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Cave Troll» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Purge: Review #30: Cave Troll: Let's go Troll Hunting! rss

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Jayson Myers
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Conclusion: The title says it all, "Let's go Troll Hunting!". Well, you never actually get to go troll hunting. This is an odd game to me. It is basically an area control game with a dungeon theme tacked on. Somehow, some way the theme works with this game. The problem is you think you are getting a dungeon game and you are not.


The game is fun enough, but not very good with two. It has to play much better with 3-4 as the board does not get full with two. We spent a lot of time just taking rules and very little time "fighting" over a room. This game is much better with four as you actually move around a bit more and "fight" over the rooms more. My biggest complaint about the game is the players control when the game ends as when the a deck is empty the game ends. So, one player can cycle through their deck quickly ending the game before the game is "finished". Not sure if that makes sense.



Components: The components are very good for a light filler, but then again this is a Fantasy Flight Game so nothing else would be expected. It is amazing how many minis you get for such a cheap price. Yes, the minis are cheap when compared to Dust Tactics or Earth Reborn, but when compared to other light filler games (Battleline, Airships) this little game is amazing.

The cards are very tiny and the artwork is not great. It doesn't need to be, but would have been nice if all the adventurers did not look exactly alike.

The board itself is okay to look at. My wife found it ugly and hard to see. I don't disagree, but I see they were trying really hard. It is just redundant and drab.



Rules: This game is a little rules heavy for such a light game. This mainly is from how each of the different characters work (thief, dwarf, orc, cave troll). Each power is listed in the rules and on the cards. It is not hard to pick up on nor are they hard to use. The rules are simple to understand if you just jump in and play a round.



Flow of the Game: I want to point out there is no fighting in this game really. To start the game you get a pile of minis (most are the same, a few are different) and a deck of cards. You draw one card for your hand. On your turn you can do 4 actions (you can do the same one more than once): 1. Draw a card and then play a card 2. Move your character to an adjacent spot 3. Play an artifact card (if you have earned one) 4. Use a power for one of you characters.

There is very little down time as most options are obvious and you sort of know what you want to do. It might slow down a little as the end nears as you want to maximize your score. In addition, if scoring is coming close (you sort of have a heads up) then you want to maximize your points to score. In one game, we only scored once (also a single room) and then end of game scoring. But like I said before, it doesn't play well with two.



Should I buy this?: If you want a light area control game, I think you can do better. When I play with two I like a lighter game, but with 4 I like to play a deeper game. I think this game has a unique theme for this type of game (I realize the theme itself is not unique). If you can get this cheap (like at the FFG Christmas sale) then you might want to try it. I could see this being a great way to end a themed night of dungeon playing, but I'm not sure Ameri-trash players are going to like this Euro-influenced game.

Either way, I'm going to purge it but I'm on the fence about it being a keeper. It doesn't fit my playing groups, but it might fit perfect for yours.
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The Tak
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This is a four player only, IMO. Without a full set of players the hero and monster powers don't mean as much as they should. With four and some aggressive play, this can be a pretty tight little game.

Good review, sorry to see it on your purge list. Hopefully someone else will get a deal out of it!
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Jayson Myers
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theTak wrote:
This is a four player only, IMO. Without a full set of players the hero and monster powers don't mean as much as they should. With four and some aggressive play, this can be a pretty tight little game.

Good review, sorry to see it on your purge list. Hopefully someone else will get a deal out of it!



I see the appeal of it. With 4 players, I like a heavier game. I just can't ever see me grabbing 3 other players and saying "Let's play some Cave Troll". I do see us playing some Runewars though. Its a playable thing to me (reason for purge), not so much that it is a horrible game.

This was actually a hard game for me to purge.
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P. R.
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That's weird because while I can understand that it's probably much better with 4 I really enjoy it with 2 and consider it a really good hybrid game.
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Jayson Myers
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Aryub wrote:
That's weird because while I can understand that it's probably much better with 4 I really enjoy it with 2 and consider it a really good hybrid game.


I think if I was going to play it with two I'd need the board to "shrink" like in Through the Desert. It is just too big with 2 players. We really only fought over a couple spaces and it was a blow out. Perhaps we just played it "wrong", but it seemed like the board was too big for two players.
 
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Greg
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Nice review!

I understand about how it plays with 2 players. That's how I first played it and there wasn't much interaction, we both had plenty of room to do what we wanted for the most part.

Then I played it with 3 and things got interesting. Then played with 4 players and it really got interesting.

I like the game for what it is. It's not a favorite, but we have a large game group and sometimes when you have 3 or 4 people and only an hour left in the night, this is nice. We have so many games in the group that we often rotate what we bring to get something different or played that's been sitting on the shelf for awhile.

Cave Troll isn't one I'd want to play weekly, but fine for a few times a year. 3 or 4 players is really the way to go with it though IMO.
 
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Well the thing about 2 players is that while you do have a lot of room to each do what you want on your side I just don't think that's a good way to play. To me it becomes a game of deciding when to play on your side more defensively or when to be agressive and go after your oponents rooms. I mean the characters have special abilities that reward being agressive so players will go for the high gold rooms which are not that numerous. It's not like all you are trying to do is place pawns that don't do anything special to controls the rooms if that were the case I could understand why having more space in 2 players would be bad. I dunno I just feel like BGG has a tendancy to see a great numbers of multiplayer games as being bad when played with 2 but many games actually play very well one on one and I feel this is one of em. Anyways, I have fun with Cave Troll maybe you guys can get your 2 player area control fix elsewhere I'm about to buy Sun Tzu it's supposed to be another good 2 player area control game so maybe that would be a better option for others too!
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Kenny VenOsdel
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I've heard with 2 you should just use half the board and then it becomes more interesting.

Overall I didn't like this game much. It was just too chaotic for my tastes. One of the big things that put it down the tubes for me was how easy it is for 2 players to put someone else out of the competition. It's very easy in this game to gang up on someone and it's not uncommon for that to happen to one player without everyone else even trying too. This may be okay for some people though as it can add a bit of a diplomacy element, but for me it didn't work.

My biggest problem was the only way you can work against people from a losing position on the board is through the careful play of your special characters and scoring cards. If they get theirs out before you and you don't draw any for a long while though you are stuck and the fun factor disappears quickly.

The only way I would have wanted to play this game again was if there was a +hand size if you have less heroes/monsters out on the board than the other players. That way it will limit the pain that happens when 3 of your heroes are at the bottom of your deck.
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Ian Allen
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This one won't hit the table very often, as I have many other 4 player games I like better, but not that many chances to play 4 player games.
However the 1 or 2 times I played it I found it interesting, so I am keeping it.

I do agree the board felt a little busy, but I don't know the answer to that - I don't think it deserves a FF size square box treatment ....
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Jayson Myers
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glookose wrote:
This one won't hit the table very often, as I have many other 4 player games I like better, but not that many chances to play 4 player games.
However the 1 or 2 times I played it I found it interesting, so I am keeping it.

I do agree the board felt a little busy, but I don't know the answer to that - I don't think it deserves a FF size square box treatment ....


Yes, decent game; just better out there. It is easy and fast to play.
 
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Alejandro G.
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downtown = downtime? cool
 
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Jayson Myers
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xpiredsodapop wrote:
downtown = downtime? cool


Fixed. Thanks.
 
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Tim Freerksen
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william4192 wrote:
Either way, I'm going to purge it but I'm on the fence about it being a keeper. It doesn't fit my playing groups, but it might fit perfect for yours.


I love this game, but I'm partial since without this game I never would've gotten into gaming. I was disappointed when I first played it but after playing it a good 7 or so times I wish I still had my copy. Sadly it didn't survive the move I had as far as I know
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Jayson Myers
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copcopps wrote:
william4192 wrote:
Either way, I'm going to purge it but I'm on the fence about it being a keeper. It doesn't fit my playing groups, but it might fit perfect for yours.


I love this game, but I'm partial since without this game I never would've gotten into gaming. I was disappointed when I first played it but after playing it a good 7 or so times I wish I still had my copy. Sadly it didn't survive the move I had as far as I know


It gets re-released from time to time. I have a few games like that where I love them more because they were my first few.
 
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Kumar
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copcopps wrote:
william4192 wrote:
Either way, I'm going to purge it but I'm on the fence about it being a keeper. It doesn't fit my playing groups, but it might fit perfect for yours.


I love this game, but I'm partial since without this game I never would've gotten into gaming. I was disappointed when I first played it but after playing it a good 7 or so times I wish I still had my copy. Sadly it didn't survive the move I had as far as I know


https://holiday-sale.asmodeena.com/catalogue/cave-troll_138/
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