Learning how to Setup and Play: Race for the Galaxy

For the most part, everything is in the video up above, but I like to give some textual content for these things, so I’m going to elaborate a bit on our home rules.

In general, I find home rules to be distasteful.  Sometimes friends will ask to change a rule to supposedly make a game “more interesting” and it always makes me feel like if I wanted something different, I could just play a different game.  I get that some other people like to experiment with existing game rules, I just never want to participate in those kinds of shenanigans.

Anyways, one area I usually “am” willing to experiment with, is manipulations of the random aspects of a game.  In particular, the way a game is setup, such as in Roll for the Galaxy with the starting homeworld and starting faction being random.  The fact that it is random, means that in theory you could end up playing the same combination of faction and homeworld multiple times.  Heck, you could end up randomly playing the “same” faction every single time!  Because random can sometimes not seem very random, I’m willing to override the randomnness as long as it retains the philosophy of the game itself.

In this case, Roll for the Galaxy intends for you to not know which faction or homeworld you’ll get, which I support as a strong gameplay element.  However, because as I explain in the video, I don’t like the feeling some players will have of feeling like they lost because of bad luck, I introduced the concept of receiving two random factions, then two random homeworlds.

This way, its still random which options are available to each player, but yet the players had a bit of control to nudge the game towards what they think will be an advantage.

So there you go, I think it works pretty well, and since playing this way, I can’t remember anyone complaining that another player had an “unfair” advantage.

What does everyone think? Do you enjoy messing with rules and playing freestyle? Do you dislike even my subtle manipulation of the rules?  Let us know!