rules(especially when being presented by others
in the gaming group) can happen. Your responses are helpful.
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Chris Dorrell
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mixsea wrote:
Thanks. We were playing that rule incorrectly. We gave players the option to reroll the Ra symbols. What about the rules regarding flooding the Nile and starting a second boat before the end of the round. Is that an option? If so, what is the starting spot for such a boat? Thanks in advance for your clarifications. When playing a new game for the first time mistakes regarding rules(especially when being presented by others
in the gaming group) can happen. Your responses are helpful.


The interpretation of the Nile track and flooding have been the cause of massive debates here on BGG and I think it's all very simple really. Let me have a go at explaining;

Start Setup
The rules imply that you start with a single cube on the first square of the track. In other words you start with one point on the Nile track. That's how we played to start with but then Christopher Dearlove posted a thread here Pharaoh and Nile tracks (Reiner Knizia comment) that indicates that you start just off the track.

Recording Ship Die Rolls
Each ship symbol showing at the end of your rolls can be used to move your Nile marker one space on the track. You can add Ankh dice to ships to move further.

Flooding the Nile
This simply means placing a spare cube on top of your marker on the Nile track when you roll 3 ships or a 3 dice combination of ships and ankhs that includes at least one ship. In theory you can have any number of cubes stacked but normally you would only have say one, two or three. The key point here is that you only ever occupy one square on the track irrespective of the number of floods you have played! So your phrase "starting a second boat before the end of the round" is just not possible.

End of Epoch Scoring
The Nile track gives you a score equal to the position of your stacked markers on the track. If you only have one marker you score no points for the Nile track. Provided that you have 2 or more then you do score but you don't multiply by the number of stacked markers or do anything other than score for your track position.

Once you have scored you remove all but one marker and leave that one where it is on the track.

Disasters
If an opponent rolls 4 or 5 RAs Suns in a turn, (s)he can force you to remove a stacked cube from your Nile track or move an unstacked marker back two spaces. This is why you might go for more than one stacked marker, to give you protection against a disaster.

Hope that helps again and that I've got it right myself!

Regards
Chris


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The other Chris's summary looks good to me (now we're both hoping no one will spot something wrong) except when writing a clarifying piece I think it's good to get terminology the same as the rules. (It's less important elsewhere.) So the sixth side of the dice is Sun, Ra is the little blue figure which moves when you roll one or two Suns.
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Chris Dorrell
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Dearlove wrote:
The other Chris's summary looks good to me (now we're both hoping no one will spot something wrong) except when writing a clarifying piece I think it's good to get terminology the same as the rules. (It's less important elsewhere.) So the sixth side of the dice is Sun, Ra is the little blue figure which moves when you roll one or two Suns.


Chris,

Thanks for checking and confirming that I got it basically right. I stand corrected on the terminology, you're quite right we should be consistent.

I will now edit my earlier posts accordingly....
Edits completed blush

Regards
Chris
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Hi Tom Id like to ask you which one do u prefer between Ra: The Dice Game and Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age??

Do you think Roll through the ages have more players interaction than Ra the dice game?

Id like to buy one of them but Roll through the ages scares since I dont like paper and pencil in-boardgaming.
 
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