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Posted on Jul 5, 2006 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Coming to the US – Top Trumps!

Armchair General

Ah, good, you made it. I knew you would. Where was I? Oh yes, the relevance to Armchair General

Well, there are two sets that might interest readers of this piece in particular, they are the Warships and the Ultimate Military Jets cardsets.

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The titles are fairly self-explanatory, but in addition to classic Top Trumps gameplay, you get some lovely pictures of the hardware in question, as well as some interesting facts about each ship or type of plane.

Packs generally contain thirty cards, but sometimes it is possible to send off for special cards to add to a set – for example the Harry Potter sets have offers that will allow you to increase the size of the pack. Sometimes packs will contain special cards allowing you to enter regular draws to win other sets. There are also limited edition sets and “specials” which have silvery highlights printed on the cards, these are very nice. For young children, there are even Top Trumps Junior decks.

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Here are two examples of cards, one from each of the two sets highlighted above (I will admit that I chose HMS Belfast as the example here as I was recently on board her writing a report for ACG). Unfortunately, as you will see from these examples, there is a greater propensity within the Ultimate Military Jets cardset to have categories defined as “N/A” or even the dreaded “Classified”. This can make gameplay a little frustrating at times, but not enough to detract from the overall fun of the game.

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Each cardset has its own distinctive style and layout

At last week’s Origins convention, I had the opportunity to talk briefly with Joseph J. Sequino, Director of Marketing for Winning Moves Games who advised me that Top Trumps would be released in the USA in 2007 with an additional licence to run with six titles. According to the site here, those six titles would appear to be Harry Potter – Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter – Prisoner of Azkaban, Horror, Dinosaurs, Sharks and Predators. Alas, no military or Star Wars related titles here, but keep an eye on the official Top Trumps website – Planet Top Trumps and/or the Winning Moves website for further updates. The official US website for Top Trumps is here.

So now you have it, all the information you need to prepare for the US arrival of Top Trumps. And if you are outside the US reading this and still don’t know what it’s all about, shame on you – I shall be watching you all for signs of improvement.

To add to my joy, Top Trumps have just brought out a set to tie-in with the newest series of Doctor Who. Given that there is also a “classic” (and almost impossible to find) Top Trumps set from the mid 1970s relating to Doctor Who as well, this is just great.

There remains only one story with which to regale you – and it is a salutory reminder that there are no truly invincible cards to defeat your enemies, for I have been educating some American friends in the ways of Top Trumps, and during many evenings of the past week we have been playing some of the decks. One particularly gruelling battle involved the Warships cardset – and time after time vast American Supercarriers would defeat lesser vessels. But there was one single event which saw one of those enormous ships brought to heel by the lowliest ship in the fleet – and the most pathetic card in the pack. Cast your eyes over the two cards below and witness the sheer horror that saw the mighty USS Carl Vinson, looming over the horizon in all its glory, brought down by an unarmed minesweeper’s manoeuvrability factor…

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In the world of Top Trumps, almost anything is possible.

A J Summersgill

andrew@armchairgeneral.com

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