Calaca Cabala – Rules of the Dead

The Calaca Cabala are dancing into the ring, but how do they perform?

First off, they do a lot of dancing. And a lot of wrestling. And a lot of dying and getting up again. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a wrestling team of undead mariachi skeletons!

With the Calaca Cabala on their way to RUMBLESLAM rings worldwide, it’s time to have a peek at their rules. How exactly does this band of skellies work in the squared circle?

The Dance of the Dead

The Calaca Cabala have a couple of team-wide special rules, and it influences everything about their play style, so let’s start there!

Starting at the bottom, all character with Luchador Calavera get to roll 2 Crowd dice when recovering from being KO’d. That means their chances of recovering go up to 75% with each roll! These luchadores are already skeletons, so KOing them doesn’t quite have the same effect.

In game that means your team is a lot more survivable. Your opponents will have to focus on throwing or pinning your wrestlers on the same round, which gives you the opportunity to block their attempts to do so.

The Danza de los Muertos is the big rule though. Every time any wrestler is KO’d, Calaca Cabala gain a re-roll. Note that this isn’t the same as an Endorsement re-roll, since only wrestlers with Danza de los Muertos can use them. In practice this means you’re going to get lots of chances to pull off moves!

Of course, more wrestlers get KO’d towards the end of the game, so you’ll find that as time goes on your skellies will get more and more powerful. Or you could run your Angelitos in early to try to get them beaten up. Seems an odd choice, but this team is all about the KOs!

Angelitos

Speaking of Angelitos, let’s have a look at them.

The Angelitos are your WEIGHT 1 wrestlers. They’re little Halfling skeletons and they’re… well they’re kind of what you’d expect Halfling skeletons to be like.

They have a decent number of dice, although they’re mostly Copper. +1 on DEF is a welcome bonus though! With only 4 Stamina they’re not going to be staying around long. Luckily enough they’re Lucador Calaveras though, so these ladies will get back up and keep fighting!

What they lack in flat power they make up for in special rules though! With -AP, -MP, Lifted, and Bleeding scattered around, these are some useful skeletons!

Of particular note is the Angelitos Brawler’s Turnbuckle attack. For 3AP is does 3 Damage AND Lifted, which means even your fighter is going to be able to throw enemies from the ring! Target someone with 3 Stamina left and throw them out for free!

If you can spare the AP, you’re going to want to be using these little ones for Crowd Pleasers. We’re not going to spoil them both, but the Angelitos Grappler has this amazing ability! As if Luchador Calavera wasn’t enough, now they get to recover for free!

Difuntos

The Difuntos are your WEIGHT 2 wrestlers.

These skele-women are not to be messed with! They make be super into their dancing, but they still have time to beat you up.

2 Copper +1 to their main stat makes them pretty scary with a potential roll of 7, and a healthy smattering of Silver dice in every other stat provides a little more reliability. Of particular note here is that every member of the Calaca Cabala has 1S 1C Dexterity. It’s not amazing but it means that every wrestler has an equal chance of getting the initiative, so your opponents will never know which direction the dance is coming from!

As with the Angelitos they’re pretty light on Stamina, but look at that as a good thing: every time they’re KO’d, you get another re-roll!

Your Difuntos Brawler will be excellent at repositioning your opponents thanks to the Shove 3 of her Golpe de Huesos Rope Ability, and strangely enough the Difuntos Grappler can get pretty good at punching too! Estacas Indias will Knockdown your opponent, and then she gets a cheeky free Fury attack while they’re on the ground!

I particularly like the Difuntos Brawler’s Crowd Pleaser ability, which puts her 1S GRP all the way up to 2G. With the right moves, all of the wrestlers in this team are pretty balanced, able to brawl or grapple to take on all manner of foes!

Bandido Esqueleto

Okay, it’s time for the big kahuna!

This is one big skeleton! And a cyclops too!

This chunky boi really brings the pain in this team. Equally good at brawling and grappling, he’s also pretty tough with 3S DEF and 10 Stamina! Your other wrestlers are quite good at dealing a decent amount of damage (the Difuntos Brawler’s Tornillo does 4 Damage on its own!), and the Bandido does well standing in the middle, tanking some hits, and then throwing out enemy wrestlers with his massive THROW 7!

He’s also got some decent moves too, with Palanca being a personal favourite. 2AP nets you only a single damage, but also -1AP and a Fury hit. With his high ATT value, that free Brawl attack can easily get a Beatdown, doing even more damage!

No Bandido would venture out without their guns, and this one is no different! You may even notice that the model has spare Finger Guns in his holsters! In game terms, Bandido Esqueleto can shoot his enemies, causing Knockdown from a distance. It’s an equal dice roll usually, but if you have friendly KO’d wrestlers it becomes extremely one-sided, meaning this is a great ability to use later in the game to turn the tables.

Senora Muerte

No team is complete without a Superstar, and Senora Muerte is quite the character!

This lady is torn between the worlds of the living and the dead, with a hand in each. She’s also tough as nails!

She’s got a tonne of dice, and a handy +1 to her DEF too. Favouring grappling moves, Senora Muerte can still bring the pain, especially with a Knockdown Turnbuckle Ability!

She has the Danza de los Muertos ability, which means she can add and benefit from those all-important re-rolls. And while she’s a bit too human to benefit from Luchador Calavera, she has 9 Stamina so won’t get KO’d easily.

Of course we have to talk about Touch of Death. For 2AP you roll 3C against your opponent’s DEF. It doesn’t cause any damage, but does cause Dazed. Not a great use of AP really. But if you cause a Beatdown, it’s an instant KO! Touch of Death indeed!

For someone literally called “Lady Death” it should come as no surprise that Senora is a HEEL. Her Crowd Pleaser allows her to make a deal with the devil, and bring everyone back to life! It automatically causes everyone to recover from KO, including enemy wrestlers. Enemies gain a Bleeding counter though, so when they start their activation they might just fall right back over again! Combined with the Danza de los Muertos, you can use Senora Muerte to great effect to gain a bunch of re-rolls and then recover without even having to roll.

 

I’ve been playing with the Calaca Cabala for a while now, and they’re easily my new favourites. With sub-par core stats they suffer at the start of the game, and at round 2 every game I think I’m just going to lose. However, round 3 is when everything often falls into place, they get a bunch of re-rolls and steamroller their way to victory!

If this sounds like a team you’d enjoy playing as (or even if you just fancy doing a little freehand on all their flower patterns), it’s not long to wait! The whole team and Senora Muerte are on sale this Friday! Make sure to stop back then when we’ll have the full low-down.

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