Friday, 20 November 2020

passing time: Race for the Galaxy, Splendor challenges, Star Realm challenges

I recently booted up Race for the Galaxy on the iPad and played against AI's. It's convenient. A good way to pass time. It's moderately challenging. The AI's are decent. When this iOS version of Race for the Galaxy was in open beta, I played a lot of it. After it launched and I bought it, I played much less. I had had my fill during the open beta. The physical game used to be the most played game of Michelle and I. We rarely play it now. Playing the electronic version is brisk. You save so much time shuffling cards, especially compared to playing the physical version with all three expansions of the first arc. If you are bored and can't find opponents, this is a good way to pass time. 

I went back to play some Splendor challenges. These are single player challenges with various rule tweaks. Each challenge comes with a short story based on real history, but it's just flavouring and doesn't have much to do with actual gameplay. 

Some challenges have pre-set decks with cards arranged in a specific order. These are like puzzles to be solved. Some challenges have time limits, e.g. 2.5 minutes. I don't like these because I prefer to play at leisure. Also my iPad is old and slow, which means I'm playing at a handicap. There's a short pause between turns. 

In some challenges, gems which are used are permanently discarded. You need to be extra careful with these and build up your production capacity before you use up your gems. Otherwise you won't survive. 

The main menu interface of the challenges section looks like this. Each set of challenges contains six of them, and is represented as a location on the globe. I started from the left, and have completed three sets now. 

I revisited the challenges in Star Realms too. I am still actively playing Star Realms. I played some of the challenges quite some time ago. I probably completed one or two chapters then. Now I am starting from the beginning again, and am up to Chapter 3 so far. I'm not sure how far I'll go this time. I might skip many chapters and jump straight to the newest ones. I recently purchased the Frontiers expansion, so I'm interested to play with the new cards. 

The Star Realms challenges are not easy to beat. It often takes me multiple attempts to complete a challenge, and I'm only playing on normal mode, not hard mode. Maybe it's a skill problem...

In the challenges, the AI usually gets some advantage. I find that the AI ramps up its attack power very quickly. Perhaps this is something I should learn from it.

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