About 9 or 10 years ago–it’s hard to remember that far back–I decided to scrap my old Tunnels and Trolls web page and start something new–an online club for all T & T fans. It didn’t take much thinking to come up with the name TROLLHALLA–a combination of the word Troll with the word Valhalla. And that is what the place would be–a sort of Valhalla for T & T players–a place to get together with friends, both for fun, and also to promote T & T.
An internet search showed that the name Trollhalla had been used once before at least–for a guest cottage in a tourist resort in Norway. Not much conflict of interest there. So, I used the name and for roughly 9 years Trollhalla was mine.
Then Alf Seegert, who had done a Bridge Troll board game earlier, decided to send his trolls plundering on northern seas, and came up with the name Trollhalla for his new board game. I have Google search words like Trollhalla for me every day, and when I heard about it, I wrote him a pained letter complaining. He and Z-Man were doing a game that swiped the name of my gaming club. It’s not a direct conflict, but it’s certainly a lot closer than the guest house connection. Too late! The game and the boxes for it were already in production. He couldn’t change the name.
Alf and I made a deal. He gave me a copy of the game, and he joined Trollhalla as a member (haven’t seen much of him in 2011 though), and he explained the confusion between the names very nicely in a few places around the web. Ugh! I’m not real happy with the way that worked out–I kinda feel that Trollhalla is my name, but I didn’t trademark it or anything, and ideas should be free, and he certainly uses the word in a different sense than I do.
Anyway, it’s an amusing board game, complicated enough that it takes some real study, or two or more playings to fully understand it–simple enough that you can stagger through a game and have fun even if you do get a few rules mechanics wrong on the first try. The trolls in the game are indistinguishable from 10th century vikings–yo ho, yo ho, a viking’s life for me! Sail from island to island, grab as much loot as you can, try to frustrate the efforts of other players. An hour later you’re done. Somebody won. It was probably close. You had a few laughs along the way.
Trollhalla the board game is fun and funny–at least I enjoyed it when I played it. Seegert is an accomplished game designer, and board gamers should look for his work for some lighthearted entertainment.
Ironically enough, for a game about ocean-going trolls, it doesn’t stand up to water very well. The first time I tried to play it, I accidentally knocked over a glass of water, and pretty much ruined half the paper components of my game. Arrrrgh! I can still play Trollhalla, but it is certainly the worse for wear.
If you have played Trollhalla the board game, or are a member of Trollhalla the gaming society, go ahead an leave some comments here.