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Trollhalla

Posted by admin On April - 18 - 2011

Description:
Crunchy livestock, nervous monks, panicked princesses, piles of gold, and casks of grog await you! Oh, and billy goats that will try to knock out your precious cargo.

Length: 45-75 Minutes
Age: 8 and up
Players: 2-4

Object:
The object is simple, be the troll with the most plunder on your private ship, before the plunder runs out, and you win!

Prelude:
I am a board game addict and my husband constantly brings home games that he thinks i’ll get a kick out of. Now, the game box in my opinion is a crucial selling feature. I enjoy picking up a brand new shrink wrapped box, looking at the artwork, and reading the description blurbs all over it. If it catches my interest, then, and only then, will I pull out my iPhone and look for the ratings it has. I’m sure there are many games I have passed up based entirely on a bad looking box. However, when my husband brings home a game, its a done deal. Its now been purchased and will forever have a place on our game shelves. On a recent evening he brought home a new game he thought I would like and handed me the box. This particular box was covered with grumpy moldy looking trolls sailing to an island with terrified peasants holding their bubble eyed pigs, and a mean looking billy goat.

Enter Trollhalla.

The description told of you and your hideous troll-friends are down right tired of guarding bridges and shaking down weary travelers all for the sake of a few clinking coins. You have decided that it’s time for a career change. Along with fellow trolls, you set sail in search of islands filled with pillage and plunder!

I looked at my husband and smiled. This game sounded awesome! By mid game we were grunting over someone taking a claimed princess or sailing a ship to the wrong island! And by the end of the game we were ready to play it again.

Shortening of the Manual:
1.) Place two of your troll tokens onto the board. They can be placed on any boat with an open seat available  nearest the dragons head first and/or place a troll on a sea space. (Note: Placing your troll tokens on the boat allows you to gain more plunder while placing your troll tokens on the sea spaces helps influence the direction the ship sails to neighboring islands and allows you to collect the corresponding weather card shown on the board)
2.) If you have two matching weather cards (wind, sun, storm) you may play them during, before, or after step 1. These weather cards give you special actions. For example, wind allows you to reverse the direction of the ship or reverse the stack of trolls on a sea space.

3.) Roll the die to active a ship. The die has colors corresponding to ship colors and the color rolled activates the corresponding ship. If the ship is not full, a “chief troll token” is placed in the next available seat closet to the dragon head. If and only if the ship is full, meaning all seat spaces are taken by a troll, the ship sails! Where the ship sails depends on the route line that has the most sea tokens. If there is a tie between routes the active player gets to place a “chief troll token” vote on the sea space in the direction they want the ship to sail, but the ship does not sail this turn (this allows other players to further influence the direction the ship sails during future turns).

Game ends when there are not enough tile plunder tiles in the blag bag to refill an empty island.

For a more detailed instruction, the video review presented by Z-Man games does a very good job, its a little bland considering the fun theme, but video reviews are always better than reading an instruction manual, in my opinion :o)

Final Thoughts:
Its a humorous game, with a light amount of strategy, and a good amount of fun. Played very well as a two player game, but allows for up to 4 players. It is not a game you will be immersed in for hours, but rather one you might want to play in addition with another light game, or even would play well with friends who aren’t hardcore board gamers. This would be a great game for families with children, but is a “grunting” good time with only adults too!

The game itself is of high quality with nice thick chipboard pieces, and the artwork is very well done. Overall, it is creatively developed, and a nice addition to any board gamers collection.

Alas, if you overplay Trollhalla, as many of us board gamers tend to do when we purchase a new game, there are variants in the instruction manual to add some spice.

Final Final Thoughts:
Quality: 4.5/5
Fun: 4/5
Substance: 3/5
Re-playability: 5/5