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We're In Trouble Now!

by Charlie Plaine, Chairman

20th July 2015

... In the Astrometrics Lab

It's been getting harder and harder to make an honest credit in the galaxy. And now there are Tribbles infesting all of the best games and gaming establishments! And to make matters worse, the little critters are causing all sorts of troubles all throughout the galaxy! No ship, station, or colony is safe from the troubles that you'll find in Tribbles Royale, which is releasing this Friday, July 24! Tribble breeders everywhere will be able to enjoy the nine (9) new tribble cards, featuring eight (8) brand new powers with a distinct gaming theme.

But that's not all players will find when this twenty-seven (27) card expansion arrives later this week; there will, quite literally, be troubles! Tribbles Royale introduces a brand new card type - Trouble -  to the Tribbles game! The trouble pile and the associated trouble cards add an element of randomness, chaos, and craziness to your Tribbles play, and we're excited to bring them to you after a long, long wait! Let's jump right in and take a look at this new card type and everything that comes with it!

The Trouble Pile
The first thing to know about the Trouble Pile is that it is an optional and extra element to the Tribbles CCG. You can check out Matthyas' (stoovie) article on the Organized Play changes we've made to support this new mode of play. Tournament directors will be able to set up their Tribbles events as "Standard" (without Troubles) or "...with Troubles" (which use the new mechanic). Troubles are meant to add elements of fun and randomness to Tribbles games (with a side of meta balancing). If you and your play group enjoy using them, then you are encouraged to do so! If you don't, but others do, perhaps you can alternate using them versus not. And of course, if they aren't popular for you and your group, you can keep on running Tribbles events without them. 

In terms of building your decks and playing, you will never include trouble cards in your decks. Instead, each table plays with a single trouble pile. The trouble pile always contains exactly one (1) copy of every trouble in the game. As of the release of Tribbles Royale, that means a total of eighteen (18) different troubles. If more trouble cards are introduced in future expansions, you would add one copy of each of those to existing trouble piles. But for now, it's one copy of each of the eighteen (18) troubles in the expansion.

A game of Tribbles uses one trouble pile per table, so while everyone might keep a copy in their box, only one player needs to use theirs. If you have a tournament that's split into two tables, each table needs their own copy. At the start of the game, shuffle the trouble pile and place it face down in the center of the table. When you're ready to start, flip the top trouble card face up and it becomes the current trouble. There is only ever one current or active trouble at a time.

... In the Computer Core

Take a look at "... In the Astrometrics Lab" to the right. The game text of the card applies to all players in the game as long the trouble is on the top of the pile. In the case of the Astrometrics Lab, it says "Players may not activate Replay tribbles." Thus, as long as "... In the Astrometrics Lab" is the active trouble, players can't use the Replay power. Note that this does not prevent players from playing those tribbles, so it's much kinder than the Freeze power.

However, the trouble pile is designed to be frequently changing and bring a lot of chaos to Tribble games. Troubles are always changing - known in the game as "shifting" - throughout the game. When a trouble shifts, you reveal the next trouble in the pile and place it on top of the current trouble - the newly revealed trouble is now the current trouble. Of course, if you have run through the entire pile, you shuffle and replace the pile and continue playing. Because troubles are designed to shift frequently, each one comes with three built-in ways to shift. The middle of the card, in what is traditionally the lore box, tells you how the trouble shifts. From left to right, there are three ways a trouble can shift:

1. Missing on a number. It frequently happens that a player is required to play on a particular number, but can not do so; then, he or she must draw a card. If the drawn card is also not the number, then that player has "missed." Any time a player misses the current Trouble's number, the trouble will shift. In the case of "... In the Astrometrics Lab," if a player misses on a 100,000, the trouble will shift at the end of the player's turn.

2. Playing a specific power. Every trouble has a specific power (with appropriate icon) in the middle of the shift line. If any player plays that power, the trouble will shift after that power resolves. The player does not have to use the power for it to trigger a shift. For example, if I play a 1,000 Masaka while "... In the Computer Core" is the current trouble, the trouble will shift. It doesn't matter if I activate the Masaka power or not. If I play a compound tribble that includes the power, it will shift the trouble as well.

3. Taking a specific action. Sometimes you might really need to get a trouble out of your way, and the third option allows a player to do just that. At the start of your turn, before you play any tribbles, you can take the action indicated on the trouble to shift the trouble. A player may only take one action to shift a trouble each turn. There are two (2) different action types:


10 Tribbles - Shift

And finally, at the end of every round, the trouble will shift. This means that, at a minimum, you'll see five (5) different troubles during your games. But we're pretty sure you're going to see a lot more than than! And we wanted to include even more ways to interact with the trouble pile aside from the troubles themselves, so we've included some new tribble powers that interact with the trouble pile! 10 Shift is one of the new powers, and when played, it will immediately shift the current trouble. You can include it in your deck if you are worried about specific troubles causing you trouble, or if you just like to cause chaos during games. In the event you include one of the two (2) new powers that interact with the trouble pile in a game that doesn't include troubles, don't worry - they just don't do anything.

We've put a lot of time and energy into the troubles and we're excited for them to finally make their debut in Tribbles Royale. We hope that you will all give the mechanic a lot of chances in your games because they add a lot of fun and random interactions to games. But more than that, they provide some fun meta control options that will throw some monkey wrenches into some of the more popular decks out there in the wild.

I'd like to personally thank everyone involved in the creation of Tribbles Royale, including all of our designers, testers and artists. Without the hard work of Dan Hamman (SirDan), Johnny Holeva (jjh) and Andrea Heywood-Lobban (Kamala) as well as all the rest of our volunteers, this expansion would never have seen the light of day. Please consider a small donation to support their efforts so we can continue to bring you more tribbles - and troubles - in the future!

In the mean time, check back every day this week for articles, spoilers, and more. And don't forget to download the full Tribbles Royale expansion this Friday, July 24th!

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