One of the elements that I strove for in Killer Croquet, was to create a game that taking an action was easy to do, but taking an optimal action required a bit of brain power. For example, attacking a player doesn’t score you any points, you only score points if you land the final blow. It’s very much a matter of understanding when and where to damage your opponents to actually make headway in the game.
It took a lot of pruning to keep things balanced, but there have always been a handful of advanced rules included in the book to shift the balance of the game.
For the Violent
After a player understands the basic rules, it is much easier to layer more complex rules on top that modify things they already do. The first advanced rule Makes things a little easier for the bloodthirsty.
Free Attack: When you enter a space with an opposing player, you may make one attack against one opponent in that space without spending an action to do so.
This frees up many more opportunities for attacking, as it essentially combines a free attack as part of a movement action. Playing your ball through the wickets is still an incredibly important part of the game, because that gives you additional actions with which you can lay waste to your opponents. It does mean that attacking is also less of a commitment. Players are more likely to be throwing damage around, but again it becomes important to know who to damage and when to ensure another player doesn’t snake your kill.
Despite the fun theme and the easy to grasp mechanics, there is a lot of calculation involved in this Croquet Bloodsport. What interesting, is that giving player more opportunity to attack satisfies certain types of players, but doesn’t give more advantage to violent players, simply more agency. Smart, vigilant players (regardless of bloodlust) will always have the advantage, and that is how I believe it ought to be.