It’s not often that you see patented or trademarked components in the board game world (the “Itemeeples” introduced in Tiny Epic Quest come to mind), but here we have two different solutions to the innovation of dice with interchangeable faces. While unboxing Roll for the Galazy: Rivalry, i pulled out my Dice Forge dice to compare and contrast the two games’ approaches. i also wax philosophical about perceived value in board games, and how the merit of a board game compared to its MSRP is not solely tied to the number and quality of the components in the box.

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and you can’t imagine how excited i was to get this in my hot little hands! Rio Grande Games sent along a copy of the second expansion for Roll for the Galaxy. It’s called Rivalry, and if you recall seeing my video with Rahdo and Shea talking about the games that we would have, mmm – you know – in an end of the world situation, Roll for the Galaxy was on my list! And it was on a couple of their lists, too, i believe, because it’s an awesome game! And if you want to find out all the reasons i like it, you can go check out that video on Rahdo’s channel! This game is the second expansion, as i mentioned. The first one’s called Ambition. And i have held off on getting this for a long time – now, Rio Grande sent me a copy of this, and it is a price reason. Now, it was really surprising to me that… prices may vary depending on the country that you’re watching this from, but in Canadaland anyway, the base game, Roll for the Galaxy costs 50 smackaroos. Okay. The first expansion, Ambition, they’ve priced at 35 buckazoids. Fine. And that’s what we’re kind of used to, right? We’re used to seeing expansions be at a lower MSRP than the base game. Roll for the Galaxy: Rivalry, however, comes out of the gate in Canadian buckazoids at 68, which seemed really bizarre to me! i haven’t seen that too, too often when an expansion is priced much higher than the – MUCH higher than the original game. i mean i would say… i would say, yeah… 16, 17 bucks is quite a bit higher than the original game. i was surprised to see that the expansion for Food Chain Magnate came in at the same price as the base game, so that’s one thing. But to go even higher with your second expansion is really, like, “Whoa..” you know, “What are you guys talking about?” Uh… what do i know about this game? So i didn’t get… anyway… yeah, to finish my story: i i didn’t get it. i requested it from them. They graciously sent it along. And so maybe, if you are a fence-sitter like i am, like “Uh… 67 bucks? i don’t know What do i get in in this box?” then, uh, maybe this, uh, this video will turn it around for you? Or maybe not? i don’t know. It… join me and open the box and then find out if you think that there’s value in this box! Uh… what do you get in the box? Well, i had a bit of a heads up from Rio Grande Games who told me that there are actually three modules in this box. One of them is a… a bunch of extra dice that you can meld with the dice from Ambition, and they sort of play off those entrepreneurial, uh, dice. Now i haven’t done a how to play video for Ambition at the time of this video. If i have you’ll see an “i” up here and you can click it and go watch it, but maybe i’ll make it later ,after i crack open what’s in here. And the reason is that i didn’t find that there was too much in that box to really talk about. You get a handful of extra.. i have a – you know what? – i have an unboxing. i won’t go over what’s in that… that box, but if you if you if you check out that video, you’ll see what… what uh… what was inside that box. And i.. it adds stuff to the game, for sure, but it doesn’t add STUFF to the game, if you know what i mean? It doesn’t have a lot of physical components. And it’s a bit of a… mmm… dangerous thing, i think, to judge the value of a game based on the number or quality of components in the box alone, because you don’t know what the publisher went through. Maybe they had… and this isn’t the case, necessarily, with this game… but maybe they had to pay multiple designers, or maybe they said “Hey you designers are… have designer block, so we’re flying you out to the south of France to design this game!” and that’s – you know – like a cost that added… or maybe it was, like, a nightmare in playtesting, and they just playtested it to the nth degree to make sure that they got the best game possible, and maybe that cost them more money? So not everything about a game’s cost is necessarily reflected in the components that are inside the box. But that’s certainly part of it. So let’s take a look at what’s in this box! They told me there are three modules: one module you can play with your Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition expansion. i know, though, that one of them has customizable dice, which i was extremely interested in. And i have to just give a shout-out to the artist of the cover of the box, because i think this artist, whose name i had not looked up yet… i apologize. i’ll throw it – you know what? i’ll throw it down at the bottom of the screen, just to give props to the artist here. i thought the artist comes up with some pretty cool ways to work very non-spacey things like dice into the covers of these boxes. So if you’ll recall the, Ambition cover kind of, uh, cast the dice as these mystical rune-y stone things that the aliens, the humans, are using to cr… anyway, so the… the customizable dice in this one are big modules in some sort of space station. i thought that was just kind of a clever way to work it into the… the mythos of the Roll for the Galaxy… universe. Or that’d be… galaxy? i don’t even know, but let’s crack this open! So i’m going to be bringing out some other custom… customizable dice from another game that you may know from watching the channel, or maybe you have a copy yourself? Place your bets now as to which game that’s gonna be. Here we go. Listen closel.y i was told by a helpful viewer that if you pull the edges of the box out while you open it, magic might happen. Here we go. Ready? (noiseless openinig) Nothing. No mag… what if i hadn’t pulled it out? Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait… hold on hold on hold on… redo! Redo. (another noiseless opening) No. it’s just a whoosh. On the subject of box farts: i’ve been making the plea for the past few videos. If you have a box that makes a terrible rude noise, and you’d like to share that with me, film it, shoot me the video, give me permission to use it, and i will put that box fart in a box fart compilation, uh… for science, or some other reason, but mostly for entertainment, and i think it’s going to make a pretty good video. Send that along. Meanwhilst: Roll for the Galaxy: Rivalry. The instruction booklet for Ambition was extremely thin, and this has a few more pages in it. It goes to 12 pages, and it describes the three different sections of the game, including the customizable die right there. Yes. So more stuff going on, and more symbols. If you’re a [blank] for the Galaxy fan, you know that designer Tom Lehmann and the graphic designer love their symbols! There’s a ton of them. Whoa! This is unexpected: so there’s a big… five pounds of cardboard in here. It’s that thick. And a little… skirt to keep them all held together. Oh, no. i was about to tear that open, but i just called it a “skirt,” and so… i shouldn’t be tearing open a… anyway. Okay. Here we go. Ripping the – you know – the TIE, (cough cough) and inside, there are… looks… these look like brand new player boards for different colours of players, with a really cool customizable looking die on the back of them, in all the primary colours, including orange, which is not a primary colour – that would be red – but those are the colours that you get. Oh, wait: one more. Right. It’s a five player game. There IS red. So i’m pretty sure without checking that those mirror the… the player colours from the base game, but they’re much more vibrant than the screens that you get in the base game, for sure. And on the flip side of them, they have… (victory sound) much the same as what we saw on the screens, except these screens are quite a bit taller than the screens in the base game, and they are made of sturdier stuff. That was one of the things that surprised me about Roll for the Galaxy, was some of the components were a little bit flimsy, but this is a thicker card than you’ll find in Roll for the Galaxy. And it has more stuff on it… it has this updated grid, which includes the entrepreneur dice and the command dice that we get in Ambition, and a bunch of other jazz that i don’t really recognize quite yet. Game end, scoring… oh, it’s got the goal stuff from Ambition, aaaaand let’s see if i see anything else that is new. There’s new stuff in here, i’m surem but i didn’t study my screen beforehand, so i’m just going to put that aside, and see what actually you get to punch out. Um, here’s a new punch card… oh, look! Again, it’s alm… wow! This is almost, like, kind of like a… almost a mea culpa from the base game, because again, these strips that are in the base game are really made of, like, really flimsy papery stuff, and now, this looks like you get upgraded strips that are – ahaha! Right? They’ve got a lot more, um… they got a lot more metle to them. Not… not metal, but – you know – t-t-l-e. Anyway… learn… words from the dictionary. Uh… i don’t even know if that’s the right use of the word “mettle”? They got more body, is what i’m trying to say. So they’re thicker and they’re sturdio… sturdier. And these things… it looks like there is an extension to your… to your money ability. Now on the base strip,s i’m pretty sure you had a money track along the bottom, so i don’t know where that is maybe we got to dig in further to a few more pieces of cardboard? And this big beautiful central triple board that does…. things. i don’t even know. That’s what it looks like. You see that prominently displayed on the back of the box. Uh, and… whoa! Look at this: they printed… oh! “Deal Game.” Right – they mentioned the Deal Game, Rio Grande mentioned it to me. “Exchange Asset rules…” Uh, there’s a whole maybe trading/ bartering aspect? And the the Orb Game. So two modules: the Deal Game and the Orb Game. And here are the rules for each side printed, again, on pretty darn sturdy cardboard. All right! The second… (ahem) tie… that i will gently tear… yes. Here we go. More of these really big… wow. It’s… it’s surprising to me that they decided that you have to have all of this information on the table with you if you’re going to play the Deal Game or the Orb Game module. i don’t think those two modules modules are combinable? i would guess, since you’re flipping over to one side or the other to deal with the rules of one or the other? But it’s… it’s kind of surprising that the player aid is, like, an a4, or an 8.5×11″ sheet of rules and symbols and stuff. Interesting. And over here, one more tie to tear… ZAHT! There we go. What do we have? These… since they’re orange, orange is the – or yellowy – is, like, the the language of… of goals. So maybe these are just additional tokens of the kind that you get in Ambition? So what these are is, uh… Ambition includes a bunch of different goals, and if you meet those goals, then you get a prize, and the prize is these things. So you can either flip them to the chit… to the point side… to get vps at the end, or you can flip them to the Kurt Vonnegut’s butthole side, and those act as – you know – any worker you want under any phase you want, but they go away after you use them. So they are one-use any worker, or you can just take the points. If you don’t use them by the end of the game, they all flip around to points. So i’m guessing those are just extra tokens. And same with these up here: these are just extra money tokens that you score vps with… or, sorry: vp chits, not money. Yeah. So a few extras of those. These are new, though: these have develop… the development symbol on them, and the reassigned power symbol on the bottom. Some do, some don’t. This one just has the settle symbols – the brown settle symbol on it – so that’s kind of a mystery, isn’t it? hmm. Not a mystery if you’ve played the game, of course. You know all about it if you’ve played the game. And this looks really interesting, too to me. This little… this looks like a score tracker. When something moves along to the end of this, kind of like the, uh… the pirates in… in Cities & Knights of Catan, something happens when it reaches that? Oh my gosh. The guesses. The stellar guesses i’m making here! And then uh, here, we’ve got some new home worlds to start with, with new artwork that we’ve never seen in the past version of the game. i think… i think some of the artwork was recycled from Race for the Galaxy into Roll for the Galaxy, but this, i don’t recognize. Could’ve come from an expansion for Race, or maybe not, but i’ve never seen it before. And we also have some of these additional worlds that can be built, but they’re unique because they have orange corners, indicating that they are from some sort of expansion – namely this one. Namely Rivalry. What else is in the box? Oh, look: some more homeworlds… a couple more double-sided homeworlds. i’m gonna put those – let’s see if the, uh, the close-up camera wants to work today. Dodgy technology… there we go. Well, not really, because there’s a lot of blue on it, so it’s knokcing a hole right in that statue. Maybe i can find one that doesn’t have so much blue on it? (vaudevillian singing) Lil’ bit o’ blue. So you’re not… you’re not getting a faithful representation of the artwork on that tile by me throwing it on there. This guy’s got a blue face. Trust me. Trust me! Believe me. And this is interesting, too: there’s a whole new phase tile, um, that’s the… just specifically ship/trade tile… actually, there’s no ship on it. It’s just straight up “trade,” which i would assume plays into… because i’m a bear of mostly very little brains, yeah… i would guess it plays into this Deal Game? i guess? Maybe? Maybe? i don’t know! More worlds to build, more stuff… interestingly, comparatively, these ones don’t have the little, uh, orange-cornered borders on them. Stuff flying off my table. You know. So these have orange cornered borders. These do not. So that means… it MEANS something! It means something! i’m like Richard Dreyfuss, from… Close Encounters. You’re all yelling “Say ‘Close Encounters’!! That’s the movie you’re thinking of!” Yes. Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And the last big couple of boards are, again, more start worlds, and more worlds that you can build. These ones without orange corners. So let’s take a quick look at what this one does. Maybe this is brown enough that i can put it on here and read it to you, and it won’t be… so it says “Each rare element or brown settler completing a world reduces the settlers required by one, but no fewer than one.” Okay so you get a discount on your brown world. So they do similar… they’re going to do similar things, uh, as all the other worlds, but they’re going to be actions that you don’t have on your other starting worlds, so they’re going to – you know – and these starting worlds, if you’ve ever played the game, give you sort of, like, a an idea of the kind of strategy you’re going to want to follow. However, this is the more interesting part, i think, in the box. What do we have? We have a disc for each player colour, and i’m almost convinced that those are going to go on here, because look: the shapes match! They’re going to move along there for some, uh, bizarre reason. And, uh, we also have this massive bag of heavy-feeling stuff! Plastic and dice and face caps and things like that. Whoa! Um… so we’ll look at the dice first. Here’s the bag. Pop it open. i recognize a few of these dice. So what’s new? Well, we can weed out really quickly what’s the same, so we have a few additional normal white citizen dice, and just as i’m saying that, i’m like “Hmm… that’s maybe…” Yeah. Racially… interesting. And we have the black…. uh… command die… command dice. The black commanders, and the normal white ones. i didn’t come up with the names of these dice. Don’t write angry letters to me! Send them to Rio Grande. i’m sure they don’t want your angry letters either. But – here we go. Uh, these are the command dice that we recognize from Ambition, if you have Ambition. And i don’t know enough about the game to be able to tell you if all of the dice faces on these ones are the same as the command dice in Ambition, but i’d assume they are. i’d assume they’ve got the same faces on them – you just get more of them. Maybe because the game modes require you to use more of them? i don’t think i’ve ever burned through all of the command dice in Ambition in a single game. And these are the orange entrepreneurial dice, which again you’ll recognize from Ambition. So you get a few more of those. The cool thing about the entrepreneurial dice is the little dollar sign – oh, actually, look: i’m looking at the command dice… i think they ARE different, because i don’t think the command dice have those little dollar signs on them. Let’s get them up here. The commandice usually have two symbols on them, but one of them’s not a dollar. So what the dollar means is that you get to use that worker, and make it do things, and then, usually your worker gets exhausted after that, but the dollar sign means that you put it back in your cup, so you actually haven’t expended that worker when you get it to do things. So that’s… that’s the deal with these. Let’s get these off of here. And it looks like you just get extras of each colour, so i’ll sort those in here. You get a few extra greens, a few extra purples a few extra reds… these are not player colours, by the way. These are ones… like, the red dice have more military, conquer-y faces on them, and the brown ones have more… i think trade faces on them? The, uh… the little player screen shows you the distribution. So this will show you the distribution of the different faces on there, so if i put that on the close-up cam, that should read nicely. So it looks like the the brown ones, third from the bottom here, have more… more develop faces. so that’s how you read that. And… more blue ones, so you get extra of the colours that you already have, but this is a brand new colour of die, and you get maybe a dozen of these dark blue ones. And the dark blue ones have on them… now you’re gonna have to (laughing) you’re gonna have to trust me that these are these… are these are like, indigo-colored dice. i promise! i don’t… see, this is the thing: i don’t entirely know what’s going to be in the box before i shoot this video. The whole point is that it’s a surprise to me, so i can get excited about things. So when i put it… i don’t know whether to put a green screen on here, or a blue screen on here. There’s a blue screen on today, and lots of blue components. My apologies. Here we go: the invisible ghostly… trust me: you… you’re not paying 68 bucks to get this ghostly cool translucent effect on your dice. That’s solid indigo, as you can see down here. But they have the dollar sign and a few of the… so they look similar to the entrepreneurial dice, but i’m sure they’re used in a different way because they’re a different colour. When you… oh! Look: it looks like they’re kind of, like, a combination of the command dice and the entrepreneurial dice. The way the command dice work is if they’ve got two symbols on them like this, then you line them up under one action, and if that action doesn’t get called or used by anyone, you can sort of shift them over to the other action that you didn’t line them up over, so it’s like a… kind of, like, a free “gimme” kind of thing. That’s how those work. So extra dice. The big show, i think… the most interesting thing in this box… and the one that’s probably going to getcha if you’re looking at this in the game store, are these customizable dice. So let’s pop… let’s pop… i’m gonna… mmm. Oh, interesting. i’m gonna pop a couple of things out of this bag… there’s a lot of stuff in here, too! Look at this: this is, like, a huge fistfull of plastic… which is, by the way, my favourite Clint Eastwood movie. And i’m going to grab this little thing, which i’m guessing is the popper-outer, or the way that you’re able to pry these faces off the dice. And then we will crank out one of these. So there’s yellow, black, and white ones, and the faces are just, like… kind of like a Lego nub on the bottom? i’ll put one of those closer up here so you can see it. So it’s just like a… you know… dowel-shaped thingy there. And i’ll throw one on just to see how it feels, right? It fits in nice and snugly, and feels quite a bit like Lego, too, but it feels so snug that you think “Uh-oh… what if i can’t get it out ever again?” And that’s where this thing comes in and i’m guessing the way you use that is just to go “Ah – boom!” and it pops right out. Now i couldn’t talk about this game without comparing it to Dice Forge, which is another game on the market that has customizable dies… dice. So i’ll bring one of those out here. That’s what it looks like. So this is… maybe in the close-up cam… that’s what we’re talking about here, and the system that they have is you actually… they don’t have a special tool. You use a die to pop out the other face so that’s how that goes, and then you just sort of, like, wedge that on. And so it’s not a single… it does have the single… i don’t know if this is trademark, or… it’d be patented… so they didn’t want to copy it exactly, and they use round faces for Roll for the Galaxy instead of square ones? But they do have that central post in there, but Dice Forge adds these corners as well, i guess maybe to help with with rolling? i’m not too sure, because they’re nicely… is that chamfered? Or there’s a soft and rounded edge on here. i think it’s the same thing… i’m going to give you a closer-uppy look at a Roll for the Galaxy die… so again, it’s… i’ve been learning a lot. i read a really cool article on how dice are made that i’ll share with you in another video when i’m talking more about dice but, um, this is to mimic the manufacturing result of taking wooden dice or plastic dice, and they tumble them in sort of, like, a rock tumbler… and when they come out…. i said “tumbler” really weird, didn’t i? When they come out, they come out with these… these nubby rounded corners like that, so that’s what that’s trying to mimic. And casino dice… i didn’t realize, but i learned this from the article: casino dice aren’t like that. Casino dice are… they’re just sheer. They’ve got sharp corner… corners that could poke your eyes out, and they’re very dangerous, but not as dangerous… as gambling. But yeah! That’s, uh… that’s… that’s the difference between the two. i don’t know. Maybe i can roll one? And i got three… three and/or five points. And over here, i got… nothing. That wasn’t really fair to Roll for the Galaxy… let’s keep going until we get something… and it’s gonna be… no. Interesting. Because the die is now weighted, so it’s always gonna roll so that that thing is face up… we get aaaaa… cell phone! Hooray! We win! i don’t even know. i don’t know what’s going on, uh, but it dawns on me now that those… these, uh, money things here are… these are gonna be extensions to the base board, i’m guessing, and that’s why we didn’t find a strip of money in… in this in this game to punch out. Cool! There you have it, folks! That is the sum… crash! Every one of these ends like a Muppet Show finale. Uh… i… i criticize Rio Grande games all the time for not doing much for inserts, but i’m sure the aftermarket people like – you know – GameTrayz and stuff love them, because they get to sell foam core/balsa wood inserts. There’s a couple catalogs for stuff coming up from Rio Grande Games that you can check out, but this is the well, and the well isn’t great, but i don’t know about you: do you keep all your expansions in separate boxes, or you take… like, i’m tempted to take all the bits of this and put them inside my original Roll for the Galaxy box. i don’t know if there’s space in my original Roll for the Galaxy box for all of this stuff, but i’m going to find out when i have to put all this stuff away. Now tell me: Roll for the Galaxy: Rivalry… first i should mention that very recently, they put up the brand new Roll for the Galaxy app. So this game, you’ve been able to play it on services like Board Game Arena, but Board Game Arena is kind of, like, html5-y. It hasn’t been the best interface to play. You can certainly play it. It’s certainly functional… but one of the things that annoyed me is that to keep an eye on what your opponents do, you have to scroll this big long page, so it’s hard to sort of keep abreast of what everybody’s up to, and that’s kind of a crucial part of the game. So they just released, at the time of this video, a new Roll for the Galaxy app. Have you played that? Do you like it? Is this available in it? i didn’t even check. Somebody told me it’s not available quite yet, but you can bet they’re probably building it behind the scenes, uh, contingent upon the the popularity of the app. i really, really like the game. Uh… i think Ambition is good and adds enough… that’s a point i want to make really quickly, though. i mentioned that you can’t always… you can’t always value a game based on the components inside the box, because a ton of stuff might have gone into the the thinking, or the design behind the game, and a game with an innocuous component might add a whole lot of extra interesting gameplay. And the best example that i can think of that from my collection is 7 Wonders: Duel. And if you get the Pantheon expansion… in 7 Wonders: Duel, it’s very tight, because you have three things you can do: you can take a card from the tableau, you can build one of your wonders, or you can grab a card and juice it for money. Those are the three things that you can do, and it’s… you’re chipping away at this sort of brick wall of cards, and you’re trying to sort of force your opponent into a situation where he or she has to take a certain card, which uncovers a thing that you want. So Pantheon adds a bunch of cards, but… they’re interesting, but i don’t think they’re the most interesting thing about that… that additional design in the expansion. i think the interesting thing about 7 Wonders: Duel is that it gives you a fourth thing to do. So you can build your wonder, you can grab a card, you can juice a card from the tableau for money, or you can mess around with the tableau board which is the same as taking your turn, which is an extra dimension to – you know – painting your opponent into a certain corner to force him or her to take a certain card from the tableau. i think it’s really interesting. So just by… and you wouldn’t see that. You wouldn’t look at the box and think that, and and see from the components involved that it creates that extra dimension of strategy. So that’s what i’m talking about. You can’t always look at the MSRP of a game and determine that, uh, there’s going to be a certain amount of added value based on the components alone. And i’m hoping that’s the case with this game. Like i say, there are three modules. i’m going to crack into them. i’m probably going to make How to Play videos for for them… maybe even separate How to Play videos to see how they all interface together. Are you… have you played this? Do you like it? Has it been on your wish list for a while? Has the price had anything to do with you getting, or not getting, the game? Really interested to find out what you think about Roll for the Galaxy: Rivalry. So leave me a comment below… or, if you haven’t yet popped into the Discord server, i would love to meet you and hear from you. There are people on there all the time, and they’re wonderful people, and they will talk about board games with you until you’re blue in the face, so that you can spare your friends and family, who probably hate your guts by now, if you’re like me. So join me on the Discord server and chat me up about games – possibly this game. Thank you so very much for watching this, and we’ll see you again next time. [Music] Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100 this video, click the badge to subscribe, and then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff! [Music – Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]

Get Your Own Copy of Roll for the Galaxy: Rivalry

Upgraded component quality on the boards and player screens, extra dice, extra home worlds and tiles, and three different game modes to try. Does Roll for the Galaxy: Rivalry sound like it’s worth the sticker price yet? If you take the plunge and order your own copy using the Amazon link below, i’ll receive a small commission, which will help keep Nights Around a Table ticking: