Traffic James

He’s the sexy air traffic controller you never knew you needed.

We have a new RUMBLESLAM wrestler coming your way on Friday as our 2021 Exclusives go up on pre-sale!

We’ve seen luchador halflings, skeletons in mankinis, and mechanical dwarf-made golems. However, this guy may take a little explaining. It’s kind of a deep cut in-joke, but here we go!

James – The Man, The Myth, The Meme

Back in the misty past of 2016 there was a little game (alright it wasn’t that little, the Kickstarter made over £600,000) called Dropfleet Commander.

Published by Hawk Wargames, it’s a game of spaceship combat set in orbit over planets with commanders trying to reinforce their ground forces while trying to not blow up in big explosions. Back in 2017 Hawk ran into financial troubles, and TTCombat bought the company.

So anyway, in this game of orbital combat, there’s a 3D space represented on a 2D board. That means that it’s very likely your spaceship models are going to get into trouble basing into each other, despite being thousands of miles apart in-universe. So there’s a little section in the rulebook about these annoying traffic jams and how to deal with them.

Unfortunately though, there’s a particularly excellent typo:

In the title, no less!

Now, this isn’t a slight on Hawk – I think everyone knows we at TTCombat have made our fair share of typos over the years!

Well anyway, the Dropfleet community picked up on this one and ran with it. So now everytime there’s an error it’s cheerfully referred to as a Traffic James. The designer David Lewis says:

Traffic James is actually not that bad. Right up until the last proof-read one of the main title pages had the game called Dropfeet Commander – that would have been devastating.

Well, when deciding on a Dropfleet/RUMBLESLAM cross-over character, we couldn’t resist bringing James to life. I asked for a UCM New York as a transformer but was shot down. Probably better this way!

Rei drew this version of James. He comes complete with rock-hard abs, a navy hat with the UCM logo, and even a couple of tattoos showing his allegiance and rank. What a hunk!

The Rules

That’s enough of a deep dive into the background of Traffic James, but what does he actually do?

Well, right off the bat I’ll say that Traffic James is very much a support character. He’s got a decent statline with a fair amount of silver dice, but he’s not an out-and-out brawler. Still, he won’t give up too quickly in a fight, and good luck throwing him out of the ring with a very good DEX!

As far as attack power goes though, the Burnthrough Armbar is a rope attack worth its weight in gold! Probably. It does 2 DMG, but drawing a mechanic straight from Dropfleet, any successful rolls adds another dice. And if that dice rolls any numbers, you add another dice. And keep going until you stop. With a bit of luck, James can instant KO any opponent!

My record for the Burnthrough Armbar is 0. Chris’ record is 14.

Raise the Flight Deck might be familiar to Deadly Divas players, and is one of Traffic James’ best abilities. Re-rolling failed Crowd Pleasers is always an excellent skill! James is best when supporting his team, keeping everyone happy and keeping the fans cheering (or booing I guess, if that’s your thing).

Speaking of Crowd Pleasers, James has to have a good one.

Okay! So… wait, let me read that again.

4 squares towards… an objective? Wait, this doesn’t make much sense. I’ll check the rulebook and get back to you. They’ll probably put out an errata for it or something.

So that’s James! There’s a little more to him than meets the eye, but that’s all we’re revealing for now. He – like all the other 2021 exclusives – will be available to pre-order from the TTCombat webstore tomorrow, so make sure to check back then for the full details!

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