Taking a little break from making decks for a second to try and bring some life back to this game. While I am a big fan of wrestling and really enjoy the base game, there is one big downside to it... that it is essentially just a 2 player game. And while two player games do have their charme, I do prefer games where you can play at least 3 or 4 players. So I have tried to come up with some rules for the game that would allow for at least 3 active players at the time, without having to simply wait outside the ring.
So here are my thoughts on possible rule changes that would allow for multiple active players. The only thing you will need, aside from the base game, is something that can function as a first player token.
Rule 1: In the spirit of the game, settle who will get the first player token by a quick game of Rock/Paper/Scissor. The first player token is then rotated clockwise after every turn.
Rule 2: Rather than picking 3 cards at a time, each player only picks 1 card to play.
Rule 3: Before picking a card, each player has to decide which opponent to attack.
- You can only attack one other opponent at a time. So even though you are adjacent to 2 other players, you can always only attack one of them.
- You cannot use the chosen card to attack any other players than the one you decided on before picking the card. So if your chosen opponent is moved out of reach, you are not allowed to attack any other player, even though they may be within your reach.
- Two players can choose to attack the same opponent (I will get back to this in a moment)
Rule 4: When all players have picked a card, they reveal them simultaniously, just like in the base game. Each player then compares his chosen card, with the chosen opponent's card. If a player is defeated by another opponent, then his card is cancelled out, even if he would defeat his own chosen opponent.
So in the illustration below, Blue player has chosen to attack Green and plays a STRIKE. Green player has chosen to attack Blue and plays a MANEUVER. Red player has chosen to attack Blue and plays a GRAPPLE. Given the normal rules of the game, Blue beats Green. But because Blue is also beaten by Red, Blue's STRIKE card is cancelled out. So in this scenario, the only attack that goes through is Red's GRAPPLE attack on Blue. Just to clarify, just because the effect of Blue's STRIKE is cancelled, the STRIKE aspect of it still remains, meaning that a MANEUVER cannot do damage, stun, or throw Blue this turn.
- Just to clarify, if a fourth player had been in the game who had attacked (and beaten) Red with a MANEUVER or SLAM, then Red would not be able to attack Blue, which means that Blue would still be able to attack Green.
- If a player attacks another player with the same type of card, then only the attacking player's card is cancelled out. So to clarify, if the fourth player had attacked Red by playing another GRAPPLE card, then only the fourth player's GRAPPLE is cancelled out. Red would still be able to attack Blue. If they had attacked each other, then they would both cancel each other out.
- If all players' cards cancel each other out, another card is drawn from the top of the decks, just like the base game.
- The winning cards are resolved in clockwise turnorder beginning with the player with the 1st player token. (This may only be relevant in a +4 player game)
- If two players attack the same opponent and play the same type of card (GRAPPLE, STRIKE, MANEUVER, or SLAM), then they perform a Tag Team move. A Tag Team move means that the players may resolve their cards in any turn order they want to maximize the damage done to the opponent. So in the same scenario as above, if Green had also played a GRAPPLE, then Red and Green would have performed a GRAPPLE Tag Team move on Blue.
- SLAMs still trump all other cards. So in the same example as above, if Green had played a SLAM, then Green attacks first, then Red attacks if he is still in position to do so.
Rule 5: Given that each player only plays 1 card at a time, the normal pinning rules cannot apply here. Instead, a pinning attempt happens after a successfully hit SLAM. This will hopefully bring some meaning to the wrestler's "finishers". So if a player hits an opponent with a SLAM, and the opponent does not block the attack, then the player attempts to pin the opponent after the normal rules of pinning. However, seeing as there is only one winner in a triple threat, the third player can attempt to break up the pin, by revealing a kickout before the player being pinned reveals the last card from his deck. So, if the Blue player is being pinned by the Red player, then the Green player can at any time (before the third and final card is turned over in the pinned opponents deck) either reveal a kickout from his hand, or flip over the top cards (up to 3) of his deck (just like if he was the one being pinned), to try and break up the pin. If a player is trying to break up the pin by revealing cards from his own deck, then he is allowed to try and break up the pin once at each count (so before the first count, before the second count, and/or before the third and final count), but if he tries, then he must turn over his card, before the pinned player does. All cards revealed in this fashion are removed from the game.
Rule 6: To avoid quick finishes, I have adopted the rule suggested here on BGG that the SLAM cards should be removed from the deck and placed in the discard pile before the game starts.
Those were my thoughts on the rules. I haven't had a chance to test the rules yet, but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and feedback on the rules. Do you think this could be a viable +3 player option?
Another idea that might work simpler in practice is everyone takes turns.
On each players turn he picks another player to attack. Those two players play cards agasint each other. Now it goes to player B who picks a player and they face off against each other. Continue like this.
In case of a pinfall or submission then the player not involved can break it up by burning a kick out from their hand. (The last second dive to break up the pin)