As a gamer one of the greatest forms of entertainment for me is any game that allows me to become a bold, brave space adventurer and explore new worlds that hold untold secrets and resources. There are a slew of video games that allow you to explore the galaxies but for us tabletop players the options seem to be fairly slim. There are a few types of tabletop space games that I have played. Some of the space games out there have epic themes and can be very enjoyable to look at and play but take massive amounts of time to teach, set up, and play. Some space games are little more than some cards thrown onto the table with very little tactile feel or interesting mechanics thrown into the mix making the game feel dull and uninspired. The challenge is to find a game that has enough meat, that you feel like you’re actually having an experience; while also finding a game that doesn’t require so much set up and learning that you have to take off work. I find that right now for me, Roll For The Galaxy is fitting in that niche.
Roll For The Galaxy is a very solid dice rolling, action selection, civilization game with a bit of worker placement that is just the right fit for families or tabletop gaming fans that have gotten bored with some of the classics (Catan, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride) and are looking for a new experience with plenty of meat and replay value. I think that if you’re a fan of managing resources and exploring the galaxy then this game is for you.
You start off with your own tableau and player board that contains a home world, alien race and starting technology that will give you your own special abilities.
This particular set up gives you extra money to start the game and makes it easier to complete two of the actions in the game later which can give you a significant foot up on the competition. As an added bonus, this player’s starting world (the tile in the top right) gives this player two bonus dice (workers) to start the game with. After you have been given your starting worlds and have gotten any bonus dice you will take your available dice and put them into your cup and roll away.
Once your dice are rolled they can give you a number of actions that you can then complete based on what you need to do. Do you want to settle some new worlds? You may have some workers that will allow you to do that. Want to research a new alien technology? That’s an option as well. the nice thing about this game is that it allows you to negate the randomness of dice rolling in a fairly significant way and that allows strategy to take over. You can essentially pick one die per turn to be wild, even if it was rolled as something you don’t want or need, and you can also sacrifice other dice to change the faces of certain dice that you want to change. If you roll what you want you can leave things the same. Once your dice are rolled you will assign them behind a screen to keep other players guessing.
There are five actions to pick from; you can either: Explore (draw new tiles and explore new worlds), Develop (research new alien technologies), Settle (colonize new worlds that will many times give you new dice to use), Produce (send one of your workers to become a good on your world), or Ship (send someone to trade or consume a good you have sent to a world for points or money). In this way your civilization will grow and thrive until you become the winner. The first person to twelve tiles in their tableau wins the game and this happens fairly quickly. The game comes with fantastic components and is a blast to play.
I will be recording a how to play and final thoughts video on Roll For The Galaxy soon and will post either on this page as an attachment or I will post a link so you can actually see how game play works. This is a very solid game and one that many people can enjoy, and if you have a chance I think you should check it out. I rate this game as an 8/10 and have said as much on board game geek. You can get this game for $42.60 on Amazon, and 39.40 on coolstuffinc.com. Have fun and I’ll see you at the table.