The first expansion to Roll for the Galaxy (which i unboxed here) is called Ambition, and it adds a handful of tiles and dice – most notably the two-phase black Leader dice, and a stack of 20 goals for you and your space rivals to complete.

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and this is Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition, the first expansion for Roll for the Galaxy. Ambition adds new tiles, a new Goals feature, and two new types of dice, along with these special talent counters. Let me show you how to play!

First off, Ambition gives you a bunch of new tiles: 14 new faction tiles, 7 new home world tiles, and 5 game tiles that get mixed up inside the SPACE BAG! I won’t talk about every single one of them, but as you can imagine, they’re variations and remixes of the game’s different elements, including some tiles that net you the new orange Entrepreneur dice. The Terraforming Specialists faction lets you pay a credit when you develop or settle to reduce the number of workers you need to complete a construction by 1. The Alien Booby Trap makes you lose the settler you used to complete it – that’ll teach you to mess around with alien boobies – and the Deficit Spending tile lets you buy Victory Points during the Shipping phase.

Instead of starting the game with 3 white home dice in your cup, everyone starts with 2 white home dice and 1 of these new black Leader dice. A Leader die always matches the planet’s colour when it’s used as a good or as a shipper. What’s more, leader dice are two-phase: most of their faces have two symbols on them instead of just one. You can assign a leader die to either of those two phases, and/or reassign it like you would any other die… and when everyone lifts their screens and reveals which phase they chose, if your leader die is under a phase that didn’t get chosen – like this leader die in the unchosen produce phase – but the other phase that’s on the die DID get get chosen – you move the die to the other phase, where you get to use it, instead of putting it back in your cup as an unused worker.

The other new die is this orange entrepreneur die, which is also two-phase. But unlike a black Leader die, an orange entrepreneur die DOESN’T match the world’s colour when you use it as a good or a shipper. It can still perform as a good or a shipper – it just won’t get you extra victory points for matching the world’s colour.

Both the Leader and Entrepreneur dice have some faces with a dollar sign on them. That means that if you use this die as a worker during a selected phase, instead of returning the exhausted worker to your Citizenry, it goes back into your cup! So you essentially get to use it for free.

Effective Roll for the Galaxy players play close attention to the probability table for the differently coloured dice. Because Ambition introduces two new colours, you get a sheet of stickers to upgrade the probability tables on your player screens.

Ambition also adds a new goal mechanic to Roll for the Galaxy. Off the top of the game, you’ll randomly choose six different objective tiles out of a stack of 20. These goals can be anything from having 5 or more VP chips during the shipping phase, to having 6 or more goods on your worlds during the Produce phase. If one or more players meets a condition during the indicated phase, those players receive the number of talent counters up here in the top right corner. The completed goal gets flipped over so that no one else can achieve it.

The harder a goal is to complete, the more talent counters it’s worth. You can use talent counters as if they were regular dice workers where you rolled a wild asterisk face, AKA Kurt Vonnegut’s butthole – if you want to use them, just line them up under your phases along with your worker dice. They can help settle worlds and build developments, they can become goods, they can be shippers… explorers, and so on… but after they do their work, they go back to the supply.

If you assign a talent counter to a phase that doesn’t happen, then just like the dice that go back into your cup, the talent counters come back to you unassigned, and you can either assign them again in a later round, or hang on to them.

You don’t have to use your talent counters to do work. Each unused talent counter is worth 1 VP to you at the end of the game.

The last thing to know about Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition is that there’s a small rule change regarding money. Normally, after you spend credits to recruit all your dice back into your cup, if you get wiped out to zero credits, you get to bounce back up to 1 credit.` Certain tiles and effects in Ambition may make your credit limit go to zero before the recruit step, even multiple times. Whenever that happens, then after the effect is finished, if you’re at zero, you get that 1-credit top-up, even before the recruit step happens.

And now, you’re ready to play Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition!

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[Music – Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]

Get Your Own Copy of Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition

Ambition adds a few things that show up again in the second expansion, Rivalry, with the only real difference between the two being the goal tiles. If you want to add those goal tiles to your own Roll for the Galaxy experience, shop using the Amazon link below. Your price remains the same, and NAaT receives a small commission!