Killer Croquet isn’t the first action / sport simulation board game. There is a whole genre of sports games with a slice of violent chaos thrown in.
“Fantasy” Sport Board Game as a Genre really hit it’s stride in 1987 with Jervis Johnson’s Blood Bowl. A miniatures game aligned with Games Workshop that pits the various Tolkien Fantasy Races against each other in a game of traditional American Football. In the tradition of both Miniatures Games and Football, the rules for Blood Bowl are a 60 page affair, covering every fringe case and creating a realistic and complex game system. Rules to simulate turnovers and possession, and tables for injuries and effects, and templates for fumble trajectories, etc etc etc.
Blood Bowl took the interesting elements of the miniatures game, and gave it new structure and objectives. There have been a handful of new games in the past 5 years that have taken that concept and expanded and changed the idea of how sports could be represented Ina miniatures game. Dread Ball makes a faster paced arena game set in a Sci Fi universe. Scrumbrawl uses cards, with a monster summoner vibe. Kaos Ball adds a bit more wacky cartoonish elements over the hyper brutalized elements common in miniature games.
The premise of these games is fairly straightforward. You have the basic physics of the players and the balls, you have the rules and objectives that are given by the “game within the game”, and some actions and elements that supersede the game rules (read: cheating / violence)
The idea of the “game within a game” and mechanical “cheating”, was a concept that really excited me when I set out to design Killer Croquet, because it was something I had not seen in board games at the time. Since discovering this entire genre of games that exist along those guiding principles, I have become even more excited about my game. The “Fantasy” Sport Genre is still quite small, often lumped together with broader “arena games”, “sports games”, and “miniatures games”. Though it wasn’t my original intention, my game acts as a “gateway” level game for the action / fantasy sport genre. My game has a very streamlined set of rules and centers around fewer more meaningful options.
In the near future I’ll be working to reach out to these other game designers, and we’ll see if there won’t be some cool promotional items in time for the Kickstarter, no promises though.