The Great Brain Robbery

The Great Brain Robbery is a fun game by Cheapass Games first published in 2000.

The whole game, including the F2F rules, is available as a free download.

These are the rules for postal play in Variable Pig.

1. Set Up

1.1 The F2F game is for 3-7 players, 4-6 best for postal play.

1.2 Initial player order is determined randomly and each player starts on their number in the Caboose. In round 2, player 2 goes first with player 1 moving to the back of the zombie line. Play order continues to rotate in this way throughout the game.

1.3 Each player starts with one random brain card. Note that this cannot be installed until the end of the first turn (even if it's cheese), so the first move must be done "brainless" which means rolling only one dice and holding on to the card, rolling one dice and burning the card for its run value, or rolling two dice and dropping the card.

2. Actions in a Turn

2.1 Movement

With a brain installed roll two dice (and possibly use cards too). Without a brain installed lose a dice for each card (brain) carried (see 1.3). Players are encouraged to use conditional orders, examples:

2.2 Combat

2.2.1 Combat is as per the F2F rules except that conditional orders are required for the following:.

2.2.2 New cards gained in the current postal turn prior to the combat can be used conditionally in the combat.

2.3 Card selection and Experience Points

2.3.1 As per the F2F game, a player finding a fresh brain gains 1 card and one experience point. In the postal game they may instead choose to eat the brain for 2 experience points with no card being drawn.

2.3.2 Should a player end up with 3 cards, one of them must be discarded or installed. Players need to supply conditional orders for this which should take account of possible new cards.

2.3.2 Note that Cuthbert gets you two cards instead of one, but not three XPs instead of two. Dale allows you to hold three brains without discarding.

2.4 Brain Installation

2.4.1 Installing a brain costs experience points equal to the cost value on the card. The old brain is placed on the discard pile. Installation (if any) is always the final act of a player's turn.

3. New Carriages

3.1 Carriages are added as per the F2F game with two caveats:

4. End of Game

4.1 The game is limited to 13 rounds.

4.2 If there is no winner at the end of round 12, the GM announces there will be one final round before the train reaches its destination. All zombies will then disembark with whatever brains they have, highest IQ wins.

5. NMRs

5.1 If no orders are received for a player, their zombie will advance to the nearest brain by rolling available dice only (not burning cards). No brain will be installed, but if three cards are held one will be discarded at random. In the event of a fight no cards will be used to boost hit, and in the event of winning a combat, the highest IQ brain will be installed / retained, all others that were in heads discarded.

6. Example Orders

6.1 Dave is going third, has 9 XP, cheese in his head and two brains in hand:

Roll two dice. Move to the nearest brain (expend Nesbith if needed to reach a brain). Take a card and an XP. Install Uther (cost 10XP) and keep the new card for later. In the event of a combat add Nesbith if needed, and any other card I may have except Uther. If I win, keep Uther if I have installed him, else take the brain with the highest hit value.

6.2 Dave is not expecting to be attacked before his go, having only cheese installed, but he could well be afterwards as his rival zombies know he has saved up XPs so may install a good brain. He has not specified conditionals on the installation. If he has gained a brain and an XP it will succeed. If he lost a combat before his go (which gains an XP) it will succeed, even though this means he may well have failed to reach a brain with his move of no dice (assuming cheese removed) +4 for Nesbith. It will fail only if there is no combat and he cannot reach a brain. In the event of combat after installing Uther, his orders cover him using any other brain he gained to help.

7. Turn Report

7.1 The GM should include a graphical representation of the train and its carriages, showing available brains and the locations of zombies.

7.2 In addition, the following information is reported for each player:

7.3 The events of the just completed round should be reported, ideally in an amusing way.

7.4 The GM should also report the player order for the next round.

7.5 Players are informed by email / post of unexposed cards held.