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Jon-Paul Decosse

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Go to the Maximum Throwdown page

Maximum Throwdown

22 out of 22 gamers thought this was helpful

I picked up Maximum Throwdown at GenCon 2013 for a cool 5 bucks at the AEG booth, and recently brought it out for a family gaming night. The rulebook is only one page of instructions, which inspired one of the other players to ****** them up and figure out how to play. A good omen, indeed!

There are six factions in the game, and for each faction, there’s a home base card. Setting up the opening “battle arena” is simply taking a number of these base cards, and arranging them in a formation of your choice. If you’re not sure where to begin here, the rulebook provides a few formation suggestions.

Each player takes one faction deck (each representing different characters in the AEG Universe), and then gameplay begins. The player to scream “MAXIMUM THROWDOWN!” the loudest goes first – a great touch, which drew us right into the Mortal Kombat-esque theme.

For the first turn, each player will simply take the top card from their draw pile, and toss into into the battle arena, hoping that it lands on top of one of the other cards, with the action symbols face up. If a card doesn’t land on another (thus being outside of the battle arena), it’s discarded from the game.

What are these action symbols, you ask? Let me tell you! There are six in the game, allowing for extra card draws, extra card throws/re-throws, stealing from opponent draw piles, attacking opponent draw piles, point pips, and the ever-powerful break symbol, which will allow for a card landing outside the battle arena to remain in play.

On subsequent turns, you’ll start by checking for points (1 for every 6 visible pips on your cards), then take inventory of your action symbols. Next, execute all steals and attacks – either thinning out the decks (sort of a health meter) of your opponents by STEALING one per symbol, and tossing them into the field (probably face down for maximum screwage), or just outright discarding them for an ATTACK. Next, draw cards into your hand – one card minimum, plus one for every DRAW symbol visible, and then throw your cards into the battle arena, again, minimum one throw, plus one for every THROW symbol. The throw symbol can alternately be used to re-throw a card that landed outside of the battle arena.

And that’s pretty much the game! Count your points each round, try to cover the symbols of your opponents while furthering your own cause. Once a player has no cards remaining, their turn is merely limited to scoring points and stealing/attacking. Once all players have empty draw piles, everyone does one final scoring round, and the player with the most points wins!

For me, the great fun of this game comes down to the BREAK action symbol. Being able to deliberately miss a throw and still have it count is pretty awesome. In one play of the game, we were tossing cards across the room, under couches, and at each other! If you have enough visible break symbols to keep those throws legal, more power to you! Of course, once a card breaks from the arena, it becomes a legal place for others to throw their cards, making for some really entertaining turns.

Ultimately, this is a silly dexterity game, not to be taken seriously for anything beyond what it aims to be. A great filler, a great drinking game, and a fun 15 minute romp!

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