CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
JammerUp: The Roller Derby Board Game
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- Based on the rules and strategies of modern-day roller derby
- 2 players, ages 8 and up
- 30 to 60 minutes of play time
- Two ways to play: Pure Strategy or Take Your Chances
- Community funded and independently published
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Created by a referee and funded by individual gamers and members of the roller derby community via Kickstarter, JammerUp is the first published board game based on the rules and strategies of modern-day roller derby.
In a 2-player game, each player controls a team of 5 game pawns: four Blockers and one Jammer. Move your Jammer through the pack, maneuvering and pushing your way past opposing Blockers, to earn points. You’ll need to simultaneously position your own Blockers to prevent your opponent from scoring. The rules are simple, but game play increases in complexity as players become more adept at derby strategy.
JammerUp: The Roller Derby Board Game can be played as a pure, abstract strategy game. Or, you can play the Take Your Chances version, which incorporates special moves cards and the risk of trips to the penalty box! Whichever way you prefer to play, you’ll employ real derby strategies like skating the diamond, hammer & nail, and goating.
JammerUp requires you to carefully plan your next move, think ahead to what your opponent might do, and to pay attention to offense and defense at the same time.
If you’re a fan of roller derby or strategy games in general, JammerUp is a must-have!
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The real challenge with converting a sport like derby to a board game is the balance between emulating all the real-world actions and building something that is actually playable. this game does a great job of this. Yes a lot of the actual derby-play is missing from the game, but the sacrifices are justified by the streamlined game play. There is enough derby here to get your "fix" but also enough boardgame here to play.
I only have two complaints; The first is that, for me, derby has a wonderfully alternative, grungy edge to it that I would have liked to have seen brought to the design and presentation of the game... basically it looks a little too clean-cut, perhaps even technological and I would have liked it to look like scuffed-pads and tattoos. The second complaint is the time it takes to play as marked on the box (30 to 60 minutes) this is a bit misleading. The game has a ton of strategy involved and much like Chess you'll end up matched against someone who spends ten minutes contemplating their moves and end up regretting agreeing to a 3-Jam match. Neither of these complaints takes away from the game-play in the least and one of them can be remedied easily with a used chess-clock.
JammerUp is really two games in one. The "Strategy Game" is a simple, but deep game of movement, blocking and scoring. In some ways, it's like chess in that regard. Like Derby itself, different pieces (Blockers and Jammers) have their own constraints and abilities. And although the game is an abstraction of Derby, it emulates the rules of Derby surprisingly well. I wish I'd had this game right after I saw my first real life RD, I would have understood what I'd just watched a lot better! At the same time, I think this version of the game would be enjoyed by anyone who likes tabletop strategy boardgames.
The other game, the "Chance" game has a totally different mood, but better conveys the crazy chaos of RD. Cards and a dice introduce random special moves into the game and even the chance that someone might end up in the penalty box. In both games, the rules are VERY simple and easily memorized, aided by a great little book and the overall design of the board and accessories. Again, I find myself learning things about real RD that I otherwise wouldn't know, and I can't wait until I can see my next match.
Quality of the components is superb, and I have to give a big thumbs-up to the graphic designer(s) behind the very attractive board, layout of the rulesbook and overall professional, modern look of all the components. All in all, in a game world overrun by Hasbro and endless Eurogames, JammerUp is a welcome breath of fresh air!
But I want you all to know a little bit about part of how it came into being.
Never would have known this began on Kickstarter. I backed this because it was an original idea and I have become of fan of Flat Track Roller Derby. Very female empowering sport, if I was 20 years younger, I would be there.
Anyway, when it came in the mail, what a surprize. First thing I have ever received from Kickstarter that was shrinkwrapped, and looks professionally made. Huge Kudos to the creator, graphics team, and all the effort that went into the making.
What a perfect game in so many ways...Thank you Niki & Robin Hammond.