Recommend
28 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Cave Troll» Forums » General

Subject: Word to Potential Buyers - Great Game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ray Diebel
United States
Phildelphia
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
I was a bit reluctant to buy the game...as I have two closets of over 150 games and thought "I really don't need another game!" Well...am I ever glad that I changed my mind and bought it. The draw...4 players, 20 minutes to 60 minutes. I also love any game where every player controls good and evil...since it keeps strategy even all around.

In any event...I got worried when I read the rules. Seemed too easy and simple. The other concern - due to a poor assumption on my part - was that with only 5 heroes...and a whole slew of monsters...the random card method of bringing hero characters into play was scary. Boy was my assumption wrong.

Where I was thinking along the lines of the Heroquests of the world, this game is actually more like a Risk or History of the World. Its not about a room at a time, but rather "Cave Conquest!" The other thing was the presumption that a majority of the figs are the monsters. WRONG AGAIN. The majority of figs on the board are the "adventurer" figure (one of 5 heroes) that is just a simpel warrior with no ability. However, with 9 of them on your roster, these guys are critical to holding the majority throughout the caves.

And the MAJOR aspect of the game that I thought was great is that - in spite of random cards madating what adventurer, monster, or special effect comes into play - there is a great deal of decision making involved before you even decide to draw a card...since every card drawn carries the potential of forcing "scoring the board." Your card could end up giving your opponents HUGE INCOME due to your poor timing.

This probably doesn't make sense to someone who doesn't know the rules...and so here they are in a nutshell.

Each turn, use four actions...either:
a. Draw AND play a card (you hold one in reserve at all times, giving you a choice of two cards if you choose this option). This is how you bring warriors into play...
b. Move a character one room.
c. Activate a hero OR monster ability
d. Use an artifact (which you find via cardplay)

Anyway...each room has a gold value ranging from 1 to 5. If you have the majority HERO (not monster) occupation in the space when the board scores...you get that gold. The 4 talented heroes (as opposed to your 9 adventurer heroes...comprised of thief, barbarian, dwarf or knight) enhance your ability to hold a room, win the count, or increase the gold. Monsters, on the other hand, enable you to kill other players heroes, or move them out of rooms they control.

The board scores due to counting discarded cards with hourglasses on them. SO...if you play a card that is the 5th hourglass, you better damn well make sure your current income potential is good relative to the other players, because ALL players will score simultaneously.

THIS WAS A GREAT GAME OUT OF THE BOX. Good figs, simple rules, great artwork, fast playing, and a very easy way for scoring points and determining victory conditions! Oh...and set up and clean up...lightning fast!!!

Indulge a pet peeve, if you will. In Risk, all you need to do is build a huge population in a few territories...then conquer all in a final round. That strategy (in my opinion) sucks! It wins games...but it's not very fun or engaging all game long.

In this game, you need to spread out and hold income at ALL TIMES...because you need to be profitable whenever any of the other three players cause the board to score. There's no resting on laurels in this game...you really need to make the best of every card you play, every monster you move, and every strategic location you choose to place your 4 special heroes.

My kudos to FFG for a GREAT GAME, and my strong recommendation to anyone even remotely considering it's purchase. I give it a 10 out of 10 in spite of its brilliant simplicity!

15 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Douglas S
United States
Torrance
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just to dissent, I think this is a very poor game. I'd give it a 3/10.


-Doug
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Y.
United States
Fredericksburg
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow... This really makes me wanna buy the game. Thanks! =)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Scott
Canada
Port Perry
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I also bought this game... I like it, but the monsters' abilities are varied, and the Orc (I believe) is the craziest one of the bunch. Isn't he the monster that removes adventurers off of the board? If you get him in play before the other players do, you're likely to win.. (if you play correctly..) ... Then again, I could have been playing wrong...?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Bradley
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Scotland
flag msg tools
PsyJam wrote:
I also bought this game... I like it, but the monsters' abilities are varied, and the Orc (I believe) is the craziest one of the bunch. Isn't he the monster that removes adventurers off of the board? If you get him in play before the other players do, you're likely to win.. (if you play correctly..) ... Then again, I could have been playing wrong...?


The game is smarter than that.

I had a recent 4-player game where the first card I drew was the Orc. Oh-ho I thought, I will dominate this one, getting my Orc out so early. I will RULE this dungeon. Not so! Although I spent the early game running about massacring the enemy Heroes, this is actually a very expensive strategy. Each room the Orc moves to costs 1 action. Each kill he makes in a room costs another 1 action, so in fact if you manage to kill more than one hero per turn, you are doing very well indeed, with only 4 Actions per turn. Given that the other players were meantime flooding the dungeon with guys as normal, and occupying more rooms than I could ever hope to cover, they streaked ahead of me in gold.

When the game finished (which happens when someone draws their last card), I still had half my deck left because I had became obsessed with that early Orc. And I had about half the gold of anyone else. I came last (on gold, though top in kills!). But last is last.

I actually think you are better drawing your Orc nearer the end of your deck. This way, the board is pretty full up, and enemy heros are nicely clumped together, thus making it easier for a rogue late Orc to kill 2 or 3 heros per turn without having to move that far to do so.

Mr Jolly was extremely shrewd when he designed it so the Orc's kill move costs an Action, but the Knight's does not. Kudos.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mat Jones
Wales
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review, Gary

I purchased Cave Troll a few months back and was a tad worried given my experience with Drakkon, another of FFGs smaller games (and from the same designer I believe?). However, it turns out this is one extremely enjoyable game.

The time limit means its perfect for play whilst you await late comers for the BIG game, the pieces are high quality (as can only be expected of FFG these days!) and the rules are both simple, yet full of potential (particularly with the alternate play mode).

Personally, when I'm explaining the rules, I find myself comparing the game to chess. Each piece working in it's own way and holding it's own role in the overall scheme of things.

Mebbe its just me

And as you mentioned, the Orc is by no means broke. None of the pieces are. Each can be counteracted (particularly in a four player game).

From experience, I find the Orc most effective against wayward Dwarves and Berserkers, but there's always that temptation to pull a Texas Chainsaw Massacre on the dungeon. Just don't expect to win!

Personally, I prefer the Wraith piece. You can't help but laugh maniacally when it comes to pushing adventurers into the waiting arms of a rival player's Orc, then watching them struggle internally over whether to go with their pre-planned moves or take advantage of this unexpected, yet tasty, snack.

devil

Perhaps it's just my group, but I guarantee you they'll snap at the chance to bathe in blood...everytime!

Cave Troll. Simple, quick and (dis)honest fun!

meeple
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mara Saurio
Spain
Valencia
Valencia
flag msg tools
Logitech G25 + rFactor + XtremeRacers = pure sim racing!!!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Duglis wrote:
Just to dissent, I think this is a very poor game. I'd give it a 3/10.
-Doug


Wow!
Quite a reasoning!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brett Hudoba
United States
Bloomington
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm surprised you didn't submit this as a review rather than a general commentary, but nice job nonetheless. thumbsup

I agree this is a well-done game, and I believe this second edition you describe is much improved over the first. The figures are certainly better and easier to move than the original cardboard circles, but the addition of cards was the key part of the redesign. With the hourglass symbols counting down to the next scoring round, players at least have some idea when to scramble and be in good positions, whereas there was previously no warning and it depended completely on random draw. Along the same lines, you also have some control over timing (especially with the Score a Room card) rather than being stuck having to play the single counter you drew with one of your actions.

I also echo others' commentary about the Orc actually being balanced--if you choose to run wild with it and massacre the other players, also expect to NOT win the game. I find it best to use whenever it will just tip the balance to give you control of a room, or to prevent a player from scoring a room with just a single figure.

It's easy to forget that your main strategy should be to flood the dungeon with as many adventurers as you can. Nickel-and-diming gets you the victory, not continually fighting over the four- and five-coin rooms.

All in all, I give it an 8 myself.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.