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Roll for the Galaxy
Board Games 872
An Unalloyed Slam-Dunk
Rating 
 
5.0
Aspiring interstellar overlords commit handpicked citizens to a mind-warping battle school where they are... changed. These agents are then dispatched on desperate missions across the cosmos—leading a surgical strike force of war-painted starships, or skin crawling with invisible tattoos that reconfigure into malware under certain wavelengths of light, or their skulls the vessels for a single dangerous idea.

Tomorrow, tomorrow belongs to the Ascendant—and there is no better way to leap for the brass ring than with a boot in your grasping rival's face.

An unalloyed slam-dunk. As a rabid Race fan I am obviously predisposed to love this, but honestly, Roll has far exceeded even my naturally high expectations. Added to everything that's already fantastic about the Mother Game we have a gorgeous feast for the senses—the spray of color, the sound of the dice in the cups, the shaking and slamming, the digging around in that black bag for deliciously textured tiles.

It's a sci-fi jacuzzi with built-in mind-massage attachment.*

*Pants optional (but not recommended).

After 11 plays: The response from newbs is overwhelming—all of them have found this far more accessible than Race proper. I believe it has to do with the fact that any given Race game is completely hidden inside an opaque deck of cards, meaning that the game doesn't open up until you're familiar with the contents of that deck, and this requires either a bunch of boring study or many—so many—crushing defeats. With Roll, on the other hand, the dice give you a pretty big hint as to what's possible on your turn and so tend to drive play in more obvious directions right out of the gate.

Besides, fiddling around with the dice to "program" your turn feels like you're actually doing something rather than just looking at a bunch of cards and having no real idea of what to do next.

Suspect quote: "Wait—I get to arrange my dice in secret? That's awesome! I tend to do pretty well at games like this."

P$. They're not "dollars", goddammit—it's pronounced "galacticred" and each one respresents the economic output of an entire solar system across 31.5 megaseconds.

After 40 plays: I still feel like I'm just barely getting the hang of this... and it's glorious.

A Very Important Note on Space Marine Recruitment: As the recruitment protocols are a preëxisting component of the drinking water on most civilized worlds, the consumption of them constitutes retroactive consent. This is only important for the recruit's relatives as the recruits themselves are neurologically predisposed to be "just fine" with the sudden change in life-trajectory. Oorah!
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