Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Card Gaming

So I've been meaning to post something about Race for the Galaxy. I finally got my own copy for Father's Day a while back, but it's still been on the back shelf. It's a great game, it's got tons of depth, plenty of mechanics, a rich theme and atmosphere, and although it seems at first glance crazy complicated, it turns out after a play-through it's a cakewalk.

Thunderstone I've mentioned a time or two before already, but I did get another expansion for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I ordered Doomgate Legion off of Amazon, but oddly enough they sent me Thornwood Siege instead, though the receipt clearly said Doomgate. Me being impatient however I just kept it and moved on.

I can personally make any game a 'beer and pretzels' game, but of the two titles here, Thunderstone is far and away the winner in the 'laid back and throw down some cards' with your buddies game. It's accessible across the board, easy to pick, and even non-gamers get it.

Race for the Galaxy on the other hand is a lot more technical, a lot more cerebral, offers lots of options to win but only if you know what you're doing. You can sit back and just throw down cards with your buddies, no problem, but the game won't be all that fun in the long run and all the tactical finesse the game has under the hood will be wasted.

Comparing the two games isn't fair, they're two totally different animals. Given that, they both should have spots on the shelf for many of the reasons they do share. Easy to set up and take down, easy to introduce to new players, fun in their own rights, and two genres are wonderfully covered in both sci-fi and high fantasy.


  1. Sounds Good. I would need people to play with tho. sniff

  2. Not true, you're in luck! Both first expansions of each game come with solo rules. For what it's worth, the solo rules on Race for the Galaxy seem much more complex, thorough, and worthwhile. Thunderstone is easy enough to figure out you can devise your own solo rules.

  3. I like Race for the Galaxy despite my inability to ever win it. I can see all of the paths to victory and I can see how I lost, but I can never seal the deal in play.

    Least it's fun! You pick up any RftG expansions?

    And Thunderstone is awesome! Love it for the theme aspect. You experiencing the "runaway" train player yet? It's my biggest complaint. Once a player pulls far ahead, game becomes a slog to see the end. Sometimes I feel like the monster decks could have been smaller.

  4. @CClay: You and I are in the same boat. RftGalaxy is one of my new favorite games, but I can't even come close to second place, let alone winning. I still have fun with it. I have picked up the first expansion for it, Gathering Storm, mainly because it adds a fifth player but it has some other cool cards a very solid set of solo rules with special dice and card tracks.

    TStone is great, played it last night. No runaway players yet (though the Outland Khan armed with a Claymore is sick) but we have had some quagmired dungeon decks.