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Subject: Mina's Not-So-Mini Review - Trickerion for 2 rss

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Milena Guberinic
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Mina's Not-So-Mini Review - Trickerion for 2


Trickerion was generously provided to me for review by the wonderful BoardGameBliss, purveyors of all manner of board gaming awesomeness! I was excited by the unique theme and beautiful artwork! I also have a soft spot for heavy worker placement games, as Dungeon Lords was one of my early heavy games. There are definitely shades of Dungeon Lords in Trickerion.



The Overview


Trickerion is a game about magic. But it isn't a game about the witchy fantasy magic we typically see in board games. Trickerion is a game about "real" magic - the kind that involves building props, executing tricks, hiring assistants to cut into half, and finding doves and scarves to materialize out of thin air. In Trickerion, players play real-life illusionists, vying to gather the most fame and become the best illusionist in the world.

There are two ways to play the game and I will describe the "full" retail game minus the Trickerion: Dahlgaard's Gifts expansion.

The main board shows 4 different areas - Downtown, Market, Dark Alley, and Theatre areas. The game board is set up by creating a Performance deck with 2 red Performance cards on the bottom, 2 orange Performance cards on top of those, and 2 yellow Performance cards on top of those, placing 1 (with 2 players), 2 (with 3 players), or 3 (with 4 players) yellow Riverside Theater Performance cards from the supply of Performance cards (not the deck that was prepared) around the theater, populating the left side of the market (which represents available materials) with glass, wood, fabric, and metal, and placing tricks in their respective slots above the Downtown location. In 2 and 3-player games 2 spaces or 1 space respectively is blocked off in each of Downtown, Market, and Dark Alley locations. The main board also features an initiative track along its left side, which determines player order. This is set randomly in the first round. In the 2-player game, only the first and third initiative slots are used.


2-player board in first round


Prior to the start of the game players select their magicians. Each player must select a different school of magic (Spiritual, Mechanical, Optical, and Escape) and take the player board associated with that school of magic. Each magician has a special power. For example, The Mechaniker has "Mechanical Enhancement," which gives one of his Apprentices an extra action Point once per turn.


The magicians


Each player also takes 1 trick associated with his school of magic. Players begin the game with 5 Fame points and each trick has a Fame threshold, which must be met in order for the trick to be acquired. There are 3 thresholds - 1, 16, and 36. Thus, at the beginning of the game, players may only take the level 1 tricks.

Each player also receives 1 Magician disc, 1 Apprentice disc, 1 Specialist extension and disc and the Specialist's starting bonus, assignment cards, and trick components for a total value of 2. Each player also receives 10 coins, as well as a bonus if he is second, third, or fourth in player order.


Specialists with their character discs


Coins and materials


Each character disc features an action point value that determines how many actions that character can take when placed on the game board.


Character disc closeup


Assignment cards are used to assign the various character discs to regions of the board. They come in 5 flavors - Dark Alley, Downtown, Market, and Theater. There are also Special Assignment cards, which have special powers and can be acquired from the Dark Alley.


Player setup


The game is played over the course of 7 rounds and each round consists of the following
phases:

1. Roll Dice
The 6 Downtown dice are rolled and placed in their respective locations.

2. Set Initiative Order
Initiative order is set in reverse order of Fame points. The player with the most Fame goes last and the player with the least Fame goes first.

3. Advertise
Players may spend coins to receive 2 Fame. The price depends on Initiative order.

4. Assignment
Players simultaneously and secretly assign their Assignment cards and Special Assignment cards to their characters. These cards will determine which locations on the board the characters to which they have been assigned may be sent in the following phase.

5. Place Characters
Assignment and Special Assignment cards are revealed and players place characters and execute the associated actions in the specified locations one by one and in Initiative order. Each action space in each of the locations has an action point modifier, which can range from 0 to 2 action points. These action points are added to the played character's base action points to determine the total number of action points that character can spend at his location.

The possible locations and actions are as follows:

A. Downtown
- The Downtown location has 3 different areas, each of which has its own set of dice and associated actions. A player may spend 1 action point to re-roll any die or 2 action points to set 1 die to any face prior to taking another action at the Downtown location.



*Learn Trick (3 action points) - The player looks at the white Dahlgaard Residence dice depicting trick types. These are the types of tricks available to be learned this round. He may spend 3 action points to add 1 trick of one of the depicted types to his repertoire. He must meed the Fame threshold for the trick (i.e. have enough points). He then turns the die depicting the trick type he selected to its X face, making it unavailable to others. Instead of the depicted type, a player may always learn a trick type associated with his own school of magic.


Trick stacks


*Hire character (3 action points) - The player looks at the grey Inn dice depicting character types, selects one, and turns it to its X face. He takes the corresponding character from his supply and places it on the board. The new character will be available to him in following rounds.

*Take coins (3 action points) - The player looks at the black Bank dice, takes coins equal to one of the die rolls, and sets the selected die to its X face.

B. Market Row
- Here, the player may:

* Buy (1 action point) - Buy up to 3 components of the same type for 1 action point, paying the coin cost for each of the components

*Bargain (1 action point) - May only be used with Buy. Reduce the total price of materials by 1 coin per action point spent.

*Order (1 action point) - Select a material that is not currently available in the market and place it in an open slot in the order area. This material will become available for purchase in the following round.

*Quick order (2 action points) - Place a component on the quick order slot. This component may be purchased immediately, but its price is increased by 1 coin.



C. Workshop - This action is not depicted on the main board. Each player has his own workshop.

*Prepare (1-3 action points) - Prepare 1 trick, adding the number of trick tiles to it depicted on the trick. In order to do this, you must have in your stock all materials required for the trick. The action point cost for preparing each trick varies by the trick's level (i.e. Fame threshold).

Each Specialist character adds the number of actions available to a player in his workshop. The Engineer provides an action that allows the player to use 1 action point to move a trick card from his general stock to the Engineer's area, the Manager provides an action that allows the player to use 1 action point to move a material from his general stock to the Manager's special stock, and the Assistant provides an action that allows the player to use 1 action point to move a character from one of the general slots to the Assistant's special 0-cost slot.


Trick and symbol markers. These are added to tricks when tricks are learned (the simple ones that depict a spade, heart, diamond, or club, called "symbol markers") and prepared (the more complex ones depicting the schools of magic on their corners, called "trick markers"). The symbol markers are simply used to connect the trick cards to their markers, which will be placed on the Performance cards.


D. Dark Alley

*Special Assignment cards (1-2 action points each) - Take 1 Special Assignment card for 1 action point. Each additional Special Assignment card taken costs 2 action points. Special Assignment cards have special effects, provide a 1-action-point bonus to the character to which they have been assigned, and can only be used once in the game.

*Prophecies (1 action point) - Spend 1 action point to move each pending Prophecy one slot clockwise.



E. Theater - A player may place multiple characters in the Theater during the course of the same round. However, he must place all those characters in a single column. Each column is associated with a day of the week. The bottom row of the theater depicts "Performance slots," which may only be occupied by Magician characters. The following options are available at the theater:

*Set up trick (1 action point) - Move one trick marker from a trick card in your workshop to a free slot on a Performance card around the theater. The marker represents the trick when it is performed. If setting up a trick creates a connection between two of the same symbols in the corners of the tricks (i.e. eyeball and eyeball touching), then you receive a "link bonus" of either 1 coin or 1 Fame for creating a link with your trick of Fame threshold 1, 2 coins or 2 Fame for creating a link with your trick of Fame threshold 16, or 3 coins or 3 Fame for creating a link with your trick of Fame threshold 36. Additionally, if a Trickerion shard is depicted in the link, each player with a trick in that link receives 1 Trickerion shard.


Performance card examples
Left: Illegal trick placement - There can be no more than one of the same trick from the same player on a single Performance card.
Middle: Legal placement
Right: Empty performance card


*Reschedule (1 action point) - Move one of your trick markers from one slot on a Performance card to any other free slot, but do not receive any link bonuses.

*Perform - This action may only be taken by a Magician character. This action is not resolved immediately. The Magician may not use his action points on doing anything other than performing if he is placed in the "Perform" action slot of the theater.



When taking any of the above actions (except for the Theater actions), players may discard 1 Trickerion shard to increase a character's action points by 1.

6. Performance
In a Thursday-Sunday order, each player with a Magician on a Performance space can perform ALL tricks on ONE Performance card with at least one of his own tricks. The owner of each trick receives the income indicated on that trick and the performer gets additional bonuses. This includes a link bonus of 1 additional Fame for each link in the performance, a Specialist bonus for any of the player's Specialists used in the theater in the same round (2 Fame for an Assistant, 3 coins for a Manager, and 1 Trickerion shard for an Engineer), and a Performance card bonus, as indicated on the card.

7. End turn
Each character that was used has to be paid. Characters return to their slots. Materials that were ordered in the market arrive, replacing previous ones. Performance cards are shifted down and a new one is added from the top of the Performance card deck. The current Prophecy is discarded, the next one placed into the active Prophecy slot, and a new one added to the end of the Prophecy row.



The Review

Played prior to review: 4x (full game) Please note that the review is for the FULL game only, as I have not played the basic game[/center]



1. Swoon-worthy artwork
The artwork is opulent and evocative of the theme. It is the single greatest contributing factor to transporting players into the time and place depicted in the game.

2. Intricate and brimming with ideas
Trickerion is an intricate game, filled with interconnected mechanisms and ideas. The number of ideas and mechanisms in the game can seem overwhelming at first, but after a few sessions, Trickerion becomes a wonderland of mind-bending fun.

There are so many wonderful and unique ideas in Trickerion. Chief among these are the worker discs with worker-specific action points, which are further modified by the spaces they occupy on the board. I love the additional considerations and calculations this dual-layered worker placement system creates.

The synergistic performances are another unique aspect of Trickerion and one I really enjoy. I love the fact that players work on filling up Performance cards together and the fact that the player who chooses to perform a particular card also engages other players as "supporting" performers and the supporting performers gain income as a result. Trickerion creates a unique, synergistic type of interaction between players.

3. Challenging and strategic
Trickerion is a challenging game. There are so many things to think about and so many plans to make! The challenges begin with the secret action selection phase at the beginning of each round. Players have to assign action cards to their workers, committing them to visiting the locations printed on the cards in the upcoming action phase without knowing what their opponents will do. This is a very interesting step in the game, as it demands much cunning and calculation. You really have to get into your opponent's head. Will he perform or set up tricks? Will he want to recruit a new Specialist this round? Does he need money? Does he need materials? You have to make a somewhat long-term plan for your characters at the beginning of each round.

The action selection phase also requires quite a bit of calculation. Which characters you assign to which places will determine the base number of action points you will have to spend in each of those places, so you have to determine whether you will need to send two characters to the same place in order to accomplish what you need to accomplish, and whether you have enough Trickerion shards to assist you in all the places you want to visit.

Once you've selected your actions, you have to once again get into your opponents' heads. You have to determine the actions for which you most need an action point boost and the actions your opponents will most want to take and try to take the most important actions before your opponents get to them.

You also have to make all kinds of very long-term plans. Because materials are never discarded it is vital to try to chain tricks with similar material needs together and you can start planning for this from the very start of the game. It is never too difficult or impossible to acquire tricks of the types you want and you can always rely on the fail-safe tricks of your own Magician's type. While it is true that others may get to those tricks before you, this isn't really an issue in a 2-player game, where the material acquisition and trick planning process is a highly strategic one (though I did steal Peter's Elephant Vanishing trick before he could get to it once ).

And then there are some other shorter long-term plans. The Market is one place that can necessitate some planning that spans across rounds. If you want something that isn't available for purchase, you have to order it and then send a character to fetch it for you in the following round. You might also want to buy up a material you need in anticipation of future tricks and plan for the possibility that it will become unavailable in the future, especially if you can see that your opponents already have enough of that material and might order something to bump it out of its place in the market. And you can order materials to replace materials that your opponents don't have as well!

The performances offer a very cool opportunity to make tradeoffs and tactical plays and modify your strategy as you go. Magicians that you've assigned to the theater can be used to make performances, but they can also be used to set up tricks and move your trick markers around. You may have been planning to send your Magician to perform, but if you see another player will be performing, you may be better served by using the Magician's high number of action points to populate the Performance cards with your trick markers instead, allowing you to reap the benefits of the performance without squandering the Magician's action points. Of course, this is a case-by-case tactical consideration, but it does provide an example of how even the seemingly set plans and assignments you have made for the round may have to be adjusted based on the actions of other players.

Ultimately, what I'm trying to say here is that Trickerion will fill your brain with all kinds of thoughts and plans and schemes. If you're not into having your brain filled with all kinds of thoughts and plans and schemes, perhaps Trickerion isn't for you, but if you are, you and your brain matter will be utterly delighted.

4. Many opportunities to create satisfying combos
When playing with the Dark Alley expansion, players can create some fun combos using their Special Assignment cards and Prophecies. For example, one Prophecy gives a player 1 extra Trickerion shard every time he receives a Trickerion shard and one Special Assignment card allows a player to receive link bonuses without matching trick types, which can give him quite a few extra Trickerion shards if timed well. Another Prophecy provides 2 Fame points each time a player acquires one or more Trickerion shards, which can be similarly exploited. I'm certain there are many more combinations to discover and exploit and I'm certain we have experienced some others as well. This was just one that came readily to mind.

5. Interactive in a good way (for the most part)
I really love the player interaction in Trickerion. Beyond the standard worker placement "interaction" of "YOU TOOK MY SPOT! I WILL KILL YOU!" Trickerion features a lovely bit of interaction in the trick setup action and Performance phase of the game.

In setting up tricks, players effectively work together to create trick links, which will both benefit the link-makers immediately and the player who eventually performs the tricks in the theater.

In performances, players can perform each others' tricks that are part of the same performance as their own tricks. Trying to force your tricks on others without performing them yourself can still net good returns without your having to waste your powerful Magician disc(3 action points) on the performance, as all performed tricks provide income for their owners.

Even the basic worker placement "interaction" undergoes an interesting change in Trickerion. While players will generally be able to send their workers to their assigned locations, the fact that each of the worker placement slots in these locations has an action point modifier means that some spaces will be more attractive than others. Because some actions require a relatively high number of action points (Downtown actions require 3 action points each), missing a particular modifier can even shut you out of an action slot, making it impossible for you to make use of the space without the action point bonus. This makes it vital to pay attention to opponents.

There are a few mean magician powers, but none of these are too mean or random.

6. Works well as a two-player game
If you look in the soblue section below, you will notice that one of my foremost complaints about the game is its length. With 2 players, it takes less time to play and the changes made to the game to make it 2-player friendly are minimal, but effective. Two worker-placement spaces are blocked off in each section of the board (except the theater) and only the 1st and 3rd initiative order is used. That's it! Enough worker placement spaces are blocked off to make the action selection and worker placement process very interesting even at this player count.

Furthermore, the secret action selection phase that occurs at the beginning of each round is more manageable with only 2 players involved. Less time is needed to try to read one opponent than many and it is easier to do so and plan accordingly.

7. Lots of variability and replayability
I can see myself playing Trickerion a bazillion times and never getting tired of it. Why? Because it's filled with opportunities for learning and getting better and because it is filled with variable aspects.

Trickerion is a rich and complex game and offers a lot to explore and consider, which, on its own is enough to warrant numerous plays. Indeed, in my 4 games of Trickerion, I have come away from each game feeling like I've learned something from the game, like I've found a new area in which to improve, like I've found one new strategy. But even after 4 games, I still feel like I have a mountain of other strategies and avenues to explore. I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of this deep pool of tricks. That is replayability.

And on top of this inherent replayability, Trickerion features so many variable aspects. There are 8 different magicians, each of which has a unique power that makes him/her play differently from the others, numerous trick cards with different rewards and resource requirements, 3 different Specialists, which you can opt to hire or not in any given game, dice that generate a random availability of trick types, Specialists, and money, and a mountain of Special Assignment cards and Prophecies, which will change the course of each round and game. I cannot overemphasize the amount of variable aspects in Trickerion and the degree of impact these aspects have on the gameplay. Every game presents players with new and unique challenges and opportunities.

8. Playable on two levels, one of which takes considerably less time and mental effort than the other
This point is an extension of the previous one. Trickerion presents players the option of playing the "base" game or the "full" game. The base game contains all the main ideas of the game, including the placement of workers with a variety of action points, the construction of props, and the performance of tricks. However, it does away with individual player powers, lasts 5 rounds instead of 7, and does not contain the Dark Alley section of the board. The game board is double sided, with one side dedicated to the full game and the other dedicated to the base game, so it is unnecessary for players to make any special modifications to the board to play with or without the expansion.

I have not played with the base game alone, so I cannot speak to how well it works, but I can say that excluding the Dark Alley from Trickerion would, beyond a shadow of a doubt, greatly simplify Trickerion and make it much more accessible to players who are less accustomed to long and heavy games. Playing with 2 fewer rounds would also reduce the duration of the game.

Ultimately, Trickerion allows players to adjust the weight and the duration of the game to their needs I love this! I haven't played the basic game, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but from my rules reading and understanding of how everything works in the full game, I'm quite comfortable with saying that the basic game would be a medium or even medium-light weight game. I'm sure most people could play it and enjoy it. The time investment would be significantly lower as well.


9. Production is great

I really appreciate all the work that went into producing the game and especially appreciate the "Magician Workbooks," which each player receives as a reference for all the trick cards and their requirements, worker placement spots, and Prophecies. It's a very helpful resource and one that makes the game play more smoothly than it would otherwise.


Trickerion shards


soblue


soblue 1. VERY long
The full game of Trickerion takes a minimum of 1.75hrs, even with 2 decisive players. Our first game took well over 3 hours, including a rules explanation. I believe there are 3 major contributing factors to the duration of the game and they aren't all negative:

1) There is a lot to do in this game, there are many rounds to do it in (7, to be precise), and there are many workers with which to take many actions in each round. Ultimately, the game is just a deep, rich game in which there is a lot to do. This contributing factor is 100% justified and not a negative one at all.
2) There can be a lot of down time. It can take a long time for players to plan and execute their actions. Because each worker has an action point value, players not only have to consider which actions they need to take, but how many action points they will need for each action when planning actions and then must determine the best way to allocate these action points when actually executing these actions, all of which can take a long time. And there isn't much other players can do between turns.
3) The unintuitive iconography (see below) makes it necessary to constantly reference the rulebook. I am specifically referring to the Dark Alley's Oracle and not to anything in the base game. The icons used in the base game are good and players can quickly become accustomed to them after a game.

Fortunately, the base game plays in a shorter time than the full game. And even more fortunately, the full game is interesting enough to justify time investment, especially with only 2 players. The time I've spent playing Trickerion was well worth it and I will happily spend a hundred more doing it. This is just a warning to those who don't have a lot of time to invest in a single game.

soblue2. The icons are not very intuitive
For the most part, the icons used in the game are reasonably clear and will become second nature after a few turns or a full game, but the icons used in the Oracle section of the Dark Alley makes me feel like I need to get myself a PhD in cryptography to figure them all out. I will concede that the Prophecies have to convey a lot of information, but the icons don't make that information any more accessible. Even after 3 games, we still had to look nearly all of them up. A simplification or reduction of the number of effects available in the Oracle section would have had a positive impact on its accessibility. In this case, I think less would have been more.

soblue 3. The theme doesn't come through quite as strongly as I expected
One of the things that most excited me about Trickerion was its unique theme. I was slightly disappointed to find that the theme doesn't come across as strongly in the gameplay as I expected it to. Perhaps this is because the game is so intricate and demanding that the mechanisms consume my attention entirely and leave no room for me to appreciate the thematic integration of the various aspects while playing. The artwork certainly helps bring out the theme and bring me back into the world when I'm stuck calculating my action points for a given specialist or apprentice. Ultimately, it just feels a little more mechanical than thematic. That's ok with me, but it might not be with some people, which is why I bring it up.

soblue 4. The two-player game is improved by the "expansion" that is not included with the game
The two-player game of Trickerion is much improved by Kickstarter content that was made available in the Trickerion: Dahlgaard's Gifts expansion. This expansion contains performance cards with some pre-printed tricks on them, which makes it easier to form links when playing with only 2 players.

The expansion also changes the way the worker placement spaces are blocked off in the 2-player game. There are cards that indicate which worker placement spaces will be blocked off each rounds and these change round by round. So instead of having the same spaces with the same action point bonuses and the same performance bonuses blocked off each round, these change round by round.

Neither of these things is ESSENTIAL to Trickerion's working well with 2 players, but these improvements (especially the performance cards) undeniably improve the 2-player experience. The fact that they don't come with the game is something to consider when purchasing the game to play exclusively or predominantly with 2 players.

soblue 5. Some of the Prophecies are a bit too random
The Oracle is a section that can be manipulated by players and the onset of certain Prophecies can be accelerated and the onset of others delayed, but some players can get lucky with Prophecies.

I am specifically referring to the Prophecies that provide 2 Fame points for setting up tricks associated with specific schools of magic. A player who has been working on Escape tricks can have a much easier time fulfilling an Escape trick Prophecy than one who was not focused on Escape tricks, doesn't have any Escape tricks, and doesn't have the resources for them. Of course, Prophecies are visible for several rounds before they come into effect, which can give players the the opportunity to gather some of these trick types, but one player can have an undeniable and later in the game, a relatively strong and random advantage in this regard. I just don't appreciate this in a game that is as strategic as this one.

soblue 6. Some bloat?
I realize that I included the breadth of mechanisms and ideas in Trickerions in the section and I do consider it to be a positive. However, I can't help but shake the feeling that SOMETHING could have been taken out or somehow simplified to positive effect (perhaps 1 fewer round?). I can't pinpoint any one thing that bothers me aside from the breadth of possible effects in the Oracle section of the Dark Alley, so perhaps this isn't a fair or well-formed criticism; it's just a feeling and one I anticipate may fade into nothing with more plays and familiarity with the game.



Final Word


I had very high expectations for Trickerion and my expectations were blown to shreds. The game is breathtakingly beautiful, immersive, interesting, and highly challenging. However, it is also quite complex and very long. As such, Trickerion may outright alienate some people and leave others waiting for the proverbial fat lady to sing...only she can't sing because her mouth is stuffed with peanut butter and she can't even open it, let alone herald the game's end with her melodious voice. Joking aside, I did have this feeling during our first game of Trickerion, which we played with the Dark Alley expansion (i.e. full game), but I'm glad I stuck with it. My enthusiasm for Trickerion has increased exponentially with each play. In fact, it has increased so much that the game has become somewhat of an addiction. Whenever I've played another game this week, I've thought, "I should be playing Trickerion. There's way more stuff to play with in that game. There way more stuff to think about in that game. There's more fun to be had in that game!"

Trickerion can be long and it can feel slow and sticky at first, but I believe it is well worth the time investment required to play and became familiar with it because it is an incredibly deep, rich, and satisfying experience. I intend to keep playing it over and over and over again because I am eager to explore all its alleys and tricks.

MINA'S LOVE METER heart heart heart heart heart ALL LOVE ALL THE TIME (because none of the negatives are negative enough to tarnish the mind melting fun of Trickerion)








***


Mina's Love Meter


Burn it! - I dislike this game so much that it makes me angry. (I rate these 4 or less on the BGG scale)
Dislike - I don't like this game, but I can see why others like it.
(5 on BGG scale)
heart Some like - I find this game somewhat appealing, but it doesn't really grab me. I am glad to have had the opportunity to try this game, but it is unlikely to stay in my collection for very long.
(5.5 to 6.5) on BGG scale)
heart heart Like - I like this game and appreciate the design. I am happy to play this game occasionally when the mood strikes and enjoy doing so.
(7 to 7.5 on BGG scale)
heart heart heart Some love - I love this game. It's not perfect, but it really appeals to me and I will play it frequently.
(7.5 to 8 on BGG scale)
heart heart heart heart Lots of love - I really love this game. The design really speaks to me. I want to play it most of the time.
(8 to 9 on BGG scale)
heart heart heart heart heart All love all the time - I ADORE this game and can see myself playing it many times and for many years. I would go to sleep clutching it in my arms and want to play it all day every day...only not literally because that would be insane.
(9 to 10 on BGG scale)


To see my other reviews, visit this geeklist.

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Dirk Meijlof
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Thanks for another outstanding review! thumbsup I still regret that I didn't back Trickerion on Kickstarter or buy at Spiel. More than half of the time we play with two.

Luckily friends purchased it at Spiel so we will have a chance to play it.
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Ruud
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Dirk_M wrote:
Thanks for another outstanding review! thumbsup I still regret that I didn't back Trickerion on Kickstarter or buy at Spiel. More than half of the time we play with two.

Luckily friends purchased it at Spiel so we will have a chance to play it.


Various retailers in the Netherlands are starting to have it in stock.
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Mark Palframan
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Great review Mina! Let us know if anything clicks about "bloat" and streamlining!
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Ken Sinn
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We also played the 2P Kickstarter full game, and we feel mostly the same way you feel - very good game but some refinement could be made to reduce bloat.

We taught/witnessed a 4 player Basic Game (i.e. no Dark Alley, only 5 rounds, no Gifts expansion). We did not realize this, but in the Basic Game, each player gets 2+ of each card! (3 Theater, 2 Workshop, 2 Market Row, 2 Downtown). Under this setup, it's very easy for players' workers to be left standing in the cold, if there is contention for certain locations. This does not happen as frequently with Dark Alley -- but without Dark Alley, I can see this getting very mean and nasty.
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Milena Guberinic
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Dirk_M wrote:
Thanks for another outstanding review! thumbsup I still regret that I didn't back Trickerion on Kickstarter or buy at Spiel. More than half of the time we play with two.

Luckily friends purchased it at Spiel so we will have a chance to play it.


Thank you! I hope you enjoy it!
 
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Milena Guberinic
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mpalframan wrote:
Great review Mina! Let us know if anything clicks about "bloat" and streamlining!


Thanks Mark! We've been playing Trickerion A LOT! We played 3 more times since I posted my review. It's like a blow fish - bloated, but beautiful...and delicious if you trust the Japanese.
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mooken wrote:
We also played the 2P Kickstarter full game, and we feel mostly the same way you feel - very good game but some refinement could be made to reduce bloat.

We taught/witnessed a 4 player Basic Game (i.e. no Dark Alley, only 5 rounds, no Gifts expansion). We did not realize this, but in the Basic Game, each player gets 2+ of each card! (3 Theater, 2 Workshop, 2 Market Row, 2 Downtown). Under this setup, it's very easy for players' workers to be left standing in the cold, if there is contention for certain locations. This does not happen as frequently with Dark Alley -- but without Dark Alley, I can see this getting very mean and nasty.


Hi Ken! I'm glad you enjoyed Trickerion. I love it so much! It does remind me of Dungeon Lords quite a bit, which can also be viewed as a bit overwrought, especially with all the expansion material thrown in, but I still love that one too. I think Trickerion is a bit tricky to classify. At first, it feels like too much, but the more you play and the more familiar you become with it, the less bloated it feels. It's still very long, but I don't even notice the time passing by now. I would NEVER play it with more than 2 players though...
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milenaguberinic wrote:
mpalframan wrote:
Great review Mina! Let us know if anything clicks about "bloat" and streamlining!


Thanks Mark! We've been playing Trickerion A LOT! We played 3 more times since I posted my review. It's like a blow fish - bloated, but beautiful...and delicious if you trust the Japanese.


That is an image I'm going to have a hard time getting out of my head.
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milenaguberinic wrote:
It's like a blow fish - bloated, but beautiful


Thats probably unlikely to appear on the box for marketing purposes
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bortmonkey wrote:
milenaguberinic wrote:
It's like a blow fish - bloated, but beautiful


Thats probably unlikely to appear on the box for marketing purposes


Well, at least it's better than: "It's like a blow fish - eat the wrong part and you're dead."
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Surge1000 wrote:
bortmonkey wrote:
milenaguberinic wrote:
It's like a blow fish - bloated, but beautiful


Thats probably unlikely to appear on the box for marketing purposes


Well, at least it's better than: "It's like a blow fish - eat the wrong part and you're dead."


There's a magic trick hidden in here somewhere... The blindfolded magician will now cut a slice of Fugu to eat... will he get delicious sushi? or poison...
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mpalframan wrote:
Surge1000 wrote:
bortmonkey wrote:
milenaguberinic wrote:
It's like a blow fish - bloated, but beautiful


Thats probably unlikely to appear on the box for marketing purposes


Well, at least it's better than: "It's like a blow fish - eat the wrong part and you're dead."


There's a magic trick hidden in here somewhere... The blindfolded magician will now cut a slice of Fugu to eat... will he get delicious sushi? or poison...


Thanks for the laughs everyone!
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Quote:
It's like a blow fish - bloated, but beautiful...and delicious if you trust the Japanese.


This is an incredibly witty comment and sums it up quite well !!!!
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Milena - Do you play with the special powers cards ?
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milenaguberinic wrote:
mpalframan wrote:
Great review Mina! Let us know if anything clicks about "bloat" and streamlining!


Thanks Mark! We've been playing Trickerion A LOT! We played 3 more times since I posted my review. It's like a blow fish - bloated, but beautiful...and delicious if you trust the Japanese.
This will now be my go-to recommendation of Trickerion.

"Trickerion... delicious if you trust the Japanese."
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"Poison... poison... Tasty Fish!"- Homer Simpson
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jgunnz wrote:
Milena - Do you play with the special powers cards ?


Yes! We do!

We play with EVERYTHING!
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trarmstrong86 wrote:
Another great review from Mina that not only introduced me to the game, but got me to purchase it.


Thanks!
 
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Thunkd wrote:
milenaguberinic wrote:
mpalframan wrote:
Great review Mina! Let us know if anything clicks about "bloat" and streamlining!


Thanks Mark! We've been playing Trickerion A LOT! We played 3 more times since I posted my review. It's like a blow fish - bloated, but beautiful...and delicious if you trust the Japanese.
This will now be my go-to recommendation of Trickerion.

"Trickerion... delicious if you trust the Japanese."


LOL.
 
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gpioski wrote:
"Poison... poison... Tasty Fish!"- Homer Simpson


More LOL!
 
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After playing this game at Dice Tower Con, I was able to order a copy recently now that the reprint is available. Looking forward to playing it this weekend, but worried it will take all day with 4 newbies!
 
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One of the suggested from a recent reddit thread for learning the game and speeding up play, was to play it like a normal worker placement, rather than trying to pre-plan all cards at once. Additionally, if using Dark Alley, play with those face-down, rather than have everyone pouring over the card text.
 
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Rodzilla68 wrote:
After playing this game at Dice Tower Con, I was able to order a copy recently now that the reprint is available. Looking forward to playing it this weekend, but worried it will take all day with 4 newbies!
I played this last night with four experienced players (all of whom are good gamers and fairly quick). It took 3-1/2 to 4 hours. It's not a quick game. Although we were playing with the Dark Alley and Magician's powers (which you shouldn't do with newbies).

Add at least 45 minutes teaching time for new players (probably longer honestly).
 
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