Sunday, December 13, 2009

Trains and (Space) Trucks

Game night this week saw a couple of really cool boardgames hit the table. One, Galaxy Trucker was a return trip, but the other, Ticket to Ride, made its debut. Both were great games, we had a lot of fun,, yada, yada, yada. I had taken some pics, preparing to write it up something fierce, but its just been sitting in my queue doing nothing while I didn't really feel motivated to be my loquacious self. So here you go...

My "level one" ship was a pretty good build. As you can see, I had plenty of crew, including an alien Golgothoid, a smattering of guns, and a decent set of engines for such a small ship. It's funny, as I type this, I realize I shouldn't have had a Golgothoid at all, but a Magentoid, since that's the type of enviro-chamber attached to it.

I won the first race with that little ship, but by the third time around, and the largest ship template, my game turned into a disaster. It was a good ship, but didn't have enough crew, and had way too many connectors open to space.

Galaxy Trucker is an expensive game to say the least (but worth it), so why not protect it as best as you can? Andy's whipped up a clever little organizer to hold all GT's bits, and a card box downloaded from BBG to hold all the, well, cards.

EDIT for Jmezz382: The concept for GT is three fold. First, it is a tile laying game, this is how you build your spaceships. Like any tile laying game, only certain pieces will match up with other pieces, which gets tricky because every ship will need guns, engines, cargo holds, crew, and the like. To make matters even trickier, the ship building phase of the game uses a timer, so it can get pretty hectic when time's running out! Whoever finishes first gets the number one pole position, and so on. After all players are done with their ships, everyone then inspects the other ships for mistakes, and believe me, mistakes will happen.

The second phase is pretty straight forward, remember how I said 'pole position'? Basically all the ships present start on a "track", which is a jaunt around the cosmos, and it is essentially a race. Whoever finishes first wins the most prize money. Prize money determines the overall winner of the game.

The third phase of the game is the race itself, and you're not just zipping around empty space. You encounter all sorts of obstacles, from pirates to meteor swarms which you have to fend off. You also encounter mineral rich planets and abandoned stations that you get loot from which can be cashed in for prize money. Obviously how well your ship is built will determine its success during the race, if you don't have a lot of guns, you'll not be able to fight the pirates. Not a lot of shields means susceptibility to meteors. No cargo space means passing up loot. You have to find the right balance with all your systems, and still be fast enough to win the race.

Then we played Ticket to Ride. It's a tough concept to sell really, umm, you're making train tracks across America. That's it? Yup, but man, I can now see why this game has won so many accolades and awards. Holy crap, man of man it was fun!

I'm not going to review it or anything, there's plenty of places to go for that. It's got all those facets that make games good; innovative mechanics, hands-on pieces, easy-to-learn rules, and of course great replay value, which I'm always looking for. Although it was Andy's game, Chri3 and I thoroughly gave him what-for. The two of us were neck-in-neck the whole game, and had it not for a controversial rule interpretation, I think I could've taken the lead! T2R is a very fun game, and it is also the perfect 'gateway' game for newbies and non-gamers alike. Don't let the concept fool you, the game is an absolute blast.


  1. Galaxy trucker seems like a neat game. What is the concept or objectives behind it ?

  2. All right Jmezz383, I hooked you up with a mega-edit in the original post describing the concepts and what-not. Enjoy!

  3. Galaxy Trucker is great. Even if you lose, it's the most fun you'll ever have losing.

    Galaxy trucker is one part construction, one part strategy, sprinkle in some luck, add a dash of dirty tricks.

    I had one game where my ship disintigrated on the first card draw, two turns in a row and still laughed my butt off.


  4. jmezz382, here is a video review of Galaxy trucker, showing the playing process.

  5. Interesting first impression of Ticket to Ride. I personally didn't think the concept seemed boring when I first heard about it...

    But yes, it *is* a great game. We (and by 'we' i mean 'Sheri') actually have all the versions of it. Like I said, pretty much everything DoW makes is awesome. :)


  6. Yeah, for some reason I was always like, "Woohoo, trains, big deal.", but man, I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm sold, it's a hit for sure...