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Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War» Forums » Rules

Subject: Horribly Broken Cards - Pan Galactic Affluence rss

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Christopher Gnech
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I've seen reports of Pan Galactic Affluence being very nice to have, but not game breaking. However, after playing it a few times, it's an instant game killer.

Earn 1 prestige any time you play a development. If you play with the tile, the additional card breaks the game (basically forces the other player to play a prestige card, which is not sustainable over time). Prestige are worth 2 points. So if you get this card early enough, it's easily 15 points on prestige alone (earning + double value). Combined with other prestige cards, this card translates into an instant win. The other abilities (and victory point values) on the card are decent, but the additional prestige production from any development is excessive. yuk

I usually enjoy a game of Race, but the prestige cards really seem to break it.
 
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Andrew
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I reckon PGA is on the high end of the spectrum and groan when it hits the table, but it's definitely beatable (check out previous discussion on the board, also Tom Lehmann commenting on how to beat Galactic Developers).

Trying to keep up in prestige without a prestige engine of your own is a recipe to get smashed. You're better off exploiting your own relative advantages and going for the other sources of points (more high-scoring military worlds, triple consumes, new interlocking 6-costs). An early PGA is a commitment of a lot of cards, and you have to exploit this to the hilt.

Scores in Brink can be a lot higher; PGA is an obvious way to get there, leading to the early impressions you've experienced.
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ackmondual
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fateswanderer wrote:
Trying to keep up in prestige without a prestige engine of your own is a recipe to get smashed. You're better off exploiting your own relative advantages and going for the other sources of points (more high-scoring military worlds, triple consumes, new interlocking 6-costs). An early PGA is a commitment of a lot of cards, and you have to exploit this to the hilt.


Agree with this ^^

The echos of "PGA = instant win" isn't quite that. If you blew your whole hand building PGA, then you're dead in the water. Even if you had some cards left, that's all you got. You're developing sometimes useless cards like Export Duties just to get an additional 2pts per II, + another VP and card assuming you can get/maintain PL. If your draws of Devs you can build run out, then you're still dead in the water. PGA really needs to combo with II discounts like IC/Gal. Fed., and sprinkle some card draws from the like GPB, IB, Gal. Bankers, or Public Works to enable you to be able to develop cards, but also go through the deck quicker to better ensure you're drawing more things you can dev. Having THOSE megacombos/synergies are crushing, but they're farcry from just using PGA on its own.

I you have someone else who's spamming military worlds while maintaining cardflow, there's a decent chance the pts from the worlds, as well as 6-costs will make things a tight match. PGA is at a marked disadvantage if it can't leech off of those IIIs, but that someone can leech off of IIs.

It's possible to outpace someone with PGA in PP, but typically, it really isn't worth it. Just get yourself enough PP to use a prestige action, to feed GPB, Alien Booby Trap, or ICB as needed.

EDIT: Added some bits with goals.
>> A bit about goals.... they go both ways. The Galactica Prestige and Greatest Infrastructure most goals, as well as the Galactica Standing and Galactic Standard of Living first goals can be quite skewed towards PGA, but if a military might is the strategy, then the Greatest Military and Propoganda Edge most goals, plus the Military Influence first goal prevail.
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Michael Link
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With a title including the words "Horribly Broken", how has this thread not devolved into a 60-reply flame war? Are RFTG players really that much more mature than Dominion players?

In 3+ players, you can expect a Dev call from PGA almost every turn but yet that creates negative cardflow and gives you a predictable leech. Note that these are very similar weakness to the Alien Nightmare ELC + ATS.
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Rob Neuhaus
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RFTG gets substantially less traffic than it used to (though entranced has breathed some life back into here).

And I just contribute to flame wars on the Dominion forum instead of the Race one ;P.
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ackmondual
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theright555J wrote:
With a title including the words "Horribly Broken", how has this thread not devolved into a 60-reply flame war? Are RFTG players really that much more mature than Dominion players?

In 3+ players, you can expect a Dev call from PGA almost every turn but yet that creates negative cardflow and gives you a predictable leech. Note that these are very similar weakness to the Alien Nightmare ELC + ATS.
"As we ma-ture, the message board ma-tures with us."

The Dominion board does seem to have a lot of participants. Hell, I asked one, seemingly "innocent" question for Bohnanza in its game entry message board and ended up getting quite some hell.....

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/625716/how-gamebreaking-is-i...

11 to 28 thumbs per simple post? Very few game entries will yield you that. I tell you, if aldie and company implemented that "negative thumbs" feature, I probably would've lost my golden meeple just for asking that question alone wow
 
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Michael Link
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It appears to me that the overall number of flames on the Dominion boards has decreased markedly since the advent of Isotropic. There's something about the existence of real data that makes it harder to sell a bunch of BS.

Probably why there's so little flaming on the Race forums.

Also, I read ackmondual's post on Bohnanza (a game which I have never played). Based on the number of thumbs and the nature of that discussion, it leads me to believe that he either really hit on the core mechanic of that game, or it's just a more casual game with a less discriminating fanbase.
 
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James Ludlow
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He hit the core mechanic. Managing your queue is the entire point of the game.
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Edward
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ackmondual wrote:
theright555J wrote:
With a title including the words "Horribly Broken", how has this thread not devolved into a 60-reply flame war? Are RFTG players really that much more mature than Dominion players?

In 3+ players, you can expect a Dev call from PGA almost every turn but yet that creates negative cardflow and gives you a predictable leech. Note that these are very similar weakness to the Alien Nightmare ELC + ATS.
"As we ma-ture, the message board ma-tures with us."

The Dominion board does seem to have a lot of participants. Hell, I asked one, seemingly "innocent" question for Bohnanza in its game entry message board and ended up getting quite some hell.....

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/625716/how-gamebreaking-is-i...

11 to 28 thumbs per simple post? Very few game entries will yield you that. I tell you, if aldie and company implemented that "negative thumbs" feature, I probably would've lost my golden meeple just for asking that question alone wow

To be fair:

1) Most good players think PGA is a very strong card. That's different from being "horribly broken", but there's at least some grain of truth in the fact that you'd far prefer to have PGA in your hand than your opponent's.

2) The "variant" you proposed in that topic basically guts Bohnanza. It would be akin to suggesting that in RftG both players should be allowed to draw three cards for free at the beginning of every turn. It totally eliminates the core part of both games, which is hand management.
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ackmondual
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theory wrote:
2) The "variant" you proposed in that topic basically guts Bohnanza. It would be akin to suggesting that in RftG both players should be allowed to draw three cards for free at the beginning of every turn. It totally eliminates the core part of both games, which is hand management.
That's my point though.... I know what I've asked horribly guts the game, but to suggest getting 3 free cards for RftG here on the RftG forums would not generate above... I'd say 8 thumbs. I'm almost willing to bet real geekgold on that

Bohnanza is available on BSW, but the interface is A-W-F-U-L. And it's not b/c I'm anti-BSW unlike some people I know.... Unlike those people (who find the interface is awful for all games on BSW), I find the interfaces for games like Dominion, Power Grid, and Ingenius to work out well. Bohnanza was just too clumsy for me.
 
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Lee Fisher
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ackmondual wrote:
theory wrote:
2) The "variant" you proposed in that topic basically guts Bohnanza. It would be akin to suggesting that in RftG both players should be allowed to draw three cards for free at the beginning of every turn. It totally eliminates the core part of both games, which is hand management.
That's my point though.... I know what I've asked horribly guts the game, but to suggest getting 3 free cards for RftG here on the RftG forums would not generate above... I'd say 8 thumbs. I'm almost willing to bet real geekgold on that


It is really just a very strong juxtaposition of question, answer and user. Also you aren't helping by drawing more attention to it.
 
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Wei-Hwa Huang
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theright555J wrote:
With a title including the words "Horribly Broken", how has this thread not devolved into a 60-reply flame war? Are RFTG players really that much more mature than Dominion players?


RFTG tends to have less variance than Dominion, which means that the extremely skewed games that lead an inexperienced player to conclude that a specific card or combination is too powerful is more likely to appear in Dominion than RFTG.
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Philip Thomas
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ackmondual wrote:
theory wrote:
2) The "variant" you proposed in that topic basically guts Bohnanza. It would be akin to suggesting that in RftG both players should be allowed to draw three cards for free at the beginning of every turn. It totally eliminates the core part of both games, which is hand management.
That's my point though.... I know what I've asked horribly guts the game, but to suggest getting 3 free cards for RftG here on the RftG forums would not generate above... I'd say 8 thumbs. I'm almost willing to bet real geekgold on that

Bohnanza is available on BSW, but the interface is A-W-F-U-L. And it's not b/c I'm anti-BSW unlike some people I know.... Unlike those people (who find the interface is awful for all games on BSW), I find the interfaces for games like Dominion, Power Grid, and Ingenius to work out well. Bohnanza was just too clumsy for me.


Maybe a closer comparison would be if someone posted here and said "Hey, why don't we have all five phases occur every round?"

But even then you probably wouldn't generate the same reaction.
 
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Edward
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onigame wrote:
theright555J wrote:
With a title including the words "Horribly Broken", how has this thread not devolved into a 60-reply flame war? Are RFTG players really that much more mature than Dominion players?


RFTG tends to have less variance than Dominion, which means that the extremely skewed games that lead an inexperienced player to conclude that a specific card or combination is too powerful is more likely to appear in Dominion than RFTG.

No way! I'll take BS Treasure Map luck over GalDev + Bank any day.

I think it's because in RFTG, usually only one person at any time can be exploiting a "brokenly good" strategy. This forces everyone else to adapt ways of beating it. You can't all be playing ELC + ATS, and you can't all draw NGO, so someone's gotta figure out a way to beat it.

In Dominion, on the other hand, everyone can pursue the same strategy. Once someone "decides" that Pirate Ships are the way to go, everyone goes Pirate Ships, and then the winner is always going to be a Pirate Ship player. Trying to break out of that groupthink is very difficult, and so people think Pirate Ship is broken.

As evidence: the one time where RFTG flamewars over "brokenness" do break out is over Prestige, where groupthink is actually possible because everyone can try for a Prestige strategy.
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Mark Delano
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It's pretty easy to beat someone who's gotten GalDev+Bank compared to beating someone who's gotten lucky in Dominion. Sometimes there's no way you'll even have a chance of winning against a good early draw in Dominion, particularly if the board favors or punishes a 5/2 versus 4/3 split and the necessary catchup/drag back cards aren't in play. In Race the cards are always in there.

You can limit or parameterize your Dominion sets, but random sets can always have this problem.
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ackmondual
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theory wrote:
onigame wrote:
theright555J wrote:
With a title including the words "Horribly Broken", how has this thread not devolved into a 60-reply flame war? Are RFTG players really that much more mature than Dominion players?


RFTG tends to have less variance than Dominion, which means that the extremely skewed games that lead an inexperienced player to conclude that a specific card or combination is too powerful is more likely to appear in Dominion than RFTG.

No way! I'll take BS Treasure Map luck over GalDev + Bank any day.

I think it's because in RFTG, usually only one person at any time can be exploiting a "brokenly good" strategy. This forces everyone else to adapt ways of beating it. You can't all be playing ELC + ATS, and you can't all draw NGO, so someone's gotta figure out a way to beat it.

In Dominion, on the other hand, everyone can pursue the same strategy. Once someone "decides" that Pirate Ships are the way to go, everyone goes Pirate Ships, and then the winner is always going to be a Pirate Ship player. Trying to break out of that groupthink is very difficult, and so people think Pirate Ship is broken.

As evidence: the one time where RFTG flamewars over "brokenness" do break out is over Prestige, where groupthink is actually possible because everyone can try for a Prestige strategy.


I proposed a variant for the base game (or was it exp#1?) where each player just draws off his own draw deck of his own copy of the game. That would be interesting variant for this. Will post link if I can find it.
 
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Rob Neuhaus
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IIRC, Gal Dev + Bank (basically equal to Gal Dev + public works) won 75% of its games on flex. I am not sure any 2 card opening on isotropic does that well (possibly mountebank chapel?), but I kind of doubt it.

OTOH, thankfully, Gal Dev + Bank happens much less frequently than 1/6 of games, so maybe they aren't really comparable.
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Mark Delano
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Also Flex didn't have BoW, where GalDev/Bank isn't nearly as scary.
 
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Matt N

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PGA fits in the category of cards where I wouldn't mind if they vanished, but I use because I avoid house rules. I'm not a fan, but I won't go beyond friendly complaining.

rrenaud wrote:
IIRC, Gal Dev + Bank (basically equal to Gal Dev + public works) won 75% of its games on flex. I am not sure any 2 card opening on isotropic does that well (possibly mountebank chapel?), but I kind of doubt it.

OTOH, thankfully, Gal Dev + Bank happens much less frequently than 1/6 of games, so maybe they aren't really comparable.


I mean, ATS + ELC probably wins 75%+ without goals in tGS, so the high variance from a lucky start isn't really anything new. In four games with an ancient race starter and G-Fed in hand, I went 0-4 back when I cared. The 60% stat that was thrown around back in the flame war days was only with goals... Even the three card -> 6 point consume 2x/produce engines in the base set probably won an awful lot. This point isn't the one you were trying to make, but there's usually a strong combo out there.

rrenaud wrote:
I am not sure any 2 card opening on isotropic does that well (possibly mountebank chapel?), but I kind of doubt it.


Eh, Dominion isn't very comparable unless you eliminated cases where players bought the same opening or maybe the same one of the two cards. Then, you'd run into the issue where people who don't buy a powerful card probably aren't as good on average. I think Dominion is more balanced in one sense of the word, but you need to spend a lot of money to get anywhere near the variety in Race.
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Michael Link
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The other thing I have noticed about Dominion is that a card that is considered "broken" is often an archetype for a particular style of play or particular kind of deck that is fundamentally good but not necessarily intuitive to a newbie. Case in point: "chapel is broken" really translates into "trashing your initial cards is often the correct path to victory". "Pirate Ship is broken" really translates into "Sometimes non-treasure decks are good and viable, and thank you for trashing my coppers and enhancing my deck cycling". The list goes on.

So to me, it's less about a card being "broken" than it is a flag that there is unexplored strategy space out there to be discovered. BTW, in my last 4er, the player who built PGA came in last place.
 
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Life's Short, Play Naked!
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Trying my first forum post/reply here. I wonder if the experts would agree with me that in most 2p games involving a marked difference in skill level (as is the case with my level versus Keldon Jones' AI):

stronger player has neither PGA nor FC AND weaker player has one or both = weaker player wins

stronger player has one or both = stronger player wins


Just thought I'd throw that out there, since my games against the AI that involve one or both of these cards usually end as per above. Not saying either is broken, but just that they seem to steal the show sometimes.

- x
 
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The AI overvalues Prestige enormously. If you can't beat the AI, I'd play it with less expansions in first, but it's weakness for building Prestige is a great way to strategise against it successfully.

I've played thousands of games of RFTG and I don't even think PGA is that good. Really.

Federation Capital I only like a lot IF you have PGA going and/or you need Prestige goals.

In 2-player, Galactic Developers with more development powers terrify me, as well as a first turn Pan-Galactic Research.

Beating Prestige is much more about lessons learned in earlier expansions about card advantage, accelerating victory conditions, etc. If you can't get past accumulated Prestige, your probably not efficicent enough and your board develops too slowly toward your chosen victory condition.
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