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Subject: A card-playing, dice-rolling, thematic knockout rss

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Jim Neuschwander
United States
Hummelstown
Pennsylvania
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This one had slipped by me on Kickstarter, but I happened to be at EuroQuest this week and this guy:

Paul Marshall
United States
Abingdon
Maryland
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had a copy and pulled myself and two others into the ring with him to duke it out and see what this game was all about.

Not going to regurgitate the rules in detail, but in brief each player has a deck of cards including fighters and special cards that can be played before or during fights. Three locations are brought out on the table and players take turns assigning their fighters to those locations until a specific location is filled with three fights on the card. Before the card is filled, venues can be changed, and individual fights can be given priority and possible bonuses using the special cards.

Then come the fights. Each of the three fights at a location are fought using dice. Fighters in similar weight classes square off using a number of dice they are allowed on their card, plus possible bonuses given by special card play or by a fighter boxing in his home location. I thought the dice based fighting was simple yet clever. One fighter may have more dice than another, but that doesn't guarantee success as it doesn't go by the total rolled, rather it goes by the highest die roll, and if the highest dice are tied it moves to the next, etc. So rolling more dice gives you a better chance, but the underdog feels like he always has a chance to pull off an upset.

Payouts vary based on if you fight in the main event, if any special cards were played, if there is a knockout which can happen with certain dice roll combinations. There are also underdog bonuses and bonuses if a fight goes long (takes several dice comparisons to determine the winner). At game end whoever has the most money from payouts wins.

Okay, I guess I did a little rules regurgitation after all. And I might have made it sound dry, but the theme and very nice art do much to combine with these simple rules to make a game that is very fun to play. Not a strategic brain-burner by far, but the decisions do require some tactical finesse.

Most importantly, it is a very fun game to play. I was playing with a group of players of whom I had only played games with one of them before, but there was still a decent amount of good-natured banter that developed based on the boxing theme.

About the only negative I had for the game has to do with the quantity of the components not warranting the size of the box that the game comes in. But this is a general problem I have with many companies and recent games, and it doesn't seem to be getting better any time soon. The actual quality of the cards and art, as mentioned before, is nice.

Paul had an extra copy of the game and generously let me purchase it from him after I expressed how much I enjoyed the game. I like to think it's because Paul's a nice guy, and not because he wanted to get rid of it after the pummeling he took, finishing last by a wide margin. Sorry about that Paul, but thanks again for introducing me to the game.

Bottom line, Top Promoter is a well-done, thematic good time. If you like making tactical decisions with cards, battling it out with dice, and spicing it up with a good deal of boxing flavor, this is a good game for you.
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Hank Panethiere
United States
Kirkwood
MO
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I concur!

Justin let me review the prototype a long time ago and I gave it a very positive review. The KS version is miles ahead in component quality, and the prototype was no slouch (I think it was TGC).

Top Promoter prototype review
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Paul Marshall
United States
Abingdon
Maryland
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Jim is right. Paul is a nice guy. If you're looking for a game where you have a great deal of control over the outcome, this is not your game. There are opportunities for some clever plays, but mostly this game is FUN. There are attempts at either the most favorable matchups for you or sometimes an underdog attempt where an upset can give you a huge payout. Although the dice rolls involve luck, there is a feeling of anticipation and excitement just before the roll. Throw in great art on the cards and boxer names that promote trash talking. That combo punch equals fun.

The goal is to be the Top Promoter by winning the most money. The final scores (in millions of dollars) were 25, 21, 18, and 3. Jim is also a nice guy. He failed to mention my 3 million.

I still had great fun.
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Jerry Wilkinson
United States
New Castle
Indiana
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When asking "What would Jesus do?", remember that flipping over tables and using a whip are within the realm of possibilities.
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DaMarsh wrote:
Paul is a nice guy.


Thats been my experience as well.thumbsup
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