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Go to the Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium page
22 out of 23 gamers thought this was helpful

Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium is the second expansion in the Race for the Galaxy series. The goal of this review is to help owners of Race for the Galaxy decide whether or not they should purchase Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium.

To begin with if you do not own the first expansion Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm you should NOT purchase Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium. While it is not required to play the second expansion, game play will go a lot smoother if you get them in order. Realistically, there’s no reason not to.

What you get:
In my opinion the game comes with a lot of needless junk. I feel like the company threw in a lot of extra components to make the expansion seem more substantial. A lot of these components I would just rather forgo and let the company keep the extra money. For instance this expansion includes Takeovers, and includes a “takeover disc”. The takeover disc is to be used to show whether or not you are allowing takeovers in the game. The cardboard disc has a takeover side and a no-takeover side, and you place the appropriate side up during the game to remind the players. This to me seems like a total waste. Who forgets what type of game you’re playing so many times per game that they require this? Can’t you just ask your opponents in this situation? If you struggle to remember whether or not you are in a takeover game, I can’t imagine you would do that well remembering any of the rules.

Player Cards for a 6th player: These will also be useless to me. I have logged over a hundred plays with Race and never have I found more than 4 total players at once. It’s hard to imagine many people wanting to play Race for the Galaxy with 6 players, but it is even harder to imagine those people who do giving up for want of an player action card set. Have the extra player just write his move down or something. Maybe create your own action deck if you need it.

Military Track Sliders: If you are of the mind set that a game isn’t a real board game until it includes little wooden cubes, then this is the expansion for you. Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium includes purple, red, and pink cubes to move along a little slider so your opponents know how much military you have for takeovers. It is also interesting to not that the instruction manual insists the pink cubes are “light red”. In addition to representing your total military the game also has a slot where you can put whether or not you are vulnerable to 2 different types of attacks.

Now I suppose this could be useful in larger games, but every time we tried to use them, they just got in the way. Directly asking your opponent is a lot easier, especially since it will be hard to read your opponents slider. Unless your group hates talking to one another, these will only get used if you force yourself to. This is another thing that seems to be the most benefit people with terrible short term memories. Does he have a rebel world? Yes. What about now? Yes. Now? Yes. Now? Yes. Maybe Tom Lehman is catering to the goldfish crowd.

Additional Counters: This expansion comes with victory point chips, goal VP chips, and solitaire game counters to account for all the changes.

Additional Goals: Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium comes with 2 “most” goal chips and 3 “first” goal chips to combine with your other goals. These goals fit in excellently with the other ones and adds great variety to your play. The goals include “most explore powers”, “Most rebel worlds”, “First to get 4 goods,” “First to get 3 uplift cards”, and “first to get 8 cards in your tableau”. If you enjoyed the goals in the previous expansion, then these will be quite the treat.

Cards: There are 41 game cards, 3 start worlds, and a replacement Gambling World, where they changed the nature of the card. The 3 start worlds are great and bring your total to 12, 6 military and 6 non-military. The expansion recommends you have each player randomly draw one military and one non-military along with their 6 initial cards before picking one to be their home world. This works out great because it gives each player a lot of options for the start of the game, and gives each player a choice on how to start there empire based on cards in hand and current goals.

The 41 cards work excellently with all previous ones and include some monsters like a 9/9 rebel military world and an 8/8 alien military world. The emphasis here is definitely on the military once more. There are a lot of cards with “REBEL” or “IMPERIUM” in their names, which fits well with the added two player expansion. I liked this set of additional cards better then the last set because they seemed to push the boundaries of the game more.

Game Play: Whenever my group played the base game, economy was the dominant strategy, but with this expansion we saw a lot more military strategies paving the way. They introduce an new “explore” power where you get to combine your cards drawn with your hand before discarding. It is a pretty strong power, especially if you use the +5 cards drawn explore power, you can revamp your whole hand. There are a couple more additional powers added, but they are all very self explanatory. Most of them you won’t need to use the rules for.

Now, the major feature of the game is Takeovers. A takeover is executed on the Settle phase, and involves a player electing to take a military world from an opponent who meets certain conditions. The conquering player must have one of three takeover cards and the victim must meet the requirements for that card.

Having one of your worlds taken over can be devastating, but in often cases does not do too much for the conqueror unless the captured world does a good deal for him. Your military has to be greater then your opponents military + the strength of the world in question a lot of time this leads to a player getting a gigantic military just to conquer one tiny world. The annoying thing about takeovers is that they’re so easy to avoid. In my experience playing a takeover card is very unlikely to net you any takeovers, the main benefit will be just in forcing your opponents to not play certain cards to avoid takeovers.

The takeover process is a bit complicated compared to much of the game especially when you consider how rarely it comes up. The creators did a good job of preventing takeovers from being over powered, but unless I’m playing the special two player game, they seem almost a non issue. Anymore I’m tempted to turn the handy-dandy takeover disc to no takeover when I’m not playing the special game.

Rebel vs. Imperium: The namesake of this expansion is a special two player game where one player plays as the rebels and one player represents the Imperium. The rebel player starts with the rebel based starting world and the rebel 6 cost development in hand while the Imperium player starts with the Imperium based starting world and the Imperium 6 cost development in hand. Both the developments allow for takeovers.

This is a very exciting game as it is almost assured that takeovers will be a factor. I absolutely love playing this one because it finally gives Race for the Galaxy a good thematic feeling. The military race for power is pretty fun with takeovers allowed. I usually handpick the “most rebel worlds” and “most military strength” goals when playing this one to make it even more interesting.

Conclusion: If you have played through the first expansion several times and are continually wanting more, then this buy is a no-brainer. Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium is worth the price even if you end up permanently shelving a lot of the components like I did. If the added complications of the first expansion was a bit of a turn off, then this one will only further muddle the game. Although it is perfectly fine to buy both expansions at once, I highly recommend playing through the first a couple times before thinking about the second.

I purchased Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium at my FLGS for $24.95 USD.

9
Go to the Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm page
19 out of 21 gamers thought this was helpful

Race for the Galaxy has been my favorite game for a while, but it’s taken me quite some time to get Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm. But it is finally here. So far I’ve played it several times with 2 and 3 players.

Initial Impressions: I was very disappointed to open Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm. There was a stark difference between the backs of the cards from the original, and from the expansion. The border is much darker on my expansion cards. From the draw pile you can easily tell whether it is a new card or an old card. The obvious solution would be to just sleeve the whole deck in sleeves that have a solid back, so you cant see through, but that’s another chore and expense added onto the expansion.

What you Get: My biggest concern when purchasing an expansion is what it adds to the base game. I want to take a look at each of the components you get when purchasing the expansion, and tell you what I think it adds to the feel of Race for the Galaxy.

Action Cards For a 5th Player: These would come in handy supposing you have more friends then I. You get 9 cards in total, 7 for the base game and 2 for the advanced 2 player game. Since it is the 5th set, they don’t even really need the cards for the advanced 2 player game, but I guess now you get more color choices when playing. You also get more victory chips to accommodate the fifth player.

4 New Starting Worlds: I was excited to review these, they were exactly what my group wanted. These worlds add to the base games five to make a total of 9 different ways you can start your empire. I was also pleased to see these cards had the slight increase in complexity that is often desired in expansions. One forces you to discard down to 3 instead of 4, and another one will only produce if you discard a card. These new mechanics will integrate well with the rest of the set. My group definitely enjoyed the wider variety of starting options.

Goal Tiles: For me this was the crux of the expansion. There are 4 “most” goal tiles, and 6 “first” goal tiles, worth 5 and 3 points respectively. The goal tiles come in those thick cardboard sheets where you get to punch out your pieces, which by the way, is the most satisfying feeling in the world. Each game takes two random “most” tiles and 4 random “first” tiles.
The “first” goals are awarded permanently to the first player to achieve that goal, for instance the first player to play a 6-development card. The most cards may be traded back and forth based on who currently has the most of the goal. For instance the largest military (minimum of 6). You can certainly play around with the number of goals you want to add to your game, making even more variants possible. I like these goals because they force you to pay more attention to your opponents. Race for the Galaxy is often criticized for just being mulitplayer solitaire, but these goals really change the nature of the game. They aren’t worth gigantic amounts of VPs so that they dominate the flow of the game, but they are substantial, and often can make the difference between winning and losing. The implementation of these goals increases the social aspect of the game.

18 Game Cards: This seemed shockingly low to me. Only 18 more cards (plus unused home worlds) to add to my deck? And one of those was just an additional copy of Contact Specialist! I understand you don’t want to drastically alter the deck by adding expansions, but this seemed to hardly tweak it. Some of the new mechanics are great fun, I really enjoy cards like Space Mercenaries which give you more options in your game play. But honestly, I just felt like I spent a lot of money, and was not getting a lot for it.

18 Blank Game Cards: I’m tempted to complain about how the designer just got lazy and left the thinking up new cards to the players – but to be honest, I love blank cards. Adding my own touch to games is a whole lot of fun, and I’m sure this will be no exception. The cards are designed like normal Race cards, which is nice for appearances, but doesn’t do much for me in terms of practicality. The background of most of the cards is black, so small printing will become a must. And they have the color of the planets filled in already, so you can only add one per color, production and windfall. They even include blank developments, and 6-developments. Why not just make them all blank? Surely if I’m writing in everything else, I can manage to write a “6″. But at this point I’m just nitpicking.

Solitaire Board and Tiles: I’ve never cared for solo board gaming, unless the electricity is out, and this one isn’t an exception. I like the social aspect of gaming, and not even my favorite game can survive with just me. If solo gaming is your thing though, this may be a big plus.

Overall: I like this expansion, but I think it’s only because I LOVE the original. If you are only lukewarm on the original, I wouldn’t recommend buying this expansion. I just don’t think it adds much for the price. The goals are great, but once you have the idea for putting goals for VPs in the game, you really don’t need fancy card board push outs to play with them. Heck, in addition to the blank cards, I might even grab some index cards and make some new goals too.

10
Go to the Race for the Galaxy page
78 out of 93 gamers thought this was helpful

Race for the Galaxy has been my favorite game for a while, but it’s taken me quite some time to get Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm. But it is finally here. So far I’ve played it several times with 2 and 3 players.

Initial Impressions: I was very disappointed to open Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm. There was a stark difference between the backs of the cards from the original, and from the expansion. The border is much darker on my expansion cards. From the draw pile you can easily tell whether it is a new card or an old card. The obvious solution would be to just sleeve the whole deck in sleeves that have a solid back, so you cant see through, but that’s another chore and expense added onto the expansion.

What you Get: My biggest concern when purchasing an expansion is what it adds to the base game. I want to take a look at each of the components you get when purchasing the expansion, and tell you what I think it adds to the feel of Race for the Galaxy.

Action Cards For a 5th Player: These would come in handy supposing you have more friends then I. You get 9 cards in total, 7 for the base game and 2 for the advanced 2 player game. Since it is the 5th set, they don’t even really need the cards for the advanced 2 player game, but I guess now you get more color choices when playing. You also get more victory chips to accommodate the fifth player.

4 New Starting Worlds: I was excited to review these, they were exactly what my group wanted. These worlds add to the base games five to make a total of 9 different ways you can start your empire. I was also pleased to see these cards had the slight increase in complexity that is often desired in expansions. One forces you to discard down to 3 instead of 4, and another one will only produce if you discard a card. These new mechanics will integrate well with the rest of the set. My group definitely enjoyed the wider variety of starting options.

Goal Tiles: For me this was the crux of the expansion. There are 4 “most” goal tiles, and 6 “first” goal tiles, worth 5 and 3 points respectively. The goal tiles come in those thick cardboard sheets where you get to punch out your pieces, which by the way, is the most satisfying feeling in the world. Each game takes two random “most” tiles and 4 random “first” tiles.
The “first” goals are awarded permanently to the first player to achieve that goal, for instance the first player to play a 6-development card. The most cards may be traded back and forth based on who currently has the most of the goal. For instance the largest military (minimum of 6). You can certainly play around with the number of goals you want to add to your game, making even more variants possible. I like these goals because they force you to pay more attention to your opponents. Race for the Galaxy is often criticized for just being mulitplayer solitaire, but these goals really change the nature of the game. They aren’t worth gigantic amounts of VPs so that they dominate the flow of the game, but they are substantial, and often can make the difference between winning and losing. The implementation of these goals increases the social aspect of the game.

18 Game Cards: This seemed shockingly low to me. Only 18 more cards (plus unused home worlds) to add to my deck? And one of those was just an additional copy of Contact Specialist! I understand you don’t want to drastically alter the deck by adding expansions, but this seemed to hardly tweak it. Some of the new mechanics are great fun, I really enjoy cards like Space Mercenaries which give you more options in your game play. But honestly, I just felt like I spent a lot of money, and was not getting a lot for it.

18 Blank Game Cards: I’m tempted to complain about how the designer just got lazy and left the thinking up new cards to the players – but to be honest, I love blank cards. Adding my own touch to games is a whole lot of fun, and I’m sure this will be no exception. The cards are designed like normal Race cards, which is nice for appearances, but doesn’t do much for me in terms of practicality. The background of most of the cards is black, so small printing will become a must. And they have the color of the planets filled in already, so you can only add one per color, production and windfall. They even include blank developments, and 6-developments. Why not just make them all blank? Surely if I’m writing in everything else, I can manage to write a “6″. But at this point I’m just nitpicking.

Solitaire Board and Tiles: I’ve never cared for solo board gaming, unless the electricity is out, and this one isn’t an exception. I like the social aspect of gaming, and not even my favorite game can survive with just me. If solo gaming is your thing though, this may be a big plus.

Overall: I like this expansion, but I think it’s only because I LOVE the original. If you are only lukewarm on the original, I wouldn’t recommend buying this expansion. I just don’t think it adds much for the price. The goals are great, but once you have the idea for putting goals for VPs in the game, you really don’t need fancy card board push outs to play with them. Heck, in addition to the blank cards, I might even grab some index cards and make some new goals too.

5
Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

15 out of 82 gamers thought this was helpful

Easy fast game thats great filler for game groups. I wouldn’t call it a gateway game though by any means.

 
Go to the Cosmic Alliance page

Cosmic Alliance

8 out of 37 gamers thought this was helpful

I found this expansion to be interesting, but I don’t know that it added enough to be worth the cost. I’d recommend only for hard core fans.

4
Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
12 out of 62 gamers thought this was helpful

Chances are, if you are on this site, then you’ve played this game so 800 reviews are probably unnecessary. I’ll keep it brief. It’s a great game for very casual gamers. Big gamers will be left wanting more.

 
Go to the Arkham Horror page

Arkham Horror

17 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

Well, it is.

9
Go to the Last Night on Earth, The Zombie Game page
6 out of 33 gamers thought this was helpful

This game doesn’t have too much strategy in it, but it makes up for it with a rich theme. It’s one of those games where you very much get out what you put into it.

10
Go to the Fiasco page

Fiasco

34 out of 104 gamers thought this was helpful

Fiasco is a simple little RPG that is easy to learn and can have hilarious results. It is a good one to change things up with your normal RPG group but due to how dependent it is on people working well together, I wouldn’t try it with a new group.

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