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The game spans 1500 years of Egyptian history in less than an hour!

The players seek to expand their power and fame and there are many ways to accomplish this: Influencing Pharaohs, Building monuments, Farming on the Nile, Paying homage to the Gods, Advancing the technology and culture of the people. Ra is an auction and set collecting game where players may choose to take risks for great rewards or... And all this is for the glory of the Sun God Ra!

Ra is set in ancient Egypt. The players strive for power by collecting tiles that represent various aspects of economic, spiritual, and technological growth. The players acquire the tiles by bidding for them in auctions. The currency for these auctions are tokens given to players by Ra, the sun God. Using these limited tokens, players must decide when to bid and how much to get the tiles they want.

User Reviews (2)

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17 of 17 gamers found this helpful
“A Knizia masterpiece”

Ra might just be Knizias finest product. It is a fairly quick auction/bidding – set collection game with a little push your luck added set in ancient Egypt. Although the theme probably could have been anything Ra is still a classic and an absolutely amazing design.


Each player is given a few sun tiles and 10 points before the start. The sun tiles are what you use to bid for the available tiles and are numbered 1-16. The tile numbered 1 starts in the middle of the board. The board is placed the table and shows two tracks, one for tiles drawn from the bag and one Ra track that will determine the end of the round. There is an intermediate scoring after each of the epochs and one final scoring for monuments and sun tiles after the third and final round/epoch.

On your turn you must choose one of three possible actions.

1) Draw a tile from the bag
2) Invoke Ra (force auction)
3) Use a G*d tile from a previous auction round

If you drew a tile you add it to the corresponding track. If it was a red Ra tile add it to the Ra track (upper) and everybody gets a chance to bid for the tiles available, if no one wants to bid the next player takes a move and the tiles remain. Any other tile is added to those already on the lower track and if this is full now an auction starts. Everyone is free to bid if they want.

If you invoke Ra you will also set off an auction round but if no one makes a bid you must make a bid even if you don’t want it and was just hoping someone else would make an offer.


The auction will run the same way whether it was invoked by a player or a drawn Ra tile. The player after the invoker may bid by placing a sun tile on the board, and then each following player may place a higher numbered tile to take control of the bidding until the invoker has had a chance to speak. Highest bidder then exchanges the sun tile that won the auction for the one on the board and takes all tiles that were up for grabs. Each sun tile may only be used for one auction each epoch thus the tile you return is placed face down.

So, what do the tiles do?

G*d tile: May take another tile from the auction track, or worth 2 points.

Gold tile: Worth 3 points

Pharaoh: After each epoch, most pharaohs score you 5 points while the least -2

Civilization: After each epoch you lose 5 points if you don’t have any but you score points if you have enough different ones.

Nile: Score 1 point for each Nile tile IF you have a flood tile. Score nothing if you have no flood.

Monument: These are only scored at the end of game and you score both for different and many of the same.

G*d, gold, flood and civilization tiles are removed between each epoch.
In addition there are a few black catastrophe tiles for pharaohs, civilizations, Nile and monuments. If you are “lucky” to get one of those you’ll have to remove two of the corresponding tiles from your area and in the case of Nile/flood you’ll have to remove the flood tiles first which can be a true killer.

An epoch ends when a sudden spot on the Ra track has been covered by a red Ra tile, this varies depending on player count.
After the third epoch is finished and monuments are scored there is a final scoring of +/- 5 points for highest/lowest total off your sun tiles.

Final thoughts:

I do adore and love Ra. It’s just an exceptional design that forces the player to several hard, borderline decisions. There are just so many layers to think through. There is a very fine line in mastering when to draw or invoke Ra depending on your own sun tiles while at the same time you have to keep an eye on how attractive the tiles on offer will be for the other players. Finally you must also keep track and maybe gamble a little on when the epoch will end.
All in all an incredible deep game that lasts about an hour.

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44 of 50 gamers found this helpful
“A Great, Often Forgotten Game”

This game was not even on my radar until I found it on a thrift store shelf for $2. When I saw it was by Reiner Knizia, I knew I had to get it. Now that I own it and have played it many times, I know that it has become one of my favorite games to play and should have been on my wish list.

The concept is very simple. Draw tiles from a bag and place them on the board. Each tile has different point values based on the accumulation of tiles. Some tiles you need to have more than your opponents. Some you need other tiles to activate them. Others you need to collect sets or many of the same to get points. The auction is determined by the use of the “Ra” token. A person can either call “Ra” to start an auction or they can wait until a Ra tile is drawn. The person who drew or calls Ra is the last to bid and the winner gets all the tiles on the board.

The timer for each round is the Ra tiles and this is where the game really shines. If you draw enough Ra tiles, the round ends and points are counted. Many times this can happen quickly and you may get no tiles at all. Timing is everything and this is what make this game great.

The other things is knowing the value of the tiles. Some are more valuable than others, but the value changes based on the situation and the other tiles that player has. You have to think about everything and those who read the game well will win consistently.

Like most Knizia game, the theme has nothing to do with the game so some may consider it to be dry. It also is an old game so many will overlook it for other newer, shinier games. For me though, this is a definite winner and a game that everyone should try. It am always surprised by how much fun I have playing and how satisfying it is outwit my opponents.


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