I like Galaxy Trucker quite a bit. It has two very different halves:

  1. Everyone grabs tiles and builds a spaceship. Not turn-based, just taking tiles and placing them as fast as you can.

  2. We fly our ships through space, with cards telling us what happens. Things like, a meteor storm comes from the left, where a better-built (or luckier) ship is better able to resist them.

The first half is silly and fun, and pretty different from other games I've played. The second half takes too long and isn't very interesting, even with the "rough roads" cards. There's an expansion that just came out (rules) but it doesn't look like it fixes this.

Instead, I want a completely new second half. Either something with good momentum that adds depth to the first half, or something simple and short that gets out of the way so you can play more first half.

Here's a non-playtested version of the latter:

  • There are five categories: ship speed, open connectors, crew size, laser count, shield coverage.

  • You get one point for coming in first in a category, two for second, etc.

  • Category order is randomized and you each decide independently whether to use batteries.

  • Fewest points wins.

I think this is probably not the right direction to take the game: there are lots of things you could do with these ships. Searching "galaxy trucker alternate ending" doesn't turn anything up, but if someone wanted to put something together I'd be very excited to try it. In the meantime, I think I probably would prefer my boring-but-quick counting version of the second half to the real one.

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It most likely won't contain quite what you're looking for, but note that Board Game Geek has a Variants forum for Galaxy Trucker.

From a quick glimpse over these, seems like most aren't willing to make such a drastic gameplay change as fully changing the second half :( I think BGG often falls into this trap of not willing to suggest bolder changes.

Two people touch upon variants with changes second stage:
 - [Galaxy Trucker should be simply a racing game](https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1129279/galaxy-trucker-should-be-simply-racing-game)*
 - [Cooperative Variant for Younger Kids](https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1932053/cooperative-variant-younger-kids)

*Assuming from name only and replies. Unfortunately original post is gone and web.archive is down right now.

The digital version makes the second half a lot quicker, so maybe that’s enough? 🙂

I generally don't like digital versions of board games (I find playing in person with friends energizing, and playing digitally draining) but Galaxy Trucker's first half seems especially poorly suited for a digital version?

I was thinking, what if you could do a hybrid... Have a Galaxy Trucker app on your phone with which you snap a photo of the constructed ships, it processes the photo and comes up with brief videos showing the results (good ships doing well, bad ships falling apart) and some scores. Another fun alternative would be a mashup with the SpaceTeam idea, where you had to fly the ship through a hazard course in hectic SpaceTeam style...

I think it depends a lot on the game and on the quality of the digital version. This game and Through the Ages (by the same devs) do have really good digital implementations that are a joy to play on tablets (that’s what I’ve tried).

Yet there is definitely something awesome about the tactility of real tiles over touch screens. But having to explain and double check rules instead of getting feedback from the digital system is actually not very energizing for me.

This is one of the reasons I hope something like dynamicland.org will make it, then we could potentially get the best of both worlds 🙂

I like Galaxy Trucker too. The instruction manual is very funny. I agree that the second phase is a bit slow, but at least all players play at the same time, no waiting. I think the problem is that there are very limited ways to act/react in the second phase. What if you had a number of actions that you could spend on repairing your ship or upgrading it on the fly a la Geordi La Forge?