Race for the Galaxy
23rd April 2019.
Tuesday night rolls around again and to 'The Sovereigns' we go for board gaming goodness.
The evening began with 'Race for the Galaxy' an engine building card game about forging a cosmic empire in the vastness of the galaxy.
Race for the Galaxy is a 2-4 player game, but there is no interaction between players. The galaxy is a large place!
What's in a game?
Each player is given a hand of cards that are their 'Action Cards'.
Each player is then given a second hand of cards are which are their 'Game Cards'
Action Cards and Game Cards are always kept seperate.
Each player will have their own playing area where they can play their cards to create their empire (called a tableau).
A number of victory point tokens equal to the number of players x12 is placed in the central playing area.
A deck of game cards are placed into the central area
Each player will have a start world, which must be placed immediately into their tableau.
That's it for components and set up.
How does it play?
Each player will have a separate but identical set of action cards.
At the start of each turn, all players choose an action that they want to carry out and plays the relevant card face down in front them.
When all players have done this; then all players simultaneously reveal their cards.
Here's the clever bit: Not only do you get to carry out the action on the card you played, you get the opportunity to also carry out the action(s) on any or all of the action cards played by other players. This means several things:
Each turn consists of 5 different phases, played in this order. There is a basic description of what they do below.
That's it for the phases of the game, which which is most of the rules, but there are a couple of other things to mention.
Currency & Resources
I've been talking about currency and resources, but have not explained how they work.
For planetary resources, cards are drawn from the deck and placed face down on the respective planet card. When that resource is traded away, the face down card is placed into the discard pile.
With regards to currency: A players hand of cards is also their currency. Thus:
This is proper 'evil genius' stuff going on here. When having to pay for something, it's frequently agonising when deciding what your going to discard to do it.
The end is triggered when either all of the victory points have been claimed or someone has played their 12th card into their tableau. Everyone concludes the current turn and victory points are totted up.
Victory points also come from cards in your tableau.
Highest victory point total wins!
Race for the Galaxy is a good solid engine building card game.
As previously stated, the currency mechanic is genius. Constantly forcing you to make meaningful decisions. It can be so hard using cards to pay for things, especially since there are pretty much no bad cards in the game.
The engine building mechanics are great too.
Essentially there are 2 engine building areas in the game, one for developing/settling and one for trading/producing, although there are cards that work across all areas.
There is only one small criticism I have of this game: There are a lot of symbols and icons on the cards to remember. I mean a lot and it can make the learning curve a little steep.
Otherwise, if you like engine building card game. I have no hesitation in saying this is a good game.
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I play, I paint.