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Race for the Galaxy Strategy – Rebel versus Imperium Updates, part 2: Game Changers

In boardgames, race for the galaxy, strategy advice on May 18th, 2010 at 10:00 am

Although Rebel vs. Imperium adds a couple of game changers to the play environment, it specializes in second tier cards – cards which are strong and interesting, but don’t define a strategy. There is nothing in Rebel vs Imperium that shakes up the environment in the same way Improved Logistics, Terraforming Guild and Alien Toy Shop did when first playing with The Gathering Storm.

To get everyone up to speed, here is an overview of the new Game Changers, presented in the same format I used in the original article. The third Rebel vs. Imperium update will cover new Second Tier cards, which are considerably more numerous than Game Changers, and the fourth will talk about new combos for the Game Changers and Second Tier cards in earlier sets. Read the rest of this entry »

Race for the Galaxy Strategy – Rebel versus Imperium Updates, part 1

In race for the galaxy, strategy advice on April 20th, 2010 at 8:00 am

As you might expect, the Rebel vs. Imperium expansion has shaken up Race for the Galaxy, opening up new strategies and rearranging the strength of others. While I don’t think anything that I’ve written about the strategy of Race for the Galaxy so far has been invalidated, several topics do need updating before I move forward, and this is the first of a short series of articles that I hope will provide those updates.

This first piece offers small updates to strategic ideas that were previously discussed, namely Card Flow and Discounts, Power Consume strategies and Novelty Consume strategies. Read the rest of this entry »

Race for the Galaxy Strategy – Novelty Consume Strategies

In race for the galaxy, strategy advice on December 16th, 2009 at 10:00 am

[Authour’s note:  As will quickly become apparant, I am not taking Rebel Vs. Imperium into acocunt yet in this article. Hopefully I will have an opinion post about it in the new year, and then I will update the posts that I have written so far, before continuing on]

Key cards: Free Trade Association, Consumer Markets

Novelty consume is one of two types of Consume strategy that new players tend to grasp quickly. The key cards are relatively plentiful and they are obvious when you see them, plus novelty production worlds are cheap and numerous. Several novelty worlds also feature Consume powers, including a couple that Consume for cards, which can help get the engine running in a hurry even without the key cards right away. Read the rest of this entry »

Race for the Galaxy Strategy – Power Consume Strategies

In boardgames, race for the galaxy, strategy advice on September 9th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Originally, my plan was to write a single longish article with a few pointers each for specific types of Consume strategy. As these things are wont to do however, it grew. Before long, I realized it would be better to do a separate, easily digestible article for each type of Consume strategy. I’m starting this series-within-a-series here with power Consume strategies.

Note that I am not writing with Rebel vs. Imperium in mind yet. I am rapidly racking up experience, but I’m not ready to write with any authority about it yet.


Key cards: Tourist World, Alien Toy Shop, Galactic Trendsetters, commodity worlds

A power Consume strategy tries to outpace other players by playing efficient Consume powers that score more than one VP per good. The point is to save tempi, building a powerful Consume engine more quickly than normal. When it works right, you finish the game by exhausting the VP pool before your opponents can hit their stride.

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Race for the Galaxy Strategy — Consume Strategies

In boardgames, race for the galaxy, strategy advice on July 30th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Consume strategies are a tough nut for new Race for the Galaxy players to crack. They require a lot of moving parts – a handful of production worlds and the right mix of Consume powers to make them score efficiently. It’s easier to see how plans like throwing down a big military and then settling your brains out or leveraging discounts work, even if they are not always as efficient. Tom Lehmann has even said in public forums that he designed the Race for the Galaxy base set with a significant bias toward Consume strategies in order to nudge new players toward playing them effectively.

In this article, I want to present some general advice on how to get the most from Consume strategies. I will follow up in my next article with an overview of the major varieties of Consume strategy, with specific tips for playing each variety well. Finally, in a third article, I will present a few tips for fighting against Consume strategies. Read the rest of this entry »

Race for the Galaxy Strategy – the Second Tier

In boardgames, race for the galaxy, strategy advice on May 12th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Having taken a look at cards that change the game when they are played, I want to turn my attention now to cards that are undeniably powerful, but lack the extra oomph characteristic of a game changer. Their appearance may mark a transition between phases of the game, but only when it is the capstone of a power combination, or the last piece of a strategic puzzle. Often they cause little change in the tempo of the game when they are played. They save a player a tempo or three over the course of a game, but they do not drive you to the end of the game the same way Tourist World and Improved Logistics do.

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Race for the Galaxy Strategy – Game Changers

In boardgames, race for the galaxy, strategy advice on March 24th, 2009 at 10:00 am

Race for the Galaxy cards are not created equal. Some are workmanlike cards that form the heart and soul of the game, but do not garner great accolades. Some only fill niches that are necessary to tie some strategies together, but are often of little use. A couple are actually rather terrible, looking to sucker players into wasting valuable tableau space on them.

Game changers are the cards that announce that a player is ready to get down to business. When they are played in the first half of the game, the pace of the game picks up. Maneuvering for a card here and a build there stops, and the real business of winning the game begins. They mark a player’s intended strategy because they allow a player to pursue that strategy with a real saving of tempo, often by drawing cards while pursuing their main strategy, but it can take other forms as well. Players typically make the transition from the opening to buildup or from buildup to drive by playing a game changer.
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Race for the Galaxy Strategy – Stages of a Game

In boardgames, race for the galaxy, strategy advice on March 2nd, 2009 at 11:00 am

There is a natural arc to a game of Race for the Galaxy that can be broken down into stages of the game. This article gives an overview of the different stages of a game, what you should be aiming to do during each stage, and how to recognize the transition from one stage to the next. Understanding what you need to focus on in each phase of the game, and knowing when that has changed, will help you to make more efficient plays than your opponents, and help you sift through the array of options that you always have available throughout the game.
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Race for the Galaxy Strategy – Card Flow and Discounts

In boardgames, race for the galaxy, strategy advice on February 25th, 2009 at 11:00 am

Cards in hand are the lifeblood of any RftG strategy. They serve not only as the developments and worlds that you put into play, they also serve as the primary currency of the game. Typically, the more cards you draw during a game, the better, and failing to establish a steady flow of cards to your hand throughout the game will force a long, uphill battle on you. Of course you can also attack the problem from the other end by reducing how many cards you need in order to pay for your worlds and developments. Price discounts and military strength will not free you from the need to draw new cards, but they will decrease it.

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Race for the Galaxy Strategy – Phase Selection

In race for the galaxy, strategy advice on February 2nd, 2009 at 10:00 am

The act of phase selection (or role selection, a legacy from its Puerto Rico heritage) lies at the heart of Race for the Galaxy, so it should surprise no one that improving your play in this aspect of the game is an important part of winning. Unfortunately, genuine mastery is not possible: there is a healthy dose of art amidst the science. Nevertheless, there are several rules of thumb that can help you find your way. Read the rest of this entry »

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