Seventy first session - Truckers, Traders and Raiders

St. Ives Tabletop

7th February 2024

Seventeen gamers arrived this session to get eight different games played over four tables during the night.


We got started with the usual suspects Braggart and Ecosystem but Scout was also back from Session 65.

Galaxy Trucker Galaxy Trucker

Galaxy Trucker had been proposed in advance on Discord so that table soon had five captains frantically building their ships from spaceship components in the simultaneous against the clock (egg timer) phase of the game. Tiles represent guns, engines, storage, cabins, shields, and power and have a variety of connectors to get matched up. Then the flight phase starts. Ships are checked for errors, then event cards are revealed and players need to see if their ship can cope with them, these can involve pirates, disease, meteors, planets to explore and acquire goods from and even player vs player combat. Then players work out who successfully made it to the end of the course and in what order and with what goods remaining to sell to determine the score. Then they get to do it all again twice more with a slightly bigger ship board each time. The Captain with the most credits at the end is the best Galaxy Trucker!


After this frantic space game the remaining players got stuck into the more tranquil Cascadia. This is a game of making animal biomes, a theme like one of the club’s favourite card games Ecosystem, but using tile and token drafting instead of cards. There are 5 species in the game that can be supported by the various habitats on the tiles. The goal of the game is to maximise the size of the biomes, but also meet the criteria on the chosen scoring cards - which are to do with animals being in certain configurations. The game also comes with an achievement system, giving you something to try for on your next game.

Meanwhile the Scout players re-distributed to play Big Shot and Lands of Galzyr.

Big Shot

Big Shot is a typical favourite theme of Simon W., an auction game (no trains this time, that’s the dream session, when its a train and auction mechanic game). Players are investors who buy properties of different values represented by coloured cubes. The properties (cubes) are put up for auction each round based on a random die roll. Whoever wins the bid, places those cubes in areas on the game board. Once an area has seven cubes in it, that area is locked and no more cubes can be added, Whoever has the majority of cubes in that area owns it. Players start with limited money but can take out loans. At end game you count up what you own, apply any bonus multipliers for regions and repay the loans to see who has the most money.

Raiders of the North Sea

Most of the Braggart players moved from boasting about their adventures, sometimes involving hairy raiders from across the sea, to actually being Viking raiders in Raiders of the North Sea.

Iain D. gave this game its club debut and had no trouble filling the table as he was quickly joined by Steve L. (who liked the Viking raiding theme), Graham W. (up for anything as usual) and Steph H. (the only one of the four to have played before). As any competent Viking knows, there is more to raiding than simply turning up to pillage the (mainly) defenceless victims and carrying off the plunder (here, Viking friendly goodies such as gold, iron and livestock). First, a crew has to be recruited and paid, the ship provisioned for the journey and a suitable target selected. These range from coastal harbours (the easiest, needing fewest resources to raid), through outposts, then monasteries and ultimately to fortresses (the toughest, requiring a big crew and more provisions as the raiders venture further inland). Play proceeds until the last but one fortress is plundered, which triggers the end game phase giving all players one last turn.

Primarily a worker placement/resource gathering game, on their turn, the player will either go on a raid or prepare for the next one. The mechanics are a bit unusual, involving placing one worker and then retrieving another already on the board, with each move either producing resources or triggering an action - for example, to improve the crew’s fighting ability or give plunder to the Jarl, the local clan leader. Victory points are awarded for raids, ‘donations’ to the Jarl, gold and the death in battle of your crew, who are carried off to Valhalla by Valkyries, presumably there to become the subject of sagas and drinking songs commemorating their mighty deeds and glorious ends. And those Valkyrie points can ratchet up very quickly, although the new players were slow to pick up on this and wondered why Steph seemed so keen for her crew to meet a grisly end.

As play progressed, the board became increasing devastated and competition heated up for the few remaining targets still available for plundering (or resource gathering by other means, as some like to think of it). In an inspired move, Graham came from behind to raid the penultimate fortress, triggering the end game phase and killing enough of his crew in the process to clinch a respectable last place. Lacking the resources to raid again, Steph and Iain sought victory points at home, collecting gold where they could and/or generally sucking up to the Jarl. Fortuitously this left Steve a clear run to the last fortress, with the victory points gained there just enough to secure a narrow win.

Lands Of Galzyr

Lands of Galzyr was back with three players continuing the adventures of Bumir, Aysala and Keridai (see Session 70). This time they finished Aysala’s personal quest and saved her captured friend, stopped a prince from being kidnapped, saved two different groups of orphans (from a nasty farmer and a thieving headmaster respectively), averted a theatre fire, saved people trapped in an avalanche by devising an ox powered snowplough and much more. We finished the session with Aysala having a wanted poster with her face on it added to the quest board! This was the culmination of a series of unfortunate events - being nearly caught pickpocketing having run out of money after a somewhat unfair fine issued by a ranger during her attempts to deliver a letter to avert a war! So we will have to see if the players next time try to take up that bounty or just continue with their current quests.

The next session is the 21st of February join us for more games, competitive, collaborative or sometimes just silly filler games. As always if there is a particular game that strikes your fancy let us know on the Discord channel and we can see what can be arranged in advance.