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RA is an exhilarating board game that whisks players back to the mystifying world of ancient Egypt, where they become cunning Egyptian rulers competing to amass the greatest wealth, honour the gods, and secure their place in history. With its blend of strategic decision-making, tense bidding, and a touch of luck, RA offers a captivating gaming experience for 2 to 5 players. Players …
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From the Box:
The game spans 1500 years of Egyptian history in less than an hour!
The players seek to expand their power and fame and there are many ways to accomplish this: Influencing Pharaohs, Building monuments, Farming on the Nile, Paying homage to the Gods, Advancing the technology and culture of the people. Ra is an auction and set collecting game where players may choose to take risks for great rewards or… And all this is for the glory of the Sun God Ra!

Ra is an auction collection game set in Ancient Egypt. Each turn players are able to purchase tiles with their bidding tiles (Suns). Once a player has used up his or her suns, the other players continue until they do likewise, which may set up a situation with a single uncontested player bidding on tiles before the end of the round occurs. This exciting game offers a shirt leaning curve, but the more you play the better you’ll be able to win those bids!




Golden Pear


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • A very deep game with a small rule set
  • Very quick
  • Each auction feels different
  • Lovely components and artwork

Might Not Like

  • Auction games are not for everyone. (I do, however, think this one is!)
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RA is an exhilarating board game that whisks players back to the mystifying world of ancient Egypt, where they become cunning Egyptian rulers competing to amass the greatest wealth, honour the gods, and secure their place in history. With its blend of strategic decision-making, tense bidding, and a touch of luck, RA offers a captivating gaming experience for 2 to 5 players.

Players take turns drawing and auctioning off tiles representing different aspects of Egyptian life, such as monuments, pharaohs, floods, and disasters. Each tile holds a varying number of suns, which serve as the game's currency and determine the value of the tile during an auction. The catch is that players must wisely gauge their opponents' interest and carefully choose when to initiate an auction or when to pass.

Timing is key in RA, as players must decide whether to hold onto valuable tiles and risk losing them in a potentially unfavourable auction or opt for lesser tiles to secure immediate points. A successful auction can lead to significant gains, while a poorly timed bid can result in lost opportunities. This delicate balance of risk and reward makes each auction a nail-biting affair, filled with tension and strategic manoeuvring.

The game's central mechanism lies in the RA tiles. When a certain number of tiles with suns are drawn, a disaster tile is revealed, triggering unforeseen events that can drastically alter the game's course. These disasters, such as droughts or invasions, force players to revaluate their strategies and adapt to unexpected circumstances. Skilful players will learn to navigate these challenges and turn them to their advantage, while others may falter under the pressure.

RA's depth lies in its intricate scoring system. Players earn points by collecting sets of tiles that align with specific scoring criteria, such as monuments, pharaohs, or floods. Additionally, players can earn bonus points for acquiring the most of a particular tile type, balancing their focus between quantity and quality. This multi-faceted scoring system ensures that players must continuously adapt their strategies to maximize their chances of victory.

With its elegant blend of luck and skill, RA offers endless replay ability. The ever-changing combinations of tiles, the unpredictable disasters, and the strategic choices players must make create a dynamic and engaging gameplay experience. Its straightforward rules make it accessible to both casual and seasoned gamers, while its depth and strategic nuances ensure that every playthrough is a fresh and captivating journey through ancient Egypt.

Whether you're a history enthusiast, a seasoned gamer, or simply seeking an enthralling board game experience, RA beckons you to step into the realm of ancient Egypt, where fortunes are won and lost with every bid, and the pursuit of greatness lies in the palm of your hand. Will you rise as the most influential ruler and etch your name into the annals of history? Unveil the mysteries of RA and embark on an unforgettable journey through time.

RA, a well-regarded classic amongst our hobby is a game that has been on my want to buy/need to play list for a long time. The trouble is that up until now, it has been very hard to find without paying over the odds for it. Step in 25th century Games and Gamefound and I now have one of the most beautifully produced games I have seen for a while. Will the gameplay live up to the hype and components though? Read on to find out. Ra, ra, ra ra ra!

I Invoke RA

RA by Reiner Knizia is a stone-cold classic. Over the five or so plays I have had so far I have slowly got to grips with its very nuanced tactics and strategies. It has the classic Knezia flavour of a very simple rule set but with a wide decision space and juicy hidden depths. In RA you are creating a civilization by bidding on various tiles and with a helping hand from the god RA, bullying your opponents. (More on that later)

Your turn is simple, either grab a chunky tile from the tile bag and add it to the auction row, hand in a God tile you may have to grab any other tile from the auction row or Invoke RA and start an auction. The auctions are the meat and potatoes of RA and is where most of the action will be taking place.

Bid, Bid, Bid

So why are you bidding for these tiles? It’s basically a set collection mechanic and varying tiles have varying scoring abilities from scoring in sets to scoring if you have the most and scoring depending on whether you have other tiles or not. You have a very informative player board that illustrates all this and shows which tiles score when and which tiles get removed each round. It’s how these tiles come out of the bag, in what order and how much each player values them that gets the gears of RA turning.

Each player has a number of chunky ‘sun disks’ ranging from 1 – 16. These are your bid tokens for the round and it’s a closed economy that sees them being passed around between players. You only get one bid, you know exactly what everyone has and this alone generates a lot of entertainment in every auction. When you win an auction, your sun token goes into the next auction to be won by the next winner. This not only makes the tiles something that need to be considered but also your sun token and the one you get for winning. Plus you can only win a certain number of auctions each round, depending on player count so timing is key

RA Tiles & The End Of An Epoch

Among all the tiles in the huge bag are RA tiles, they, instead of being added to the auction row, immediately start an auction. Not only that but they advance the round time by one space bringing the game ever closer to the end of the epoch (round). The game lasts three epochs and we have had rounds where players still have unused sun tokens at the end. This system not only creates a push-your-luck mechanism to the auctions, as you never know when the epoch will end but also allow for some really fun plays.

Bullying With My 1

In the last game I had, I was at the point where I had the 12, 3, 2 and 1 sun disks so you would think I only really had one ‘good’ bidding tile but you would be wrong. All I kept doing was after a few tiles came out, invoked RA, which started an auction. Whoever invokes RA goes last and therefore has most of the power. Due to everyone knowing I could get a few tiles by bidding my 1 tile, they had a hard decision, let me have them cheap or use one of their higher tokens to take a small number of tiles. Juicy. Also ,factor in that I will be exchanging my 1 tile for a higher one for the next round and the whole thing takes on a new perspective.

Set Collection With A Difference

The tiles you are collecting are scored at the end of every round apart from the Monuments, which are scored only at the end of the game. Not only this but your board, which holds your tiles is split into two sides, one where the tiles disappear every round and one side where they stay. This makes sure that every auction is valued differently by all players. Tie this to the open information basic bidding system and the auction really gets elevated into something I have not seen in a game before.

So, on the permanent side, you have the Monuments, which are scored at the end of the game. They are scored for complete sets and multiples of the same Monument, so they have two scoring methods giving your brain just enough fuzz to complicate things further. On the permanent tile side, you also have the Pharaoh tiles which are scored by the person with the most getting 5 points each round and the least losing two points. Further down that side are the river tiles which only score if you get a flood tile on the other side of your board, which gets removed each round. So, if you have a lot of river tiles you need to get a flood tile every round, which can sometimes be challenging.

On the temporary tile side, along with the flood tiles you have God tiles, which allow you to take any tile from the auction row on your turn, which can be very powerful indeed. You have the gold tiles which are just worth three points each, the civilization tiles which are scored for sets and if you have none you get a negative point deduction. All these different tiles, mixed with all the stuff I have mentioned above make every auction tense and unique.

He’s Chonky Boy!

Wow, what can I say, these are some of the most beautiful, thick and tactile components I have ever had. The box weighs a ton. I have the Pharaoh edition, where the components are thicker and has metal coins but I have seen the retail version and the components are still extremely nice. Firstly the updated artwork and design of the player boards from Ian O’Toole is fantastic. Everything is so bright and clear, the updated boards make looking at what points you are getting plus what gets discord and what gets discarded a massive improvement over the original game.

The actual pieces are lovely to touch. With a massive thick RA statue, chunky tiles and sun disks, the whole thing screams quality and feels great to play. Moving things around, delving in the bag for tiles and making bids all have an air of lavishness about them. It’s so beautiful.

Final Thoughts

Just go out and buy it immediately. Seriously, I had heard RA was good but I did not expect to think it was ‘this’ good. It’s so simple yet so full of choice and depth. The components are amazing, the gameplay loop and flow is brilliant and you can have a rip roaring time with friends in under an hour. What’s not to like? Ra, ra, ra ra ra!


Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • A very deep game with a small rule set
  • Very quick
  • Each auction feels different
  • Lovely components and artwork

Might not like

  • Auction games are not for everyone. (I do, however, think this one is!)