- Designer: Karin Hetline
- Publisher: NSV
- Players: 2-4
- Age: 8+
- Time: 20 minutes
- Played with review copy provided by NSV
The subtitle of the game is: “The Game of Extra Turns!” In Triggs, each player gets their own scoresheet; the numbers 1-12 appear on the sheet 2-5 times, and you want to cross them all off first in order to win. There is a deck of 108 cards, with 9 each of ranks 1 to 12. Each player gets dealt a hand of 5 cards to start the game. The remainder of the cards is split into 3 decks; one is placed face down in the center of the table, and one face up deck is placed on either side. Make sure that only the topmost card is visible on the two face up decks. The rules ask you to make sure the center deck has more cards then the outside decks.
On a turn, you do one of three action choices: draw cards, discard cards, or tick off numbered boxes.
When you draw cards, you take two cards from the face-down deck or the two face-up decks as you choose. You have a maximum hand size of ten cards which can never be exceeded.
When you discard cards, you can discard as many cards as you like, so long as they are of the same number into the discard pile.
To tick off numbered boxes, you name a value from 1-12, then play cards from your hand, whether a single card matching that value or a pair of cards that sum to that value. Tick off one space in that row for each card or pair of cards you play that have the number you called out. When you cross off the final box in a row, you gain an extra cross in another row, which (if you play cleverly) might earn you another cross, and so on.
After discarding or playing cards, if you have no cards in hand, draw five cards from the face-down pile. If any of the draw piles is exhausted, take all the cards in the discard pile, shuffle them and replace the deck that was empty. Also, if all players have crossed off all the 12 spaces on their sheets, any 12 cards that are encountered are discarded. Continue this process if all the 11s are crossed off, etc.
The first player to cross off all of the squares on their player sheet wins. There is no tiebreaker as this is a race.
My thoughts on the game
This is a pretty quick and simple card game – essentially what I expect from a small box from NSV. Here, the game is all about managing your hand. On your turn, you generally either collect cards or you turn them in. As it takes an entire turn to mark things on your sheet, ideally you’d like to be efficient and mark off as many boxes as possible. I think to be most efficient, marking off all of the boxes in a row OR one less than the max is best.
The way the cards come at you, you’ll constantly be re-arranging them. Are you trying to get small numbers crossed off quickly, or are you trying to make 2-card combinations to add up to the larger numbers, and hopefully picking up one or two of the cards that match? The hand limit of 10 cards keeps you from hoarding too much, and often this limit makes you take an inefficient action in order to give you space in your hand to draw more cards.
While you are juggling all this math in your head, trying to be efficient about using your cards helps as the 5 card bonus draw for having an empty hand is nice – essentially equally 2.5 turns of drawing cards (though you must take mystery meat for all 5 of these cards as opposed to being able to choose them).
The bonus of getting a free mark is nice, and I haven’t yet figured out if I’m better off trying to chain together a bunch of free actions or if I should use them to get other lines closer to being finished without having to ever turn in cards for that number. In any event, you’ll have the same number of marks to make by the end of the game – you just have to figure out what is the best way to do it.
Triggs takes about 10-15 minutes, and it is a quick paced game, and one that surely doesn’t outstay its welcome. It’s admittedly fairly simple and straightforward – but there’s nothing wrong with that for this sort of filler game. As a bonus, I foresee this game as being a decent substrate for future game prototypes as it has plenty of multiples of ranks for other card games. (While I don’t particularly like Rage for instance; I have 3 copies of it in my game collection as I use the cards for plenty of other projects too).
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it. Dale Y
- Not for me…