Gameday First (Second and Third) Play – Kaosball
The first time I played this I got the rules so wrong I couldn’t judge the game… The second time was only mildly better.
Third time lucky!
Kaosball is a new kind of fantasy sports game, combining rugby-style passing finesse and first person shooter domination-style scoring. The result is a tense game of skill, bluffing, luck, and lethal brutality like you’ve never played before!
Brought to you by acclaimed designer Eric M. Lang, Kaosball uses exciting card-based play mechanisms to put players in the role of a coach, managing their unique, game-altering team from scrimmage to sudden death period to outscore their opponents. Players need to balance scoring and killing their opponents, using powerful cheating effects all the while – as long as you have the money to pay off the ref. No two matches will play the same!
Sport game, 2-4 teams, score with the ball or with kills.
The game is played over 4 periods but is divided into two parts, with the first part not taking place on the board.
Each team starts off with 12 ‘Cash’. This cash is used to auction team upgrades and ringers. Upgrades make your team better but making them faster, more resilient or… richer. X of them are revealed depending on the number of player and they are drafted.
Then X Ringers are revealed and auctioned too. Ringers are like Star Players with great abilities that replace the regular players on your team. They range form the tiny Biru Biru who can’t be attacked, to Ringers like the regular sized Butcher who Kills whenever he deals damage. There is of course a Dragon, Cthulu and Gojira for something a little bigger.
This is great. With 18 very different teams to pick from, around a quarter of the possible upgrades to auction and only a few of the very different 22 Ringers to pick from the game adds a lot of variety. The only issue is, like most auctions, this takes AGES! Get to the game already!
So you have your team and team board. The upgrades are put on the team board (They’re magnetic which is awesome) and you put 3 Runners and 2 Bruisers on the board (or replace one of them with a Ringer. A ringer counts as both.
You start your turn by seeing if you score. You score during the game by having a Runner (or Ringer, but not a Bruiser) on a scoring mound with the ball.
The you either play a tactic card from your hand, or activate a figure. Most tactic cards allow you to do something, then activate a figure anyway.
When you activate a figure you have a choice of what you can do.
Any figure can sprint (Move up to 5 squares) but a Runner or Ringer can also try and steal the ball.
A Bruiser can Tackle or Fight which is moving up to 3 Squares and trying to Push/Knock someone down (Tackle) or deal Damage (Fight).
A Ringer can do both.
Stealing, Tackling and Fighting start a ‘Contest’ and these are really really important.
Each team has a stat for Handling, Fighting and Tackling and each player will play a card face down, reveal at the same time. These are usually Energy cards that give +1 to +5, added to the stat gives the total. Depending on the contest, depends on the outcome.
When you play a card it is considered ‘Burnt’. So if you’re lucky enough to have all the +5 cards in your hand, they’re not too useful after playing the first one because if you play an Energy card that is the same as one you have already played this period, it is considered ‘Dead’ and you lose, assuming your opponent played a live card.
Seeing what you have, and what your opponent has played adds an extra level of strategy. It has that Guess/Double Guess/Bluff thing that I like, which Om Nom Nom is built on.
There is a lot more to the game than I mentioned here and it is something I suggest you try if you like sports, like minis or like tactical manoeuvring and card-play.
I have now played this game correctly and I do like it. The variety from all the Teams, Ringers and Upgrades will make almost every game different.