A Quick Diversion – Brawl

May 9, 2017

No, not Super Smash Brothers, but those are good games. Yes, even Brawl. Melee is only a better game because it’s literally broken. Some of us, also, don’t have weird monster fingers that can move at half the speed of light over face buttons.

This is going to be about a game idea I’ve been kicking around for a while; a cheap, easy miniatures game that is oriented around relatively fast games (think 30 to 60 minutes) between two people who are piloting a small group of fighters who get into a fight in a confined space. This could be an alleyway in Prague, the main thoroughfair of Shanghai, a valley in Arizona, or the deck of a ship anchored in London. Each team is composed of 4 to 6 fighters who primarily use melee weapons and tactics, with the occasional slow or limited ranged weapon (bows, black-powder era guns, or a possible sawed off shotgun with limited ammo).

Each team will have points printed with them so that they can be mixed and matched but the initial experience design will be on the teams printed as they are.

So, what kind of teams am I thinking?

The idea is that these teams come from all across time and have run into another gang in an emotional, physical, and temporal position to be ready to fight. These are tough rumbles in the street with fighters that are close to equally matched. My initial ideas for teams are Musketeers, Ronin, Highlanders, Bikers, Zulu Warriors, and Huskarls. Each team would come with a bit of a description of their time and place, an examination of their weapons, some stories for the charcters to give them a sense of time and place (y’all know how much I like context), and a fold out map for their own “turf”.

The sets would be sold together and would be only sold as complete sets (at least to start with – might have expansions later that are single or dual character packs that provide historical options for the team) and premium products would be things like pre-built 3D battle spaces or POD unpainted variations on characters in existing sets. The teams would be balanced against each other so that anyone can sit down and play, and the maps would be organized to kind of force conflict within the first two turns.

The mechanics would be very simple – I’m not sure the dice I’d use yet (custom d6? d20? custom d12?) but each unit would have a Move number (the squares or hexes they can move through on a turn), a Resolve (basically their health), and two or three Maneuvers. Each Maneuver will have a Range (how many squares or hexes away a Maneuver can affect the board) and a description of the outcome, whether this is damage or some other effect (like an AOE spread, making the squares dangerous to pass through, or swapping places with another character).

So, anyone out there interested in a knock down, drag out gang fight from all kinds of warriors throughout history?

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