The box says it all, Super-computer driven CHAOS!!!! It doesn't get much better. Pick your petty worker-bot and try to navigate through the factory and reach all the waypoints, while trying to block/destroy/slow the other robots. The board is full of obstacles like conveyor belts, lasers, walls, and bottomless pits. Every turn, each player receives cards with which to program his robot's five moves, "stages", consisting of turns and movement forward or back. Once the turn begins, nothing in the program can be changed. All robots move one stage at the same time, and can bump into each other, pushing the other robot to a different space and concocting a lovely recipe for disaster. Once every robot has moved, they all fire lasers in the direction that they are facing. There are also special item cards that can be obtained and equipped to your robot.
A classic board game that everyone I've ever talked to loved.
- Remember: 1 turn = 5 register phases.
- "Shove" means pushed, pulled, or otherwise displaced to a different square, any time the robot moves not under its own power. Rotating in-place, getting crushed or falling down a pit are not "shoves."
- There is a limited time for programming: 3 minutes. Allowances can be made for a player who also has a buzz bomb to program that turn. After 3 minutes, all unprogrammed registers are filled with unused cards in the player's hand chosen randomly by the player on his left or right.
- A card flipped over while being dealt may be accepted or refused by the player it was dealt to. If dealt to nobody in particular, put the card aside.
- A new robot appears on the factory floor as a 'virtual bot'. Virtual bots drop/launch virtual tokens, which affect only virtual bots. Virtual bots do not fire lasers, and they pass through virtual and real bots without an effect. All virtual tokens are removed at the end of the turn. Real tokens and real lasers do not affect virtual bots, but features on the map (conveyor belts, shovers, oil, pits, etc) still do. Virtual bots become 'real' after the laser-fire part of the first phase they do not share a floor space with any other virtual or real bot.
- All bots have 9 damage instead of 10 -- when the last register is locked, the bot is destroyed. This is because it's no fun when you can't control your 'bot.
- Bots have an unlimited number of archive copies. Keep track of how many backups were used by drawing a 'head' token each time the robot was destroyed and replaced. Players with many of these 'backup used' tokens should be mocked and ridiculed.
- Chop Shops and Repair Stations take effect at the end of the phase you entered them. This means bumping into a wall or turning around to keep you on the spot does not give you another use, but if you were shoved off and then shoved back on, you get to use it again.
- The option "fire control" does not bypass shield, power-down shield, ablative coat nor converter.
- Tokens on the board may be shoved and rotated by board effects. Tokens entering a portal square will move to the other portal square immediately. If a buzzbomb, drone or mine is shoved or crushed or flamed (but not rotated), it will detonate; all other tokens except goo will be destroyed if crushed.
- If a robot is stuck in goo and it is shoved, it will not move but takes 1 point of damage.
- Flying objects (tokens and robots using JumpJets) are not affected by portals, dropped tokens, or other flying non-bot items. They are affected by pushers, crushers, weapons fire, flame throwers, repulsors, explosions, ramps (when going up) and flying bots. Any flying item will stop flying when it tries to move through, gets shoved or takes damage; this means the flying object will either detonate or drop immediately to the factory floor in that space (no damage).
- Continuous Programming
In normal play, players lay down programming instruction cards five at a time, and resolve five phases before dealing new cards and laying down another program. In continuous play, players discard each programming card after resolving its phase, draw a new card into their hand, and place it face-down at the tail of the queue. This means players must constantly be thinking five steps ahead. If there is an effect that lasts "1 turn," mark the card currently on the tail of that player's instruction queue; the effect ends when the marked card is resolved.
When a robot appears on the factory floor (at the start of the game or after an "accident"), the player is dealt a new full hand of cards, and places the first five instructions face down before her. When the player resolves and instruction in a register 'locked' by damage, the player does not draw a new card, and instead moves the 'locked' card to the tail of the queue, still marked as 'locked' until the robot can be repaired. Repairs will fix the 'locked' cards closest to the head of the queue.
- Bonus Bots
If every player agrees, each robot starts with one random option card.
- Bonus Damage
Bots may carry half as many options as damage remains, rounding down. (ie: a bot with 6 damage remaining may only carry 3 option cards). A robot may sacrifice an option card to avoid 1 point of damage. Each time damage would reduce the robot's damage point to less than twice the cards they carry, an option card must be sacrificed to ablate a point of damage.
Each time a bot takes a point of damage, drink a sip of beer. A player that reaches a checkpoint takes a sip of beer, then all players (including that player) takes a sip of beer as a toast. Option cards come with a complimentary beverage (sip of beer) -- this includes chopshop exchanges and the bio-option, but not re-engineering trades. If a bot is destroyed, the player must finish the bottle before returning to the factory floor. If they don't finish their drink before the start of the next turn, that player has to wait until the start of the next turn.