Race for the Galaxy

A second expansion is finally coming for the fantastic 2014 dice management game, Roll for the Galaxy (BGG #65), and it is a massive one. Roll for the Galaxy: Rivalry from designers Wei-Hwa Huang and Thomas Lehmann contains 3 full expansions in one box, expanding and changing multiple aspects of this already great game. Firstly, Rivalry adds pieces, and lots of them – 60+ new dice, start factions, home worlds, a new die type, and many new game tiles. In fact, Rivalry contains twice the tiles included in the 2015 expansion Ambition.

Rivalry also adds a new “Deal Game” mode, where fundamental aspects of the game are up for trade. Seven deal dice are rolled each turn to see what aspects are negotiable. You can trade surplus tiles for more space on your money track, extra tile draws for losing citizenry dice, or convert citizenry dice into developers or settlers. The possibilities to manipulate almost all restraints on game play are enormous. But these large deals take time to mature, and as the deals change turn to turn, deals can turn sour, and other players may want to take advantage or destroy what you worked hard to start.

Finally the new “Orb Game” adds an Alien Orb die type with interchangeable faces, along the lines of Rattlebones or Dice Forge. Players can buy new faces by assigning “Researcher” dice, using a progressive tech tree to constantly improve their orbs. At the end of the game, the faces are worth points, depending how advanced they are along the tree. Die faces include discounts on development dice, settler dice, and several other options.

Rivals includes brand new player screens, printed with new rules and game modes for handy reference. For more information, you can read the announcement from Rio Grande Games here.

Stone Blade Entertainment has announced that they will be releasing a digital version of their hit deck building game Shards of Infinity in collaboration with Temple Gates Games, makers of the digital versions of Race for the Galaxy  Shards of Infinity designed by Gary Arant and Justin Gary was Stone Blade’s followup to their immensely popular card game Ascension (2010), and hit the blooming deck-building market by storm. Shards has been positively regarded as an improvement on the standard head to head deck building game. In Shards, players fight head to head, trying to deplete their opponents health while improving their own Mastery. Mastery makes a players’ cards more powerful, and at 30 Mastery a player can employ their Infinity Shard, immediately defeating their opponent. The digital adaptation is expected in Spring 2019, on Android, iOS and Steam. For more details, you can read the press release from Stone Blade Entertainment here.

Villages of Valeria is a fast,  fun action-selection tableau building game which released last year to praise for it’s solid mechanics and family-friendly depth. Nobody would fault you for confusing this game with Valeria: Card Kingdoms, given they inhabit the same fantasy universe, but they are totally different, easy-to-learn and solid titles in their own rights. Villages of Valeria uses the leader/follower action mechanism made popular by games such as Puerto Rico, San Juan, and Race for the Galaxy, yet it did a good job of filling a niche as a gateway game to those giants. Now it’s first expansion, Landmarks, is up for funding on Kickstarter and it seeks to twist that mechanism enough to make the game stand-out from the crowd. As described on the campaign page:

“With Landmarks, if you cannot or choose not to follow the lead action, you can build a landmark as your follow action. Landmark tokens do not count as Buildings, but at the end of the game, the player with the most of each type of Landmark will earn victory points! Increase your Landmark holdings, leverage the new Buildings, attract the new Adventurers, and show your rivals what a proper village looks like!”

Now instead of being seated with the decision of taking a worse action by following another player’s lead or doing nothing, you can discard cards for points! Huzzah! The landmarks, along with the new buildings and adventurers which interact with them, will broaden strategies and make choices crunchier, much to players delight. In addition to the expansion, the Kickstarter also allows for newcomers to buy the base game and a nice new box to put everything in. If you’re interested in learning more about Villages of Valeria and it’s  first expansion, check out their Kickstarter page for in-depth descriptions, video reviews, and updates.

Vlaada Chvátil’s fantastic civilization building game Through The Ages now has a digital version available. Through the Ages is easily considered one of the best board games of recent history, having its newest edition ranked at #2 on BGG. Czech Games Edition has made the mobile app available for both iOS and Android. You can read the full press release from CGE here.

Along the same vein, Temple Gates Games and Rio Grande Games have announced a digital version of Roll For The Galaxy. The popular dice game version of Race For The Galaxy hit the board game world by storm in 2015, and has consistently been at the top of the charts. The digital version will be made available for iOS, Android and Steam, and is being designed by Keldon Jones, who was responsible for the AI on the Race for the Galaxy app. You can read the full press release here.

Z-Man Games has announced the new 2018 Season of Pandemic Survival. Pandemic Survival is the competitive team version of the award winning cooperative classic, pitting teams of 2 against the same scenario: same roles, same cards, same infected cities, same situation.  Tournaments are held across the glode, leading up to the World Championships, with the grand prize being a trip to any city on the Pandemic map. For more information on the 2018 Survival Series, read the full press release here.

This past week Temple Gates Games has released the digital implementation of the popular card game, Race for the Galaxy.  This means you will now be able to take the game with you wherever you go as well as letting you play solo, without a variant, against AI players.  The layout and look of the game are excellent, with all the info you would need in a Race game right there are your fingertips.  Plus some highly desirable features were announced at launch, including:

  • 2 – 4 player with network multiplayer
  • Asynchronous and real-time multiplayer modes
  • Advanced neural network AI by Keldon Jones
  • Five starting worlds and ninety settlement and development cards
  • Free promo pack included: New Worlds with six starting planets
  • Gathering Storm and Rebel Vs. Imperium expansions available immediately

This app will be great for new and veteran players of the game alike, allowing new players to learn the game (and all those icons), and the tough AI will challenge veteran players.  So if $7 doesn’t seem like a stretch for this game, then head on over to the App Store for iPhones, and the Google Play store for android users.

Race for the Galaxy is a very popular economic style card game that has several expansions to it as well as many fans, so a new game in the same universe will have a leg up on other games.  That new game is Jump Drive, a re-implementation of the older game The City, with a theme switch to put it firmly into the Race universe.  The game will have a San Juan type economy where anything you want to build will have to be paid for in cards.  Some cards will enable you to be more efficient with building, others will get you points, while others will get you special abilities.  Rio Grande Games has said that the cards and interactions will be similar to the larger Race card game so that you can use Jump Drive as a launching point into the bigger game.  So be on the lookout for this game when it hit’s store shelves in January of 2017.


Rio Grande is expecting to release Temporum, Roll for the Galaxy and Rattlebones this month. At the same time they announced that some games are temporarily out of stock: Tzolk’in, Puerto Rico, Dominion: Big Box, Dominion: Intrigue, Caylus, Chicken Cha Cha Cha, and Power Grid. However, do not worry as they are working on reprinting them and they will be back in stock by the end of the year.

Another game they are working on reprinting is Elfenland, which will include the Elfengold expansion and a new map with transportation options. Elfenland is expected to be released in the spring of 2015. They also plan two expansions for Bohnanza to be released in December or January. But what may be the biggest announcement from Rio Grande is that they are planning some additions/expansions for Dominion and Race for the Galaxy in 2015. What could be in these ‘additions’ to Dominion and Race for the Galaxy? Only time will tell as they plan to release more information in 2015.

race for the galaxy

Game designer Tom Lehmann posted information about an upcoming Race for the Galaxy expansion from Rio Grande Games.

Xeno Invasion is the 3rd RFTG arc. Like AA, it is a single expansion that works with just the base set.

RFTG:XI depicts the galaxy under attack by waves of violently xenophobic aliens, dubbed the Xenos. XI adds Xeno military worlds (worlds conquered and occupied by them), specific military vs. Xenos, and a new keyword, ANTI-XENO.

While AA can be played by those new to RFTG, XI is aimed at intermediate players.

RFTG:XI has 51 game cards (our largest expansion yet) that you can just add to the base set and start playing. XI also offers an optional Invasion Game, with Produce: Repair and invasion cards, a repulse track, bunkers, and various counters.

The Invasion game adds 2 new ways the game can end: by either repulsing or falling to the Xenos. In Produce, players can repair damaged worlds and donate goods to the war effort (earning VPs). This makes Produce far more interesting. Players can also earn VP awards by defeating their share of the Xeno attackers and having the highest military vs Xenos, while they lose the use of damaged worlds that they fail to defend (until they are repaired).

The Xeno attacks take place at the end of each round, starting with round 3, and typically take less than 30 seconds to resolve, so that players can immediately return to selecting their actions for the next round.

To provide a good proportion of the new Xeno worlds, keyword, and powers, XI is not compatible with the other expansion arcs. The ability to add new keywords and play concepts allows me to depict new stories without them becoming lost due to dilution or turning into complete luck-fests.

RFTG:XI went into final testing late last fall. We adjusted one mechanic that testers found awkward, tweaked a couple of cards, and turned in it a few months later. We then spent over a month working out what the Xenos would actually look like with the art team — there are so many war-like aliens in movies, books, and computer games that it is hard to come up with a good visual concept that works and is sufficiently different!

I’ve oked sketches for roughly half the cards so far. The illustrators are hard at work turning those sketches into finished artwork and preparing new sketches.

After that, we have layout and proofing, then it goes to our foreign partners for translation, and then printing/production/shipping. Each of those steps takes 1-2 months, depending on the artists’ other projects, speed of translations, printer schedules, and Europe’s long vacations. So, we’re looking at probably 6-8 months before it comes out. Ideally, we’ll make Xmas 2014 in the US, but we’ll see. As Jay says, it will be ready when it’s ready…