Valdir Jorge
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Date: March 24th, 2005

Game: Ra

Players: Ivan (my son), Jason, Karnon, Maxime and Valdir (myself)


During the week I had been in e-mail conversation with Jason (Titan here on BGG), I had invited him to our Risk Night, so that we could finally meet in person. He had invited me to the gaming sessions at his house in the past few weeks, but something was always coming up and I could not attend, so the Risk Night was a perfect opportunity for us to see each other.

He had told me that he wanted to teach me Ra, so I had printed the rules and I read them to be more or less prepared for the game. However, just reading the rules didn’t enlighten me much, I was still at a loss of how the game really was played.

Jason also brought three friends with him for this game night and one of them (Karnon) joined us for the game of Ra. Jason warned us that Karnon was the house champion in this game... Anyway, Jason went over the rules for the three of us who had never played the game before. Now, with the components in front of me, the rules finally clicked and made sense. By the way, the components in this game are gorgeous, it feels good just to touch those sun tiles!

The first time you play an auction game is hard because it is difficult to know the true value of a given item. More problematic still is the fact that in this game, the winner of the bid exchanges his bidding tile with the one at the centre of the board, so that you are not just bidding for the items on display but also for the tile that you are going to use in future biddings. Talk about plans within plans!...

After the first epoch (there are three of them) I was doing ok in terms of items received and fame points earned, but my bidding tiles were absolutely lousy (3, 4 and 5!) and I basically couldn’t beat anyone in the bidding rounds.

After the final scoring Jason ended up being the big winner with 55 points. Karnon and Maxime had scores in the 40’s and 30’s respectively, while Ivan and I trailed badly: I got 24 and Ivan was last with 22.

We all liked the game very much, it has already become one of my favourites. I will probably still need a few more games to know what I’m doing, but I enjoyed this immensely.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you have low numbered suns (3, 4 and 5 in your example,) you don't think about the fact that others can outbid you. Rather, you try to call Ra early, while the set on offer is still small. They can still outbid you, but if they do, they waste their big suns on small lots. If they don't bid, you get a small lot for a small sun.

Ra is more about controlling the composition of the lots that are auctioned than about bidding the right sun for a given lot.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Valdir Jorge
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Eric!

Thanks for the hint. This was my first time playing this game, I was a bit lost, I didn't call Ra, not even once. Now I know what to do with a bad hand like that! Great!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would also add that the "value" of what's there changes over time based on who has what tiles already, and how close the epoch is to ending. You wouldn't think of bidding 13 for a single tile at the start of an epoch, but if you get caught with a leftover sun at the end when you could have had that one extra monument for 5 VP...

Ra is a fantastic game. I have only played it on BSW, but I am eagerly awaiting the reprint.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Valdir Jorge
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Ekted!

You wrote:
I am eagerly awaiting the reprint.

Funny that you mention this. I played with the Dutch version and at no point did I feel any problem with it. True, there are some words printed on the board, but it is truly minimal. I heard that this Dutch version is still available...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree. Reading is not a skill one uses while playing Ra.

Of course, you may need it to learn the rules, but you should be able to download the rules in English.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Pardoe
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
ValJor wrote:
I heard that this Dutch version is still available...


It is - my Mom just visited family in Holland and picked up a copy for me at the local (Dutch) gamestore.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rene Wiersma
Netherlands
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
Eric Brosius wrote:
Ra is more about controlling the composition of the lots that are auctioned than about bidding the right sun for a given lot.


Eric is right. Ra isn't about how much you should spend on a lot, but when you should buy a lot. If you've got low suns, try and force auctions early to get opponents to spend those high suns. If you are the last one with a sun left, it doesn't matter whether that sun is a '1' or a '16'. Likewise, if the round is over and you got a unused sun left, it doesn't matter if it is a '1' or a '16' either.

To give you a little bit of a guideline of when you should try and buy a lot... Typically the high score will be something like 50 points. Minus the 10 you start with, that means you need to collect 40 points over the course of the game to have a good shot at winning. You can win 9 auctions during the game, so that means about 4.5 victory points per auction. Throw the negative scores of the least Pharaos and the Civ tiles in the mix and you have to gain about an absolute amount of 6 or 7 victory points per auction. Note that avoiding the least Pharaos counts as an absolute number of 2 VPs and getting that first civ tile is worth an absolute number of 5 VPs.

I don't value the number of the sun tile up for bid that much. If there's a particular low sun up for grabs I value it as -1 VP, a high sun as +1 VP. In the last round the value of suns becomes a bit more tangible because of the bonus/penalty for highest/lowest sum of suns.

This guideline doesn't suddenly make the game very simple and straightforward, because sometimes it is hard to guage how much VPs a certain tile will give you over the course of the game. Gold is simple, because that is worth 3 VP. But how much will that Nile tile score over the course of the game? 3 VP at most, 0 VP at worst. That Pharao tile could be priceless when it allows you to maintain the lead for most Pharaos during the game, or worthless when you have least Pharaos anyway. A monument tile of a type you don't have yet will score at least one point at the end of the game, but it might be worth more when it's part of a set. This makes it a game of more or less and intuition, which is what keeps it interesting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.