Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting Our Jolly's Part II: "Cave Troll"

The second Tom Jolly title we played on the 21'st was the fantasy-themed area-control game Cave Troll.  If you're not familiar with the game, just click on Andrew's handy "Rules" tutorial immediately below or feel free to jump right into Part One.



Cave Troll Rules





Cave Troll Part One

Round One:  Going first, I'm limited to one action, so I bring out a lowly Adventurer.  Mike follows suit but adds a Wraith to the mix with his second action.  Andrew uses the first of his three available actions to play an Adventurer (since all the cool kids seem to be doing it).  He also draws an Artifact and plays an Orc.  Chad, with a full compliment of four actions plays an early Treasure Chest and summons a Knight to guard it.   

Round Two:  I draw an Artifact, seed a Wraith in the central pit and then occupy a four-coin room using two move actions.  Mike juggles a Knight and an Adventurer to maximize his coinage.  Andrew moves his brave Adventurer deep into the maze to claim a valuable five-coin room.  He scores the room then the entire board.  Chad continues to re-enforce his Treasure Room in the north-west corner of the board.  Asterisk alert: no-one seem to notice when Chad unwittingly keeps a timely scoring card to himself and then beams a Thief right into the middle of the board!



Round Three:  I spawn an Orc in the central pit and then bring out my Knight / Dwarf tag-team.  After tabling an innocuous Adventurer, Mike Cave Troll's Chad's "Honey Pot".  Only an Adventurer suffering from swordrectile dysfunction manages to crawl away intact.  Mike also mows my gold-colored lawn with an invading Barbarian.  Andrew's "non-greedy" Dwarf finds a respectable chamber to exploit.  After doing damage control, Chad pulls an Artifact and then moves a dude into scoring position.

Round Four:  Another of my Adventurers seeks to even the odds against Mike's marauders.  Mike keeps battling me for the right to claim a four-coin chamber.  After conjuring a Thief, Andrew uses a Wand of Speed to sneak his Adventurer of Awesomeness into Fort Knox, thus triggering another well-timed scoring round.  Fearful of being insta-ganked, Chad's Dwarf tentatively hits the table while his bold Adventurer moves into Andrew's turf.  He also sends Andrew's Thief running for the latrines with his Wraith.



Round Five:  I kick Mike out of my hizzy with an Amulet of Good Riddance, stomp the shit out of Andrew's gold vault and score up a room.  Mike puts a Knight-guarded Treasure Chest into play and then horns in on Chad's industrious mining operation with his stealthy Thief.  Andrew manages to slap the hysterics out of this out footpad and send her back into danger.  Chad's Orc turns Mike's Thief into a pincushion.

Round Six:  Another Adventurer appears and my Orc suddenly goes all hate crime on Andrew's Dwarf.  Mike's Dwarf and Barbarian team up to usurp my holdings.  Andrew brings out (yet) another Adventurer and his Bionic Barbarian tries to smash through a wall.  Chad shuffles his personnel, looking to optimize coin production.                


Round Seven:  I send my Thief deep into the maze to find the mother-lode while a new Adventurer bolsters my defense.  Mike moves out of Chad's hood and continues to urinate in my Corn Flakes.  Andrew gets more Adventurers on the case and laments his Barbarian's distinct lack of Orc-killing prowess.   



Cave Troll Part Two & Post-Game Review     

Round Seven (continued):  Chad viciously nukes a rival-choked room.  I lose my plucky Thief and Mike's Dwarf bites the dust.  Mike takes this opportunity to kick sand in the face of Andrew's Adventurer with his Barbarian.  After using a mind-controlling Artifact to send Mike packing, he sneaks into a valuable spot with his Thief and then scores the room.

Round Eight:  I flip a room with a Treasure Chest and then score the entire board.  Mike finds an Artifact and plays an Adventurer.  Andrew brings down the hammer and I somehow manage to invent the concept of unconscious reverse psychology.  Chad's Barbarian goes on a rampage and his threat to finish the game proves accurate.





I find it difficult to decide which game I like more: this one or Drakon.  Both have a surprising amount of depth and I can't help but think that we've barely scratched the surface RE: the strategic value of the Monsters.  The beautiful components and variable powers of the figures also helps to give Cave Troll a nice thematic polish.

Five pips outta six!




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