First Impressions: Trollhalla published by Z-Man Games

18 Apr

I had a chance to sit down and play Trollhalla published by Z-Man Games with a few guys from our regular gaming group, and I have to say “GRUNT GRUNT GRUNT” which translates to: “I liked it a lot!”

Components: 1 Game Board, 3 Troll Ships (Red, Blue, Yellow), 36 Weather Cards, 64 Troll Tokens (16 for each player), 16 Chief Troll Tokens, 4 Private Ship Boards (one for each player), 63 Plunder Tiles (12 Pigs and Peasant, 11 Monks, 10 noblemen, 9 Princess’, 8 Cows, 7 billy goats, 6 grog and gold), 1 Draw Bag (for Plunder tiles), 1 die showing the three colored ships (on 2 sides each), 12 Weather Tiles, 4 reference cards.

Object of the game: (There are some high overview rules here and may not be 100 percent complete – please see the rules here for more information)To get the most victory points and win.  The rules are simple:  Each player will place two trolls, play weather cards (optional), and roll the die.

When the player places their two trolls, they may place them on a ship that will eventually set sail or a weather spot on the board.  The players may never place two of their trolls side by side on a ship or on top of each other in the weather areas of the board.

Once the ship is full it may set sail to another unoccupied island (by following the course on the board).  The ship will look at each possible route and see if there are a majority of trolls on a weather space in the direction of the unoccupied island.  If they can move, then the ship will set sail, and the trolls on the ship will collect plunder tiles from that island to put on their own personal boats for scoring at the end of the game.

The trolls who were in the path on the weather space now get put on the chief trolls ship (a spot on the game board) and will eventually collect bonus plunder tiles.

If a player places one of their trolls on a weather spot on the board, they may take the card that represents that weather.  You must play two cards to get the ability of the card.

The first ability is to swap the trolls in the order they are on any one weather space.  The other option is turning the ship from East to West or West to East.

The second ability is to allow a player to place one additional troll this round.

The third ability is to remove trolls from one weather space and return them to their owners.

The last thing you will do is roll the die.  If the ship is 100 percent populated, it may sail to another island if it can.  If not 100 percent, then you stick a chief troll on that ship. in the next available slot.

Note: Chief trolls can be side by side on ships and on top of each other for weather spaces.

Along the way, you can collect bonuses for the number of tiles (plunder) you receive.  Again, see the rules for more information.

My First Impressions: I really enjoyed this game.  It kind of reminds me of a few different games out there like Ra for instance (because of the tile taking, etc).  It’s recommended for ages 8 and up, which I felt was a good starting spot age.  Any younger folks may not understand the game play.

The game can last from 45-75 minutes.  That was pretty accurate once we all got the hang of how the turns work and everything.

The only thing that I did not like about the game was the die came blank, and had a set of stickers that you have to put on the die.  I understand the cost factor of printing games, but I’m sure it is not that much more to have a die with colors on it for the three ships.  This however did not make me necessarily score the game low.  I still think this game is an 8 out of 10, and has plenty of replayability.

I’m hoping my local gaming group enjoys it enough that I can bring it many times and get some playtime in it as well.

On a side note: I would like to thank Zev from Z-Man games for sending this game to us for review. 

Trollhalla has a suggested retail price of $49.99 and can be ordered directly from ZMAN’s store on their website or your local friendly gaming store.

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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Reviews


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