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Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion» Forums » General

Subject: Sneak Preview - Part 3 rss

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Paul Grogan
United Kingdom
Cullompton
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This is the third of the sneak previews leading up to the release of the game at Spiel 2012.

For the earlier previews, Part 1, Part 2

For my previews on the other new games...
Goblins Inc.: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Dungeon Lords Festival Season: Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3
Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


In this preview, I'm going to talk about the Support Crew cards. This is one of the new bolt-on extras that haven't been seen before.

These cards represent a wide range of professions: builders and to help you build a ship, businesspeople to help you make the most money from your flight, and other “professionals” who are willing to do things you don’t want to be caught doing.

Support Teams only come into the game after the first round. Once you have finished your first flight, each player gets dealt three cards; they choose one and discard the other two. For Round 2 of the game, they get to use ability A of the support team card.

For round 3, each player gets dealt another two cards, and chooses one. They get to use ability A and B of the first card, and just ability A of the new card.

Many support team cards come with special tokens. These are depicted on the card to show you which tokens you get.


There is also a less random "Competitive Variant" where players compete for support team members.

There are 18 Support Crew cards, here are four of them.


The cards are fairly self-explanatory, although the rulebook does have a more detailed description. The Assembler and plumber use some of the new token pieces that come with the game, and were shown on an early image of the unpunched cardboard sheet.

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Jesse Hickle
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Crown Point
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I'm looking forward to playing with the Support Team. The Plumber in particular looks like it will really help for those brain fart moments.
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David desJardins
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Burlingame
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Huh. These seem pretty hard to balance (they don't seem very even to me) and I'm not sure that we need stuff to make the game easier. I guess there are going to be some pretty intense challenges to offset these benefits---but do those challenges then make some of the support teams much better than others?
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Ben Finkel
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It seems like auctioning them would probably be a good way to approach the balance concerns. I suppose I'll have to play and find out!
 
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Vlaada Chvatil
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Huh. These seem pretty hard to balance (they don't seem very even to me) and I'm not sure that we need stuff to make the game easier. I guess there are going to be some pretty intense challenges to offset these benefits---but do those challenges then make some of the support teams much better than others?


As for making the game easier - yes, but that was an intention. The point was to add unsual and interesting features without making the game more difficult. Believe it or not, there are still groups playing so occasionally, so despite having The Big Expansion for several years, they yet have to play with all its features together. Or groups so unstable that there is usually someone who is quite new to the game every time they play. Support team, as an expansion part that adds just a bit more complexity, huge variety and reduces a bit the difficulty, can be used even for those. Rough Road are interesting not just because they increase difficulty, they often force players to think a bit new way. Support team does the same, without increasing the difficulty.

And yes - there are also new challenges (intruders, prety harsh new ships and naughty deck IV cards). But mostly - we suppose most of the players also owns The (first) Big Expansion. The advantages are not that strong - adding one extra Rough Road card makes it up for the entire Support team, so you do not need to be worried about the difficulty

As for balance - yes, they were hard to balance. I would even say impossible, as with both expansions, there is not just incredible amount of situations, but also many combinations how to setup the game. Not mentioning different style and pace of game amongst groups. So, we just let play different very experienced players many various scenarios with them, so they can asses their power, and then discussed the cards with them. We reduced power of those marked as "first pick in most situations", and strenghened the ones "I would almost never pick it". And repeated this, until it looked no card really stands out either way. Of course, every person has different opinions, this was just some general consensus.

As I have said - they cannot be really balanced. But the differences are small - if you are playing with less competitive group (or group that has not balanced skills), it does not matter - the skill of the players still decides significantly more.

If you have good and balanced group (we had some - especially when just playing inside CGE ), you can use the competitive variant where the cards are not awarded randomly.

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Jack Reda
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I don't think you need to have them so meticulously balanced anyway. If you luck into a great combination, yay for you. If a player is going to have a hissyfit because they didn't have a great combo and ended up losing, he or she really needs to look inwards.
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Paul M
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Will this expansion have a "Legend" player aid for each player that has a picture of each tile and a description of what it does? If you are new to the combined game (or play it infrequently), you need your own one-stop resource to tell you what each of the components does.
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David desJardins
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Vlaada wrote:
If you have good and balanced group (we had some - especially when just playing inside CGE ), you can use the competitive variant where the cards are not awarded randomly.


Yes, this looks excellent!
 
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