I played rugby all through my 30s and really enjoy the sport. I learned so much about the sport through my local men's club The Chicago Riot. So It seemed natural to work on a game that is rugby themed. I wanted to highlight the non stop action on the field and all the different positions and their capabilities. I started designing Ruck! to fit this idea. This is going to be a standard size deck of cards game. Then I saw the 18 card design contest over at Button Shy Games. I have never entered a game design contest before.I then scaled it down to make it feel more like 7s rugby rather than 15s. It will be a much faster paced and scaled down game much how 7s rugby is.
First off I suppose not everyone is familiar with rugby. In American football when a player with the ball is tackled the game stops and resets(a down). In rugby there is no stopping at this point. In rugby the player with the ball must release the ball when tackled and then defenders may come up and try to take the ball. However players from the ball carriers team may come up and try to ruck the player off. This means that the ball is on the ground and you have at least one player from each team contending for the ball, this is when a ruck is formed.
Features that I want in the game are different abilities for each card, different offense and defense values, I wanted it to really feel like there was a ruck on the table and field position. I wanted this game to be approachable to people who have no clue what rugby is and appreciated by people who love the sport. I loved the challenge of boiling this all down to 18 cards for the contest. Rugby is normally played with 15 players per side on the field at the same time. There is a variant called 7s where there is only 7 players on the field from each side and is played over 2 seven minute halves.
I like designs that have restrictions I think they lead to a lot of creativity.
So on to the contest. Button Shy is a company that focuses on small format games. They fit into a small wallet. check out our review of Tussie Mussie for a in-depth look at one of Button Shy’s games. The 18 card contest is pretty simple. You buy an 18 card set from Button Shy, the cards are blank except they are numbered 1-18 and all the backs are the same. The object is to design a game with just the cards and a focus on the numbers. I like designs that have restrictions I think they lead to a lot of creativity.
The 1-7 cards represent the 7 positions in a rugby sevens game.
Another aspect of rugby is that the numbers each player wears on their jersey represents their position. For example a Tighthead Prop is always #3. There are substitutes and they wear the higher numbers. And you will be able to see who has come in as a sub right away. So I translated this into the cards. The 1-7 cards represent the 7 positions in a rugby sevens game. I am adding 2 bench players, one forward and one back. Then the 10-18 cards are the “other team” they are the same positions. they will all be shuffled together so you might draw a tow of the same position. This represents someone playing off position to assist a play.
I am really excited to get this game going. The deadline is May 8th 2022 so look for some more on this soon.
Year Published: ????
Recommended Ages: 12+
Time to Play: 15-30m