Hello, and welcome to another “Well Written Wreview”!
Today we will be taking a look at “Brawl” by James Ernest and Cheapass Games.
This is a real-time, fighting card game for 2 players. Wherein you take on the role of one of six different high school students at a martial arts school (pictured above: Morgan, Pearl, Chris, Hale, Darwin, and Bennett). Each player takes one 35 card deck, remove the three “Freeze” cards, and one of your characters “Base” cards. Then shuffle the deck. Once you have shuffled, place your base card in the center of the table, and your freeze cards on the bottom of you deck. Your opponent does the same. You are now ready to begin.
There are a number of different card types, and your character may have more, or less, of a certain type. Some decks may not even have certain types. The cards are as follows:
- Hit: You have three different colors of hit cards, Red Hit, Green Hit, and Blue Hit. Your goal is to try and have more hits on a base, on YOUR side of the base, than your opponent. Hits of a certain color may only be played together (e.g. If you have two red hits on a base card, you could not play a blue hit into the chain, only red hits).
- Hit-2: Works the same as regular hits, but counts for two. Also, hit-2’smust be played on hits of the same color, and cannot be played as the first hit on a base.
- Block: Blocks come in the three colors as hits, and once played on an opponents matching color chain, it stops any further hits being played into the chain.
- Clear: Allows you to clear off a base and all cards played on it, but it cannot be the center base, and cannot be the final base in play.
- Press: Cancels a any block it is played on, allowing a chain to have more hits played on it.
- Base: May be played as long as there are no more than three bases currently in play.
- Freeze: Locks a base card in play, and stops any further cards from being played on it for the remainder of the game. Once all bases in play are frozen, the game ends, and all bases are scored.
There are two modes of play, Training mode, and Tournament Mode. Training mode plays like a standard card game, where each player will take turns. You may either flip over the top card of your deck and play it, or discard it, or you may play the top card of your discard pile. Tournament mode allows you the same two options of play, with one new addition, if you choose to play your top discarded card, and cannot, you may put it back onto the top of your discard pile. And the best part of Tournament mode is that there are no turns! Everyone is playing there cards at the same time, which make for a really fun and fast paced game! Tournament mode games usually last no more than 60 seconds!
As stated earlier, the game ends when all bases in play have been frozen. The player with the most hit cards on their side of a bases wins it as a point, most base points win! If there is a tie, the owner of the base (whichever character is shown on the base card) wins the point.
And that’s it! The game has 6 different decks available, each being one of the six characters, and is only $8.50 a deck! Each one come with the rules and a 35 cards. There are also variant play rules to add more players (up to 6). In “Round Robin” each player puts a base on their left and right and may only play cards in those directions (e.g. in a four player game, you could not play cards on the player across from you). In “Tag Team” players play on teams together, but only one player on a team may play cards at any time, unless they tag in with their teammate. And coming later in 2016, there are 6 more characters (Carlos, Dean, Grace, Letti, Marcel, and Roya) coming in the Brawl: Senior Year Expansion. You can check it out here: Cheapass Games: Brawl
I give this game 11 out of 10 crane kicks (seriously, you need to play this game).
Until next time, keep playing game, and “Sweep the leg Johnny”!
-Trevor L. Cooper
More Info: Brawl at BGG
For awesome “Let’s Play” style videos of some of your favorite board games, and to see this game played on the upcoming season 3, check out Well Played on Youtube.com