Whoopee Doopee, we have fun!
You lost the game!
BRIDGE TROLL: Phil, Mark, Ken, Anthony, James, Bob
We were all new to this game. Each player is a troll trying to attract travelers to cross their bridge, with the goal being to enhance the bridge through improvements. It takes a combination of tolls and food to make the improvements, and travelers can either be eaten or fleeced of their wealth. Trolls compete for the travelers by bidding like-colored boulders (wooden cubes), with the highest bidder getting first choice of travelers. Most travelers are slotted to either food or tolls, but some go into your hand and are played later for a special affect, after which they become food. Note that some travelers are evil and do nasty things, like steal food or tolls, or, in the case of the Billy Goats Gruff, potentially steal points. As this is a mostly closed system, the lowest bidder then gets first choice at recovering any players' boulder bid. You may also close your bridge and instead gain boulders from the supply in an amount equal to the number of players who opened their bridge this turn. Players then have the opportunity to convert food and tolls into bridge points. Play continues until the traveler deck is exhausted, and the player with the most bridge points wins.
The game is slow at first, but picks up steam as players gain traveler cards. As start player rotates, tied bids are resolved by lowest (?) cube count (which we failed to do!) and then by turn order. There is also a weather die that is rolled each turn which determines the number of travelers that are present. Sometimes, it was advantageous to bid a lot for a choice traveler, and sometimes it was advantageous to bid a single cube in the hopes of going last, and thereby take the winning bid.
All of us managed to make at least one improvement to our bridge. Bob seemed to lag behind, as he always seemed to encounter bandits and knights, who "rescued" other travelers from his clutches. Meanwhile I managed to defeat 2 or 3 Billy Goats, one of which gave me 7 bridge points! Mark and Anthony each made around 3 or 4 improvements to their bridges, but in the end the points I got from the Billy Goats was more than they could amass. Final scores were: 24, 22, 19, 16, 12, 5.