I wrote about Ra (1999) last Saturday (here) and we've been playing it quite a bit since, so I thought I'd revisit it today in the Nostalgia Thursday. It is from last century, after all. We love how fast this game plays even if set up is a bit long, sorting the tiles. We've discussed using a draw bag but haven't pulled the trigger on that modification yet.
The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
Ra is an auction and set-collection game with an Ancient Egyptian theme. Each turn players are able to purchase lots of tiles with their bidding tiles (suns). Once a player has used up his or her suns, the other players continue until they do likewise, which may set up a situation with a single uncontested player bidding on tiles before the end of the round occurs. Tension builds because the round may end before all players have had a chance to win their three lots for the epoch. The various tiles either give immediate points, prevent negative points for not having certain types at the end of the round (epoch), or give points after the final round. The game lasts for three "epochs" (rounds). The game offers a short learning curve, and experienced players find it both fast-moving and a quick play.
From the Box:
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!
The more we play, the closer the final scores of the games seem to become. I've been pleased how well snagging groups of Monuments has proven to keep me close or not in first place. Definitely avoid being odd man out when it comes to Civilization tiles. Worse, still, coming up with the lowest total Bidding Tiles at the end of the game can spoil and otherwise good finale. While snagging God tiles when they come around is beneficial if they come with other useful tiles, using them costs a drawing turn so they have a hidden cost. Watch out for tile killers unless at least part of their cost is covered in the available array and a decent trade up on bidding tiles is in the offing.