The following list is by no means exhaustive. In fact, it’s nowhere near exhaustive.
An ancient Greek twist on the ol’ Johnball formula.
The set-up is the same as free-for-all, but when a player has lost their last life, they becomes a statue and stands motionless in the spot where they received their final blow. If a statue catches a Johnball, they are back in the game with one life and the player who hit the johnball loses a life. Statues can pivot to catch balls, but cannot move otherwise.
Optional: Eliminated players can kick johnballs into existing players to take away lives. This gives statues something more to do and encourages the remaining Johnballers to stay in the action and not hide amongst the frozen ones.
Medusa can also be turned on as a switch.
Fashion Wars is all about being the snazziest cat in the club while giving others no choice but to conform to your idea of style. Before the game starts, each Johnballer remodels their current attire into a hippity hoppity new fashion. You can tuck in your shirt and hike your pants up, make yourself a “shirt necklace,” roll up your sleeves and show forunate passerbyers your awe-inspiring guns, remodel your shirt into a toga- just find a characteristic way to wear your shirt and pants and you’re good to go. Get creative as you want.
Once the game starts, trends in the fashion world will start taking some drastic shifts. When you hit another Johnballer, they must conform to your style (everyone should remember to yell “CONFORM!” when this happens.) This newly converted player is now your partner in the fashion industry and will likewise now assimilate new endorsers of your fashion every time they hit someone. The game ends when all Johnballers have conformed to one fashion and the fashion world is homogenized forever.
Fashion Wars can also be played as a team game, with the enterprise beginning with teams of any size. Doubles Fashion Wars in particular has worked well, as well as having a game of just two large teams each with their own fashion.
Special Starting Rules: Around the starting circle, introduce your fashion to the group. Share its name and maybe enlighten everyone a bit on its origin.
One vs. All
Do you think you are a better all-around person than the rest of your friends? Do you often hold a Johnball bat and stand flexing in front of a mirror for extended periods of time? Then this is the game for you. One person is selected to be the juggernaut; the rest are mere peasants. The juggernaut has as many lives as there are people in the game (give or take a couple, as you see fit). All peasants have just one life. It is the divine duty of the peasants to band together and vanquish the juggernaut. The goal of the super-powered juggernaut is to eradicate all peasants from the face of the earth, one by one.
If desired, the juggernaut may be equipped with an extra large & mighty bat or wield two bats.
Down With The King
AKA King of the Hill, Long Live the King, ¡Revolución!
Never has regicide been so rewarding nor politics any easier.
This gametype is similar to Juggernaut in that it’s a game of one verus all. The difference is that the juggernaut (or in this case, the king) is constantly changing from person to person throughout the game.
Before the game begins, a king is chosen. (Selection process is at Johnballers’ discretion.) Once the round starts, it’s a full-scale rebellion– all Johnballers versus the king. There will be much shouting of “Down with the king!” and various loud jeerings done in egregious foreign accents. When a player hits the king, that player is crowned the new king and it’s now everyone versus him/her. When a king hits someone, they gain a point. You can only gain points while king. The first king to reach a predetermined number of points wins. They are king of the land for forever and ever, immune to further uprising.
But wait. There’s even more chaotic fun you can add to the foray. Have every player come up with a certain rule that they will impose on all other players whilst king, effective only while they’re crowned. Maybe your decree is to have all Johnballers play with only one shoe, or have a gag order on all verbal communications besides showering praises to Your Highness. Anything’s game, get creative as you want. Just don’t impose a decree that would significantly cripple others’ ability to play Johnball or the fun of the game overall.
King of the Hill also works well as a team game. Work together to fight for absolute reign over the kingdom by pairing up with a partner or forming larger teams. In this case, the kingship would transfer from team to team rather than player to player.
Johnball: The Movie
A game for smaller groups that say “Hey, let’s just have some fun and be ridiculous.”
The game works the same as Free-For-All, except all Johnballers are required to act like they are in a movie. Expect an absurd level of drama and over-the-top stunts. Patricipants will probably be partaking in passionate oaths for revenge, an endless stream of one-liners from their most beloved action movies, needless but awe-inspiring dodges & hits, and a plentiful dosage of angsty “NOOOOOOOO!”
When a player loses their final life, they might still have a chance at retribution. If their dramatic death is deemed worthy of acclaim or sympathy (or a Golden Globe), any remaining Johnballer can declare their heartfelt approval, and the individual who was once lost to Death’s cold embrace is resurrected like a phoenix from the ashes and given one more life.
Something like reverse VIP, and heaped with a healthy dosage of anxiety.
In VIP, you got to choose who would be your team’s über-important VIP. In Victim, you simply don’t get that luxury. The VIP of each team (or “Victim”) is decided by another team. The identity of the Victim remains a secret until the fateful moment when they are hit. At that point, the other team will reveal that they were, in fact, the Victim and, in effect, their entire team is knocked out. As is the case with VIP, the other members of the team have 3-5 lives.
If you notice that your adversaries are oddly bent on bringing about your demise, you might just be your team’s Victim. But don’t you fret, your teammates are there for you. And if by their life or death they can protect you, they will.
If you’re doing a number of VIP rounds, why not keep the same teams and mix it up with a game of Victim?
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a Johnball.
This gametype takes the standard rules of dodgeball and applies them to Johnball. It’s a game for two teams, with everyone having just one life. “Catch Me If You Can” is turned on. If you catch a ball, not only do you eliminate the player who hit it, but one of your defeated teammates gets to jump back into the game.
If desired, headshots can result in a jailbreak (all teammates who were out are now back in). Also, players can start with more than just the one life. But upon resurrection, it’s suggested that they still only have the one.
Traditionally, Wrench has been played as a two team face-off. However, this gametype can also function like VIP, wherein there are many teams simultaneously on the battlefield.
In this mode, everyone has just one life; you’re out after receiving your first hit. But if the person who hit you gets hit themselves, you’re back in the game. The way this works out is that you’ll have to eliminate all other players without getting eliminated yourself. Victory can be acheived no other way.
Be prepared for a lengthier game with this one. But that should be OK; all players will have breaks to rest as they wait to be avenged. It’s almost like a series of Free-For-All games. Probably works best with no more than eight players.
The Saskatchewan Shuffle
AKA Mad Dash Bats, Shatter Bats, The Boeck Bounce (after orginator Sean Boeck of Kansas)
Scatter all the bats across the field (preferably, there should be more bats than Johnballers). The gametype operates the same way as Free-For-All, but Johnballers are only allowed one hit per bat. Once their bat makes contact with the johnball, they must ditch it and scramble for a new one. Anything from blocks to hits to accident taps count as making contact –- afterwards, you’ll be forced to end the loving relationship with the bat in your hands and quickly find a new one.
Once the game dwindles down to just a few remaining players, it’s usually best at that point to just make it a standard free-for-all with no bat-shufflin’. Otherwise, the game might drag on for a bit too long.
Saskatchewan Shuffle can also function as a switch. Try out other gametypes with the added element of one-bat-per-hit.
“A fellow man I may value as a friend, but only a johnball can I cherish as my friend.” -Aristotle
In this game, each individual has one johnball paired up with them. They will bestow a name upon this ball and grow to love it tenderly and unconditionally. Buddy System operates the same was as Free-For-All, except if you hit someone with your buddyball, it does more damage- taking away more than just one life. (The amount of lives it depletes could be anything. 2-3 works well but anything goes.) If you land a hit on anyone with any other ball, it still takes away just the one life.
Be sure to yell “You did it, [insert your buddyball’s name]!” whenever you use your special spherical soulmate to hit someone. Otherwise, your buddyball will not feel validated and, consequently, will be unable to drain any additional lives from your opponent.
Really only works with small groups, so this is a great gametype to bring out when playing with just a couple of buddies.
Special starting rules: Introduce your ball (by name) to the other players and tell them just a bit about it: what kind of personality it has, where you two met, how it feels about the latest Spider-Man movie…
An invention of UWEC Johnball
The game starts out like a Free-For-All, with each player has a set amount of lives (2 seems to be a good number). When a person loses their last life, they become a “minion” of the person who took their last life. This minion now must fight as a teammate of their new master.
Minions have one life. If the minion’s owner dies, then that minion is out of the game (and the owner becomes a minion of the person who took their last life).
Minions can also gain minions as well. If a Minion dies, then all of their minions, and minion’s below them die as well. If the owner dies, then all of the minions below her/him dies as well (minions of minions of minions etc.)
It seems like a lot to keep track of, but the gametype works well and usually runs very smoothly.
One more thing. If a person has three or more minions, they are considered a Necromancer.