Trogdor was a man
I mean, he was a dragon man
Or maybe he was just a dragon
But he was still Trogdor!
If you’re familiar with that verse then you already know what you’re in for in Trogdor!!, a cooperative game of burnination, majesty, and consummate V’s. For those who aren’t familiar, let’s turn the clocks back to January 13, 2003. The popular Homestar Runner web cartoon airs Episode 58 of their Strongbad Email series, one of their more popular schticks. This episode is titled “Dragon.”
Thus Trogdor was born, gaining popularity that was probably never imagined. 15 years later Trogdor!! is hitting Kickstarter later this month.
And the Trogdor comes in the niiiiiiiight!
In Trogdor!! players take on the roles of the gross, weirdly-robed Keepers of Trogdor who must guide the dragon around the kingdom of Peasantry burninating everything. Yes, that’s actually the goal of the game. To win, players must burninate every tile, burninate or devour all the peasants, and burninate the thatched-roof cottages. All this before the knights, twin archer, and the dreaded Troghammer kill Trogdor.
Does this sound awesome (Y/N)?
(the above line is taken straight from the rulebook)
The board in Trogdor is a 5×5 grid of tiles featuring stumps, rocks, forests, mountains, a lake, tunnels, flowers, etc… Layout of said tiles determines the difficulty of the game. 3 thatched-roof cottages and 3 peasants are placed, as well as two knights and a twin archer. Of course, there’s also Trogdor. Each player gets assigned a random character and a random item. These give players different abilities they can use on their turn as they burninate their way through the countryside. There’s also a Trogdeck, a Movement deck, and the Trog-meter (health) that must be shuffled before play. The remaining peasants, Troghammer, and the Flame Helmet are places on the Trog-meter and play begins.
Each turn a player will draw from the Trogdeck which will determine how many Action Points, and any extra special abilities, they can use during their turn. Actions Points can be spent to:
- Move: Trogdor moves one space orthogonally for each AP spent.
- Burninate: Trogdor burninates a tile, peasant, or thatched-roof cottage (special rules apply for burninating cottages or the lake tile.)
- Devour: Trogdor may eat a peasant if it’s on a burninated tile to replenish health.
- Hide: Trogdor can hide on mountain tiles, preventing him from taking damage from knights or archers.
Cottages my only be burninated if the tile they’re on, and every tile surrounding it, have already been burninated. The lake can only be burninated if each orthogonal tile around it has been burninated. Burninated peasants will get to wear the Flame Helmet and a Movement Card is drawn for them. Following the pattern on the right side of the card, they’ll move across the board burninating all in their path before turning to dust. They can even trigger MORE burninated peasants on their path to doom.
Once a player has completed their actions they must flip a Movement card, possibly spawn more peasants (if there’s still any cottages standing) and move all peasants in the direction noted. Sometimes peasants can even fix burninated tiles! After that, the knights and archer are moved according to the pattern on the right side of the card. Knights will fix cottages and do damage to Trogdor if they come in contact with him. The archer will attack Troggy if they’re in the same row as him. If Trogdor loses all his health he enters his Death Throws and goes on a final rampage, drawing 5 Movement cards and following their patterns destroying everything in his path.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Troghammer. When players draw cards from the Trogdeck they may draw a Troghammer card. The first time this happens they’re safe. The next time, the Troghammer enters the board on the center space. It basically acts as another knight, but every time another Troghammer is drawn or the Troghammer is on the same space as a knight or archer another Movement card is drawn and resolved. This is bad. Very bad.
Trogdor is quick, quirky, and actually a bit difficult. Often times players will find themselves taking massive amounts of damage before much burninating can actually be done. Some real thought needs to be put into how Action Points are spent and special abilities are used to ensure victory. Fans of Homestar Runner will most certainly want to back this one once it drops on KS, but even though it’s a solid game I’m not sure people unfamiliar with Trogdor will find much here. It’s a bit too quirky and inside-joke for them. That’s perfectly fine though. Homestar Runner knows their audience and delivers exactly the right product for its fans.
A prototype copy of Trogdor!! was provided free for this preview in adherence to A Pawn’s Perspective’s 2018 Preview Policy.
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.