Luchador! out this week

pic1718403_mdIf you mention ‘Mexican Wrestling’, I wonder what image pops into your head? Perhaps a Lyrca-clad Jack Black is too much for anyone…

Luchador! is a new dice game, designed by Mark Rivera. This descriptions is from the BoardGameGeek page:

“The fast-rolling, hard-hitting, body-slamming, neck-crunching, chair-smashing, table-slapping dice game for 2 or 4 players…

Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice is a two-player dice game (with optional rules for four-player tag-team play) based on the popular world of professional Mexican wrestling, or “Lucha Libre” (a.k.a. free fighting). Players start with 21 points of health (or 18 in a tag-team match) and roll custom dice to try to either reduce the opponent’s strength points to zero to win by a knock-out (KO) or hold the opponent down on the mat for a “count of three” to win by a pin.

The player sitting near the ‘red’ corner of the wrestling ring uses 4 ‘red’ wrestling dice, the player near the ‘blue’ corner, the 4 blue wrestling dice.
Each player also has a HIT die and a PIN die.

Players begin by each rolling their own set of ‘wrestling dice’ at the same time, trying to ensure that they land in, or touching the wrestling ring.
The results of HITs, BLOCKs, COUNTERs, and MISS rolled are played off against each other then the HIT dice can be rolled to see what damage they did. i.e Drop Kick, Forearm smash, Table slam etc. Damage is recorded on the Strength Score Card of the player being hit.
If a player rolls two HITs in one round, instead of rolling the HIT dice twice, they can take a chance on the Luchador! die once which may result in their wrestler’s trademark moves and inflict much more damage on their opponent.

Any PINs rolled in a round may be re-rolled, once only. However once an opponent is reduced on their strength to where they are pinable, the PIN die is held until after the HITs have been inflicted then the PIN die is rolled. If PIN comes up, the ‘three count’ begins. The player being pinned has three attempts to save, using their wrestling dice or lose the match.

In a tag-team match players have the choice of trying to tag-out to regain slight strength, but it can also cost them…, if they fail to tag and get dragged back into the ring by their eager opponent.”

I played a demo of this game at the UK Games Expo this year – it was my favourite game of the show. In short, it’s a fantastic amount of fun in the same vein as ‘King of Tokyo’, although it only supports 2 or 4 players. An ideal filler game, or one for taking down the pub (we did suggest on the day that they laminate the board in the final product  – I wonder if they did?)

Highly recommended.

4 Comments on Luchador! out this week

  1. Of all the great games released at Essen you do pick the strangest one .. :p

  2. commander roj // November 4, 2013 at 12:56 // Reply

    Sounds a bit random Neil. Apart from getting the “skill” of rolling the dice into the ring, is there any strategy/tactical element to the game?

    • Well, the bottom line is that it’s a relatively lite opposed-roll push-your-luck dice game, but there are some choices in what you can do. I must admit, I don’t remember the nuances of the game at this point – but I do remember that we had a huge amount of fun playing it.

      Here is the BGG page – they have a PDF of the rules available there.

  3. At first look it may seem like there are few meaningful decisions to be made in Luchador. However when you play the game it can be surprising just how many choices you may face.

    People have already mentioned the simple choices between rolling two hit die or taking the chance and going for the Lucha Dice, and choosing when to tag-out in a 4 or 6 player game, but there are others.

    Choosing to fight defensively – ie a player may choose to hold over one unused block result for one round (rolling just 3 die on the next and adding the held dice back in as an automatic block). This is a useful tactic to help keep your wrestler out of the PIN Zone but it will lessen the possible damage you may score against you opponent.

    Do I re-roll that pin? –
    Players can always re-roll any PIN results, and at the start of the game (when your opponent is too strong to PIN) it seems that you would always do this, but that will depend on what your opponent has rolled. There are times when it is better not to re-roll (ie if your opponent has an unused Counter result on the mat). If your opponent has rolled several Pin results too do you re-roll yours and hope to get more hits (hits that may be blocked or even countered by his re-rolled PIN results), or do you let the round end as it is and chose not to re-roll.

    Even when your opponent is within the ‘Pin Zone’ if you roll 2 or more PIN results what do you do?

    eg. Your opponent has rolled 3 hits, you have rolled a miss, a block and 2 pins. You must choose to either keep both PINs to give you 2 chances to PIN your opponent at the end of the round (but therefore leaving yourself open to take anything from 2 points up to 7 points of damage). Or do you keep only one PIN back and try to re-roll to get either another block or even better a Counter which would reduce the possible damage you face dramatically and still leave you with one attempt to PIN your opponent to win the game.
    Or do you re-roll both Pins, giving up your chance to PIN in this round but doubling your chances to reduce the damage you may take?

    Luchador is a simple, push your luck Dice game and that will always limit a players control over events as the game plays out, but it is untrue to say there are no choices to make.

    Hidden amongst all the fun,laughter, smack talk and bad Mexican accents that will occur when you play there are decissions to be made and they can make a difference to the final out come.

    Leo Boyd
    Backspindle Games.

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