This week, the podcast krew breaks kayfabe as they talk about about a violent fantasy sport game that isn’t
Bloodbowl. That’s right, Fortified Niche is covering Rumbleslam. Turns out, literally everything wrong with the game is Vince McMahon’s fault!
For our first taste of Rumbleslam, we used the excellent Tabletop Simulator module to recreate the teams in the starter. It’s not only excellent value for money – it also shows you how different two teams that are seemingly identical (1 big guy, 2 medium guys, 2 small guys) can play very differently.
Free rules and a fully-featured TTS module* aren’t the only things making it easy to get into the game. Basically every roll you need to make is notated on the cards in this easy-to-understand format. Trouble only comes from some older cards, which list out attacks in the front, but their actual stats and effects are only found on the flipside.
Rumbleslam also uses tokens. An interesting feature is that boosts of debuffs don’t apply immediately – they only affect the wrestler’s next activation.
Rumbleslam works with alternating activations: you move a wrestler, I move a wrestler, and so on. They each have separate MP and AP points and can spend them in any combination – the only limit for repeat actions is the increasingly harder tests to do them. There’s a wide variety of basic maneuvers – punches, grabs, rope bounces, etc. – which are then molded into special attacks that certain wrestlers can do.
The way it worked out in our game is that rope bounce is the perfect way to save MPs and move a lot for a small AP expenditure, tossing a KO’d wrestler out of the ring was always the right choice, and turnbuckle attacks might as well not exist.
Now, we also had some issues with stuff happening off the ring as well. The designs for some of the Rumbleslam models are questionable – from the most of the Gomorrah line to the wrestler named “the Chief” – and while you can say that it’s true to source material (MacMahon’s horny), you may ask yourself if you want to recreate a bad thing in a game where you’re already breaking the WWE fantasy by having five fantasy wrestlers per team and also magic.
All in all, Rumbleslam is a well laid-out, short ruleset that allows for a lot of variety between the teams. And while we have some criticism, it is a much more welcoming fantasy sports game than Bloodbowl.
*For some unknown sicko reason, the clear button on the dice roller doesn’t – as a sane mind would assume – clear the dice roller settings, but removes the dice the rolled spawns.