If you’re new to Race for the Galaxy, and want some quick pointers on how to build your skills, here are some of the game tips from the Temple Gates team!
Follow a color. If you’re not sure where to start with your strategy, my top recommendations is to pick a color. Blue, Brown, Green, and Yellow cards tend to work well with each other. Blue tends to be about weenie world with consumption/production. Brown is similar with a bit more military to counter its higher cost worlds. Green can be pacifist, low value, but high trade rate. Yellow are rare and expensive, but high intrinsic point value.
Ruling out phases If you’re not sure what phase to pick, there are a couple things to keep in mind. For the most part, you should rule out produce if you have no production worlds. You should rule out consume if you have no goods. If it’s early game and you need cards in hand, explore may be your best bet. But beyond that, look at the cards you already have in play including your start world, and see if you have a lot of powers that activate on a particular phase. You may want to lean heavy on that phase because it will help you more than it helps others.
Don’t be greedy! It can be tempting to hold onto a lot of expensive cards in hand, since expensive cards are usually quite powerful. But since cards are both playable and also act as currency, you need to be able to let go of some of them. If your hand is full of cards you intend to play, you won’t have anything left to pay for them.
Be flexible. You may start out with a sweet combo, such as Hidden Fortress and New Galactic Order. Bam. You’re going military. But if you’re not drawing other cards to compliment this strategy, you have to let it go. Switching tack is a big part of the game, and it’s something the AI is particularly good at since it doesn’t get emotionally invested in a really sweet combo that it wants to happen so, so bad.
Predict your opponent’s moves. Sometimes people say Race is a very single player solitaire style game. Those people probably don’t win as much. One of the things that makes our AI competitive is we have an entire AI dedicated to predicting opponent moves by evaluating the game state, their goods/military/hand size etc. If you can predict your opponent will settle, you can go for a consume trade without any goods on your tableau because you may be able to settle a windfall which will bring a good in tow.
No handouts. Similar to the previous tip, you should keep an eye out for opponents who are flush with resources, such as goods or cards in hand, to avoid choosing phases they can benefit from. This is trickier the more players in the game. With a two player game, this can be absolutely gouging. But with a four player game, someone may hand them a phase anyway, so it might not be worth spending your turn on control strategy.