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Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium - Board Game Box Shot

Race for the Galaxy: Rebel vs Imperium

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As the Imperium crushes outlying systems, Rebel worlds begin to ally,politically and militarily. Meanwhile, the Uplift Code, within the genomesof the Alien Overlords’ former servitor races, is being sequenced. Can you build the most prosperous and powerful space empire in a galaxy where border conflicts rage?

User Reviews (4)

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Critic - Level 4
Advanced Reviewer Beta 1.0 Tester
64 of 71 gamers found this helpful
“Where Are Your Rebel Freinds Now?”

Rebel vs Imperium is the second expansion for Race for the Galaxy, significantly expanding the military component of the game and adding some iffy rules for conquering other players’ cards.

One big plus over the first expansion is the stack of new cards: over forty in this set. Also, the Rebel and Imperium keywords get a significant upgrade, meaning that military is no longer just a singular strategy but has several different branches one could take. There is also a sixth set of player cards, further expanding the number of people you can seat at once. There are also a lot of new six-cost developments meaning a lot more end-game scoring options. It’s even feasible now to combine two or more, if you’re fortunate enough to have two that work well in tandem with your tableau. Several new starting worlds round out the bunch.

The game also comes with some new goals and some new pieces for the solitaire “robot” board. The game also includes a pile of new components for use with the newest game mechanic: takeovers. It is now possible for a player with sufficient military strength to “conquer” a card belonging to another player. It is so difficult to achieve, however, and the rules surrounding the conditions so convoluted, that my playgroup never plays with takeovers included. Never. The game works just fine – or better – without it.

Although the takeover aspect seems kind of hit-or-miss with players, the expansion is pretty much worth it for the extra cards and goals included, and of course for the extra player cards. Regardless of what additional components you leave in or out of the game, more cards is a good thing with Race.

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I Am What I Am
Professional Grader
63 of 70 gamers found this helpful
“Should you buy it”

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.

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6 Beta 1.0 Tester
62 of 74 gamers found this helpful
“Conflict comes to the Race”

With Rebels vs Imperium, the early criticism of Race for the Galaxy as a game of multi-player solitaire become even more untenable then they already were. No longer are the players building their tableaus in isolation: there’s now a Takeover power to ensure that some tableaux are dangerous to pursue. It worked for friends and I: we now always play with RvI in play and takeovers on.

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Amateur Reviewer
Amateur Advisor
62 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“Not the big difference I was hoping for”

I hoped the lack of player interaction will be gone with this expansion. But the requirements for taking over other planets are ridiculous. In our games it happened maybe once per game if at all.


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