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Subject: Attention Time Poor Couples - You have to get this game! rss

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G W M
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I first became aware of this game via an add to my geeklist for time poor couples who love to play games but cannot find the time - in our case because of our three year old daughter and ten week old son.

Nic and I have played it a few times now, and I have played it several times with friends also and have to say I am most impressed by this game. It deserves to be a lot more popular than it is, I am amazed it has only 466 ratings at the time of writing!

My wife has gone as far as to say that she thinks it is better than several Reiner Knizia games she has played, which I think is a huge testament to Travis Worthington and his company Indie Boards & Cards. Indeed, it has just replaced En Garde in our list of the top six games that would make the suitcase if we were going on holiday.

Indeed, if board games were boxers, Triumvirate would only lose to one game in my opinion pound for pound, that being The Battle for Hill 218, and then only because it has componentry, whereas BFH218 has only cards in the box. That would indeed make for an excellent fight that one...anyway I digress.

The key for Triumvirate is that it more than satisfies the simple set of criteria we have established for games that make the grade in our couples collection:

* The rules and strategy are simple to learn

* The strategy knowledge of the game can grow over time, i.e. although you learn how to win the game quickly, you can modify this knowledge over time

* The games balance detail and simplicity in a sound way - i.e. not too many complicated components and simple summaries exist e.g. reference cards, details on game cards and pieces etc

The Game

A trick taking game with a few twists (note here is it seems quite hard for players of games like 500 to get used to the mechanics of this game based on my experiences thus far). Simple summary as follows:

* Three sets of cards (red, yellow, black) numbered 0 through 8.
* 0 is called 'the mob', cards 1,2,4,6,8 are 'senators', cards 3,5,7 are 'legions' - pictures to match
* First hand, five cards are not dealt and set aside, in subsequent hands three cards are not dealt and set aside.
* Each hand consists of a series of two card tricks with highest card winning (then leading next trick), zero trumps other two colours.
* The second player must play a colour if they have one (i.e. if I play a yellow first you must follow suit)
* The first colour to win three tricks wins the round, the first colour to win three rounds is the 'winning colour'
* At the end of each round, each player may 'pledge' one card face down up to a limit of three cards

BUT - here's the trick, the winner of the game is the player who has pledged the most 'legion' (3,5,7) cards of that colour.

The Verdict

A simple game to be sure, but lots of opportunities to bluff, trick your opponent and try to sucker them in to what you may or may not be backing.

The other issue is that once a card is pledged, it is gone from the game. So its great you have pledged your 5 and 7 black, but will you get dealt enough black cards to ensure black actually wins?

There is luck involved, but there is in every card game, and some smart card playing can help minimise luck effects.

Once again, this is a big game in a small package - with some real hidden depth. It is also easy enough that you can play it after a hard day with children - we have put it through this acid test a few times now and it has passed with flying colours.

I think this game deserves a lot more press than it gets, so please help to spread the word - at the very low purchase price I cannot believe more folks don't own this.

And finally, from the same publisher, The Resistance looks to be a classic party game...but that's for another review, party games are not hitting the table that often with a 3 year old and a ten week old in the house! GM

P.S Thanks to www.breakbeat.co.uk for providing the awesome sounds of the Drum N Bass Arena podcast that have been flowing as I have been writing tonight - drum n bass and jungle fans, if you don't know this one be sure to check it out...

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Kathy Sheets
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I bought this game after becoming aware of it through your geeklist! We haven't played it yet, but I am so looking forward to it. I had a hard time finding it here which may be part of the reason it is not as well known as it should be.

Nice summary of game play! Thank you!
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Dan O'Brien
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I wish it were back in print. No word of it on the publishers web site. I think Haggis fits the "time poor couples" criteria as well. Another great game from this publisher.
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Travis Worthington
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2010 Releases ........................................ The Resistance, Haggis & Triumvirate ..................................... Now accepting submissions for 2011 releases ........................................ www.IndieBoardsandCards.com
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cailinsdad wrote:
I wish it were back in print. No word of it on the publishers web site. I think Haggis fits the "time poor couples" criteria as well. Another great game from this publisher.


I have been thinking of launching a kickstarter project to see if there is enough interest to warrant a re-print. While the first print run has sold out, the rate of sales was slow and the two player market is a very tough one so I am not sure that a reprint would break even.
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Eric Foldenauer
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T Worthington wrote:
cailinsdad wrote:
I wish it were back in print. No word of it on the publishers web site. I think Haggis fits the "time poor couples" criteria as well. Another great game from this publisher.


I have been thinking of launching a kickstarter project to see if there is enough interest to warrant a re-print. While the first print run has sold out, the rate of sales was slow and the two player market is a very tough one so I am not sure that a reprint would break even.
I'd love to get a kickstarted copy of this.
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G W M
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For what it's worth Travis, I think a kickstarter project for this game would work with the right marketing, plus using The Resistance as a bundle option. If you set a realistic funding goal and get some reviewers to support with viral pushing (I certainly would) I think you have every chance of getting a lot of support. I have backed more than 30 KS projects and therefore feel reasonably qualified to comment.

It would be great to include something "special" in the reprint to attract interest, perhaps a nice Roman themed scoring pad or equivalent, everyone loves roman scratch pads!!! GM
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JonnyRotten
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One of our favorite two player games. I know if it was reprinted we would be picking up several copies for gifts.
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Jim Jamieson
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T Worthington wrote:
cailinsdad wrote:
I wish it were back in print. No word of it on the publishers web site. I think Haggis fits the "time poor couples" criteria as well. Another great game from this publisher.


I have been thinking of launching a kickstarter project to see if there is enough interest to warrant a re-print. While the first print run has sold out, the rate of sales was slow and the two player market is a very tough one so I am not sure that a reprint would break even.


I for one would definitely be interested in a kickstarter project for this. I am also a time poor couple with a 5-month old and this would be perfect for us!
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Dan O'Brien
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Quote:
I have been thinking of launching a kickstarter project to see if there is enough interest to warrant a re-print. While the first print run has sold out, the rate of sales was slow and the two player market is a very tough one so I am not sure that a reprint would break even.


Might be just the right time with two products that have seemed to generate a lot of buzz. I cannot remember the last time either The Resistance or Flash Point were not in the column to the left.

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Jonathan C
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I bought 'Triumvirate' along with 'The Resistance' and 'Haggis' to round out the three small-box offerings from Indie Boards & Cards. 'Triumvirate' is the only one we haven't yet got to the table, but your review may encourage me to do so. 'The Resistance' and 'Haggis' have been huge hits with my family.

Thanks!
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G W M
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Thanks again Jonathan, this time on another thread!

Travis, I think the market is speaking to you - as a backer of over 30 kickstarter projects myself I'll go on the record as saying you are guaranteed to pull at least $7500 in a campaign, and I am sure myself and others on the thread can help you even exceed that - game on! GM
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Blair
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Is it possible to make a 2v2 variant?
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Eric Foldenauer
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Blair46 wrote:
Is it possible to make a 2v2 variant?
You might want to look at König von Siam. It doesn't have a 2v2 version, but it does play 4 player, and I believe it helped inspire this game.
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The Other Tom
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Add me to the list of people that would support the kickstarter project. It would be my first, but definitely one I wouldn't pass up.
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G W M
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For what its worth Travis, I would go something like this on Kickstarter:

* $1 - thanks only
* $X - 1 copy of Triumvirate plus S&H
* $X - 1 copy of Triumvirate plus The Resistance plus S&H
* $X - 2 copies of Triumvirate plus S&H
* $X - 2 copies of Triumvirate plus The Resistance plus S&H
* $X - 3 copies of Triumvirate plus S&H
* $X - 5 copies of Triumvirate plus S&H plus gift
* $X - 10 copies of Triumvirate plus S&H plus extra special gift

Stretch rewards

1. Roman Scoring pad - cheap to produce
2. Metal Dealer Button only - more expensive
3. Metal buttons for all wooden components - more expensive again!

Others on the thread can give you feedback too, looks like you have already got a fair few copies accounted for!

GM


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Jim Jamieson
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Guy Mullarkey wrote:
For what its worth Travis, I would go something like this on Kickstarter:

* $1 - thanks only
* $X - 1 copy of Triumvirate plus S&H
* $X - 1 copy of Triumvirate plus The Resistance plus S&H
* $X - 2 copies of Triumvirate plus S&H
* $X - 2 copies of Triumvirate plus The Resistance plus S&H
* $X - 3 copies of Triumvirate plus S&H
* $X - 5 copies of Triumvirate plus S&H plus gift
* $X - 10 copies of Triumvirate plus S&H plus extra special gift

Stretch rewards

1. Roman Scoring pad - cheap to produce
2. Metal Dealer Button only - more expensive
3. Metal buttons for all wooden components - more expensive again!

Others on the thread can give you feedback too, looks like you have already got a fair few copies accounted for!

GM




As a 2-person gamer primarily, The Resistance doesn't entice me much but I do have an interest in Haggis . Although I would still be happy to just get Triumvirate though.
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Andrew L
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Put me down as a potential customer too! Definite interest in a Kickstarter copy.

And following on from what Jim mentioned above, perhaps Travis could bundle Haggis with Triumvirate at one of the higher price options on Kickstarter?
Seeing as Triumvirate and Haggis both offer 2-player goodness, hopefully that'll entice more buyers.
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Jordan Bross
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Chalk me up as another interested in this! Ancient Rome is my favorite theme, and I think if this got a treatment similar to the Glory to Rome Kickstarter it could be something really special. Nice art, quality components, a nice ancient feel...

I just grabbed the one copy on Amazon for $35, but I sure as hell would put some money towards a new, slick version of this.
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Travis, the interest is building, when are we going to see the Kickstarter project launch? looks like options with Haggis and maybe The Resistance will score well. I stand by my original predictions of success too. GM
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I played this one with Mr. M (the reviewer), and was really impressed. it takes the trick-taking game in a thoroughly new direction. I love 500, which to me is an already deep strategic experience. Triumverate, by shaking up the rules and adding a new level to the imperfect information of trick taking games (ie, removing pledged cards from the pool and always having an unseen kitty left over each round) even more depth.

If I played more 2p games, I would certainly buy this one. As it is, I would certainly not object if it hit the table more often and games days with Mr. M.
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fograsher wrote:
Blair46 wrote:
Is it possible to make a 2v2 variant?
You might want to look at König von Siam. It doesn't have a 2v2 version, but it does play 4 player, and I believe it helped inspire this game.

The 4 player version of KvS *is* 2v2.
 
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Mike Russo
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T Worthington wrote:
I have been thinking of launching a kickstarter project to see if there is enough interest to warrant a re-print. While the first print run has sold out, the rate of sales was slow and the two player market is a very tough one so I am not sure that a reprint would break even.


I don't know if you (Travis) will see this or not but I have to throw my support in for a kickstarter/reprint as well. The only copies I can find are on the BGG market for around $40 :-( I'd gladly pay that in a kickstarter campaign for a reprint with some type of pledge/stretch reward.
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Brandon M
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T Worthington wrote:
cailinsdad wrote:
I wish it were back in print. No word of it on the publishers web site. I think Haggis fits the "time poor couples" criteria as well. Another great game from this publisher.


I have been thinking of launching a kickstarter project to see if there is enough interest to warrant a re-print. While the first print run has sold out, the rate of sales was slow and the two player market is a very tough one so I am not sure that a reprint would break even.


Sir, if it were put on kickstarter or a p/m500 type preorder system, you would have my money in short order.
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Clyde W
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I'd be in for a KS.
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Jonathan Powell
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T Worthington wrote:
cailinsdad wrote:
I wish it were back in print. No word of it on the publishers web site. I think Haggis fits the "time poor couples" criteria as well. Another great game from this publisher.


I have been thinking of launching a kickstarter project to see if there is enough interest to warrant a re-print. While the first print run has sold out, the rate of sales was slow and the two player market is a very tough one so I am not sure that a reprint would break even.


I'll buy a copy on kickstarter. Just sayin. Hope you decide to give it a shot. Haggis and The Resistance are two of my favorite games.
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