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Subject: Top Promoter is top shelf. rss

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Hank Panethiere
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Top Promoter is a card and dice game for 3-5 (a 2 player variant is also available) players currently running a campaign on Kickstarter. Players take the role of fight promoters trying to get their fighters the best match ups at various locations in order to get the best payday for their stable of fighters.

Each player has a deck of 15 cards representing fighters, and five action cards that can influence the game. 13 dice are used to resolve the actual fights.

The winner is the player with the most money gained from successful fights at various locations.

The Basics
The rules for the game are pretty simple and straightforward, they comprise the front and back of a sheet of large paper. The rules are well written and easy to understand. There aren’t any glaring ambiguities or any things that aren’t addressed.

Play begins with each player choosing his uniquely colored deck of 20 cards. The game comes with 15 location cards representing cities where fights will take place. 13 dice (6 black and 7 white) are included for fight resolution.

Setup
Based on the number of players there are different numbers of locations where fights take place.
3P = 6 Locations
4P= 9 Locations
5P = 12 Locations
Location cards are shuffled and one less than the number of players are laid out on the table face up (in a 3 player game 2 cards would be laid out on the table). The remaining location cards are placed face down as a draw pile.

Each location card supports three fights, cards closest to the location cards are the Main Event, next is the Mid Card, and last is the Lower Card. The positions of the cards determine how much a fight will pay to the winner of the fight.

Each player takes all their player cards, shuffles them, and draws 6 as a starting hand. Put the rest in a face down draw pile.

Gameplay
The game is simple to play and explain. Top Promoter is played in a series of rounds which consist of the following steps:
1. Play Cards
1a. Score Completed Locations
Draw Cards

Winning
The game ends when a location cannot be replaced. This means that not all locations will fully resolve. The winner is the player with the most money. In case of a tie, the players select one of their remaining fighters from their hand, regardless of weight class and use them in one more fight. The winner of that fight is declared the winner.

The following several paragraphs are a comprehensive overview (almost verbatim from the rules) of the game (the rules are available in the downloads section...skip to the bottom of this review if you just want my conclusion and opinion.
Quote:


Playing

Each player selects a fighter card from their hand and plays it face down on the table. Once all players have selected their card, the cards are simultaneously turned face up.
The player who played the fighter with the highest popularity rating now plays their card into a location. After playing their card they may select one action card from their hand to play. The action cards that may be played at this time are identified by the fighter symbol in the upper left of the card. Play then proceeds to the player with the next most popular fighter and they play their card just like the previous player, including optionally playing an action card after their fighter card. Continue in this manner until all cards have been played. The round is over once all selected cards have been played, and the next round will begin with each player selecting another fighter card.
Played fighter cards must adhere to the following rules:
Cards may be played into any location.
Each location supports three Fights.
Each fight can have at most two fighters
You cannot arrange a fight between two of your own fighters (the temptation to fix fights becomes irresistible)
Each fighter must be paired against another fighter in the same weight class.
If you choose a location that contains a fighter of the same weight class as your card, and that fighter is not already paired with another fighter, you must pair yours with that fighter.


If there is no legal play for your fighter, it must be discarded.
After each player either plays an action card or chooses not to, check to see if any locations are full. The location is full if all three fights have two fighters each. If there is a full location then immediately score the fights at that location before the next player places their fighter cards.

Fight Resolution
Each fight is resolved separately beginning with the Lower Card, followed by the Mid Card, and finally the Main Event. Both players take the number of dice shown on their fighter cards. One die will be added for a fighter fighting in their home location and/or playing the Superior Training action card. Each player then rolls all of their dice. The winner is the player who rolls the single highest value. If that value is tied, check the second highest value for both players. Continue in this manner until the tie is broken.

Signature Move
Some fighters, denoted by a half-star around the weight class, have a Signature Move. If one of these fighters rolls their signature move they win the fight, even if they did not roll the single highest value.
The roll requirement is based on the number of dice on their fighter card:
3 Dice: 3-of-a-kind (e.g., 4-4-4)
4 Dice: A run of 4 (e.g., 3-4-5-6)
5 Dice: A Full House (e.g., 5-5-5-1-1)
Additional dice rolled do not change the result required. Thus, fighting in your home city or playing Superior Training can increase the chance of landing your Signature Move.

If there is an exact tie with the dice, or both players land a Signature Move, a rematch is declared and the two fighters involved will become the main event at the new location drawn at the end of the Completed Location Scoring step. Action cards do not carry over. In the rare event that more than one fight is declared a rematch, whichever one had the higher billing originally will become the new Main Event.

Scoring
Fights are scored based on their card status:
The Main Event is worth 3 million dollars, the Mid Card is worth 2 million dollars, the Lower Card is worth 1 million dollars. Fights can be awarded various bonuses:
Long Bout Bonus
If more than two dice are required to declare a winner, the winner receives an additional million dollars for each die over two that it took to resolve the fight. If a Signature Move is landed, there is no Long Bout Bonus awarded.
Underdog Bonus
Once a winner is declared and the value of the fight determined, compare the number of dice shown on each fighter’s card. If the winner has fewer than the loser, the underdog has won the fight! If the underdog’s card has one die less, they double their score, if they have two dice less, their score is tripled.
Note - The underdog bonus stacks with the Cable Special action card. So if your underdog wins on TV, it can be a huge payday!
Clean Sweep
If a player wins all three fights in a location they get an additional 3 million dollars. This is not modified by any action cards or underdog status.

Cleanup
Once all fights are resolved, all cards not involved in rematches are discarded and will not be available for the rest of the game. The scored location is removed from the game and replaced with a new one from the draw pile. If there was a rematch, place those fighters in the Main Event spot at the new location
Any fighter cards that hadn’t yet been played this round are now played in remaining popularity order.


Conclusion
Top Promoter is a blast to play and the theme and mechanics are very well integrated. It’s got a really great balance of luck and strategy. The time to learn the game and the time to play are also weighted heavily in its favor. I’ve played many games over the holidays with people of all ages and gaming backgrounds and haven’t had anyone NOT like it. It’s definitely a "just one more" game. Trash talk is encouraged and the fighters’ names make for some fun banter and trash talk. (I personally like the fact that nicknames are used), especially if you announce each fight in a dramatic fashion using your best Howard Cosell voice. The game has luck but the amount of options strategy wise is deceptive in how much control you actually have. There are aspects of blind bidding, resource and hand management, card combos, timing, and the ever present rolling of the dice.

The boxing theme is there but this is not a "boxing" game. It’s about best managing your fighters and their opponents and using your action cards at the right time. Top Promoter is a top shelf game. I really recommend it for a fun filler that can be taught and played within a few minutes, and played multiple times in a night. Top Promoter is a great appetizer or dessert of a game. I’m giving it an 8/10.

Top Promoter is currently in the process of trying to get funded on Kickstarter.com. For a video of the gameplay and links to other information about the game go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/943350727/top-promoter-c...

The game only has a week left and has a long way to go...I’d hate to see it not make it’s goal, people would be missing out on a really good game.
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G W M
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Thanks Hank, I have backed this one as well, but have some serious concerns now that this one won't get across the line which is a real shame as this game has real promise as you suggest. In any case nice review, great content as always from yourself. GM
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Hank Panethiere
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Guy Mullarkey wrote:
Thanks Hank, I have backed this one as well, but have some serious concerns now that this one won't get across the line which is a real shame as this game has real promise as you suggest. In any case nice review, great content as always from yourself. GM


Thanks Guy! I agree, the game is indeed a sleeper unfortunately. Plans for a second run on KS may be in the works.
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Justin Moore
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metalchorus wrote:
Guy Mullarkey wrote:
Thanks Hank, I have backed this one as well, but have some serious concerns now that this one won't get across the line which is a real shame as this game has real promise as you suggest. In any case nice review, great content as always from yourself. GM


Thanks Guy! I agree, the game is indeed a sleeper unfortunately. Plans for a second run on KS may be in the works.


Indeed!

Plus a way to get a copy of the game even before the kickstarter process begins again! Stay tuned to the forums!
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Levi Mote
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We crossed the $5,000 goal line with less than 30 hours left.
Now we need to hurry up and unlock some stretch goals!!
 
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