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This is a list of the frequently asked questions for Race for the Galaxy, and its three expansions Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm, Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium and Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War.

List of game FAQs


Race for the Galaxy (The Base Game)

Q: How many VPs in chips are used?
A: 12 VPs per player, which are combined together into a common pool of VPs (24 total VPs in a 2-player game; 36 VPs in a 3-player game; 48 VPs in a 4-player game). (This changes slightly when playing with the third expansion, The Brink of War, see below.)

Q: Do I take VPs in chips for placing a development or a world?
A: No. VP chips are earned only during the Consume phase (again, this changes slightly with the third expansion).

Q: What happens when the VP chips run out?
A: You add the 10 VP chips to the game, make change, and finish the Consume phase in which the VP chips ran out normally. You then finish out the rest of that round and the game ends.

Q: What happens when two players play the same action card?
A: The named phase happens once, but both players each receive their bonus for this phase.

Q: During Explore, what happens when I have two "Keep 1 card" powers (so I'm now keeping more cards than I drew)?
A: This can never arise. Only Research Labs has this Explore power and you can't have more than one of a given development in your tableau.

Q: Do I put a good on top of a gray world when I place it?
A: No. Gray worlds can never have goods (but their powers can be useful).

Q: Does the Settle power -1 cost for Rare worlds apply to both Rare windfall and Rare production worlds?
A: Yes.

Q: What is my initial Military?
A: 0, plus whatever Military your start world grants you (0-2, depending on the start world).

Q: What is the little red circle next to the VP hex on some worlds?
A: This indicates that the world is a Rebel military world, which affects the scoring of some 6-cost developments. See Galactic Imperium's scoring on page 12 for an example.

Q: During Trade, does a Trade power -- such as Export Duties -- let me sell a good if another player calls Consume:Trade?
A: No. Trade powers give their owner extra cards when he or she sells a good (by calling Consume:Trade).

Q: During Consume:Trade, do all my Trade powers "stack"?
A: Yes (if they all apply to the kind of good that you are trading).

Q: If I call Consume:Trade, what happens after I sell a good?
A: You must then use any Consume powers you have -- in any order you desire -- to possibly consume your remaining goods for VP chips and/or cards.

Q: Can a Consume power consume a good on a different world?
A: Yes.

Q: I have 3 goods and Galactic Trendsetters, which can consume a good for 2 VPs. Do I consume all three goods for 6 VPs when Consume is called?
A: No. Each consume power, unless it indicates otherwise, can consume one good during a given Consume phase. So, you would consume one good for 2 VPs with Galactic Trendsetters and then use your other Consume powers to consume your remaining goods. If you have no more Consume powers, then your remaining two goods would remain on their worlds.

Q: If I have no cards in hand when Consume begins, can I use Deficit Spending to discard a card (acquired from another Consume power, such as New Economy) to gain a VP?
A: Yes (Consume powers can be invoked in any desired order).

The Gathering Storm (Expansion #1)

Q: When do I discard the extra card for Ancient Race?
A: You discard the additional card for Ancient Race before phase selection on the first turn, after seeing opponents' homeworlds. (See Re: Comprehensive script.)

Q: Why must I discard a card to produce a good on Damaged Alien Factory (since it is already an Alien production world)?
A: If you don't, then no good is produced on it. Just as some worlds, such as Gem World, are production worlds that provide a card draw only when a good is produced on them, Damaged Alien Factory is a production world that requires a card to be *discarded* when a good is produced on it.

Q: Do I draw a card for Terraforming Robots after placing a second world with Improved Logistics?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I draw a card for having called Settle after placing a second world with Improved Logistics?
A: No. The Settle bonus applies only to the first world placed in a given Settle phase. The phase bonus is different from the powers on Terraforming Robots and Terraforming Guild. (See Re: Terraforming Guild with Improved Logistics.)

Q: With Improved Logistics, can you pass your first settle, see what everyone else settled, and then use your extra settle?
A: No, Improved Logistics requires that you settle a world in order to place a second. (See Re: Improved Logistics Timing Question.)

Q: When do you settle the second world using Improved Logistics?
A: During your payment step (which occurs in homeworld turn order if this matters), after everyone has revealed the card they wish to settle. (See Improved Logistics Timing Question.)

Goals

Q: Does the Largest Industry "most" Goal (for at least three and the Most Novelty and/or Rare production or windfall worlds in tableau) count the total of both novelty and rare worlds in tableau (instead of comparing each separate total)?
A: Yes (two of each is more than just three of only one of these kinds of worlds).

Q: If player A claims a "most" goal and then player B, later in the game, matches player A's total for this goal's condition, does this goal tile return to the center?
A: No (player A retains this tile; it would be returned to the center if two or more players exceeded player A's total by the same greatest amount).

Q (continued): If this situation persisted until the end of the game, how would this goal be scored?
A: Player A would receive 5 VPs; player B would receive 3 VPs.

Q: What happens if two players are matched for a "most" goal (such as Greatest Infrastructure), one of them has the tile, and that player then reduces their count in a phase not listed on the tile (for example using up a Colony Ship in Settle)?
A: There are three rules that apply here:
  • If a player is no longer eligible for a goal, it is immediately lost to the center;
  • Goals can be stolen by one player from another at the end of every phase; and
  • Goals can be claimed from the center only at the end of the phases listed on the tile.
In the situation described, one of two things would happen, depending on whether the player starting with the tile stops being eligible for the goal:
  1. If they are no longer eligible, the tile immediately goes to the center of the table; the other player cannot take the goal without a phase listed on the tile. Should this situation persist to the end of the game, the second player gets 3VP.
  2. If the first player is still eligible for the goal, it goes to the other player who now exceeds them.

(See ALIEN Oort Cloud Refinery Peculiarities and Anyone else think Greatest Infrastructure should also be checked at the end of Settle Phase?.)

Solitaire Game

Q: In the solitaire game, if the robot's start world is Epsilon Eridani, New Sparta, or Separatist Colony, does the robot have to have enough military to equal or exceed a world's defense in order to place it during Settle?
A: No. These robot opponents can place any military world during Settle (military, for the robot, is abstracted).

Q: In the solitaire game, if I choose Develop/Settle and the robot rolls Settle/*, what happens?
A: You place the robot's Settle die below your settle action (in the first slot), and the * die below your develop action. (See Placing the robot's * action when it as already duplicated my action with its own, specific action.)

Q: In the solitaire game, does the robot settle the negative VP Doomed World if it is eligible to be settled?
A: Yes, no distinction is made between eligible worlds. (See Does the robot settle Doomed World?.)

Q: In the solitaire game, what happens if the robot calls Develop with zero credit?
A: The robot cannot place 6-cost developments, so it develops the first non-6-cost development it flips. (See The Solitaire Rule--Phase 2--totally chaotic, need help., Robot develop action question and Solo: Development robot action with 0 credit?.)

Q: In the solitaire game, how do you draw Mining Conglomerate's production power (draw two cards if you produced the most brown goods)?
A: The condition is fulfilled as long as you produced at least one good, as the robot doesn't produce goods. (See Re: Mining Conglomerate: Bonus for Phase 5 in a solo game.)

Rebel vs Imperium (Expansion #2)

Q: If a player has Hidden Fortress in tableau, do the other players still trigger game end with tableaus of 12 (or more) cards?
A: Yes.

Q: Is specialized military (such as a bonus versus Rare worlds) counted when defending against takeovers?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I takeover two worlds with Improved Logistics?
A: Yes, but you must use two separate takeover powers (see RvI rules).

Q: Do you draw settle bonuses for successfully taking over a world?
A: Yes, but only after the takeover resolution phase at the end of the Settle phase. That means you cannot use bonuses conditional on a successful takeover during the payment part of the Settle phase, for example to boost military for a second settle action using Improved Logistics. (See Re: Improved Logistics Timing Question and Re: Improved Logistics Timing Question.)

The Brink of War (Expansion #3)

Q: How many VPs in chips are used?
A: 12 VPs per player, plus 5 more (29 VPs in a 2-player game; 41 VPs in a 3-player game; 53 VPs in a 4-player game, etc.). (This change, only when playing with The Brink of War, is due to the prestige rules.)

Q: If I am the Prestige Leader and have several Prestige on the Prestige Leader tile, do I remove all of them at the start of a round (after drawing a card and take 1 VP)?
A: Yes.

Q: When spending Prestige, can a player freely spend any prestige that player has (including prestige earned on previous rounds in preference to prestige earned this round)?
A: Yes.

Q: What happens if the last VP chip is taken during the Prestige Leader step?
A: You add the 10 VP chips, make change as needed, and complete the round normally, before ending the game.

Q: Does playing Search count as my action selection for the round?
A: Yes. Search -- at no cost -- replaces your action; Prestige Opportunity -- at a cost of 1 prestige -- modifies it.

Q: If I settle a Rebel military world using a pay-for-military power, do I receive Prestige for the Settle powers of either Imperium Capital or Rebel Freedom Fighters?
A: Yes. (See Re: Rebel Military/Civilian worlds.)

Q: If I use Imperium Cloaking Technology to conquer Rebel Cantina as a military world, do I receive Prestige for the Settle powers of either Imperium Capital or Rebel Freedom Fighters?
A: No. (See Re: Imperium Cloaking Technology and Rebel Sneak Attack, Imperium Capital.)

Q: If I use Imperium Cloaking Technology to conquer
Rebel Cantina as a military world, do Rebel Military bonuses count against it?
A: Yes. (See Re: Would Rebel military strength count towards Rebel Cantina as well?.)

Q: Does the Trade League consuming a good receive an extra +3 cards if its owner chose Prestige-Consume:Trade?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I use multiple goods-for-discounts (Golden Age of Terraforming and Lifeforms Inc) or goods/prestige-for-military powers (Rebel Fuel Refinery and Alien Booby Trap) in the same phase?
A: Yes, but you can only use each individual card's power once. (See Multiple Lifeforms, Inc. discounts?.)

Q: Can I use prestige, cards or goods gained from my first settle for a second settle (eg using Improved Logistics)?
A: Yes, prestige, cards and goods are not attributes or powers of the world settled. Thus you can use prestige for Interstellar Casus Belli, cards to pump military, or goods with Lifeforms Inc for your second settle. You cannot use discounts or military increases that come from the attributes of the card itself, such as chromosome icons with Uplift Mercenaries. (See Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War, Re: Imperium Invasion Fleet.)

Takeovers

Q: In the takeover game, do I get prestige if I perform a takeover on a world that grants prestige when a player first places it?
A: No (just as you don't place a good on a windfall world without one when you take it over). However powers that produce prestige for placing cards with certain properties (Imperium Capital, Rebel Freedom Fighters, Alien Cornucopia) still do so after takeovers. (See Re: Race for the Galaxy AI.)

Q: In the takeover game, what happens when, using Terraforming Engineers, I replace a non-military world that is the target of a pending takeover (declared using Imperium Invasion Fleet in conjunction with an appropriate takeover power)?
A: The replacement is announced, but its resolution is delayed until the takeover is resolved. If the takeover fails, perform the replacement. Otherwise, the proposed replacement fails (and the card is returned to its owner's hand). The pending replacement card is not available to be spent to boost temporary military when the takeover is resolved. (See Timing of Terraforming Engineer's "replace" power.) The replacement power of Terraforming Engineers therefore obeys the general timing rules on p8 of Race for the Galaxy, except that the replacement is delayed after the takeover resolution step of p4 of Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium.

Q: In the takeover game, if someone has declared a takeover against my Doomed World, may I discard it during payment before the takeover resolution step?
A: Yes. If you discard the target of the takeover before the takeover resolution step, the takeover automatically fails. Note this is different than replacing the world with Terraforming Engineers. (See Re: Timing of Terraforming Engineer's "replace" power.)

Q: In the takeover game, if I takeover Galactic Scavengers, do I get the cards under it?
A: Yes, you get the saved cards, just like you get goods on a world. (See Re: Imperial Invasion Fleet vs. Galactic Scavengers (via Interstellar Casus Belli).)

Q: In the takeover game, if I have Golden Age of Terraforming and take over a production world without a good, do I place a good on it?
A: No (just as you don't place a good on a windfall world without one when you take it over). (See Re: Race for the Galaxy AI.)

2-Player Advanced Game

Q: In the 2-player game for experienced players, can a Prestige Opportunity card modify the second of two develop or settle actions that a player calls?
A: Yes.

Q: In the 2-player game for experienced players, is there any effect of playing Consume:2x when a player also plays Prestige-Consume:Trade?
A: No, the x2 VPs from playing Consume:2x is redundant because the Prestige-Consume:Trade action already provides x2 VPs. Place the Prestige bonus card beside the Trade action card - it does not give its bonus to the Consume:2x action card.

Q: In the 2-player game for experienced players, does the convention of playing just the Prestige Opportunity card and announcing what action card it is modifying allow a player to play this action card as the player's other action?
A: No. This is just a convention so a player doesn't have to play 3 action cards; the "named card" is still being used and is unavailable for the player's other action.

The Brink of War Goals

Peace/War Leader

Q: Do defensive takeover powers count for Peace/War Leader?
A: No, only offensive takeover powers count. (See Peace/War Leader Goal.)

Galactic Standing, Galactic Prestige

Q: Can goals involving VP chips be claimed by players who meet their requirements after gaining a VP for having or being tied for the Prestige lead?
A: Yes. Goals are checked at the end of the Prestige Leader step. (See BoW rules page 4.)

The Brink of War Solitaire Game

Q: In the solitaire game, are "robot =" counters for the 4 new BoW start worlds supplied?
A: No, just the tiles for their powers. These start worlds reuse "robot =" counters from earlier expansions (as noted on page 8 of the BoW rules and on the solitaire robot setup sheet supplied with TBoW).

Q: In the solitaire game, what happens if I choose Search and the robot rolls two "match die" faces?
A: The robot sets one die aside (for just this round), adds a card to its draw stack, and matches your other chosen action.

Q: In the solitaire game, what happens if I settle Psi-Crystal World?
A: You choose your second action after the robot has rolled. (See Psi-Crystal World and Solo Play.)

The Brink of War Cards

Galactic Federation

Q: I don't see any difference between the Galactic Federation replacement card and the card in the base RFTG set; what am I missing?
A: The icons in the VP scoring box changed (as noted on page 2 of the BoW rules). Because of the presence of 9-cost Imperium Planet Buster, the "other developments" icon no longer contains "<6".

Galactic Scavengers

Q: How do I set up Galactic Scavengers as my homeworld?
A: Galactic Scavengers is a windfall world, so it begins with a good. Discard down to 4 cards, then after everyone has revealed their homeworlds, place one of these 4 cards under Galactic Scavengers so that you begin the game with 3 cards in hand. (See Re: New starting worlds preview , Re: Question for Galactic Scavengers, Re: Comprehensive script.)

Q: When do I choose which card to store under Galactic Scavengers when I select it as my homeworld?
A: You make this decision before phase selection on the first turn, after players have selected and revealed their homeworlds. (See Re: Comprehensive script.)

Q: If there is a tie for VP points, do cards stored with Galactic Scavengers count towards breaking this tie?
A: No - these cards are neither goods nor cards in hand.

Q: Is the owner of Galactic Scavengers allowed to look at the cards under it at any time?
A: Yes. (See Re: A Few Rules Niggles Came Up Today....)

Q: Is the number of cards under Galactic Scavengers public information?
A: Yes. (See Re: A Few Rules Niggles Came Up Today....)

Terraforming Engineers

Q: Can I replace a grey world with another grey world?
A: Yes, as for the purposes of this card, grey is counted as a kind. (See p12 of Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War, Terraforming engineers question.)

Q: Can I replace a windfall world already in my tableau with a production world of the same color and 0-3 higher cost (or vice versa) using Terraforming Engineers?
A: Yes, "kind" refers only to color, not whether a given world is a windfall or production world. Any old good is lost, and if you replaced the world with a windfall world, the new world starts with a good. (See p12 of Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War.)

Q: Does the new world start with a good?
A: The new world starts with a good only if it is a windfall world. The presence of a good on the replaced world is irrelevant. It does not gain a good if you have Golden Age of Terraforming in play. (See p12 of Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War.)

Q: Do I receive a prestige if the new world grants one when placed?
A: Yes. (No prestige is produced from Alien Cornucopia when the replaced world is a production world, as Terraforming Engineers' replacement power does not combine with other Settle powers.)

Q: Can you choose not to settle a world and just replace a world?
A: Yes. (See p12 of Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War and Re: Terraforming Engineer.)

Imperium Planet Buster

Q: In the takeover game, after successfully destroying a world with Imperium Planet Buster, do I trigger effects (such as draw after settle, prestige for settling a rebel military world, etc) based on placing a world in tableau?
A: Yes. You gain all bonuses for taking over the destroyed world, including those for settling the world. Destroyed worlds are first placed in the attacker's tableau and then discarded, as noted in the BoW rules. (See p5 of Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium, p13 of Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War, and Re: Planet Buster Question.)

Universal Peace Institute

Q: If I have -2 Military from Universal Peace Institute and 6 Military otherwise, how much do I score for Universal Peace Institute?
A: -4 VPs (your Military is always the sum of all applicable military powers; UPI scores victory points for negative Military (and subtracts victory points for a positive Military total)).

Psi-Crystal World

Q: In the 2-player advanced game, if I play my first (simultaneous) develop or settle action with the prestige bonus, can I (after having seen my opponent's selections) play a duplicate develop or settle and have the prestige bonus apply to the second phase?
A: No. (See Re: Psi-Crystal World, 2PA and Prestige bonus.)

Q: In the 2-player advanced game, does the opponent know which phase I selected before/after seeing the phase choices?
A: Yes. (See this comment.)

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