Race for the Galaxy

à la carte Card Game Award 2008: 1st place Game of the Year 2008: Games Hit for experts International Gamers Award 2008: Nominated Japan Boardgame Prize 2008: 3rd place

Race for the Galaxy ( RftG ) is a card game for two to four people, developed by Tom Lehmann. It was released in 2007 by Rio Grande Games Abacus and games.

Game idea

In Race for the Galaxy, players must try to build a galactic empire. This is done by populating and conquering worlds through social and technological developments and by producing and consuming goods. Players receive points for this victory; it wins, who could collect the most victory points by game end.


  • 5 maps with start worlds
  • 109 Playing cards ( 59 worlds, 50 developments )
  • 4 packs of 9 Action Cards ( 7 for the regular, 2 pairs for the advanced game )
  • 28 VP chips
  • 4 Summary Sheets and Instructions

The graphic design of the game material took over Mirko Suzuki, the illustrations on the cards are from Martin Hoffmann and Stephan Claus.

Game History

When the game starts, each player receives a start world as a starting point and six cards in hand, of which he retains four.

The game is about fashion, each round consists of up to five phases, which are played in this order: Explore, Develop, Settle, Consume and Produce. The actual -to-play phases are determined at the beginning of a round, each player chooses by a phase and covers a corresponding action map interpretation. Only those phases are then played by all the players who were selected by at least one player. The phases are:

Development cards represent social or technological developments and bring the players from then certain advantages in the game. Worlds can produce certain goods in the course of the game. Goods are divided into four categories, and consumption in phases with new cards in hand and victory points can be exchanged. Nearly all played out development and world maps in addition also bring victory points.

The playout of developments and uninhabited worlds engenders costs which the player must pay by shedding her hand. Some worlds can not be settled, but must be conquered militarily. This requires the prior establishment of a sufficiently strong military power by playing off the appropriate worlds and developments.

The game ends when a player has ausliegen 12 cards or more, or the victory point chips are exhausted. The winner is the player who collects the most victory points.

Criticism and Awards

The reviews for Race for the Galaxy fell for the most part very positive. Major points of criticism were the almost complete lack of interaction between the players and the more difficult incorporation into the complex game system and the variety of cards symbols used. However, the opposing each other a successful presentation, varied games, the opportunity to develop different strategies and a pleasant short play length for experienced players.

2008 Race for the Galaxy got the à la carte award for the " Best Card Game 2008". From the Wiener Spiele Akademie it received the " Games hit for Experts 2008". It was on the nomination list for the International Gamers Award 2008 and took third place at the award ceremony of the Japan Boardgame Prize 2008. By the French game magazine Tric Trac it also received in 2008 the award " Tric Trac de Bronze ".


At Race for the Galaxy three extensions have appeared. They can be combined independently of each other with the basic game and add to it by further material and new elements.

The first extension Gathering Storm (English title: Gathering Storm ) contains new maps, game components for a fifth player, as well as material and rules for a solitaire variant in which the actions of an opponent using simulated from cubes. A new game element form two types of target platelets known before the game starts some are designed and possession of a player brings additional victory points. A player can capture target plate, if it meets certain conditions, " the first " ( for example, have ausliegen three alien cards) or if it is " most " has of something ( for example, the strongest military power ).

The second extension rebels vs. Empire (English title: Rebel vs Imperium ) contains new maps and goals, playing material for a sixth player and additions for the solitaire variant. Game Technically new is the ability of the military conquest of worlds in the costs incurred by the players. This creates more interaction between the players something whose absence was sometimes criticized for the basic game ( see Section criticism and awards ).

The third expansion, The Brink of War (English title: The Brink of War ) has been available since May 2010, and adds to the game a further control mechanism, the so-called prestige points added. These can be used with planetary or developments, in order to obtain several advantages. Although even this extension requires only the basic game mandatory, the combination of the two previous extensions recommended, since many elements of this extension build on it.

In 2012, a fourth expansion is planned, the English edition to be published under the title Alien Artifacts.