Food Truck Champion – Kickstarter Preview

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All components are prototype and not of final quality

As sounds of a distant air horn reach your ears, the sound brings with it the excitement of all your hopes and dreams. These 8 weeks seemed like years since you commissioned this custom built truck. Your passion for food and being free on the open road is within ear shot. As the air horn comes closer your excitement grows and you feel like a little kid again. As your new truck rounds the corner and comes into view, you see your dreams and they are even more amazing than you could have imagined. This truck is not only going to be your new job and way of life, but will also bring you glory. With this truck you and your team will become Food Truck Champions!

The following are the setup instructions for a 3, 4, or 5-player game. There is a slightly different set up for 2 players.

  1. Give each player a Food Truck board, the matching Owner card and Starting Order card with the knife icon. Return unused player items to the box. Each player places their Owner card face-down on their Food Truck board, and places their Starting Order card face-up below their Food Truck board in their Plating Area.
  2. Shuffle the Game cards and deal 6 cards to each player. These cards form the players’ opening hands, which they keep secret.
  3. Deal 6 cards face-up to the centre of the play area to form the Marketplace. Place the remaining cards next to the Marketplace to form the draw deck.
  4. Take two Popularity Tokens of each value (1, 2, and 3) per player and sort them into stacks by value. For each stack, insert a Critique Token (represented by a trophy) after a number of Popularity Tokens equal to the number of players.
  5. The last player who ate from a food truck goes first. Give them the Active Player card.

Now begin taking normal turns starting with the Active Player and going clockwise.

On your turn, choose one action:

  1. Market Research. Draw cards equal to Draw Limit, and then discard down to 6-card hand limit.
  2. Take Charge. Draw Owner card into your hand.
  3. Lead a Staff Action. Play a card from your hand as a Staff Action to begin an Action Round. In turn order, all other players decide to either Follow, do Market Research, or Take Charge. Resolve all chosen actions in player order. Hired Staff cards provide bonus Staff Actions if they match your Lead Staff Action. Perform cleanup.

FTC Staff Actions

If you completed an Order Ticket, take a Popularity Token with a value equal to the number of Ingredients. If there is a Critique Token, set it aside. Perform Critique at the end of the Action Round: move 1 Order Ticket to Awards.

End game trigger: 2/3 Popularity Token stacks are exhausted. Players take equal turns. Score Popularity Tokens, +1 for matching Food Truck logo, and +5 for Flavor Profile sets.

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I was sitting at a local Food Truck hangout in Yarraville with my friend, Andy, and we were talking about game design and thought it would be an awesome idea to make a game about food trucks. David from Daily Magic messaged me about a day or 2 later with the rules for Food Truck Champion. I must say, this game is about 100 times better than any of the ideas Andy and I came up with. So who did I call when I wanted to test this game, Andy of course!

So Andy, his housemate, and I met at the same park in Yarraville last weekend, and after eating way too much truck food, we sat down to play. Andy’s housemate isn’t a massive gamer, he has only started to play them since he moved in with Andy 3 months ago. I always like playing my review games with at least one newish gamer, as it helps me grasp how easy or hard the learning curve is. So after a quick read of the rules, we had a game… or 4.

Food Truck Champion plays in about 45 minutes to an hour and yet feels like a 20 minute game. Andy’s housemate didn’t really have any issues learning the rules and even less of an issue kicking our butts 3 out of the 4 games. Food Truck Champion, like most of Daily Magic games, has an easy learning curve and I still love the follow rule, as there is very little down time and there never seem to be a dull moment. It doesn’t matter whose turn it is, you always have something to do in game. This is one of Daily Magic’s signatures and one of the elements I have come to expect and love about their games. I must add, I also love the player aid cards and they are something I really like seeing in all games, especially in preview copies. Not having to constantly go back and forth to the rule book is a god send, and something I believe more games should add. I know Andy is already sold on Food Truck Champion and even his housemate is excited about this being added to ‘their home collection’, as he calls Andy’s bookcases of game.

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Food Truck Champion is not just a fun game, it is stunning as well. Claire Donaldson has done an amazing job of capturing the fun and vibrant colours of the food truck industry. Claire has managed to make each truck so unique; and each owner card tells a story and you know exactly the style of food they are serving at a single glance. I also love that each truck has a logo which is fitting to the brand. They could have quite easily assigned colours and simply put that colour dot on the game cards, but it is this level of care that has made Daily Magic a publisher that is really putting the design back into game design. Claire really has done something special with the art in this game; she has taken food, trucks and owners and given them such an amazing personality.

If you have ever played a Daily Magic game you know exactly what you will find; a super fun, easy to learn game with a level of beauty and detail that you have come to expect and love about their games. For me, backing this game is a no brainer; it is a game I can’t wait to play again. I know Andy has messaged me twice since playing it to set up another Food Truck and Food Truck Date.

You can find the Kickstarter for Food Truck Champion here. This game goes live on the 22nd of February and is one you really need in your collection.

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