Trade & Troll
Designer: Emanuele Buffagni & Giulio Torlai
Artist: Monica Bauleo - https://www.behance.net/monicabauleo
Number of Players: 2-6
Play Time: 45-90 minutes (based on the number of players)
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/GoodEvilGames
Long ago, in a remote village at the edge of the kingdom, lived a Troll. This Troll roamed the streets demanding a toll from any traveller he met; if they refused to pay, he would steal their trousers. One day the Troll stopped a merchant travelling along the road. As usual, he demanded the merchant pay the toll in order to pass undisturbed. The merchant, who was very cunning, made the Troll a proposal…
My name is Emanuele Buffagni, and with Giulio Torlai I'm one of the designers of Trade&Troll. Today I'm here to give you a (very) brief introduction about the game and to show some of the illustrations that our very talented artist Monica is creating.
As soon as the rule book has been translated I'll venture deeper with the rules of the game!
Trade & Troll is a European-style game for 2 to 6 players where each player represents a merchant whose goal is to arrange an efficient production line from the collection of basic resources to their manufacturing and consequent trading in market stalls. Each turn players can create new buildings, cobble a road to connect them or collect coins from tiles they already possess.
Unfortunately, things become more complicated as a troll arrives in the village! The control of this character swaps each turn after a secret auction between players, and the one who finally gets it has the opportunity to block the opponents’ trades until the end of the turn.
The game is in its final creation phase. The components have been settled and Monica is creating the last illustrations for the tiles.
The rules have been completed and the Rulebook is beeing translated into English. Does that mean that the rules are final? Nope. We did an extensive playtesting, first with friends, then with blind testers, and thanks to all of them we found and solved the problems of the first versions of the game.
But we are always open to refinements and feedback from new people!
Below are some of the wonderful illustrations made by Monica for the game components.
As soon as we have a full translation we will share with you!
Here you can find the last version of the Rulebook and a Print&Play version for a 2-4 players game:
- 1 Double sided board
- 120 Tiles:
- 40 Resources
- 40 Stalls
- 40 Markets
- 75 Road Tiles
- 15 Closed Road Tiles
- 150 Coins:
- 50 Value 1
- 50 Value 3
- 50 Value 5
- 72 Merchant Meeples in 6 different colours
- 6 Troll bags
- 1 Troll Meeple
- 1 First Player Token
- 1 Troll Acquisition Token
- 1 Final Phase Token
- 30 Victory Points
What is still in the "To Do" list:
- Finish translation of the rulebook (100% done)
- Gameplay Video (100% done)
- Create a PnP version (100% done)
- Finish the last illustrations needed for the prototype (100% done)
- Find a reviewer (100% done)
We know that we've only described the game a little, but what are your impressions from what you have read and what you have seen? What kind of game do you expect? Any feedback is really appreciated
Edit (2017-01-27): updated the "To Do" list!
Edit (2017-02-26): added Rulebook! Updated the "To Do" list!
Edit (2017-03-12): added Facebook page!
- Last edited Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:24 pm (Total Number of Edits: 7)
- Posted Mon Jan 9, 2017 9:17 pm
Here we are again. Today I'll begin explaining the basic rules of the game.
Before explaining what the goal of the game is, and what players must do to accomplish it, I'd like to talk about one of the core mechanics of the game: the Chain of Production.
CHAIN OF PRODUCTION
First of all here you can see a preliminary version of the board for a 2-4 players game:
The board is graphically divided into a grid. Squares are meant to mark where player will place the buildings bought during the game, while in the spaces between the squares it will be possible to create roads to connect them.
Trade&Troll includes 3 different types of building: Resources , Stalls and Markets.
Each building has an Entrance, indicated on the tile by an open space in the frame.
The colour of a building, which is colour-coded by one or two colours in its border, indicates the goods it produces. In the case of Stalls and Markets it also indicates which basic resource the building needs to be activated.
Resources have only one colour, Markets have always two colours, Stalls may have one or two.
The game includes 10 different Resources, so 10 different colors are present in the game.
Finally each building has a price, that players must pay when they buy it, and an income, that indicates how many coins a player gains when the building is used.
These building can be used during players’ turn to earn coins, but to do so some requirements must be met. First of all the active player must be the owner of the building (the building owner is indicated by a Merchant Meeple, to be placed on the building when the tile is bought). A player can use only a building he owns.
1. Resources: the Resources manufacture a product that is the same colour as the border of the tile. These building do not have any activation condition, consequently a player can always use his own Resource buildings to earn coins.
2. Stalls: like Resources, Stalls manufacture one or more products of the same colour as the border of their tile. However, to be activated there must be a road that connects them to a Resource buildings of the same colour. This means that there must be a continuous, open road that begins in front of the Entrance of the Stall and ends in front of the Entrances of the required buildings.
Most Stall buildings are double-coloured. This means that the building must be connected to two Resource buildings of the corresponding colours in order to be activated.
In this example the yellow player can use his Stall because it is connected to the Resources required
3. Markets: the Markets follow the same rules as the Stalls, but instead of having to be connected to the Resources, they must be connected to Stalls.
If a player does not own the buildings he needs to activate a Stall or a Market, he may Rent other players’ buildings. In order to do this, as usual, a continuous road must connect the two buildings.
If a player decides to Rent another player’s building, the latter earns the coins from his building as if he had used it himself.
A player may not prevent other players from renting his buildings.
In this example the Yellow player can use his Stall but the Red player will earn coins as if he has used his Green Resource
That's all regarding the Chain of Production! Next time I'll explain the main character of the game, the Troll!
Any comments or feedback is really appreciated
I think it looks really cool. I love the art style and the basic concept sounds like a lot of fun.
I look forward to hearing more about how to win the game and player interaction, especially when the board is full. Can you stop someone from using your tiles or do they just benefit you when they do? It looks like there are 25 spaces but 120 tiles that can be placed there. Is the board finalized once all the tile spots are full?
Does the game change a ton based upon what kinds of buildings people choose to build? I'm imagining that the strategy comes in when you decide not just how to use the buildings that are there, but which ones to place. I'm imagining the troll adds a lot to the game as well.
I look forward to hearing more!
Thanks Phil for the comment, I'll try to answer your questions
Can you stop someone from using your tiles or do they just benefit you when they do?
No, you can't stop someone from using your buildings (unless you use the Troll). But if other players use your tiles you automatically gain coins, if you are able to buy the tiles needed by other players you can gain a lot of coins without additional effort!
It looks like there are 25 spaces but 120 tiles that can be placed there. Is the board finalized once all the tile spots are full?
Correct. When the number of free spaces left on the board is equal or less than the number of players the game enters in its final phase. From this point forward, there will only be two more rounds and the game will end. If at any time all of the spaces for the buildings in play are occupied, the game ends at the end of the round in course.
The number of spaces on the board is based on the number of players (the board is double sided, the 5-6 players board has more spaces then the 2-4 board).
Does the game change a ton based upon what kinds of buildings people choose to build? I'm imagining that the strategy comes in when you decide not just how to use the buildings that are there, but which ones to place.
Even if the game is simple (during our blind tests we were able to explain the game in less than 15 minutes) there is a lot of strategy involved.
The strategy comes in during different phases of the game:
1) Placing a building: when you buy a building you have to immediately place it on the board. This decision is important because the new building needs to be connected with a road to your tiles, if you want to use it later. If it is too far you have to spend a lot of coins to cobble a road, while if it is near your buildings...it's easier for the Troll to cause problems!
2) Buy: during the game there are always 15 buildings that can be bought (5 per types). When a tile is bought another one replace it. Do you prefer to buy something you need or do you want to buy a building that another player absolutely want? The latter will cost actions and coins, but if you Rent it maybe the profit is high!
3) Actions: during a game round each player has only a limited number of actions he may carry out. Performing the best actions is fundamental!
4) Troll: the main source of problems! More on this on next post
And now it's time for the star of the game: the Troll!
An image of a busy Troll...
The Troll is the main character of the game and he is used to block other players roads and buildings.
At the beginnning of each round the Troll Auction phase takes place. Each player places a secret bid in order to win the services of the Troll. Once all the players have decided their bids, these are revealed and the player who has bidden the most wins the Troll, represented by a black Meeple, and will use it for the current round.
The number of coins each player has must be visible at the beginning of the Troll Auction phase.
The Troll can be placed in two different ways:
1. Intersection: the Troll is placed at an intersection, where two or more roads converge. For the duration of the round that intersection is blocked. Two buildings cannot be considered connected if the only road that connects them passes through that intersection.
In this example, the Orange Player cannot use his Stall building since the road that connects it to the required Resource is blocked by the Troll (the Black Meeple), which was placed by another player in the only intersection that connects the two buildings.
2. Building: if the Troll is placed on a building, that building cannot be used during the round: it cannot provide raw material to other buildings and cannot be rented by any player.
In this example, the Troll Meeple has been placed on the Green Resource at the bottom. For the duration of the round, this building is BLOCKED: it cannot be used, cannot provide raw material to the Green Stall and cannot be rented by the Orange Player in order to activate his Stall.
Be aware that the Troll is not very smart and he may have problems understanding the difference between your buildings and other players building. Don't block your own buildings!
Before the end of this phase, two more actions need to be resolved:
1) Victory Point: the player who has won the Troll, takes one Victory Point token.
2) Troll Bag: each player, regardless of who won the Troll, puts the coins that they bid inside their Troll Bag. These coins will stay in the bag until the end of the game and may not be used again.
At the end of the game the players who have the highest amount of coins in their bags will win further Victory Points.
Players can't look inside other players' bags.
All coins used during the secret bid are put inside the Troll Bag
If two or more players bid the same number of coins and theirs is the highest bid, the Troll, so as not to slight anyone, takes the coins and leaves. All the players place their coins as usual in the Troll Bag, but no player may use the Troll or take Victory Points.
After placing the Troll, the player who has won the auction takes the Acquisition Token and places it in front of him as a reminder. During the next auction this player cannot place a bid.
As you can see the Troll is a very annoying character as he can block your trade route. Furthermore he grants you Victory Points when you win his services and some more at the end of the game if you were one of the players who invested more on him.
At the same time you have to consider carefully how many coins to invest, because they are practically lost, even if you don't win the Troll!
Finally, even if you get the control of the Troll for a round, keep in your mind that you won't be able to participate to the Auction in the next round, and that probably other players will be willing to place the Troll near your buildings for that round!
That's all regarding the Troll. Next time I'll introduce you to the final steps of the game: the player actions and the winning conditions.
We have almost completed the translation of the Rulebook and the Print&Play version of the game. We will post them here as soon as we have finished the last improvements.
Some more images illustrated by Monica for the building tiles:
The game includes 10 different Resources of 10 different colors. The Reources tiles included are 40, 4 tiles for each Resource.
The game includes 40 different Stall tiles (10 single color Stalls and 30 double color Stalls).
If you'd like to see more illustrations created by Monica you can look at her portfolio at this link:
So far you have learned the Chain of Production and the Troll Auction. Now it's time to explain the gameplay, in particular what players can do.
The game is played in Rounds, during which players take Turns making moves, with the aim of accumulating coins and constructing new buildings. A Round is composed of the following phases:
1) Troll Auction
2) Player Actions
3) End of Round
The Troll Auction has already been discussed in the previous post, so this time let's start from the Player Actions.
This phase includes 2 Turns. In each turn, players can carry out an Action, starting with the First Player and continuing clockwise. When the last player has carried out his first Action, each player, starting with the First Player, may carry out his second Action. When the last player has carried out his second action, the phase is over.
In this phase each player carries out a total of two actions, but not consecutively.
Use the first player token to keep track of the current turn.
First Player Token: the number indicates the current turn of the round.
During each turn a player may carry out only one of the following actions:
1) Buying and placing a building: players spend their coins to buy buildings. After discarding the coins spent, the player takes one of the face-up building tiles beside the board. He then places the building on one of the open squares on the board and puts a Merchant Meeple of his colour on top of it. The meeple must be in the standing position to indicate that the building has not yet been activated.
Building prices are as follows:
- Resource: 3 COINS
- Stall: 8 COINS
- Market: 15 COINS
As soon as a building has been bought and placed, turn over a new tile of the same type to replace it.
Illustrations of the 3 different types of coins included in the game
2)Buying and placing a road: players must pay 2 coins to purchase a road. The road must be placed on the board immediately.
3) Activating a building: by activating a building, players can earn coins based on the type of building it is. Players may only use their own buildings, which are marked by a Merchant Meeple of their colour. In order to activate a building, the following requirements must be met:
- The building cannot have already been activated in the same turn, so the Merchant Meeple is in the standing position.
- If the building is a Stall or a Market, there must be one or more open roads connecting it to buildings of the required colour in order to be activated.
If these conditions are met, the player can activate the building. The player takes the coins earned and places his Merchant Meeple in the lying down position.
The coins earned by building type are as follows:
- Resource: 2 COINS
- Stall with single required Resource: 5 COINS
- Stall with two required Resources: 7 COINS
- Market: 12 COINS
Building activation: the player gains 2 coins and the merchant Meeple is placed in the lying down position.
4) Passing: if a player cannot or does not wish to carry out any of the actions described above, he can opt to do nothing in his turn.
End of Round
In this last phase the following things must be done:
1) The player with the First Player Token passes it to the player on his left.
2) All players return their Merchant Meeples to standing position.
3) If the Troll is on the board he is removed.
At this point a new round begins. Repeat the various phases of the game until the end-of-game conditions are met.
What do you think you're going to do in this round? Is it better to buy immediately a new Stall to take the best position on the board? Or maybe do you prefer to save coins for a Market? But you just completed a new trade route...do you really want to leave the Troll to your opponents?
The game is simple but a lot of strategy is present and you must think carefully about your actions and your coins if you want to be victorious!
Next time: Scores and Victory Conditions. Stay tuned!
You know (almost) all the rules needed to play the game, but one thing is still missing: who is the winner at the end?
END OF GAME
The game can end in two ways:
1) As soon as the number of free spaces for buildings on the board is equal to or less than the number of players, the Final Phase of the game begins. From this point forward, there will only be two more rounds (round in course excluded) and the game will end. The Final Phase Token included in the box is used to indicate which of these two rounds is in course.
2) If at any time all of the spaces for the buildings in play are occupied, the game ends at the end of the round in course, regardless of whether this occurs during the Final Phase.
The points that determine the winner are calculated in 3 ways. To keep score of the Victory Points (VP) earned by each player, place a Merchant Meeple of each player’s colour on the outer part of the board.
1) Building: each building constructed earns VP at the end of the game, provided it meets the the following requirements:
- The building (including Resources) must have a road in front of its entrance.
- If the building is a Stall or a Market, it must be connected to one or more buildings that provide all of the resources required for it to be activated, even if the buildings belong to other players.
If these requirements are met, the building earns VP based on building type, as follows:
- Resource: 1 VP
- Stall: 3 VP
- Market: 7 VP
If the requirements are NOT met, the player loses the above amount of VP per building type. Subtract the VP accordingly from the total earned.
2) Coins accumulated: each player earns 1 VP for every 10 coins in his possession, rounded down to the nearest 10.
3) Troll: players empty their Troll Bags and count the number of coins bid. The player who has bid the most coins over the course of the game wins 3 VP, the second most 1 VP. In case of a tie, all players who are tied get the same number of VP. Finally, count the VP earned for winning the Troll during the game.
The player with the most points is the winner. In case of a tie, the player with the most coins at the end of the game wins.
That's all guys
Any comment or feedback is really appreciated! As soon as we are ready we will post the almost final version of the rulebook and the P&P version of the game, so you can try it for yourself!
We have an almost final version of the box!
It's still missing some details but we think Monica did a great work. What do you think?
If you are interested in trying the game you can now download the rulebook and a P&P version for 2-4 players from the links below:
The rules are final and tested, but we need to finish some improvements on the graphic so this is still a beta version. We'd really like to know what you think and if you find errors, typos or rules you think are not clear feel free to tell us
Print & Play
The Print&Play file contains almost everything you need to play a 2-4 players game. The only additional components you need are some meeples/tokens for each player! Colours are an important part of the game, so some components need to be printed in colour.
And last but not least we are now listed on BoardGameGeek
Trade & Troll
Keep an eye on it
Any comments or feedback on the game and the rulebook is really appreciated!
Edit (2017-02-26): updated the links with the BGG ones!
- Last edited Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:52 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:59 pm
An overview of the game components! Please note that while the components are final the art may vary a little.
I'm also happy to announce that the gameplay video has been finished! We will post it soon
We've set a date!
Trade & Troll will go live on Kickstarter on April 25th!
Follow us on Facebook for more updates
and feel free to post your impressions on the official Kickstarter Thread:
Trade & Troll - Kickstarter
And the Gameplay Video is ready
Take a look to better understand the main mechanics of the game!
English subtitle available (make them smaller if needed) and maximum resolution of 720px.
I'm proud (and scared) to announce that our Preview Kickstarter page is ready.
We'd really like to have some opinions and feedback
Kickstarter Preview Page
Feel free to leave your impressions on the page, on the BGG Kickstarter Thread or on the Trade & Troll game page!
In particular feel free to tell us if you think something is not clear or if you find some grammar errors/typos. Many thanks!
We will go live on April 25th!
- Last edited Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:28 pm (Total Number of Edits: 4)
- Posted Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:13 pm
Link is not going to the page.
Sorry, BGG is cutting my link because it contains an "equal" sign.
I'll try to fix it.
Fixed, thanks Jonathan!
- Last edited Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:27 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:47 pm