Hey I’m new to the site but just wanted to comment here.
I agree that the game would have been hard to parse without having already read Blades in the Dark and Torchbearer (in my case). My copy of the zine also swaps chapters 1 and 2 which was mildly confusing until I figured it out.
More substantively, I struggled a bit with the “stateful” positioning. My experience with Blades in the Dark was to determine position independently on each roll, whereas in Goblinville it’s mechanically important to maintain position state from action to action. During conflicts my goblins tended to get into bad position and get stuck there. It’s possible I was being a bit too harsh but it really seemed difficult to get out of bad positions without getting hurt, especially since you’re always rolling danger plus harm in situations goblins might get hurt.
Our group loved the goblin creation, loved the goblins we ended up with, and really enjoyed playing characters focused on scavenging, jury-rigging, and running from danger. People also enjoyed using the twist die to help other characters. I think they even had fun getting swamped with consequences and barely getting out alive, although after a certain point they just tried to avoid making any rolls at all costs.
I’m hoping to run a short arc in Goblinville sometime. It’s likely I’ll mod the rules a bit to fit our style of play, but I’m also interested to hear how others run Goblinville and get more advice on how to run it as intended.