Aaron Bohm
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We have loved this game and have played it a ton since I've gotten my copy. Being that this game is new and there aren't many strategy guids out there I thought I'd offer some tips.

Keep your guard up and your eyes sharp!

Grab your two punch cards right away and hold them at around eye level. When you throw a punch, grab the next cards as quickly as you can and do the same thing. Now look around.

This will get you in the habit of the most important thing in the game which is being able to see everything. Having the two cards in your hand allows you to see those cards as well as your next two cards. With that knowledge, you can look at the top of your opponents deck as well as the punch cards on top of your boxer. Lastly glance at the punches you've thrown, the counter color and the combo if you get a chance. Make a habit of sweeping through looking at all these cards in roughly that order, feel free to chant in your head as well of what your are looking for such as (place a jab on his next haymaker, place a jab on his next haymaker).

Heavy blows, Kid! And spread them around.

When you are first starting out there is a rather nasty thing you can do while boxing your rookie friends. Keep most of the punches in 2 piles. From a points perspective this gives you the ability of spliting your points in half vs. thirds. There is another critical secret to this technique as well; make sure you try and get an even number of 2's in both piles. That's 15 points each pile potentially.

You can easily adapt and branch out from this strategy as well. The number 1 thing new boxers have a problem doing is blocking and this will exploit that weakness until they work on it. Haymakers are usually the first thing rookies learn to block so if you want you can place all your haymakers in pile 3, away from your 2 main ones (since haymakers don't score points anyway). Either way it's a win for you as if it goes unblocked you are going to complete the stagger and if it's blocked thats them using points to cover up non-points.

The last card of a combo (preferably a "1" punch card or a haymaker) is also a good option for pile #3 as is the connecting color to complete a counter punch.

Control the pace of the fight!

As you begin, I will say your natural instinct will be to play fast, as fast as you can. This is the exact opposite of what you want to do. The only danger of playing slow is that your opponent might get done before you and grab the "ding" tile, which earns him -5 points.

So starting out the key is to play as slow as you can so long as you remain relatively within 5 points. Watch your opponent and see what he does. If there is a green counter punch card and you have a green in your hand patiently wait for him to play a green and counter punch. Chances are if an opponent is playing fast they are not looking for these things or combos, combos are worth way more points than regular cards so link some of these. Winning the round on points is the easiest way to frustrate someone who plays fast. Make sure to block all the haymakers and that will take away most of the threat of losing life as well.

Once you get that down, you'll realize there is a psychology to it. If the opponent sees that you are playing slow, he may slow down too. Take that opportunity to play a couple quick cards and see what happens. Make the opponent react to your speed and make sure you don't react to his.

Hit without being hit!

Everything else leads itself to allow you to block more effectively. Blocking is the key to Jab. Remember how I said to keep your guard up and look around? Well, this is the reason why. For one, you want to look for haymakers on the top of your opponents deck. If you can, smother them with a low point cards or another haymaker. The ideal situation would be to block it with a haymaker of a certain color allowing you to complete a counter punch, it's really not that hard to do if you make sure you have the color already on his boxer and hold a haymaker of the same color while waiting for his...

Otherwise, become a color fanatic. It is VERY difficult to block a punch with the same punch, instead look for opportunities to place your red jab on his red uppercut. This will do a TON if you can become good at it. It will open up counter punch opportunities, it will deflect heavy haymakers and it will screw with your opponents ability to plan combos. For points, focus your blocking on 1 of their 2 main piles and, at round end, eliminate the other.

Now spar!

The only way to get better at these is to fight. These are some basic strategy tips and, when you get used to these, there are more complicated things to try.



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Jim Miller
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Never Knows Best wrote:
When you are first starting out there is a rather nasty thing you can do while boxing your rookie friends. Keep most of the punches in 2 piles. From a points perspective this gives you the ability of spliting your points in half vs. thirds. There is another critical secret to this technique as well; make sure you try and get an even number of 2's in both piles. That's 15 points each pile potentially.


To counter an opponent who uses the "two-stack" punch strategy as you suggest above, focus on blocking only one of the two piles. Then, after the round, cover the pile that you DIDN'T block. Assuming he has roughly 15 points in the pile you left uncovered, if you were able to get in four good blocks, it will knock his point total down to 6-7.

Great strategic overview...this is a great game!
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Dan Dolan
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Never Knows Best wrote:
Grab your two punch cards right away and hold them at around eye level. When you throw a punch, grab the next cards as quickly as you can and do the same thing. Now look around.

This will get you in the habit of the most important thing in the game which is being able to see everything. Having the two cards in your hand allows you to see those cards as well as your next two cards.


Look at the setup diagram. Your draw piles are face down so you don't know what cards are next to be drawn.

I also think if you try the two pile strategy just blocking one would really cut down on your scoring potential. Better to have a more balanced attack and look for combos. It's also easier to throw haymakers by holding them and drawing with the other hand hoping for a matching card and if you draw a second haymaker play them both quickly and then quickly churn through cards hoping for a match.


The beauty of JAB is that different styles are found to be quite effective. Also you can change styles mid fight if you are losing on points and need to go for the knockout.
 
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Luke Morris
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The rules state that at the start of the round you touch fists with your opponent and then turn your draw piles over to face up.
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Dan Dolan
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Ah so it does. Missed that.
 
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Aaron Bohm
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Phlegm wrote:

I also think if you try the two pile strategy just blocking one would really cut down on your scoring potential. Better to have a more balanced attack and look for combos. It's also easier to throw haymakers by holding them and drawing with the other hand hoping for a matching card and if you draw a second haymaker play them both quickly and then quickly churn through cards hoping for a match.



Yep but I was putting these out as just tips for beginners. Players just starting out have the hardest time getting used to blocking. So a good starting tip is to exploit this weakness of your friends while working on your blocking. Blocking as well as playing a lot of life taking attacks is also a good counter strategy against someone going for combos as it takes them longer to set their strategy up.

Once blocking gets better the game gets scary. You can score counter punches even if it's your block color on your side so counter punch strategies are pretty powerful. And I would still go with a semi-2 pile strategy till about 2/3rds of the round is over. Usually the opponent will have put a lot of blocks on 1 pile and then near the end of the round pile as many 2's as you can on the 3rd pile which should, by now, have no blocks on it.

Same as you, I also hold the haymaker card typically while waiting for the same-color-card in the other stack to come up. This doesn't mean you shouldn't keep both cards held up to eye level in between punches (IE look at the card your holding as well as peek at the next card, it happens quickly though) because while sitting on a haymaker you can also look for good block, counter punch, and combo cards while waiting for the right color for your haymaker. You don't want to just flip mindlessly through your cards just so you can try and get 2 life, remember you can only throw one punch at a time so if I see an opponent do this usually I hold a block card waiting for him and I can still block it so you have to also be somewhat subtle.

You also have to be careful as, if you play too many cards with your right hand, it will run out much quicker. If it is out and you only have left hand punches to throw it limits your options so I didn't include it as a beginner technique.


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