Arcane Wonders and Rooster Teeth have teamed up to bring Monty Oum’s popular American anime-style web series, RWBY, to the tabletop in RWBY: Combat Ready. It’s a game fast-paced, cooperative combat where players must support one another while each takes their turn in a 1-on-1 battle with a villain. The game supports 2-4 players, each playing one of the girls from team RWBY (pronounced “Ruby”): Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang. I have to admit that I’d never even heard of RWBY until I was approached to do a preview of the game, so I’m not up to speed on the characters, story, or anything else besides the fact that these 4 girls fight a bad guy and swarms of monsters.
The Combat Ready demo kit that I was sent contained just enough cards to run through a pre-scripted scenario created specifically for the media. It has 5 Ruby cards, 1 card each for Weiss, Blake, and Yang, 3 Grimm, and a set of cards for the Villain Deck. The script takes you through 5 rounds where the active player, Ruby, faces off against Roman. The main combat of the game is similar to War. The Villain’s card is drawn and placed face down, the only suggestion of what it might be seen from the varying stances on the card’s back. The active player then chooses an attack from their deck, the Villain’s card is flipped over, and the highest value card wins and does damage. There are also special abilities to affect anything from the speed of the attack to how much damage it does if it succeeds. Players can also build up Battle Fury to unleash Ultimates that deal massive damage and automatically knock a Villain back.
Now if this were the entire game it might get a bit boring, both for the active player and the other players forced to sit around and wait their turn. Fortunately, there are ways for the other players to support the active player by either providing buffs or battling Grimm brought onto the battlefield by the Villain. The scripted demo gets into this a bit towards the end, having each other character take an action to defeat some monsters or provide Ruby with a much-needed boost to get her out of a sticky situation.
While the demo kit was cool, all it really did was give a very small taste of what I can imagine the entire game will be like. There was nothing in it except cards, so no character boards, way to track stats or anything of the like. It’s tough to really write much of a preview based off a 5 minute, scripted demo, but I can say it was enough to seriously catch my interest. It feels like the game would be fast paced and wholly reliant on players pulling together to squeak out a win. The rotating active player also seems like a great way to handle overly zealous cooperative players who want to micro-manage everyone else’s moves.
RWBY: Combat Ready is already funded, and a minimum pledge of $45 will get you the base game with all sorts of goodies added in as you go up in pledge level There’s also a slew of excellent stretch goals, some of which have already been unlocked.
I’m eager to get my hands on the final product and really see what this one can do.