Hey, gang! It’s been a few months, so it was only a matter of time before my thoughts returned to StarSpeed.

This week, TheGameCrafter sent out an email announcing a new component, the Postcard Mat. This 4×6 mat, they say, is perfect for player reference cards and such. As is typical when I get these emails from TGC, I started to consider how I might use this new component in my own game. The obvious answer to me was to replace the Racer Dashboards with these cards – 4×6 is already a bit larger than what I’d been planning to use. Also the fact that it wouldn’t be a custom laser-cut component meant I’d be saving quite a bit of production cost. So I started thinking about the rest of the components.

I decided to create a new game listing in my TGC account, and start rebuilding StarSpeed from scratch, beginning with the Postcard Mats. Because these were just mats now and not custom punchouts, I also replaced the Pilot punchouts with a small deck of poker cards. The Planet tiles I went ahead and reduced to the less expensive Hex Deck (same size and shape, but thinner cardstock rather than thicker board). And for the Track pieces I created another hex deck, to keep them compatible with the Planet cards. Under this configuration, tracks would be build out of many individual ‘short’ tracks, rather than ‘Short, Medium, or Long’ track tiles. Getting rid of the long track tiles also enabled me to use a smaller box for the game overall, which cut that cost in half.

After the repeated headaches of trying to get the standup pieces to work right, I’m just going back to the stock Rocket-shaped pawns. The Action deck and Dice components aren’t changing, so I went ahead and added those back in to this version, as well as a rule booklet. I couldn’t find suitable stock pieces for the StarSpeed indicators, the Instance Markers, or the Last Place Award, so I’m going to design a single punchout sheet to hold all of these parts.

So, overall, this re-consideration of the components for the game will bring the cost down about 33% from where it was before, hopefully making this an affordable game for folks to try out. There’s a bit of work to be done in redesigning most of these pieces – the tracks, pilots, and dashboards, especially – but I should be able to start in on it soon!