Thursday, February 18, 2016

Nostalgia Thursday - Ra (1999)

Okay, okay.  Too many posts about Ra (1999)?  I suppose that might be true since we have played a lot recently, I have enjoyed it more and more each time, and all of those posts have been since the new year started.  But I double checked and this is only the third from me this year on Ra, only my third on it ever, so I'll just leave this here and try to pipe down about it moving forward.

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!

There are big draw bags that come with other games on the market that need to be employed with Ra.  This point was driven home when we recently played Roll for the Galaxy (2014) [blog post coming on this Saturday].  There's just no way around.  Or maybe two bags could be used to have one at each end of the table.  I can't stress enough how much more quickly set up would be facilitated by this addition.  If you use two bags, as part of setup, you dump all the draw tiles into one bag, mix them up, them dump about half into the other bag before starting.  Someone could even call for the bags to switch ends if they feel they need to "change the luck."  I'm not a big believer in that sort of thing but I've been known to change my dice mid-game from time to time.  Anyway, that's it on Ra for now.  Get some bags, you'll thank me later.

*Edit* - So, it seems that the game originally comes with a draw bag but the folks I play with have either lost them or simply don't use them.  I stand corrected, bemused, and more than a little disgruntled!

Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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