BRAWL

Release Date: February, 2000
Set Size: 6 Buttons, 1 Rare
Publisher: Cheapass Games
Designers: James Ernest, Nick Sauer
Artist: Ryan Kinnaird
New Rules: Speed Dice, S Swing
Rare: Sydney

Button Men: BRAWL is one of those crazy cross-promotions that has to be done, no matter how confusing it is. And it was certainly cheaper than doing BRAWL decks of all the original Button Men! To capture the speed of the card game, James Ernest and Nick Sauer developed Speed Dice, which are some of the most powerful dice around.

Design Notes

While a lot of people looked at Speed Dice and ran away in terror, they aren’t actually that much stronger than ordinary dice. And the BRAWL characters were designed to minimize the impact of the Speed Die’s optional third attack, not counting Sydney. Nevertheless, many players rejected the BRAWL set as simply too powerful in comparison to the existing Button Men.

Nick Sauer designed these characters with a specific goal: Neutralize those Button Men which he felt were dominating the game environment, namely the Lunch Money girls. Speed Dice specifically destroy characters with smaller dice, which the Lunch Money girls have in abundance.

James Ernest has remarked that, knowing now what he does about Speed Attacks, he’d like to reexamine the original Button Men system. He thinks the entire structure of the game might have been balanced if all dice had Speed Attacks as a third optional attack, and were worth zero points to keep. The rationale is that small dice (1 through 4 specifically) are far more valuable on a die-by-die basis, because the probability of going first with these dice increases geometrically. 20’s, by contrast, are huge liabilities. A third Speed Attack on every die could nullify the need for the somewhat clunky half-point scoring system which was included to balance the set as it stood in early 1999. But to him we say, get with the program James. The game’s just fine the way it is!

In the table below, “z” indicates Speed Dice.

Name Die 1 Die 2 Die 3 Die 4 Die 5 Special?
Bennett 6 8 z20 z20 S
Chris z6 z8 10 z12 S
Darwin 4 6 z10 20 X
Hale z8 12 20 20 S
Morgan z10 z12 z12 zX
Pearl 6 8 12 X zX
Rare
Sydney z4 z6 z8 z10 zX Not tournament legal