Initially I started with 6 dice for this game. Our first game, Pocket Cricket began life with 5 dice and then the addition of the extra batting style gave players a choice and so it became 6. Pocket Footy then saw 7 dice and Golf & Football saw 8.
For those that have followed us from the beginning, there's an evolution of game design and mechanics that moves from previous games into new ones. Boxing has presented new challenges and with that, the feeling of 'your fighter' vs 'my fighter' needed to be an important part of the design.
The great thing (IMO) about our games is that one set can be used to play between 2 or 4 people, taking turns to hold/control the dice. Making it as accessible as possible has always been a mantra for our business model……my accountant would disagree with this!
So why did 6 dice turn into 9, making it the largest game we've made so far?
There are 3 different 'Fighters' in Pocket Sports Boxing, based on the 3 most popular fighting styles.
There's a 'Brawler', 'Swarmer' and 'Boxer'. Each of these has a little bonus starting ability.
The 'Brawler' wins on tied initiative rolls, which determine who is the aggressor or the one to start the exchange. The more you engage first, the more % you'll have of hurting your opponent.
The 'Swarmer' has +1 damage to counter punches. When you evade a punch, you have a free hit/counter punch at your opponent. These can add up over the fight, especially on the end of a combo.
The 'Boxer' can clinch by rolling a 4/5/6, whereas the other two styles need a 5/6 to clinch. Vital to avoid knock downs that get increasingly harder to get back up.
OK....yeah yeah...sounds good so far....What about the 3 Defense dice?
The 'Philly Shell', 'Cross Arm' and 'Peek-a-Boo' - again based on the 3 most popular defensive stance/styles.
The 'Philly Shell' tends to protect the body but has a Double Counter punch
The 'Cross Arm' protects the head and body a little more evenly
The 'Peek-a-Boo' has good solid head protection as the name suggests.
3 Fighters with 3 Defense styles allows for 9 different variations in Fighters. This then prompted me to include a second 'Initiative' die so each player could roll simultaneously and not have to wait for someone to roll first, second etc.
Finally, the last die is for injuries. There can't be a Title Fight without a broken nose, can there? NO WAY!
A great thematic inclusion but a subtle strategic push into where you direct your punches. If your opponent has a Cracked Rib, then you should target the body for the bonus damage you can inflict.
I’m particularly excited about this game and how it will be received. It opens the doors to other combat games and there’s a whole lot of shelf space we could be on if only we had some kind of Fantasy theme….but that’s way down the line :)