Driving the Beeg Rigs ...
Laura DeWalt shifts gears from Dominion
and tries her hand at space py-rating in the WBC debut of Galaxy
Nicholas Henning finds himself in
the unusual circumstance of being sandwiched between Finns Daniel
Rauma and Antero Kuusi.
Galaxy Trucker debut went off with a bang at WBC 2012.
Of course, as any player expects, that bang was the players'
ships exploding. We split the heats into a choice of base game
or expansion, and that seemed to go well. Newer players and learners
were able to keep the chaos in check with the simpler version,
and the more experienced truckers took to the challenge of the
expansion. We initially went with two Rough Roads cards for each
round. That did lead to some interesting heat games, but there
was a fair amount of carnage. While the players enjoyed it (or
at least claimed they did), we backed off to one Rough Road card
per round, and four Evil Machinations cards per player (using
one per round). That seemed to provide a better balance of chaos
We had 12 unique heat winners, which boded well for 4x3 semifinals.
Unfortunately, the GM misrecorded one heat that caused some confusion
as we got the semis under way. Things were straightened out eventually,
with all attending heat winners getting a seat. We could aim
for 4x4 semis next year, but we would need to be clear on later
tiebreakers for advancement since there would have been many
people on the line with a 2/3 finish. I think winners advancing
worked pretty well, though if an additional heat is added we
might move beyond 16 winners. Still, with the expansion 25 would
The Final was fairly explosive, in a ship falling apart kind
of way. The first Rough Road was "made to order", where
players start with a stack of personal tiles, but must pay for
tiles not used. Nick Ferris assembled a fantastic ship and soared
into an early lead, but was only able to create that ship by
not using many of his starting tiles, which retarded his score.
Everyone came out of the first round with a loan.
Round 2 saw "Explosive Goods" for an event, which
never went off. This was because players were careful about picking
up goods. Dave had his ship come partially apart, and then was
forced to give up when a slaver appeared, leaving him with a
second loan and a score of -16. Karl Henning worked himself out
of his deep first round hole back to a -2, while his brother,
Nick, took the lead with a score of 6.
The last round drew "Remorseless Fate," making all
disasters even worse. An early asteroid combined with a stardust
dropped Nick Henning's ship down a few cannons, a critical problem
with some large foes looming. Dave Finberg lost almost all of
his crew to grab an $11 abandoned ship (including his aliens),
but still had a ship bristling with guns. A string of foes that
Nick Henning now was no longer able to beat put cash in Dave's
pocket, while forcing Nick's ship to take damage (making it harder
to beat even weaker foes). Dave sneaked across the line in second,
with almost no goods but a stack of collected enemies and little
damage added up to a whopping 23 dollars after loans, just enough
to squeak by Nick at 20.
The removed 25 tiles for a 4-player game happened to get three
of the shields, making the competition for them particularly
fierce. Especially with shield boosters, grabbing a shield early
looked to be a strong play. Still, Dave's last ship didn't have
any shields; the best defense is often a good offense.
I'd appreciate feedback on the exact balance of expansion
goodies for the advanced rounds. It is also possible the second
expansion will be available next year, which could add even more
chaos. In the Final, the difference between biggest gain and
smallest gain was (12, 16, 36) across the three rounds. So the
last round was worth more than the others combined. Perhaps using
1A ships in the first round would increase the differential between
best and worst, or perhaps it would just lead to all ships getting
destroyed with similar scores? It seems silly to play a third
of the game for almost no effect on who wins. Feel free to contact
me with more ideas and suggestions or comments on the hat.
Kevin Lewis and Nick Ferris try the
aerial viewpoint. Nope, it doesn't look any better from up here,
These guys are obviously in the mood
for the Final of intergalactic garbage collecting.