Welcome, Fanatics, to an all new column: The Board Game Fanatic, where we examine games that reside on boards instead of videos. Today, we check out Galaxy Trucker.
Trucking is an integral part of society. It helps companies transport goods from one location to another. But in the future, we won’t be trucking through highways and interstates, we’ll be doing it across the galaxy. We also won’t be doing it in trucks; we’ll have spaceships. This is the basic premise of Galaxy Trucker: build a spaceship designed to travel across the galaxy. Simple enough, right? Wrong. Because guess what happens in space: bad things.
The game is played out in an incredibly simple manner, albeit with a lot of variables that go into ship building. To make it short and sweet, tiles are thrown into the middle of the table face down and you have a set time to build your spaceship. Now obviously, you have to follow various rules when it comes to ship-building. But some rules are more like a guideline: you can choose to build your ship a certain way, but it’s going to severely cost you as the round progresses. That’s because after the building is over and you truck across the galaxy, you’ll encounter space pirates, asteroids, and planets to land on. Don’t have enough storage capacity to pick up cargo from planets? You’re gonna miss out on points. Can’t fend off space pirates? You’ll lose crew members and cargo, also costing your points. Get hit by an asteroid in a ships weak spot? Well, your ship may literally be cut in half.
This is the beauty of Galaxy Trucker. Ship building is a completely frantic affair. You keep in mind so many various scenarios and conditions. “I wan’t my ship to be able to take off.” “I want to make sure it can withstand attacks.” “Crap, I need more cargo room.” “It’s not properly connected and one tiny asteroid will rip it apart.” Before you know it, time is up, and all you can do is hope for the best. While this may give the illusion that the game requires a lot of luck to be successful, that’s not the case. Build a study ship and you’ll be able to at least compete in terms of coming close to winning. Luck does, however, play a factor in determining the final outcome of the game. But the beauty of the premise is that you don’t mind luck having a say in your fortune. Because it’s funny to watch ships get torn apart, even if it is your own.
Galaxy Trucker isn’t one of your “mainstream board game,” far from it in fact. But it’s not going to be a massive learning experience in the way the StarCraft board game is, either. Once you get used to the various ship parts and what they’re for, the game is beyond accessible, simple, and fun. It combines the right amount of skill required to build your ship and luck required to avoid the dangers that await in the galaxy. Though, to be honest, I was never quite sure what I was exactly transporting or who I was working for, and that probably bothers me too much. But I digress; Galaxy Trucker is a lot of fun. Just remember that while it’s nice to see someone else’s hard work get destroyed in a matter of minutes, your ship could be next.