- Title: Rush & Bash
- Designer: Erik Burigo
- Publisher: Red Glove
- Age: 7+
- Players: 2-6
- Playing Time: 30 minutes
- Times played: a lot (more than 5)
I’m really happy when I have the possibility to write about an Italian game that was so good to deserve an international edition. Rush & Bash by Erik Burigo published by Red Glove was one of the best game released in Italy in 2015 for the family target. It got a nomination in Gioco dell’Anno and sold already 2000 copies deserving a reprint. Like with Super Fantasy Red Glove decided to produce a game offering the best game experience in a compact edition with a really appealing product. Of course this can upset gamers looking for huge maps and endless amount of miniatures but I think it is nice to have publishers trying to get just what really the game need, especially in the family target.
I have enriched this quick review with an interview to Federico Dumas, Red Glove owner. You can read a full detailed review on the next Counter Magazine issue.
Rush & Bash is an easy to learn fast to play game recreating the feelings of the Wacky Races series. Every player (up to 6) control a car in a crazy race using everything to win, from bombs and missiles up to special powers and boosts.
[Liga] How much the Wacky Races influenced the designer and publisher in the development of Rush & Bash?
[Federico] Rush & Bash is a game Erik Burigo (the author) designed on commission. We had a clear idea of a “wacky races” themed game with many gameplay elements taken from racing videogames, dipped into the same setting of many Red Glove games. But, obviously, everyone in the team loves the cartoon from Hanna & Barbera!
It is a deeply themed game with a well designed euro core system with everything needed to keep all the players involved until the end. There are rules to move neutral cars so the game can be played with fun also in just 2-3 players.
[Liga] Rush & bash is a simple game (easy to learn and play) but with a lot of little tricks winking to gamers. Who is the main target of the game?
[Federico] Since it’s from our “Light Line”, the game is one with the widest targets of our catalog. We thought of an easy game playable by children and families, but enjoyable by gamers. Erik and Marco* designed a basic engine who can support more interesting games with addon (like championship rules).
* Marco is Marco Valtriani that is part of the Red Glove’s developing team
During your turn (leading car first than going along the positions of the preceding turn) you play a card displacing how many box you will move and a special action. First the action (if you want) than the move (you must!). Sometimes it could be better to not move at all but it is not possible: you know, this is a race and so it could happen to stamp on a rock or on a bomb or crush on another car (that’s actually is a good thing!).
You have 3 cards in your hand, you play one and, in the end of the turn, draw one.
There are red and green cards: reds are better. The possible actions are “drop a bomb”, “fire a missile”, “boost power” and “steer”. Unless you are steering you have to move along your lane. Every car has 3 special abilities and you can activate if you have enough power: you need 1 for the basic one and 3 for the special power! If and when use your powers is something that can make the difference. Waiting the right moment to play your best red car is part of the strategy. Luck and strategy; action and interaction.
Every car can sustain 3 damages than has to move back to the last crossed line. When dealing the last damage to opponents is part of the strategy since you can really push it back along the track.
[Liga] How much do you think luck is important in the game and how much strategies?
[Federico] Basically Rush & Bash is a hand management game. In his basic box, luck and strategy are really well mixed. I can say it counts a 50-50, if you play well. With the expansion something may change… prepare for a boost of control!
[Liga] Do you think adding difficult tracks will increase or decrease the impact of the luck ?
[Federico] It really depends from which track you add and it really depends if you’re playing with the championship rules or not. In the basic game, there’re some special tracks that increase luck factor (like the Deep Jungle) but the are also others that boost the strategy (for example the ones with shortcuts). If you play with championship rules, there are some powers that allow you to increase the control on the race (for example manipulating the dice), so you can choose to upgrade your car in order to have the possibility of a better planning.
[Liga] The 6 cars have all different powers. Do you think are all really balanced?
[Federico] Yes. Some cars are more aggressive than others (for example, the dragon boy can insta-kill a car, and the pirate is a pain if the first positions are low on health), but they lack in speed. Others are extremely fast (like the lovely Lady Goodlight, or Baron Skully) but they have no way to damage other cars. Basically, you have to use your power choosing the best timing: in a lot of games I saw 3-level powers completely wasted because the player didn’t wait for the right time to activate it.
The game has a great re-playability thank to the different possible tracks you can create, starting from simple streamlined ones up to a real hell including geysers, suspension bridges and volcanos.
[Liga] Which of the tracks you think is the most difficult?
[Federico] The geyser! In the new multilanguage version and in the Italian reprint, Erik reduced a bit the results of the damage table: it was a bit too much for new players!
There is also the possibility to download from publisher web-site the campaign rules and a proposal for a 6 tracks championship with specific rules.
[Liga] On your web-site are included “campaign rules”. Why these rules I think are really good was not included in the box?
[Federico] It’s very simple. We have two motivations. First of all, the campaign rules were not ready at the moment of printing. It’s an idea we had, but it took a long time to find a good balance.
Moreover, they initially were intended only for shops, so they could create their own tournaments as shop events. In the end, we decided to put them open to everyone.
On the other hand, we really fight to keep low the price of our games: even if we produce the first versions of the game only for Italy, we still keep prices very competitive for other countries.
Even if it may seems strange, another manual or more pages in a rulebook can change the SRP of the game: our price is, in our opinion, the really best balance between all production costs.
The game is really well designed and I’m not tired about it having played now already more than 5 times, both with kids and adults. Actually I’m trying to organize a small championship in my gaming club because I think it is a nice light races game engaging also for gamers.
[Liga] Are you already thinking about expansions (new tracks? new powers?)
[Federico] Yes, we’re working on an expansion. It will come out in December 2015 or January 2016 in Italy. Quoting a famous show, “winter is coming”: icelands, ice guns, shields, two new character and two new cars to extend the maximum number of players to 8. It will add a lot of things to the game: we don’t like expansions that “simply add variety”, we also like to insert new rules and add-ons.
I’m sure the game is not deeply strategic and luck and randomness are an important part but I can assure it is fun to play and now-days when is not common to see a game reach the table more than 3-4 times in an year that’s is a great “business card”. Since it is simple and took just 30-45 minutes to complete a race it is also a great candidate for a nice “end of evening” session!
[Liga] How long does it took to play-test the game?
[Federico] It takes almost one year to develop the game. Basic rules were pretty easy to manage, but it has been hard to produce an engine so easy but also easy to expand and customize.
[Liga] There was big changes from the proto-type?
[Federico] Not so many. Basic rules were almost perfect from the early development stage, and just some minor tweaks were made during the process. But we worked a lot on balance and on the design of the tiles: basically just one tile (the bridge) was included in the prototype. All the others have been created during the development.
There is also an English web-site with the possibility to pre-order the game for the spiel. The site include the Complete rules, the Championship rules and the Crimson Cup! Championship.