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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Review: Cave Troll

Cave Troll is a fun, quick little game that I recently picked up at a swap meet. It's basically a worker placement game, which has been picking up in popularity recently.

In Cave Troll, you have a board with a few dozen rooms in it. Each room is worth between 1-5 gold. Whoever claims the most gold at the end of the game wins.

Empty board

You get four actions a turn. The most common ones involve summoning heros and monsters, and moving them. You summon heros in to the dungeon by playing a card from your hand, and they enter on the stairs. You can then spend one action to move a hero around.

This card lets you summon an adventurer in to the dungon
Adventurers are the most common hero, but there are also some special heroes with added abilities.

Blues forces move in!
You also have monsters. Monsters can't claim gold, but can often fight and disrupt other heroes. The Cave Troll is perhaps the strongest (hence the namesake) - he can kill a room full of heroes when placed, and then prevents others from moving into that room. Frequently the 5-gold rooms get "Cave Trolled".

This orc can outright kill heroes!
The gold is tallied up a set number of times per game - once for each player, at a time of their choosing, and once at the end of the game (when someone runs out of cards). Whoever has the most figures in any given room claims all the good for that room. If red has 1 hero, blue has 2 heroes, and yellow has 3, yellow gets the gold! (Although there is a 5-hero max limit on each room). I'd say most of the strategy in the game is based around choosing when you time your chosen scoring round, and then trying to pace the game to end at a favorable time for you.

 It's physically small, so it's easily stored or thrown into a convention bag/backpack. A game takes maybe 5 minutes to teach, and 10 minutes to play. It plays 2-4 players, although I think 3 players is the sweet spot. It's never going to be anyone's "favorite", but its a nice think to keep tucked away in the corner for occasional fun!

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