Avalon Hill's "Game of Professional Wrestling". Published in 1990, Wrasslin' is a fast and humorous card game satirising wrestling. It can be played head to head (2 players), tag team (4 players) or "Battle Royal", with 5 or more players in the ring at once.

Wrasslin' is full of references to professional wrestling, from the Hulk Hoganish "The Champ", to illegal moves like manager interference (which is ok if the referee looked away, of course). Unforgettable characters like "The Garbage Man" (who can spew on other players) and "Mr. Brutal, The Mad Hairdresser" combined with the fast action of this game, makes it a very enjoyable pasttime.

Credit where credit is due

Source: The rule booklet

The Rules

I won't go through all the rules, but lets have a quick look at them.

Play alternates between the players. In your turn, you basically play or discard cards and then fill your hand to seven cards. In your opponent's turn, you react to his plays.

There are a few types of cards. The standard card is called a Hold (like Bear Hug, Piledriver and Headlock), and does a certain amount of damage to the opponent unless it is stopped with a Reaction card (like Block or Reverse). Some Holds are illegal (e.g. Foreign Object and Gouging), but that only matters if the opponent plays a Referee card.

As your character takes damage you put the actual damage cards next to him. He will be less and less able to play cards (a bit more on that later), to the point where he is immobilised. A submittal will not be far away, unless he manages to play a Recovery card. These handy cards remove the damage you've taken in a fifo manner.

And of course you have the Pin Card; a good way to win is holding your opponent down for three rounds with this card. A few more special cards do various other cool things...

Each character has a Wrestler Card with stats which will determine what kind of cards he is allowed to play, among other things.

  • Strength allows the character to play Strength Holds (if he is stronger than his opponent) and Lifting Holds (if he is stronger than his opponent's Weight).
  • Agility and
  • Skill is both needed to do the more technically challenging Holds.
  • Power Surge lets you boost your character's Strength with Power Surge Cards (which is useful, but I won't go into the details).
  • Weight is how much your character weighs (well, duh), which has positive and negative sides to it. An average weight is usually the best.
  • Recovery is how many damage cards you are allowed to get rid of in a turn.
  • Specialty - ah, the special move that only your character can pull off...

The characters are quite different (in a not balanced way), so some sort of bidding system can be followed. Examples:

  • The Wrestler cards are divided equally among the players. They "rank" them secretly by putting them face down in a stack, top priority on top. Decide with a 50% chance on a die-roll (say, even number) whether to use the top cards. Continue until a set of cards are chosen.
  • "Elimination Tournament" from the rules: Divide the Wrestler Cards as above, but the players play through all their characters, one by one. When a wrestler submits, he is replaced with a fresh one.

    On an end note, I think the game is probably out of print - the reason being that Avalon Hill was bought and slaughtered a couple of years ago. You might be able to find it second hand - try www.finegames.com, for example.

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