King of Tokyo: Tag Team
The Basics: Mutants, robots, aliens battle for control of Tokyo in a press-your-luck, dice-rolling and card-drafting game designed by Richard Garfield (perhaps better-known for creating Magic: The Gathering). Um, actually... if you don’t already know what this game is about, check out Wil Wheaton’s Table Top episode. It’s a good way to waste 30 minutes and get a better picture of the game than I can describe here.
The Problem: Anyone that has played and enjoyed King of Tokyo likely did not play the game with just two players. The game becomes very one-sided and there appears to be very little that can balance the game other than another player.
The Solution: Invoking all kinds of Gojira and Gamera nostalgia, a small attempt at fixing this came to my table in the form of wrestling style tag-team matches. The game basically functions as normal, with a few small changes.
Detailed below are some house rules for tagging up for some crunchy, satisfying 2-on-2 monster mashin’.
King of Tokyo: Tag Team Match
The Deck: Use all power cards as written. If a card affects all monsters, ally monsters are also affected. I recommend removing the following cards from the deck before playing head-to-head: Fire-breathing (Neighbours? This is head-to-head. Too confusing.) Nova Breath (7 energy to punch your ally in the back of the head. Derpy, but you can leave it in if you like it.) Possibly also Healing Ray which becomes so OP (but I like leaving it in.)
Tokyo: Take Tokyo, as per the rules. Use both Tokyo City and Tokyo Bay. A monster must be attacked to leave Tokyo, unless they possess some power to do so. While in control of Tokyo, all attacks are focussed on the enemy team. Your ally monster is safe from your attacks. You are NOT safe from their attacks. Think of this as friendly fire, misfires, miscommunication… whatever sells the story for you. Gamera and Gojira mashed each other accidentally when they were working together. An ally may take Tokyo from another ally only by attacking them. TAG! You are in. (If both ally monsters are in Tokyo, their attacks do no harm to each other. Consider this an advantage for claiming both spots in the city.)
Victory: Both teammate monsters must be eliminated or both teammate monsters must reach 20 Victory Points.
Tips: If you are like me and suffer the goldfishy memory deficiency, use some kind of turn tracking device for your monsters. I currently use the elastics which bind my game cards. Drape the elastic over the monsters to indicate who goes next. Another option might be using poker chips.
For a longer variation:
|がんばって, Gigazaur! ファイト！|
Down, Not Out!: When a monster is eliminated, it may return to play on the next turn. It loses all power cards, VPs and energy. However, it can heal 2 health per heart rolled in this turn. On this roll, no points count, no energy is claimed nor are attacks. Only count up your hearts. 3 hearts = 6 health!
Woo! You are back in the fight.
The Verdict: 2-on-2 King of Tokyo provides a little more bang for your 2-player buck and will draw the game out a little. Unfortunately, the truth is that even tag-team has it’s own kinks and hiccoughs and the game REALLY is best with 3 or 4 different players.