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We say “Ra Ra Ra!” to Ra: The Dice Game.

Ra: The Dice Game

I have a new favorite dice game:  Ra.  This is the dice version of a game by the same name, and I must admit I haven’t played the regular version, but I’m kinda hooked on the dice variation.

This game came to my attention through a friend of mine.  We were sitting around working a booth on a slow day and she pulled this out to play in between inquiring customers. It’s simple enough to do just that, however, its also got enough strategy involved to keep me from wanting to gouge my eyes out, unlike many other dice games on the market.

The Dice

Ra dice, showing each of the available symbols.

Ra is played with a set of five unique colored dice.  Each die contains the following symbols:  ankh,  pharaoh,  ship,  pyramid (monument) , a swirl (sun), and a pair of Egyptians.  Each of these corresponds to different tracks on the board, in which you are trying to advance or place your colored cubes.

The game is all about balance.  If you focus too heavy on one symbol type, you’re likely wind up losing a lot of points due to penalties, however, focusing on a single symbol also means big points for that symbol.  Furthermore, sometimes there is no reason to worry about a given symbol because your opponents don’t seem to be rolling for those either.

Ra

Ra, the sun God.

The game is played in a series of epochs, or rounds, each of which ends after a certain number of swirls (suns) have been rolled.  Each time one or two suns are rolled on a turn, the Ra token moves along the epoch track, on a roll of three or more Ra does not move.  When Ra reaches the end of the track, that epoch is over and certain scoring elements occur.

Ra: The Dice Game

The Ra board. If you look closely you can see that the symbols on the different tracks match the symbols on the dice.

The one thing that could use a little polish on this game is the rules.  It’s much easier if someone just teaches you, because trying to decipher what is intended in certain scenarios is not always easy and requires the reader to read between the lines.  They would do well to say certain tidbits of info right up front in the rules, but neglect to do so, banking on the ability of the reader to simply know what they meant.

However, despite this one small flaw, it really is a marvelous game that requires just enough thought to keep it interesting, but not so much that you have to really focus hard on it.  This makes it a great filler game or game to play at events.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 at 4:31 pm and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Luck and Betting Games .
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