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Subject: Here's my $42. I get my game when!?! rss

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Kevin Lester
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My wife and I are relatively new to the gaming scene. We have been playing and growing our collection over the past two years. We have 30ish games and have played maybe twice that. Most of these have been mainstream games by board game hobbyist standards, such as Ticket to Ride and King of Tokyo. My wife has taken to using reddit and has signed up for some board gaming subreddits. She found an interesting article about how to teach games. As the example for this article the author discussed a game we had never heard of called "Asking for Trobils". Once I had decoded the puny title of the game I was intrigued and did some googling to find it. Turns out the author of the article is also the creator of the game. Pretty ingenious to use a useful and informative article to also advertise your new game. Not only had he proved to me that he understood gaming but he also understood how to draw attention to his product without annoying me. I liked this guy already. I watched the Radho Run Through and immediately saw this as a great game me and my wife could share. We are always looking for good multiplayer games we can play with our neighbors that also work well with just the two of us. From what I had seen so far, this could be one of those games.

But there was a catch. This was a kickstarter!!! As young hobbyists we have been wary of kickstarters, like children are wary of surprise trips in the car. Those can either land you at Disney World or the doctor's office for shots. I mean, hadn't some monopoly rip off with some science fiction theme that everyone slaps on their games all the time already scammed people out of their hard earned money? And in this golden age of gaming wasn't it easy enough to dodge it and get quality games from established companies? But the dreamer in me wanted to give this a chance. Didn't I want to design a game one day? Wouldn't I want somebody to give me a shot if they saw what I had and liked it. Thankfully what sealed the deal was the $1 print and play. While I was going back and forth with arguments in my mind, my wife payed the dollar and sent me the pdf. Let me tell you fellas, good gaming women are hard to find.

Since this was our first print and play we kinda went over board. We printed out the components on index card stock and mounted a lot of them on some matting we had laying around. It gave the components some nice heft. It was very nice for the board, the ship tiles and especially the connection tiles. The connection tiles felt like real components as we pulled them from our shanghaied scrabble tile bag. We also went to Hobby Lobby and found some bracelet charms that would work for not only this game but for others if we decided to try more print and play games. After assembling everything we sat down and played the game. I won't bore you with a rehash of game play. There are much better places to get that. I will just give you a summarized version of my thoughts.

Theme
This theme oozes puns and wit. There are Trobils in Paradise and you need to go hunt for Trobil. This is my kind of humor and being a good southern man I sopped it up with a biscuit. A few of the riff raff have already been nailed down with more to be themed, but the ones they already have are gold. I would have to turn in my brown coat if I didn't give some props for the Dinosaur alien in the Hawaiian shirt playing with his action figures. Curse your betrayal indeed Billy Dee! The only thing this theme is missing is a mommy and a daddy Trobil that would be known as the Trobil Makers. I also look forward to the rumored sequel to this game where a giant Trobil escapes and comes to earth. It rampages the China Town area of Manhattan looking for bok choy. It will be called “Big Trobil in Little China.” Excuse me while I pause to appreciate my own genius.



Ok I'm back.

Mechanics
There are two mechanics that stick out in this games. One is the newest worker placement mechanic called bumping. The wife and I are big worker placement fans. We try to keep our collection varied but worker placements keep sneaking in there. Currently we have Lords of Waterdeep, KeyFlower, Kingsburg and most recently Spyrium. This new bumping is very exciting to us as worker placement junkies and we are happy to see it show up here. We have watched reviews on Euphoria but haven't played it. But here it makes for some very interesting choices. You may really need that resource but do I bump my opponents and give them a ship back for free? With two ships on the board I need to take one back. Which one is more likely to get bumped in the future? So then I'll just grab the other. No one will bump me. Am I close enough to the end of the game to bump my own ship to get those resources, destroying it in the process? It makes you keep an eye on what your opponents are doing so you not only get resources you need but also have a good chance of getting your ship back and gaining a turn.

The other mechanic that is important to this game is the connections. The ability to upgrade a worker spot is amazing. And this seems to work hand in hand with bumping strategies. What spots are my opponents frequenting the most? I can add that resource as a connection on another high traffic spot. That will lower the chances that I have to bump someone going after that resource on that spot and eventually someone will come bump me from here as well. Or even adding a third identical resource to the two that are already their can help you save trips to the same spot. Lots of different ways to utilize this I think. I also like the idea of having to pay extra to add multiple connections to the same spot. This reminded me a lot of the way Spyrium handles building more building. It's a good way to keep people from going crazy upgrading one spot for all their needs.

As far as other minor mechanics, the riff raff cards are a nice touch of randomness. Hitchhikers or pirates might persuade or deter you from certain areas. This will also make your connection choices more important in having an alternative spot to get something. But someone's connection choices may dictate where someone puts a pirate or even a trader.

Couple all that with acquiring the Trobil cards, which is the main point of the game, and it all works great together and encourages you to pay attention to what people are trying to do. Looks like my opponent might be after the same Trobil as I am. How many more stops will they have to make before they can get it? Maybe I should use my connection over here to get this resource so I don't bump them off of the main spot to get that resource. And they will have to go there next, so they will need to bump me. That will gain me a turn. But this other resource has a pirate on it. Do I have a resource to burn for that? Oh man, I need money. Do I have time to drop all of my Trobils into the star and get a big payoff? I probably won't get bumped from there. Will a city show up that will give me extra points for all my left over money?

The ending mechanic, which is always a very important one, makes great thematic sense. As the cities show up Trobil free they are in need of resources to rebuild their little piece of Paradise. And when there is no more Trobil in Paradise the game is over. Who got rid of the most Trobil?

Final Thoughts
The one draw back of this game is the one thing it has little control over. And that is being a kickstarter. For some people that is not a problem. For me, it is new territory. But being apart of someone else's dream and the shiny fun time that that dream has in store for me is enough to make me take the jump. Plus I have had a few conversations with the designer and Christian has been responsive and helpful. You can tell he cares a lot about the game and will do what he can to make it see the light of day. So sign me up. Take my money. Hopefully I'll get something amazing next year.

That's right, Cthulhu or zombies didn't persuade me to make the leap into kickstarter. It was a bunch of aliens on an orange world knee deep in Trobil and I'm the only one who can save them and Paradise. That sounds like a lot more fun than being chased around by zombies.

It may be rose colored glasses but I don't have any complaints about the game play. We've only played two players at this point and we've only played twice. So to be fair that isn't a large sampling. But what we have sampled on our biscuit has so far been delicious. I'm looking forward to eating more of my own version of the dish and looking forward to next year when I get to try the chef's version. Ok, I'm going to go make a sandwich now. I'm getting hungry.
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Christian Strain
United States
Houston
Texas
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Wow Kevin! We're so humbled by your enthusiasm for the game. Thank you so much for sharing and taking the Kickstarter risk with us! We promise you won't be disappointed.

KICKSTARTER LINK: http://tinyurl.com/lxhvxgl
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Cliff Roberts
United States
Lakeland
Tennessee
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Enjoyable read, Kevin. Thank you.
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John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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That one not so much
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Ohh that tickles
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I see zero Zombies as a positive in any game.
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Matthew Sanchez
United States
chaska
MN
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You sure those weren't orange tinted glasses? Great review Kevin.
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Mr Avers
Netherlands
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Wonderful review Kevin! And yes, being able to help someone's dream come true should be the reason to back a project on Kickstarter. And (in our humble opinion) the Trobils team really deserves it for exactly the reasons you mentioned: Great and extremely fun game, being made by people with passion and a listening ear for the community.
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J-F Audy
Canada
Chambly
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Nice review! This game need to be funded, it's that good!
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chris duncan
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Grimsby
N.E Lincs
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Very nice review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us
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