On the Radar: JAB

Posted by James (admin) on August 16th, 2010

JAB is a real-time card-game coming from Tasty Minstrel Games (Homesteaders, Terra Prime). I saw the rules were online to read so I took a look as I read most new board game rules that are made available. I have to confess I was slightly wary of the boxing theme as sports games just aren’t my thing and there have been many average hand-to-hand combat card games. However, as I read the rules, the more I liked the idea of the game. Real-time games can be a bit chaotic but can be light fun – I remember playing Falling (players falling through the sky with no parachute and trying to be the last to hit the ground) and it was chaotic, messy, short-lived but hysterically funny.

What I like about JAB is the way the cards get laid out sounds very thematic – delivering punches (cards) with your left and right hands onto three piles which are the opponent’s head and left and right sides of their body. Plus, players can block, counter-punch and even try to hang on for dear life with a clinch. Combo cards show which combination of punches showing on the opponent’s three piles will give the attacker a bonus. The points calculation for a round sounded cool too – the points on only one stack of cards is added up and compared to the opponent’s score. No shock there but the selection of the stack sounds cool because the player whose stacks they are covers up one (the one they think got the most beaten) and their opponent picks one of the remaining stacks. So, you need to try and remember where you got the best blows, plus remember where the opponent blocked he most as any blocks remove the highest scoring punches. The rules and cards look really colorful and well produced too.

So, after being slightly dubious about the game because of my first impression of the setting, I’m hoping the game will live up to my expectations as it sounds like fun.


(Rules available at http://bit.ly/aUPrpz)

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