I came across ScrumBrawl at the 2011 SoonerCon in Oklahoma City, and I was immediately fascinated. The game is solidly fantasy, but it is also a sports game reminiscent of the old magnetized football or miniature hockey sets. It has player-controlled monsters ala Magic: The Gathering, but it has objective, board-related goals like a miniatures battle. Whatever its genre really is, ScrumBrawl makes for a great game.
The fantasy element is the most obvious. Set in the Great Arena (based on a back story involving dreams and the sphinx Queen Margaela), players act as captains controlling some 50 fantasy creatures such as satyrs, ghosts, trolls, hydra, and leprechauns all organized into different tribes that give bonuses when aligned with one another, though any player can conjure any creature on its card draw. These mechanics smack of time-tested gameplay in Magic, but ScrumBrawl is much more self-contained than the ever-expanding CCG.
Still, being a complete set does not limit the variability of the game. Each creature comes with a long list of characteristics involving throwing abilities, speed, flight, magic, and special attacks. Some creatures are large enough to be “Adept” (carrying an orb and still being able to attack another creature), others are so small that the Heavy Orb will crush them if they are in the same space. Into the more fantastical realm, Gargoyles can turn to stone for extra defense and the various mages can cast spells such as Transmutation or Teleportation. Even the orbs are variable with magical qualities such as slipperiness or breaking when dropped once or even causing chaotic teleportation. Enchantment cards give power-ups, creating an even wider range of possibilities as creatures can become blessed with luck or resistant to attack. Other cards cause Instant Events such as Lightning Storms that strike the board at random when drawn, making the game as raucous as any sporting event.