You could be playing.
Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?
Trias was a game that has looked very neat after some browsing on the geek so I put it one my wishlist. Come christmas time, my friends and relatives put that list to good use. Trias was a pleasant surprise.
Trias is a game of dinosaur survivial. Well I guess it's more of a game of dinosaur dominance up until the point of extinction. But having small wooden dinos as the pieces as well as causing the continental drift every turn seems to help keep me involved in the theme.
The tiles are very sturdy, the cards also seem nice and durable, very much like a standard set of playing cards. And the dinos themselves? Nice wooden pieces. I think these will last a long time
The game starts on the continent of "Pangea" made up of 37 tiles. The center tile is the south pole, which will be a reference point for the rest of the game and never ever moves. All of the other tiles have the potential to move and most likely will. Each turn begins with a player drifting a tile. They may either play the card in their hand and drift a tile of that type or they may take the top card of the deck and drift a tile of that type. When a tile is drifted it is taken from the edge of a continent and then moved to another spot on that same continent, but it must end up farther from the south pole than when it started. After several drifts sometimes continents have section only 1 tile thick, and by drifting these a new continent is formed. Any dinos that are ona tile when it drifts are dumped into the ocean and become swimmers.
I must say I like the way this works. It is a mechanic unlike anything I have encountered before and really makes the game interesting. The board is always expanding so what starts as one island ends up as several in the end.
When a new continent is formed whoever has the most dinos on it scores 2 point and whoever has the second most scores 1 point. After a player has drifted they get 4 actions:
Reproduce: put a dino on a tile already containing a dino
Move: 1 dino moves 1 tile (1 action)
Rescue swimmers: Move 3 swimmers to adjacent land tiles
Drift: Drift a tile of your choice (3 actions)
After that play passes clockwise. If the player played a card for their first drift they now draw another one.
This game has a 30 first age cards with a 1 on them which form the top of the draw deck, and 9 second age cards with a 2 on them which form the bottom of the draw deck. One of the second age cards is a meteor. When the meteor is drawn everyone takes a half turn (2 action points) and then the game ends and the final positions are scored.
In the final scoring each continent is scored with the exception of pangea. Anything still attached to the south pole is not scored. The other continents will give the player with the most dinos on them points equal to the number of tiles in it and half that to the player with the second most dinos e.g.:
a continent with 6 tiles in it gives the player with the most dinos on it 6 points and the player with the second most dinos 3 points. If players tie for the most dinos the 1st and snd place points are added then split. so in this case they would each get 5 (scoring is always rounded up)
Once you get the rules for drifting down the rest is a breeze. You've got a game that is easy to teach, easy to play, strategic, and fun. It plays in about an hour. There are slight variations for 2 and 3 player play. The 3 player variant works very well but I have yet to try the 2 player game. I can say it works brilliantly with 3-5 players and I highly recomend it!
Thanks for the review. I also really like this game, but for some reason it always gets a lukewarm reaction. And I've tried with a variety of people: casual and "serious" gamers. I would play it much more often but for this reason.
Yes, Trias is an unrecognized gem. I enjoy it most with 3 (which is nice given the "tri" in the title.)
The tile drifting rules are just restrictive enough to prevent analysis paralysis while giving you options almost every turn. The action point costs for dinos also seem "just right." But the visual effect of those continents drifting along is part of the fun as well.
I had already purchased this game with the wooden cubes, but I couldn't resist buying a second copy with dinos.