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Subject: Glory to Rome I.V. vs. Race for the Galaxy rss

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Gregg Saruwatari
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Let me start by saying I love Race for the Galaxy. After hundreds and hundreds of plays, I still play it in a group of 5-6 every Friday night, break it out 2p advanced/normal with my wife in-between rounds at cons, and at other game nights (usually when everyone was going to play Magic: The Gathering and a non-MTG player shows up). My wife, friends and myself are also into trying out new games and so I want readers to know that we do not automatically dismiss new games; we give them a very good chance with multiple plays (of course assuming they have the recommendations and reviews). I picked up GTR after reading many glowing reviews and hearing that RftG fans must try it (and usually like it). After dozens of plays I wanted to outline the exact differences that may help lead strategy card game players to prefer one over the other.

1. Availability/Support

RFTG is available for a comparatively low price at retailers and online stores everywhere. GTR is constantly having problems with OOP and distribution. GTR is hard to find through the normal outlets and is subject to huge differences in prices. There can also be huge delays in receiving the game if you do at all. I took a risk on an auction from a seller I had not dealt with before and luckily it worked out. GTR also has little support through their publisher and website, Rio Grande is better but has problems keeping up with demand from time to time. Both games have designers that are active on BGG and are very helpful in supporting the gameplay/rules.

Beware of gamers inflating their opinion of a game because they own it and it is OOP or hard-to-find.

2. Components/Art

RFTG has high quality cards with a playing card finish and is the standard USA card size like M:TG. The VP’s are durable cardboard and could be substituted with something else if needed. The box is a little too large, but I keep my collection in an expansion box and it is durable in a convenient size. The art is visually appealing, but does not play into the game except for the theme. The colors are bad for colorblind people and that is my least-favorite part about RFTG.

GTR has much-maligned art, but I do not think it is very detrimential to game-play. I really like how the 2 types of cards are slightly different sizes and materials so they are easily separated when getting ready to shuffle. In RFTG it is hard to dig out start worlds, so we play with the variant where we never shuffle them in. My problem with the cards in GTR is two-fold. First, the cards are terrible quality. They have a flat gloss and warp naturally. Second the backs are terrible. They should have a one-way design since the fronts have a one-way design so you can straighten them while shuffling- not to mention the terrible art. And the backs of the materials are even worse; worse art, confusing orientation AND they don’t even have the name of the material or indicate the out-of-town status. The rulebook is written fine, but it is a staple book folded lengthwise? It has to be folded to fit in the box and is difficult to thumb through. The plastic clamshell is inconvenient to stack or organize and can pop open if it isn’t packed perfectly. The other components are fine except they do not organize well- the Rome Demands card is a different size than all other cards, the poker chips could have been cards the same size as some of the other cards (start player card is). Last complaint- the draw deck comes split up in 3 smaller tuckboxes that also fall apart easily. I made my own tuck box only to find that a single tuckbox was too big for the clamshell and finally settled on 2 medium tuckboxes, but will probably eventually repackage the whole game.

3. Expansions/Player counts

RFTG starts 2-4 and with the first 2 expansions goes up to 6. The game scales well, the same strategies are valid and the games are similar in length no matter how many you play with.

GTR starts 2-5, but we have found it best with 2. See turn order and Discard pool. It can also play longer with more players due to AP.

4. Starting powers

RFTG has fairly balanced asymmetrical starting powers. With the expansions you get to choose from a couple in case you dislike one or it really doesn’t fit your strategy that game.

GTR has asymmetrical access in the beginning due to random pool, but otherwise players atert out the same.

5. Turn Order

Turn order does not matter in RFTG. Sit wherever you want. Let the guys sit facing the basketball game. Let the mom sit next to the high chair. Let the autistic friend sit in the chair he always sits in. Don’t worry about anyone blocking your next planned move.

Going first can have a big impact some games and small impact others. Same with seat order. We fill like a misplay by one player can lead to insurmoutable advantage for the next player in turn order. This seems to get worse the more players.

6. Discard pool/Burning cards

GTR is very interesting because of the pool. Basically the discard pile become a second resource like a face up draw pile. The mechanic is very interesting and unique. Overall I have problems with the pool becoming a kingmaking mechanic. Many of our games have lots of actions that utilize the pool in order to blatently help one opponent and hurt another. Note that some people may like this extra form of conflict.

RFTG uses unrevealed cards as resources to ensure that players do not camp a strategy based on a certain card and search until they get it. Unfortunately sometimes that means your strategies major cards are burned and others draw theirs. This happens rarely, but I thought I would mention it.

7. Multiple Uses for Cards

GTR has many uses for cards. Each one has 4 uses, lead a role, be a client, be a material and be a building. 3 of those can be used from the hand, 2 from the pool. This is great for adding choices and strategy, but with choices come AP.

RFTG uses cards as what they are (2 types) or resources to play those 2 types. Much of the game is balancing having enough cards to pay to do things while having the right cards to do.

8. Text/Iconography

I don’t understand why people complain about this in RFTG. The icons are clear and consistent and interact with each other well. We never have to “figure out” what happens when cards interact. And if you hate icons, there is text in the bottom right that tells you what the icons mean. Additionally there is player aids with the icons listed. Use these for new players.

GTR on the other hand has text, but the text can be very vague or confusing. Some text on cards sounds very different that the description of the same card in the rulebook (the rulebook is good at explaining the cards, though). Descriptions are not written in a consistent manner so ruling how one card works based on another cards abilities is difficult at best. The best ruling I heard was on one of the threads here, I think something like “if a card interaction seems ridiculously good, that is how it is intended to work.” We play this way if we do not see a ruling in the rulebook or BGG and it is fun, but would prefer to see tighter rules language on the cards.

9. Swingy-ness

In RFTG if you gain an early advantage it is up to the other player to take advantage of your predictability from the advantage to catch up. Not very swingy at all.

In GTR, early advantage can be mitigated by ridiculous combos or kingmaking or luck. More Swingy.

10. Replayability

There is more variety in cards, engines and combos in RFTG and the fact that it plays well and different at all player counts adds tons of replayability. All of my groups have never had a game ruined by mechanics in RFTG and therefore always want to play more RFTG when we are done. I can’t think of a time we started playing RFTG and then switched to another game, but there has been many, many times we have started playing something else and switched to RFTG.

There is a much smaller amount of combos present in GTR although they are more powerful and can be used in a variety of ways. The pool is different every game and so are the cards that we see so we are eager to pull out GTR at the start of many gaming sessions. However, the games can get crazy leading to a sour ending and we will switch to another game before the night is over.


. . . So hopefully this can help you decide if GTR is right for you. I like GTR and think it is a good game that I will continue to play. I am just not sure that it will ever challenge RFTG's spot in any of my 3 playgroups.
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Mathue Faulk
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Interactivity would be another good category.

Also note that a lot of players (especially the more experienced ones) do not recommend GtR with only 2 players. 3-4 players seems to be the ideal...
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ackmondual
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2pa vs. 3p+ games of RftG are quite the 2 different things. About as much difference with 2p and 3p+ games of GtR. At 2p, I'd almost rather play something else, although I still wouldn't mind it, as there are far worse 2p flicks.

Other random stuff I can think of...

GtR takes up alot more table space

If the blackbox version is still available, GtR can be had for the same price as Race.

I prefer RftG with expansions... it's quite a gameplay shock to revert to no goals nor expansion stuff. Altho GtR also has exp, it stands better on its own base game merits.
 
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Nick B
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I think it's interesting that you find Glory to Rome best with two. I haven't played it with that many (only 3 or 4 player games so far), but it doesn't seem like it would be very fun.

I play Race for the Galaxy 2-player, and Glory to Rome with any more than that.
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Gregg Saruwatari
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We do often play GTR with more players; just almost every game ends with "Player 2 won because player 1 played that card into the pool or let player 2 pick up the client/material they needed and there was nothing player 3 or 4 could do." Or some games have been have been decided by legions just randomly screwing certain players and leaving others untouched(seems less unbalanced in 2p). We enjoy both games while playing; I am just commenting that the ending is much less fulfilling in GTR in multiplayer games. In 2p GTR and in all player counts of RFTG you can see what the winner did better than you. In multiplayer GTR you usually just see where one player screwed you and gave the game to the winner. If you like that sort of thing, that is fine, and I tried to say in the review that GTR would be good for you. I personally don't like when games end that way.
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:
We do often play GTR with more players; just almost every game ends with "Player 2 won because player 1 played that card into the pool or let player 2 pick up the client/material they needed and there was nothing player 3 or 4 could do." Or some games have been have been decided by legions just randomly screwing certain players and leaving others untouched(seems less unbalanced in 2p). We enjoy both games while playing; I am just commenting that the ending is much less fulfilling in GTR in multiplayer games. In 2p GTR and in all player counts of RFTG you can see what the winner did better than you. In multiplayer GTR you usually just see where one player screwed you and gave the game to the winner. If you like that sort of thing, that is fine, and I tried to say in the review that GTR would be good for you. I personally don't like when games end that way.

I'm afraid this will read more condescending than I mean it to, my apologies in advance. It sounds like you have only experienced novice GtR play. I get a much more fulfilling end game in GtR than Race. I can usually see what worked better in all player counts of GtR, but Race it still seems that the winner was lucky drawing the right planets or developments. I've read enough to know this isn't true for high level Race players. In a sense, our perceptions of each other's favorite games are viewed in a mirror darkly.

Once the novice to your right figures out pool control, you are in for a much richer game.
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Mathue Faulk
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darthnice wrote:

Once the novice to your right figures out pool control, you are in for a much richer game.

Yes, pool control is the key to GtR.
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Gregg Saruwatari
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darthnice wrote:
GrimThunderbrew wrote:
We do often play GTR with more players; just almost every game ends with "Player 2 won because player 1 played that card into the pool or let player 2 pick up the client/material they needed and there was nothing player 3 or 4 could do." Or some games have been have been decided by legions just randomly screwing certain players and leaving others untouched(seems less unbalanced in 2p). We enjoy both games while playing; I am just commenting that the ending is much less fulfilling in GTR in multiplayer games. In 2p GTR and in all player counts of RFTG you can see what the winner did better than you. In multiplayer GTR you usually just see where one player screwed you and gave the game to the winner. If you like that sort of thing, that is fine, and I tried to say in the review that GTR would be good for you. I personally don't like when games end that way.

I'm afraid this will read more condescending than I mean it to, my apologies in advance. It sounds like you have only experienced novice GtR play. I get a much more fulfilling end game in GtR than Race. I can usually see what worked better in all player counts of GtR, but Race it still seems that the winner was lucky drawing the right planets or developments. I've read enough to know this isn't true for high level Race players. In a sense, our perceptions of each other's favorite games are viewed in a mirror darkly.

Once the novice to your right figures out pool control, you are in for a much richer game.


No, I completely understand. I mentioned that my friends are much more experienced with RFTG, but we still continue to play GTR. I understand why some people like GTR better, but I feel I have started to identify why I like RFTG better and I am getting the feeling that it will stay that way no matter how experienced and skilled I become at GTR. I will continue to recommend both games to new players- just according to the points I outlined in the OP. Thanks all for your insightful comments; they are part of what keeps us coming back and trying new things in GTR.
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Will Reaves
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:
GTR on the other hand has text, but the text can be very vague or confusing. Some text on cards sounds very different that the description of the same card in the rulebook (the rulebook is good at explaining the cards, though). Descriptions are not written in a consistent manner so ruling how one card works based on another cards abilities is difficult at best. The best ruling I heard was on one of the threads here, I think something like “if a card interaction seems ridiculously good, that is how it is intended to work.” We play this way if we do not see a ruling in the rulebook or BGG and it is fun, but would prefer to see tighter rules language on the cards.

One thing that might help with card explanations is the Black Box rules, which end with a list of every single card, a detailed explanation of how it works, and then an example of a tricky scenario to make sure how it interacts with other cards is absolutely clear. You can find the Black Box rules here: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/78587/blackbox-edition-rul...
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ackmondual
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Imperium rules (aka I.V. or classic) and Republic rules (aka M.I.T. rules where petition = 2 cards) are practically day and night... with the latter, you seem to get ALOT of cards in the pool on average, vs. the former where you get dryer pools.
 
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Mathue Faulk
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borderline wrote:
GrimThunderbrew wrote:
GTR on the other hand has text, but the text can be very vague or confusing. Some text on cards sounds very different that the description of the same card in the rulebook (the rulebook is good at explaining the cards, though). Descriptions are not written in a consistent manner so ruling how one card works based on another cards abilities is difficult at best. The best ruling I heard was on one of the threads here, I think something like “if a card interaction seems ridiculously good, that is how it is intended to work.” We play this way if we do not see a ruling in the rulebook or BGG and it is fun, but would prefer to see tighter rules language on the cards.

One thing that might help with card explanations is the Black Box rules, which end with a list of every single card, a detailed explanation of how it works, and then an example of a tricky scenario to make sure how it interacts with other cards is absolutely clear. You can find the Black Box rules here: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/78587/blackbox-edition-rul...

Yeah, a lot of the negatives in this review were addressed with the Black Box edition.
 
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Gregg Saruwatari
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mfaulk80 wrote:
borderline wrote:
GrimThunderbrew wrote:
GTR on the other hand has text, but the text can be very vague or confusing. Some text on cards sounds very different that the description of the same card in the rulebook (the rulebook is good at explaining the cards, though). Descriptions are not written in a consistent manner so ruling how one card works based on another cards abilities is difficult at best. The best ruling I heard was on one of the threads here, I think something like “if a card interaction seems ridiculously good, that is how it is intended to work.” We play this way if we do not see a ruling in the rulebook or BGG and it is fun, but would prefer to see tighter rules language on the cards.

One thing that might help with card explanations is the Black Box rules, which end with a list of every single card, a detailed explanation of how it works, and then an example of a tricky scenario to make sure how it interacts with other cards is absolutely clear. You can find the Black Box rules here: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/78587/blackbox-edition-rul...

Yeah, a lot of the negatives in this review were addressed with the Black Box edition.


Unfortunately not #1. And I cannot imagine spending the time and money to get the black box unless I had already played the game and really liked it. I appreciate how much you guys are defending a favorite game, but I do not think it should be recommended for new players to buy without careful consideration to the availability, and differences between rules/components/editions.
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Jason Farris
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My general take on a review like this is that it is highly unlikely you would ever like GTR better even if it were somehow objectively the best game in the word. You love RFTG, and play it to death so icons don't bother you, there is no AP, and you know how to execute your strategies.

Then you hunt down an I.V. Edition of GTR (the same version I own) and play it a few times. To compare the component quality of an established publishers game with professional art to a very small publishers game is really pretty sad. It's like singing the praises of how much better you Ferrari looks than an Edsel. The comparison is effectively meaningless.

Similarly, claiming more depth in a game with a bunch of expansions vs. one with few isn't exactly a level playing field either.

And then there's the game play bias, you already mention.

If you really wanted a good comparison then it needed to be game play alone after logging enough pays of GTR so everyone understands the strategies.

As it stands this review is really a thinly disguised love letter for RFTG. Just leave GTR out of it and call it, "Why I love RFTG."

And just to reveal my bias I think while both games have good strategy to them, both are very opaque and inaccessible to new players. Iconography is poor and it takes multiple plays to "get it." Those who love both games can't seem to understand why others are turned off.

I think the real recommendation here is that you probably don't want to get either game unless you have an established game group that loves playing the same game over and over to really dig in. If you go to game night/day at you local store where the group of gamers and games vary, neither of these will go over as well.





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Mathue Faulk
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:

Unfortunately not #1. And I cannot imagine spending the time and money to get the black box unless I had already played the game and really liked it.

Yep. Unfortunately, Cambridge Games is a mess. I'm happy to have my Black Box edition, but the Kickstarter campaign was a roller coaster with a lot more downs than ups.

It's unfortunate that the Black Box edition isn't easier to find. Before the Black Box, the GtR IV art turned me off so much that I never really looked into the game. Plus, the comparisons to RftG were also a negative since that game was a bit of a fail with our group (though I'd be curious to see how it does now since we tend to play more complex games than we once did).

GrimThunderbrew wrote:

I appreciate how much you guys are defending a favorite game, but I do not think it should be recommended for new players to buy without careful consideration to the availability, and differences between rules/components/editions.

I think it's also important for new players to be aware of some of the changes in the Black Box edition. And since the Black Box edition addresses some of your negatives, that seems like important information to a prospective player. Think of those comments as an addendum to your review since it doesn't cover the Black Box.
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Will Reaves
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:
Unfortunately not #1. And I cannot imagine spending the time and money to get the black box unless I had already played the game and really liked it. I appreciate how much you guys are defending a favorite game, but I do not think it should be recommended for new players to buy without careful consideration to the availability, and differences between rules/components/editions.

I love both RftG and GtR, although since I traded the former away to get a black box copy of the latter, I'm certainly not without an opinion on the subject ...

I would say that neither game is good for "new players" in the sense of people new to the hobby (my attempts to bring out RftG with non-gamers invariably fell flat), but Race is easier to introduce to experienced gamers because many of the ideas relate to games like PR. GtR's pool/hand management can be very tricky to grasp at first and really doesn't exist outside of Chudyk's work, although there are plenty of very good walkthroughs on the web to help with that.
 
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Len
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mfaulk80 wrote:
darthnice wrote:

Once the novice to your right figures out pool control, you are in for a much richer game.

Yes, pool control is the key to GtR.


Especially true if not playing the Republic rules.
 
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borderline wrote:
GrimThunderbrew wrote:
Unfortunately not #1. And I cannot imagine spending the time and money to get the black box unless I had already played the game and really liked it. I appreciate how much you guys are defending a favorite game, but I do not think it should be recommended for new players to buy without careful consideration to the availability, and differences between rules/components/editions.

I love both RftG and GtR, although since I traded the former away to get a black box copy of the latter, I'm certainly not without an opinion on the subject ...

I would say that neither game is good for "new players" in the sense of people new to the hobby (my attempts to bring out RftG with non-gamers invariably fell flat), but Race is easier to introduce to experienced gamers because many of the ideas relate to games like PR. GtR's pool/hand management can be very tricky to grasp at first and really doesn't exist outside of Chudyk's work, although there are plenty of very good walkthroughs on the web to help with that.
I dunno about that... I played RftG first, then played GtR, so I may be biased, but I found I needed about 3 to 5 plays of RftG to understand the more basic stuff, while GtR I got the basics on my first game.

However, it would be 5+ plays before I grasped strategy with GtR, and that's before learning all the other cards, so I guess it comes out even in the end.
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Gregg Saruwatari
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Smilinbrax wrote:
My general take on a review like this is that it is highly unlikely you would ever like GTR better even if it were somehow objectively the best game in the word. You love RFTG, and play it to death so icons don't bother you, there is no AP, and you know how to execute your strategies.

Then you hunt down an I.V. Edition of GTR (the same version I own) and play it a few times. To compare the component quality of an established publishers game with professional art to a very small publishers game is really pretty sad. It's like singing the praises of how much better you Ferrari looks than an Edsel. The comparison is effectively meaningless.

Similarly, claiming more depth in a game with a bunch of expansions vs. one with few isn't exactly a level playing field either.

And then there's the game play bias, you already mention.

If you really wanted a good comparison then it needed to be game play alone after logging enough pays of GTR so everyone understands the strategies.

As it stands this review is really a thinly disguised love letter for RFTG. Just leave GTR out of it and call it, "Why I love RFTG."

And just to reveal my bias I think while both games have good strategy to them, both are very opaque and inaccessible to new players. Iconography is poor and it takes multiple plays to "get it." Those who love both games can't seem to understand why others are turned off.

I think the real recommendation here is that you probably don't want to get either game unless you have an established game group that loves playing the same game over and over to really dig in. If you go to game night/day at you local store where the group of gamers and games vary, neither of these will go over as well.




The idea was to aid decisions of players whom like RFTG or GTR on how much effort they should expend in obtaining and trying the other. Looking back, I see how the subject title could be misconstrued and I will fix that in my future posts. I never said in the post this was an impartial objective review that picks the better game. I think I did a good job of outlining the various differences that gamers might recognize as something they enjoy or dislike.

Component quality matters to many gamers and it definitely has a place in this review. If you do not recognize that, then perhaps you shouldn't be claiming to know what others are thinking (that I wrote this to say RFTG is better). This was specifically not a review of "gameplay after 100 games" alone. It was about what you might like in one and if it was the same or different in the other.

Just as you are sick of others complaining about the inequity of pool control, I am sick of people who continue to argue against icons. I have never had a problem with them and found them easier to resolve interactions between cards than inconsistent text since my very first game. RFTG was basically the gateway game that got me into strategy board games and since then I have played a wide enough variety to claim that I understand my likes, dislikes, and the differences between them.

Last point about how these games work better for repeat plays is well taken and I do wish I had thought to include that in the OP.
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Jason Farris
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:
Smilinbrax wrote:
My general take on a review like this is that it is highly unlikely you would ever like GTR better even if it were somehow objectively the best game in the word. You love RFTG, and play it to death so icons don't bother you, there is no AP, and you know how to execute your strategies.

Then you hunt down an I.V. Edition of GTR (the same version I own) and play it a few times. To compare the component quality of an established publishers game with professional art to a very small publishers game is really pretty sad. It's like singing the praises of how much better you Ferrari looks than an Edsel. The comparison is effectively meaningless.

Similarly, claiming more depth in a game with a bunch of expansions vs. one with few isn't exactly a level playing field either.

And then there's the game play bias, you already mention.

If you really wanted a good comparison then it needed to be game play alone after logging enough pays of GTR so everyone understands the strategies.

As it stands this review is really a thinly disguised love letter for RFTG. Just leave GTR out of it and call it, "Why I love RFTG."

And just to reveal my bias I think while both games have good strategy to them, both are very opaque and inaccessible to new players. Iconography is poor and it takes multiple plays to "get it." Those who love both games can't seem to understand why others are turned off.

I think the real recommendation here is that you probably don't want to get either game unless you have an established game group that loves playing the same game over and over to really dig in. If you go to game night/day at you local store where the group of gamers and games vary, neither of these will go over as well.




The idea was to aid decisions of players whom like RFTG or GTR on how much effort they should expend in obtaining and trying the other. Looking back, I see how the subject title could be misconstrued and I will fix that in my future posts. I never said in the post this was an impartial objective review that picks the better game. I think I did a good job of outlining the various differences that gamers might recognize as something they enjoy or dislike.

Component quality matters to many gamers and it definitely has a place in this review. If you do not recognize that, then perhaps you shouldn't be claiming to know what others are thinking (that I wrote this to say RFTG is better). This was specifically not a review of "gameplay after 100 games" alone. It was about what you might like in one and if it was the same or different in the other.

Just as you are sick of others complaining about the inequity of pool control, I am sick of people who continue to argue against icons. I have never had a problem with them and found them easier to resolve interactions between cards than inconsistent text since my very first game. RFTG was basically the gateway game that got me into strategy board games and since then I have played a wide enough variety to claim that I understand my likes, dislikes, and the differences between them.

Last point about how these games work better for repeat plays is well taken and I do wish I had thought to include that in the OP.


Hey man, I said nothing about pool control, that was someone else.

As for the rest I still think your review, perhaps unconsciously, trashes GTR to talk about how great RFTG is. And as I noted earlier, each of your comparisons seems to pick out the worst weaknesses of GTR while highlighting the advantages of RFTG, except for the icons of course. devil

Clearly you feel it's a fair comparison. We'll have to agree to disagree there.
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Gregg Saruwatari
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Quote:
Your comparisons seems to pick out the worst weaknesses of GTR while highlighting the advantages of RFTG,


Well, that is half of everything, anyway.

One big weakness of RFTG is there is no way to have direct conflict or to directly target the leader. That can definitely turn off some players. My favorite part about GTR is the multitude of ways to end the game. Endgame control is something that has been growing on me. RFTG has it, too, but GTR has more paths.
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Robert
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mfaulk80 wrote:
GrimThunderbrew wrote:
GTR on the other hand has text, but the text can be very vague or confusing. Some text on cards sounds very different that the description of the same card in the rulebook (the rulebook is good at explaining the cards, though).

...
Yeah, a lot of the negatives in this review were addressed with the Black Box edition.

I disagree. The Black Box cards have excessive and poorly conceived text on the cards, which gets in the way of people getting their essential details. The I.V cards were fine and really say more than enough for everyone to know what the card does. Yes, you should always read the longer rulebook explanation of the card until you know the edge cases -- this is true for anything where the rules have reference info and the components have summary info. I haven't used the rules in play for years now, and the people I teach get all the basic cards (ie, not the exotic ones like Fountain or Stairway) without needing extra info. Because the cards pretty much say just what they need to, as they should.

Personally, this is not a flaw in the game. Race's cards are also adequate once you've got the edge cases for the cards and icons. It's true that Race cards rarely leave you wondering about a complex interaction. Mainly because Race cards never do anything interesting enough to bother. That *is* a flaw in the game to me, but Race is certainly the game it wants to be.


Smilinbrax wrote:
I think the real recommendation here is that you probably don't want to get either game unless you have an established game group that loves playing the same game over and over to really dig in. If you go to game night/day at you local store where the group of gamers and games vary, neither of these will go over as well.

I have almost universal success playing Glory to Rome with new people. Most people can, with a little careful help, appreciate the depth that the game will have. I also find introducing Race easy, but do so far less. With either game, it can be useful to teach and play San Juan once or twice to solidify the groundwork, but with most gamers I jump straight to GtR. Might as well.


GrimThunderbrew wrote:
Beware of gamers inflating their opinion of a game because they own it and it is OOP or hard-to-find.

That's a tough blow to credibility, right there. Is that really the level you want to play on here? "Beware of people inflating their opinion of a game because they invested a bunch of money and time into it for no good reason."

I really fail to see what this post adds to the previous discussions of Race vs GtR (and certainly why you think you need yet another thread for it). Far from "helping" people decide if GtR is "right" for them, this goes straight for hard-selling Race under the guise of a GtR review, which I find in exceedingly bad taste.

GrimThunderbrew wrote:
GTR starts 2-5, but we have found it best with 2.

And there went any remaining credibility.

Quote:
I think I did a good job of outlining the various differences that gamers might recognize as something they enjoy or dislike.

You might think you did, but you did not. In fact, in case you haven't realized it, you did it so poorly that it makes people doubt you intended that in the first place. Saying otherwise doesn't really change your credibility or make this look more genuine.

Quote:
Component quality matters to many gamers and it definitely has a place in this review. If you do not recognize that, then perhaps you shouldn't be claiming to know what others are thinking (that I wrote this to say RFTG is better).

No need to be snotty. Most people that have been playing GtR got over the small company production. No one needs to be told GtR is beneath Race in production and art quality. You can see that from the boxes, any photo, and pretty much any review.

Quote:
It was about what you might like in one and if it was the same or different in the other.

Sorry, but you did a poor job of that, and because you chose to phrase it as why you like another game better but post it here under GtR, you had better make a good argument. You made poor arguments. It's not even holding Race's strengths against GtR's weaknesses. You hold caricatures against caricatures.

Quote:
Just as you are sick of others complaining about the inequity of pool control, I am sick of people who continue to argue against icons.

We are ALL sick of people talking about Race's icons. Yes, they are fine once you get them, which affects people in various ways. They are also not an equivalent argument to playing mindfully with the shared pool. If people criticized Race because poor players will blindly follow obvious action sequences that unequally and unwisely help other players, then we're on similar things. I didn't see you mention that, though. Just how amazingly wonderful not having a turn order is, because you can sit where you want. That's definitely a concern when I'm purchasing... "Yeah, I get that the game is amazing and unique, but CAN I SIT IN MY CHAIR?"
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GrimThunderbrew wrote:


Quote:
Your comparisons seems to pick out the worst weaknesses of GTR while highlighting the advantages of RFTG,


Well, that is half of everything, anyway.

One big weakness of RFTG is there is no way to have direct conflict or to directly target the leader. That can definitely turn off some players. My favorite part about GTR is the multitude of ways to end the game. Endgame control is something that has been growing on me. RFTG has it, too, but GTR has more paths.
It's not as common in GtR too... Legionnaire can only go after your neighbors. The only way to go after the leader is to call Leg. and hope or "pow wow" with the leader's neighbor that you'll attack him. You can do stuff like call Laborer or Craft/ARch to grab cards from the pool before him, or build on/off site foundations, but that's pretty much it, and sometimes, it relies on having the right cards.

OTOH, some peple who dislike the Takeovers in race would likely NOT like GtR for some of the reasons you mentioned.
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Ian McCarthy
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GtR is the best 3 player game I own. Your turn comes around quickly. Interaction is possible with all players. Information is easy to track. With two other players, especially good players, the game is rollicking, combo-tastic, swingy fun.

I will admit that Race moves faster with more players, but both games demand a certain level of competence and focus from all players to really shine.
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Eric Nielsen
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ackmondual wrote:
The only way to go after the leader is to call Leg. and hope or "pow wow" with the leader's neighbor that you'll attack him. You can do stuff like call Laborer or Craft/ARch to grab cards from the pool before him, or build on/off site foundations, but that's pretty much it, and sometimes, it relies on having the right cards.


In addition to the Legionary, Laborer, Craftman, and Architect plays you mention, you can also use Patron to chase an alternate victory condition.

That's 5 out of the 6 actions in the game...not exactly limiting.


Also, a "runaway leader" only becomes a problem is when the game makes you slog through a drawn out finish waiting for the inevitable result. In GtR, once someone sets off their combinatorial bomb and becomes a runaway leader, they can deplete the deck and/or sites so fast, the game is nearly over.

GtR is a bunch of Wile E. Coyotes running a race of unknown length while trying to light the rocket strapped to their backs. Being a few steps behind doesn't mean that much.
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