Monday, November 14, 2005

#9: Ra

Knizia hits the list again with yet another auction game - this time, it's the Egyptian themed romp called Ra. Again, valuation is huge - and the variety of scoring choices combined with the limited choice of bids make for some delightfully agonizing decisions.

Pat Korner: "My favourite auction game. Various paths to victory, various scoring styles - vintage Knizia. The theme, it is true, is less than evident in the gameplay, but it's still a great game that can play in 45 minutes yet see you get up from the table thinking you had to work for the win."

Brian Leet: "Excellent auction game that is only slightly hurt by the almost totally abstract quality of the game play."
Mark Edwards: "I just love the tension of competing against your opponents AND the clock."

Joshua Miller: "I love the way the game packs a lot of wallop into a series of extremely restricted choices. My top choice for three players."

Peter Sarrett: "I'm terrible at it-- as much as my intellect tells me that my sun tiles are mere tools of acquisition, I can never seem to let those high suns go for less than a full block that never comes. The pinnacle of auction games in my book, just edging out Modern Art for the latter's distributional issues and newbie fragility."

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7 Comments:

Blogger Josh Adelson said...

Okay, now the list is starting to get seriously wrong. I mean, come on, Ra? A Knizia game involving auctions and set-collection? What's so great about that? If these two mechanisms are so highly regarded, where's the love for Monopoly die Boerse? Plus, MdB gives you a really nifty calculator! Come on....

12:53 PM  
Anonymous zionred said...

This is a great game (and this coming from someone who's not a hard-core gamer).

2:53 PM  
Blogger Gaul Dixon said...

I was rather enjoying seeing the top 100 list develop until I saw Patrick Korner, Jeremy Avery and Rick Thornquists names appear as part of the group influencing this list. Wow ... credibility just went way down with these three jokers!!!
CJK - TCG
:)

4:51 PM  
Blogger mark aka pastor guy said...

Zionred really is NOT a hardcore gamer - he is a good friend of mine from my church in Nashville (who got roped into playing a lot of games).

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Mario Aguila said...

After the great deception of the boring Shadows over Camelot, the following game of which I am regretful of buying is Ra. I coincide with that said by Greg Schloesser: turn actions are very limited, boring, repetitive, take the tile in less than 1 second until one player calls for an auction. Stop: think something and again, all the players...take the tile, etc......stop....auction....Very boring.

In fact I was the one in charge of taking out the tiles. My hand always in the bag and asking: Tile?, yes, tile?, yes and so on.
Sometimes i make the question but before the answer the tile was put in the board, asuming an obvious answer. And i never was wrong in my assumptions.

During the same week that we learned Ra we were learning Santiago and Tower of Babel. What a difference!
Greg said:
"I feel my turn actions are very limited. Indeed, on most turns, it is turn over a tile, and that's it. Often, there is no real incentive to call for an auction, so the turn simply consists of turning over a random tile. I find this very limiting and rather unsatisfying.

That being said, auctions are occasionally very interesting, and the decision on whether to bid can be tense. Unfortunately, that simply doesn't occur often enough. I tend to enjoy games that give players multiple options and present them with difficult decisions on every turn. I just don't find that these elements are present in Ra".

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Mike K. said...

I'm quite surprised at some of the negative comments. Ra is certainly popular in our game group.

The tile drawing certainly hasn't become repititive for us at all. In fact, if we go around the table once without drawing an auction tile, everyone starts thinking "invoke Ra." The reason is that, with ordered bidding material, the leading sun holder can always win, and hence we tend to invoke Ra defensively -- to prevent the auction value from increasing too much. Hence, every tile finds me checking the pot, calculating how the new tile would benefit the leader, and deciding whether the auction should be invoked now or not.

Naturally, the leader can pass and hope for a better pot next time if one invokes too early. The trick is walking that fine, sweet edge.

'Course these things may always be a product of groupthink.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fact I was the one in charge of taking out the tiles. My hand always in the bag and asking: Tile?, yes, tile?, yes and so on.
Ok, yeah, that's not the way to play the game. Pass the bag around. Let them decide.
The way you do it it sounds like you're constantly poking someone in the shoulder.

9:19 PM  

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