Space Traders

Players 2-4
Length 60 minutes
Equipment Required single standard piecepack plus printable Turn Sheet and optional printable play aids.
Designer JorgeArroyo
Version 0.5
Version Date2006-06-2
License Copyright 2006 JorgeArroyo. Released under the GNU Free Document License


This is a work in progress.

This is a game where players compete setting up trading routes between different planets (a planet being composed of two tiles where the suit is the type of product and the number is the price for that product). Each player has a limited number of actions each turn (to move workers or leaders, explore planets and set up operations). The actions are then solved simultaneously. Afterwards, players decide how to link the products they control in each planet where they have an operation established and score the profits.


Designer Notes

I'm not too sure of this game... (Read the commnets below) I'm thinking of revamping it and changing it a lot, but I'm not yet sure in which direction to go... Right now it's not so much fun, but on the other hand I really like how the prices for each planet are set, and there must be a fun game somewhere in there... I'm open to suggestions...

Reviews & Comments

I tried to get a group of five going (I have an extra suit of everything but tiles), but three of them decided it was complicated enough to just watch two of us play first. The fun factor doesn't seem to justify the complication at this point, but it could if we were more familiar with the game. Once I achieved three working groups on a null and three on the corresponding five, I was far enough ahead that my opponent couldn't catch up, and just played to end the game.

My only real suggestion is that score be tracked on the paper, as long as you're using simultaneous moves; the dice scoring track is definitely more fiddly than it's worth. Perhaps the dice could be used in some way that gives people a chance to catch up with the leader.

-- EricWald?

Thanks for trying the game. Where you using any of the variants? If the game is more complicated than it is worth maybe I should ditch the turn sheets and find a simpler way, either removing the simultaneous turns mechanic completely or maybe using some kind of paper printout where you select each action hidden from view... I'm open to suggestions... Or do you think the other mechanics are also complicated?

The problem is that with regular turns, if trading is done after every turn, the last player has a clear advantage. The only way that this could be leveled is if each player trades at the end of their turn...

Another idea could be that players take each action in succession (first player, first action, then second player first action, so on...) and only after all the actions for the turn are done trade. The next turn, the second player becomes the first player and so on...

Let me know if you try any of this.



Update: I've been testing different changes. I think it would be ok to remove the simultaneous actions mechanic and simplify the actions for each turn. This is what I liked best: Each player can either move workers twice per turn (and hiring a worker counts as a move), or they can hire/move leaders or establish operations once per turn. Each turn a different player starts the turn, and at the end of each turn trading takes place. Each time a worker or leader ends the turn on an unexplored planet the player may take a look at the products. And just to make it clear, it's only necessary to establish an operation once per planet.

I'll see how it goes with these changes, and eventually will update the rules, but any comments are welcomed,


CategoryGame CategoryNeedsTesting MechanicSimultaneousActionSelectionCategory MechanicRandomBoardCategory ThemeBusinessCategory ThemeSpaceAndTechnologyCategory