Designers: Daniel Solis
Publisher: Action Phase Games, Indie Boards & Cards
Play Time: 25-30 Min
Rules Available Online: Yes
BGG: Trickster: Champions of Time
I first had a look at Trickster back in 2015 when Daniel Solis released his Trickster: Fantasy and Trickster: Tianxia decks on DriveThruCards. Fast forward a couple of years and Trickster: Champions of Time, a stand-alone, thematically cohesive set was launched on Kickstarter with an expanded roster of heroes and a brand-new look. While I still have my old Trickster decks, and still fully enjoy my Fantasy deck, it was time to take a look at the definitive edition and see how it stacks up.
Before you begin Trickster requires you to build your deck out of 7 Heroes, each with 8 cards, to make a deck of 56 cards. The rulebook has a few prebuilt decks in it depending on whether you’re new to the game or a veteran. The deck is shuffled, then 6 cards are drawn and placed face up to create the Trash off to the side. Each player then gets a number of cards depending on how many people are playing and each player places one card down in front of them in their Tableau for later scoring. Once these steps have been completed the game can begin.
Each turn there will be a Leader and a Trickster. The Leader will play any card from their hand to the Pot and the Trickster will determine the pattern that must be matched by the other players by playing the next card. The different patterns available are:
- Same Suit: The Trickster plays a card with the same suit as the Leader. All players must now play the same suit.
- Same Hero: The Trickster plays a card with the same Hero as the Leader. All players must now play the same Hero.
- No Match: The Trickster plays a card that doesn’t match the suit or the Hero of the Leader’s card. All players must now play a different suit and Hero that the ones currently in the Pot.
If a player can’t match the pattern they must take all the cards from the Pot and place them in their Tableau. If the rest of the players can match the pattern the Trickster must take the Pot. It should also be noted that every Hero has a special action that must be taken when their card is played. These powers can range from move cards around the table to cycling cards from the deck. Each Hero’s power is unique and interacts with each other in varying ways during the game.
A round in Trickster ends when one player is out of cards from their hand. Scores are then calculated by the players by counting the number of cards in their Tableau, ignoring a suit if they have a majority of that suit compared to the other players. Final scores are totaled after 3 rounds and the player with the lowest score wins.
- Box 👍
- Rulebook 👍
- Cards 👍
(👍 = Good, 👎 = Bad, ⭐ = Exceptional)
Not much has really changed since my initial look at Trickster back in 2015 with the exception of some Hero power tweaks, the addition of new Heroes, and a unified art style. Mechanically the game has remained the same and it’s still just as enjoyable as I remember it being. The combinations of Heroes available in the Action Phase edition is staggering, and there’s a ton or replayability in the box with everything providied. I will say that while the artwork is pretty good, and the unified theme is nice, I miss the colorful and cartoony look of Daniel’s original print-on-demand decks. In the end, though, Trickster: Champions of Time is the definitive version of the game containing everything you’ll ever need to enjoy the game for years to come. At a price of $20 it’s an excellent value for a simple to learn and increadibly deep trick taking game.
A copy of Trickster: Champions of Time was provided free for review by Indie Board & Cards
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.