The Games You Want to Play…Part XXVII

Galaxy Trucker
I mentioned in the discussion of another game that we had played Galaxy Trucker one week, but that since it was so well known I would skip its review and catch it later. This is that time. We played another game of GT this past week and I thought I might share about it for those not familiar with the game.

Galaxy Trucker was designed by well-known game designer Vlaada Chvatil and released by Czech Games Edition in 2007. It is for 2-4 players and is an easy game to learn and start playing. They have released close to a dozen expansions over the years.

This is a popular, light-hearted, space-themed game in which you race to build your spacecraft from spare parts and then race through the galaxy dodging meteors, pirates, and other dangers to pick-up cargo from planets, discover abandoned space stations, and finish ahead of the others with the most pristine space ship.

The basic game is played in three rounds. Each turn starts with a template for a space ship and a single crew space in the middle of the ship. A huge number of squares, blank on one side and with the part for your ship on the other, lay face down between you and your opponents.

You begin flipping counters to discover crew quarters, alien life support systems, lasers (single and double), energy storage (to power your double engines and lasers), cargo bins (standard and red – for dangerous cargo), shield generators, engines (single and double), and structural support grids and build your space ship out from the center. Each counter has connectors (one of three kinds) that must attach to the other parts of the ship with a matching connector.

Once the race to build the ship is complete (the faster you finish, the better your pole position), you move on to the race. Being in the lead at the end of each round leads to bonus points, but it can offer dangers and advantages throughout the race. You could be the first to discover planets offering cargo to transport (and get first pick on the most valuable items) or you could be the first to encounter pirates.

The choices you made during the scramble to build your ship really start to impact you as you run out of cargo space, or you do not have enough lasers to defeat the pirates, or your crew quarters start to be destroyed.

What you discover as you race around the galaxy each round is determined by the round you are playing and the deck of cards drawn for that round (each round has its own set of cards, but older cards can appear in the later rounds). In open space, your engines can drive you into the lead.

However, pausing at a planet to collect cargo or stopping at an abandoned space station can delay your progress (or required the use of crew members). Finally, as you encounter pirates and meteors, you can find your ship eroding around or (in one case for me) your ship could be torn in half and you must decide which part pushes on in the race!

The decisions you make in the design phase have a real impact during the game. You can slow your construction to take a peek at some of the cards in the race deck for the round to get a better idea of what you will be facing. Regardless, every trade-off comes with a price.

Double lasers and engines require extra energy and, if you use too much energy early in a round, you may run short at critical times. Shield generators and lasers can protect against meteors, but lasers facing to the side to stop meteors approaching your flanks only count for half as much when facing pirates. Aliens can boost your engines and lasers, but require additional life support (and more room).

I must say that I have joined the ranks of Galaxy Trucker fans and appreciate this game as a quick, fun option to just sit down and play for a fun break.

Be sure to vote for fun games like this one to include on the cruise!

Remember, Royal Caribbean will be ending our group rates and $50 OBC in November for our Spring 2020 cruise out of New York. Room prices will go to market after that. So, do not miss our group rates and join us for a fun board gaming cruise vacation! If you miss the group rates, don’t worry. You will be welcome and we can still find you a space on the ship.

See you onboard,

Gaming By Sea

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