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All you need to know about RA

Is RA fun to play?
Players: 2 – 5 players | Game Duration 45 – 60 mins | Min. Age 12+ | Game complexity: EASY Genre: Mythology Solo game mode: No | Co-op: No | Online Version: No
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What is RA about?

“Ra” is a board game that transports players back to the times of Ancient Egypt and the Nile River Valley, challenging them to compete for points through strategic auctions and tile management. The game, designed by the acclaimed Reiner Knizia, takes you on  a journey through the rich tapestry of Egyptian culture and history.

Gameplay Overview

“Ra” is an auction game for 2-5 players, typically spanning about an hour of playtime. The game involves bidding for tiles that represent various aspects of Egyptian life such as Pharaohs, the Nile, civilizations, and monuments like pyramids and Sphinxes. The game has three rounds, or “Epochs”, with each round containing a series of auctions. Players bid for tiles using a set of sun discs, which have varying numerical values.

Each player starts with a handful of these sun discs. The unique twist in “Ra” comes from its bidding mechanism — once you use a disc in an auction, you exchange it with the one in the middle of the board, affecting your bidding power in subsequent rounds. The strategy in bidding and choosing when to “invoke Ra” (trigger an auction) forms the heart of the game’s mechanics.

Game Mechanics

The game employs a push-your-luck component combined with tile collection. The tiles drawn dictate the pace and dynamics of the game. Certain tiles like disasters can remove other tiles, influencing players’ strategies and plans. Scoring occurs at the end of each epoch, with different tiles providing points in various ways. 

One of the standout features of “Ra” is the sun disc mechanism. Choosing when to spend a higher or lower value sun disc can dramatically affect the power dynamics between players, making each auction a critical event that can lead to significant swings in player standings.

What Makes “Ra” Fun?

“Ra” rules are straightforward enough for newcomers to grasp quickly, yet the game offers rich strategy for seasoned players. This makes it very replayable. Each game feels different due to the random draw of tiles and the dynamic interplay of player decisions in auctions.

The game’s creates excitement and thrill as players frequently need to assess their strategies and adapt on the fly. The bidding competition and the thrill of snagging a crucial set of tiles just at the right moment create exciting and memorable gameplay moments.

Who Will Enjoy “Ra”?

Players who enjoy strategic planning and risk management will likely like “RA”. Fans of history and Egyptian culture will appreciate the thematic elements, while lovers of auction-based games will find the unique bidding system refreshingly engaging.

What are “Ra” players saying about the game?

Players describe it as akin to being an ancient Egyptian venture capitalist, where careful consideration of bids and management of funds are crucial. The game is praised for its simple rules yet deep gameplay, making it accessible and engaging for both novice and experienced gamers.

Key points from the reviews include:

  • The game’s latest edition is favored for several improvements:
    • A useful player aid that simplifies scoring for newcomers.
    • Vibrant, high-quality artwork that departs from previous editions’ more muted styles.
    • Clear and easy-to-read tiles, which benefit all players, including those who are colorblind.

Players find that “Ra” offers a great balance of strategic depth and fun, with its streamlined gameplay providing a different experience in every session. The auction mechanic is particularly highlighted as a solid part of the game. The quality of the components, including chunky tiles and well-designed money tokens, adds to the enjoyment.

Find out about RA How to play RA

Rulebook and How to Play Guides

Official Rule Book

How to Play RA and Review Videos

Awards Won by RA

2016 Juego del Año Recommended
2000 International Gamers Awards – General Strategy; Multi-player Nominee
1999 Meeples’ Choice Award

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