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Through the Ages vs Terra Mystica vs Race for the Galaxy

09-20-2017, 01:36 PM
#1
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 467
Through the Ages vs Terra Mystica vs Race for the Galaxy

I am interested in picking up TTA, TM or RftG. I am under the impression these are all incredible games and any of them would be fun, which means I am interested more in which one is a better app to play.

- Which has better, more human-like AI?
- Which has better multiplayer?
- Which has the nicest & easiest to use interface?
- Which has a better tutorial? I've never played any of these, so a nice tutorial is welcome. Not the highest priority item on this list, though.

Thanks for any input!
09-20-2017, 04:05 PM
#2
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 189
Hey, glad to see you are interested in these amazing games.
Since you have never played them, not even the physical version, an intro might be necessary to explain their mechanics because for menthey can be verynportant in makig the decision.
RftG is a card game, a tableau building game and an action selection game. This means there is a common deck of cards with planets and developments, each turn you select which action you want, and then all selected action get played by everyone. This means you can opt to explore and your oponents to develop and colonize a planet, and onnthatbturn every gets to explore, develop and colonize. It plays in about 15-20 mins when you already know the game. It is simple yet highly strategic because you have to know your combos well and be ready to change strategy on the fly.
TM is a more complex game, with worker placement, action selection amd variable starting powers. It has 15 different factions (most are closely related though). You progress through expanding territory on a hex map and try to achieve VPs. Play time of about an hour I think.
TtA on the other hand is a true civ game. You start with some stuff built, then you have a row of cards that is ever changing (because you know passage of time and all that), which you can select to build, have different leaders,etc. In this way it is also a tableau building game. It plays in about an hour to an hour and a half when you already know the game.
The times given are for solo vs ai. Multiplayer depends because of async.
So, after this, if you are still undecided (because this could've already made your mind on one), let us answer your questions in order.
1. I think all 3 have very good AI, without a clear winner imho. I have played all three (though TM only a couple of times) and got good games out of all three where the AI had average human choices. In RftG I beat easy AI 90% of the time. In TtA that goes down to 70% I think (it usually does not feel that easy at least). Medium and hard beat me fairly often (i am just an average player of both).
2. I think all have very good multiplayer online though i dont ususlly play online. RftG does not have pass and play though. And TtA has more multiplayer options, with some small variants added and coming (it can be played in blits in one go or async but i heard ppl complaining that it takes too long in async because of some delayed choices).
3. For me the easiest UI both to use and that gives user info in a better way is RftG. They managed to simplify the icons and when you select a card it actually tells you whatbit does, so it is very helpful for newbies (it also benefits from being a short game, not epic like the others). TtA is also good, with a very good looking UI. TM loses this one for me, simply because there is so much going on (even in the physical game), though it helps in compartmentalizing things, it just means going back and forth,too cumbersome.
4. On tutorials, they are all good. TtA for me is the best because is manages to gice you all info in a humurous simple way. TM also does a good job since the game is difficult, but it gives you all the info, just in a dry way. TftG also has a very good tutorial since it manages to simplify a game that apparently boggles some very bright minds (though i believe that is more because of the UI like i said than the tutorial).

Just a couple more thoughts. RftG already has 2 exps out which have some different rules, so you can fiddle around with that, and it gives lots of replayability.
TtA has solo challenges and have some variants already with more on the way, meaning lots of teplayability for solo. But it won't have expansions on the way (at least the physical game does not have, so i think they won't make for digital. Maybe more challenges).
TM is the "simplest" of all 3, in the sense that it is the game and that is it. Sure you can try all factions, but for solo... it just isn't enough. It does have fire and ice expansion on the way, which is a big one.
As for prices, they are all more or less the same (if you consider both RftG exps).
I usually play rftg and tta, tm not so much because despite the "epic" feel it is still very euro-y. I feel it is more boring than the others.
Rftg you can play 3 games in a row easily, tm and tta only one, simply because of the time they take.
I hope thisbhelps. If you have any questions, shoot away.
And if you can just watch some gameplay vodeos on youtube of the digital versions

09-21-2017, 03:13 PM
#3
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 467
Wow, what an amazing response!

I really enjoyed the single player challenges in Splendor, so based on your help I think I might go for TtA.

Then again, my gaming time is very limited these days so RftG sounds appealing in that regard (in that the games are short!).

However.. I'm a huge fan of Space Alert, Galaxy Trucker and Mage Knight- all Vlaada Chvátil games, so that also really pushes me towards TtA.....
09-21-2017, 05:32 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 189
Hehe tks

Well RftG is good necause of that quick game feel. But you will be playing the same game over and over, with the only objective being winnijg,period.
The challenges in TtA, much like Splendor you mention, give it a nice flavour.
Don't worry too much about the long time it takes to finish a game (i usually finish a game in one sitting but i have also divided the same game in like 5 times, but the game autosaves after every action and has an undo button and a log, so you can easipy recap what you jave been doing during that game).
Also today i had a couple of free hours and i was thinking ofbsetting up nations on my table,but then tried going for a live blitz of TtA (which is basically putting up a game and playing it live with 90secs or so for each player's turn), and it played very well. We were three players, we allntook our time and the game ended up being about 1 hour and a half.
09-22-2017, 04:13 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: U.S.A., earth
Posts: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avaniar View Post
Hey, glad to see you are interested in these amazing games.
Since you have never played them, not even the physical version, an intro might be necessary to explain their mechanics because for menthey can be verynportant in makig the decision.
RftG is a card game, a tableau building game and an action selection game. This means there is a common deck of cards with planets and developments, each turn you select which action you want, and then all selected action get played by everyone. This means you can opt to explore and your oponents to develop and colonize a planet, and onnthatbturn every gets to explore, develop and colonize. It plays in about 15-20 mins when you already know the game. It is simple yet highly strategic because you have to know your combos well and be ready to change strategy on the fly.
TM is a more complex game, with worker placement, action selection amd variable starting powers. It has 15 different factions (most are closely related though). You progress through expanding territory on a hex map and try to achieve VPs. Play time of about an hour I think.
TtA on the other hand is a true civ game. You start with some stuff built, then you have a row of cards that is ever changing (because you know passage of time and all that), which you can select to build, have different leaders,etc. In this way it is also a tableau building game. It plays in about an hour to an hour and a half when you already know the game.
The times given are for solo vs ai. Multiplayer depends because of async.
So, after this, if you are still undecided (because this could've already made your mind on one), let us answer your questions in order.
1. I think all 3 have very good AI, without a clear winner imho. I have played all three (though TM only a couple of times) and got good games out of all three where the AI had average human choices. In RftG I beat easy AI 90% of the time. In TtA that goes down to 70% I think (it usually does not feel that easy at least). Medium and hard beat me fairly often (i am just an average player of both).
2. I think all have very good multiplayer online though i dont ususlly play online. RftG does not have pass and play though. And TtA has more multiplayer options, with some small variants added and coming (it can be played in blits in one go or async but i heard ppl complaining that it takes too long in async because of some delayed choices).
3. For me the easiest UI both to use and that gives user info in a better way is RftG. They managed to simplify the icons and when you select a card it actually tells you whatbit does, so it is very helpful for newbies (it also benefits from being a short game, not epic like the others). TtA is also good, with a very good looking UI. TM loses this one for me, simply because there is so much going on (even in the physical game), though it helps in compartmentalizing things, it just means going back and forth,too cumbersome.
4. On tutorials, they are all good. TtA for me is the best because is manages to gice you all info in a humurous simple way. TM also does a good job since the game is difficult, but it gives you all the info, just in a dry way. TftG also has a very good tutorial since it manages to simplify a game that apparently boggles some very bright minds (though i believe that is more because of the UI like i said than the tutorial).

Just a couple more thoughts. RftG already has 2 exps out which have some different rules, so you can fiddle around with that, and it gives lots of replayability.
TtA has solo challenges and have some variants already with more on the way, meaning lots of teplayability for solo. But it won't have expansions on the way (at least the physical game does not have, so i think they won't make for digital. Maybe more challenges).
TM is the "simplest" of all 3, in the sense that it is the game and that is it. Sure you can try all factions, but for solo... it just isn't enough. It does have fire and ice expansion on the way, which is a big one.
As for prices, they are all more or less the same (if you consider both RftG exps).
I usually play rftg and tta, tm not so much because despite the "epic" feel it is still very euro-y. I feel it is more boring than the others.
Rftg you can play 3 games in a row easily, tm and tta only one, simply because of the time they take.
I hope thisbhelps. If you have any questions, shoot away.
And if you can just watch some gameplay vodeos on youtube of the digital versions
Many on BoardGameGeek.com have raved about TTA's tutorial.

Otherwise, I can only say that if you want to try out Race For The Galaxy and aren't tied to being able to play it on an iOS device, I would just get Keldon's AI for PC. Yes, the iOS version also uses Keldon's AI, but this is the original one that came out about a decade ago. Comes in a Windows executable. There have been instructions on how to compile it for Mac and Linux. The Windows version is less polished than the iOS version, but is free, and includes all 5 expansions. No Orb Scenario from from Alien Artifacts (exp #4, its own arc), and no Invasion Module from Xeno Invasion (exp #5, and its own arc), but then again, I'm told not likely for when they get released on the iOS version as well.
09-28-2017, 01:05 PM
#6
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by ackmondual View Post
Many on BoardGameGeek.com have raved about TTA's tutorial.

Otherwise, I can only say that if you want to try out Race For The Galaxy and aren't tied to being able to play it on an iOS device, I would just get Keldon's AI for PC. Yes, the iOS version also uses Keldon's AI, but this is the original one that came out about a decade ago. Comes in a Windows executable. There have been instructions on how to compile it for Mac and Linux. The Windows version is less polished than the iOS version, but is free, and includes all 5 expansions. No Orb Scenario from from Alien Artifacts (exp #4, its own arc), and no Invasion Module from Xeno Invasion (exp #5, and its own arc), but then again, I'm told not likely for when they get released on the iOS version as well.
oh sweet, thanks! there are binaries for macOS available actually! http://keldon.net/rftg/
09-30-2017, 03:25 AM
#7
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: U.S.A., earth
Posts: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by cplr View Post
oh sweet, thanks! there are binaries for macOS available actually! http://keldon.net/rftg/
Huh.. i guess it was just Linux that was missing then!