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Subject: How does the resolution phase compare to the "race" phase in Galaxy Trucker? rss

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Ryan Manes
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So I own Galaxy Trucker and really enjoy the building phase. It's great fun. However the race portion of the game tends to really slow things down for me and my group.

Where the building is a time-limited free-for-all, the race turns into a slog with only a few decisions along the way.

Having said that, it sounds like Space Alert has a similar intense/letdown phase dynamic. I keep reading about how intense and fun the action phase is, and few mention the resolution phase. Is that because it's short and you just can't wait to get back to the action?

How long does the resolution phase of Space Alert take and how does it compare to Galaxy Trucker's race phase?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Martin Presley
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Resolution phase takes about 10-20 minutes, but we find it a lot of fun. The ten minutes of action is so intense and soul-draining, it's a nice little decompression where you all get to either bask in the glow of a successful clockwork crew, bite your nails as you wait to see if your mistakes will cost you the game, or hilarity as you witness how well and truly fucked your intrepid crew all end up being.

I like to think of the action phase as writing a story, but four people take turns, and everyone is blindfolded, and needs to type as at least 50 WPM or the keyboard EXPLODES. And the resolution is where as a group you read out your story, warts and all, and all have a good time and laugh.
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Fractal Energy
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Haven't played Galaxy Trucker so I can't compare, but Martin makes a pretty great analogy there. I agree with him.
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Danny O'Donnell
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It is definitely comparable. In both cases the second phase is mostly just seeing how your decisions in the first turned out.

You might actually find it less painful because there are no decisions, rather than a few. In that way, it's more like end-of-game scoring than Galaxy Trucker's race. The game's already over, and you've either won or lost. The resolution phase is just seeing what the results were.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Yeah, in Galaxy Trucker you do still have decisions to make (some of the expansion stuff makes these a little more interesting). In Space Alert you are literally just seeing what happened. In fact there is a computer program (maybe a PC download, but it might be a Java app) that will do that part for you (and is pretty fun to watch).
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Guido Gloor
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cferejohn wrote:
Yeah, in Galaxy Trucker you do still have decisions to make (some of the expansion stuff makes these a little more interesting). In Space Alert you are literally just seeing what happened. In fact there is a computer program (maybe a PC download, but it might be a Java app) that will do that part for you (and is pretty fun to watch).

Gee, that sounds neat! You wouldn't remember a googleable name or something? Edit: Found it!

Space Alert Flash Turn Resolution Processor
http://homedrone.110mb.com/tusatp.html
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EnderWizard
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haslo wrote:
Gee, that sounds neat! You wouldn't remember a googleable name or something? Edit: Found it!

Space Alert Flash Turn Resolution Processor
http://homedrone.110mb.com/tusatp.html


I wasn't aware of the existence of this program and now can't wait until the next time we get Space Alert to the table. Thanks!
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Ryan Manes
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Thanks for the responses, guys. I appreciate it. I think I'm going to pass for now.

Like I said, I enjoy the build phase of GT, but the race phase is a bit of a letdown for me and my group. Rather than having a blast like so many others when someone's ship is smashed by an asteroid, we just get frustrated or shrug our shoulders.

If SA has a similar end-of-round resolution mechanism, it sounds like it might not be the best match for me and my group at this time.
 
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Lee Fisher
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rmanes wrote:
Thanks for the responses, guys. I appreciate it. I think I'm going to pass for now.

Like I said, I enjoy the build phase of GT, but the race phase is a bit of a letdown for me and my group. Rather than having a blast like so many others when someone's ship is smashed by an asteroid, we just get frustrated or shrug our shoulders.

If SA has a similar end-of-round resolution mechanism, it sounds like it might not be the best match for me and my group at this time.


In Space Alert it is more like the instant replay or watching it on DVR. It isn't a completely separate minigame like Galaxy Trucker.

But still it may not be ideal for you right now.
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Cameron Chien
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It's different, and the build-up to the resolution phase is very different as well.

I'd say to give the game a try, if you ever get the chance.

Cameron
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Sean McCarthy
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rmanes wrote:
Thanks for the responses, guys. I appreciate it. I think I'm going to pass for now.

Like I said, I enjoy the build phase of GT, but the race phase is a bit of a letdown for me and my group. Rather than having a blast like so many others when someone's ship is smashed by an asteroid, we just get frustrated or shrug our shoulders.

If SA has a similar end-of-round resolution mechanism, it sounds like it might not be the best match for me and my group at this time.


Sounds wise.

I love both games dearly but I still agree that they both suffer from anticlimactic second parts that would be better handled by a computer. In part this is group-dependent - if everyone's on the ball enough you can breeze through these things while other people might slog through them painfully. But even with the best group it is a flaw of the game(s).
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Cameron Chien
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It takes our group 5-10 minutes to resolve Space Alert. I don't see how it is a flaw, it's the only way to find out if you really succeeded or not.

With Galaxy Trucker I can see the argument that it's a flaw, but I don't see it with Space Alert.

Cameron
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Sean McCarthy
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Zeede wrote:
It takes our group 5-10 minutes to resolve Space Alert. I don't see how it is a flaw.


When your game has a section that people want to avoid so badly that they write/download a program to do it for them, you can tell the game has a flaw. See also 18xx.
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Mike Cathcart
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My group has as much fun in resolution as they do with the first part. Everyone is all tense, hoping they're not the one who screwed things up. Until we find out that on turn 6 two people tried to use the same lift so now someone isn't going to get to the reactor in time and the accusations start happening. That's when the good part starts. All of a sudden it's "you said you were gonna blah blah" and the other guy is like "well he said he was going to the laser." Then the swearing starts as the ship falls apart around us. We're kinda bad at this game.

Good times, good times.
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Guido Gloor
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Cathcart wrote:
Until we find out that on turn 6 two people tried to use the same lift so now someone isn't going to get to the reactor in time and the accusations start happening.

As long as the accusations are in jest, as they are in our group, that's where the fun starts

But I guess your group doesn't really work with this game then. If you like the game, you should find some other players to play it with. It's one of those games that don't work with all groups and that some players just aren't having fun with.
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Mike Cathcart
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The accusations are in jest and the group loves the game. We just don't win a whole lot, but it's super fun. We also haven't been playing long, so we'll probably get better eventually
 
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Dan Hyer
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I find the 2nd phase of Galaxy trucker to be a bit of a letdown. The end of Space Alert really doesn't feel the same. Mostly because it doesn't feel like it drags.
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Chris F.
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Cathcart wrote:
My group has as much fun in resolution as they do with the first part. Everyone is all tense, hoping they're not the one who screwed things up. Until we find out that on turn 6 two people tried to use the same lift so now someone isn't going to get to the reactor in time and the accusations start happening. That's when the good part starts. All of a sudden it's "you said you were gonna blah blah" and the other guy is like "well he said he was going to the laser." Then the swearing starts as the ship falls apart around us. We're kinda bad at this game.

Good times, good times.

I agree. The resolution phase is where I take a swig of beer (no drinking on missions!) and find out who screwed it up this time. Not a flaw.

As far as the turn processor, we tried it once. It took longer to enter the data than we take to resolve the game manually. If it enhances the fun for some people, fine, but I don't think the turn processor is 'fixing' anything.
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rmanes wrote:
Thanks for the responses, guys. I appreciate it. I think I'm going to pass for now.

Like I said, I enjoy the build phase of GT, but the race phase is a bit of a letdown for me and my group. Rather than having a blast like so many others when someone's ship is smashed by an asteroid, we just get frustrated or shrug our shoulders.

If SA has a similar end-of-round resolution mechanism, it sounds like it might not be the best match for me and my group at this time.


You're kind of missing how the game works. "Resolution phase" is a misleading title. Space Alert works like this:

Phase 1) You turn on the timer and attempt to solve the puzzle, laying out pre-programmed events, and making decisions.

Phase 2) You turn off the timer and work step-by-step through the pre-programmed actions you just decided on.

It isn't as if Phase 2 is random actions that determine whether Phase 1 worked. Phase 2 is exactly Phase 1's decisions acted out.

You do something real-time in Phase 1, lay down a card to say you did it, then once the timer is off reveal the card and do it again.

The only reason it's there at all is because you likely screwed up during the real-time phase and something didn't work out.

Otherwise, you could literally entirely skip the so-called "resolution phase". It's just, as someone said, a stop-motion replay.

There are no surprises or unknowns in the "Resolution phase". It's just a less harried "spot check" [to use Galaxy Trucker lingo].

If you've played RoboRally, the resolution phase is identical in purpose to the revealing / activating of movement cards.
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Lee Fisher
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NateStraight wrote:
rmanes wrote:
Thanks for the responses, guys. I appreciate it. I think I'm going to pass for now.

Like I said, I enjoy the build phase of GT, but the race phase is a bit of a letdown for me and my group. Rather than having a blast like so many others when someone's ship is smashed by an asteroid, we just get frustrated or shrug our shoulders.

If SA has a similar end-of-round resolution mechanism, it sounds like it might not be the best match for me and my group at this time.


You're kind of missing how the game works. "Resolution phase" is a misleading title. Space Alert works like this:

Phase 1) You turn on the timer and attempt to solve the puzzle, laying out pre-programmed events, and making decisions.

Phase 2) You turn off the timer and work step-by-step through the pre-programmed actions you just decided on.

It isn't as if Phase 2 is random actions that determine whether Phase 1 worked. Phase 2 is exactly Phase 1's decisions acted out.

You do something real-time in Phase 1, lay down a card to say you did it, then once the timer is off reveal the card and do it again.

The only reason it's there at all is because you likely screwed up during the real-time phase and something didn't work out.

Otherwise, you could literally entirely skip the so-called "resolution phase". It's just, as someone said, a stop-motion replay.

There are no surprises or unknowns in the "Resolution phase". It's just a less harried "spot check" [to use Galaxy Trucker lingo].

If you've played RoboRally, the resolution phase is identical in purpose to the revealing / activating of movement cards.


(except for the damage)
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Cameron Chien
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Quote:

When your game has a section that people want to avoid so badly that they write/download a program to do it for them, you can tell the game has a flaw. See also 18xx.

People have programs to randomize the village cards in Dominion and Thunderstone, yet most people would call that a feature, not a flaw.

Space Alert is not everybody's cup of tea, but calling the resolution phase a "flaw" is misleading to people who just might enjoy the game.

Cameron
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Sean McCarthy
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Zeede wrote:
Quote:

When your game has a section that people want to avoid so badly that they write/download a program to do it for them, you can tell the game has a flaw. See also 18xx.

People have programs to randomize the village cards in Dominion and Thunderstone, yet most people would call that a feature, not a flaw.

Space Alert is not everybody's cup of tea, but calling the resolution phase a "flaw" is misleading to people who just might enjoy the game.

Cameron


Fair enough. I'm revising my claim - the often-anticlimactic resolution phase is a weak point of Space Alert.

Incidentally I consider the randomization mechanism that comes with Dominion + Expansions to be something of a weak point too, though not a big one.
 
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Jeff Foley
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NateStraight wrote:
There are no surprises or unknowns in the "Resolution phase".


Ha! HAHAHAHAHAHA! *wipes tears from eyes* If only that were true...!

Let me chime in that the greatest moments of the game come in the resolution phase. That's when you find out that two people used the turbolift at the same time, or that the random damage tile drawn now means that your 4-damage weapon is only a 3-damage weapon, or that that fine print on the internal threat that the security officer never bothered to mention to everyone means that three people's critically timed actions are delayed...

It's also where, as a team, you may sometimes analyze how you can do better ... it reminds me of playing Bridge and going back over the bidding with your partner. In our last game, we realized that...
1) No one "jiggled the mouse" in the last phase...
2) ... because Jeff (the guy in charge of the computer) ran down to the main reactor to throw in a cannister...
3) ... because Tim (the guy in charge of the main reactor) had gone over to Blue to help fight a threat...
4) ... because "someone" over in Blue needed energy to power the main lasers.

Well, it turned out that the someone in Blue who needed the energy was Jeff... and that the threat in Blue was beaten with the small laser; no energy required. Once uncovered, this Moebius strip had us wiping tears from our eyes for 5 minutes we were laughing so hard.

It's true that Vlaada's Space Alert, Galaxy Trucker, and even Dungeon Lord share in common a "prep" phase and a "watch in horror" phase, but they're all very different. In Space Alert, you have no choices and you're a team. In Galaxy Truckers, you have limited choices based on your success in the first phase and how you react to other players' decisions. In Dungeon Lord, you're solving a solitaire puzzle after the highly interactive and competitive worker placement initial phase (though people good at manipulating the Paladin's position would disagree!)
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Craig Coffin
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jjfoley wrote:
Space Alert, Galaxy Trucker, and even Dungeon Lord share in common a "prep" phase and a "watch in horror" phase

Ha! That's brilliant!

My group has played Galaxy Trucker several times, and we've just picked up Space Alert. I'm going to have to start throwing the term "watch in horror phase" around the table.
 
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