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Subject: Game Legnth and Replicants. rss

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Lauren Neeff
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Since yesterday I have played about 15 games of this (with only one minor rule confusion). One thing I have noticed is that replicating robots (that gives -2 to planet cost), seems to be very powerful. Maybe even too powerful. If it does appear in the game, the person who has it is the winner. Also do you guys play with the 12 VP supply per person? It seems to make the game end to early.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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In the right situation, Replicating Robots can indeed be quite strong. But, it costs 5 cards (the card itself, plus its 4 cost), so you need to settle three times, paying for worlds of 2+ cost, before it pays for itself (and yields a 1 card profit).

This is comparable to various other cards. Interstellar Bank costs 3 cards (including itself) and takes 3 Develop phases (whether you place a development or not) to pay for itself. Investment Credits costs 2 and takes 2 development placements to pay for itself. Space Marines costs 3 cards and lets you settle any number of 1-2 Defense military worlds for just the cards being placed.

The setup is 12 VP chips *per player*; these can go quite quickly in some games; in other games, they may be hardly touched before the game ends on a 12+ card tableau. Note that extra VPs chips are added, once the setup pile is exhausted, to finish out the final round of play.
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Vaclav Hornak
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I think, 12 VP per player is enough. When we play RotG, we use them all very rarely. Maybe it is caused by that we trade goods for cards more often then for VP.
Replicants don't seems to me as very powerful, there are only two copies of that card in whole deck and it costs 4 (I think), so it seems ok for me.
 
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B Smith
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GreenRock wrote:
Since yesterday I have played about 15 games of this (with only one minor rule confusion). One thing I have noticed is that replicating robots (that gives -2 to planet cost), seems to be very powerful. Maybe even too powerful. If it does appear in the game, the person who has it is the winner.

It is powerful, but I personally don't feel like it's a dominating card. Definitely nowhere close to "the person who has it is the winner." It's expensive enough that a player who tries to get it out early will be lacking in cards to choose from later -- and you'll get less benefit from it if you get it out later.

I understand why you feel this way, and you'll probably feel that way about other cards while you learn. I think that's a natural part of the process of figuring out effective strategies for the game.

GreenRock wrote:
Also do you guys play with the 12 VP supply per person? It seems to make the game end to early.

"Too early" is subjective, so I'm not sure there'll ever be agreement on this. For my part, I feel like there are a few circumstances where it seems like the game can end surprisingly fast because the VP pool runs out (probably because of Tourist World or something like that)--but recognizing when that's happening and adapting accordingly is part of the fun of the game, for me.
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JW
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Just a clarification about the 12 vp per person rule, in case you're playing it wrongly:

You start with 12 vp per person (2 players: 24vp; 3players: 36vp; etc), but these vps go into the middle pool and the game only ends when all the vps are consumed. For a more detailed explanation, you can look in this other thread here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/4638625#4638625

I say this because there has been mistakes made before when people think that the game ends when one player consumes 12 vp, which is incorrect.

However, if you've been playing it correctly all this while, then I'll have to agree with the others here by saying, yes, the number of vps set is indeed the right amount, and I don't feel the game ends too early at all. The fact that the game can be quite quick is what I love about it.

With regards to the Replicant Robots issue, in the beginning it does seem quite powerful (it did to me), but my advice to you is to continue playing the game as it is, and as you play, you'll realise that its not as powerful as you think it is. For the moment, you'll just have to accept our word for it that it certainly isn't a game-breaking card, but like the above poster said, part of the fun is figuring out new strategies and figuring out how to beat current ones.
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Rob Neuhaus
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GreenRock wrote:
Since yesterday I have played about 15 games of this (with only one minor rule confusion). One thing I have noticed is that replicating robots (that gives -2 to planet cost), seems to be very powerful. Maybe even too powerful. If it does appear in the game, the person who has it is the winner. Also do you guys play with the 12 VP supply per person? It seems to make the game end to early.


I'd say the opposite about replicant robots, especially in the base game. I have a nice little graph that you can take a look at the shows how well various cards perform in the first expansion after 65,000 games at http://rftgstats.com/ . You can see that RR is middle of the road in terms of play frequency, but it tends to do somewhat poorly when played. I think its worse in the base game than in the first expansion, because the expansion introduces goals (extra points for having 4 production worlds, or 3 blue/brown worlds) and synergy with the card Improved Logistics, which allows two settles per settle action. Eventually I'll make it so that you can see how frequently the cards are played/win as a function of the game version, so we could actually test the hypothesis.

The comparison to Interstallar Bank is a little misleading, because drawing X cards before a phase starts is almost always better than getting a discount of X in that phase (in the worst case, you could choose to pay those X fresh cards to substitute for the discount), but you keep the cards even if you don't actually build, further, seeing more cards is simply valuable; you may want to keep the fresh cards. Further, discounts can be wasted, if you use Replicant Robots to settle a world that only costs 1, half the bonus was of no use. Of course, Improved Logistics introduces an exception, since the RR discount can be doubled.
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Second in a one horse race
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GreenRock wrote:
Since yesterday I have played about 15 games of this (with only one minor rule confusion). One thing I have noticed is that replicating robots (that gives -2 to planet cost), seems to be very powerful. Maybe even too powerful. If it does appear in the game, the person who has it is the winner. Also do you guys play with the 12 VP supply per person? It seems to make the game end to early.


I've often had Replicating Robots out early and gone on to lose badly. Maybe I'm just not a great player of the game, but I don't think it's too powerful.

You are playing Y Players = Y x 12 VPs total, right? One player in a 4 player game could theoretically get all 48 VP chips before the game ends. It does NOT end when one player pick up 12 chips, but when the chip supply is exhausted. [Edit:] I see someone's already made this point.
 
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Brandon M
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I've played about 50 games (mostly 2pa), and I think I've only played that card a couple of times. I usually end up with about 4 worlds, 5 tops unless I'm doing a military strategy.

I think your comment about the game ending "too early" with only 12 VP per person is contributing to your thinking that replicant robots is so powerful. If you're trying to get 12+ cards in your tableau with a non-military strategy you may be settling more worlds than you need to end the game.

I started with San Juan before moving to Race for the Galaxy, so I made the mistake of going for 12 cards in my early games. If you're getting 3-4 VPs per consume you should be doing consume 2x to end the game.
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