Roborally was first published in 1994 by Wizards of the Coast.
Designed by Richard Garfield. These Postal Rules by Neil Tomkinson 1997.
RoboRally is a robot race game in which each player attempts to be the first to touch a series of flags by manoeuvring a robot across a dynamic race course. Robots move by following a set of program cards. As Robots move simultaneously many interactions can occur, causing robots to end up in strange positions.
The program cards are of the following types:-
(Note the rotate cards do NOT move the robot from the space it currently occupies).
As well as the type, a program card has a Priority. This resolves conflicts in moving simultaneously. Cards with HIGHER priorities are performed (fully) BEFORE cards with lower priorities. All cards have a different priority. Priorities are noted in orders as P123 (where 123 is the priority).
Each turn is made of 5 phases (a-e), with robots performing one card, the elements of the race course moving, and firing of lasers to damage robots.
In detail a turn consists of five phases, each involving
After the fifth phase a special check is made. All robots on checkpoints or repair sites are repaired.
Only one robot can exist in a factory square at a time. This means robots that run into each other will push each other around (this is the reason for priorities on cards - who pushes who). Since every robot starts on the same square, and since destroyed robots could reactivate on the same square as another robot, the robots first appear as virtual robots. Virtual robots behave like normal robots but do not interact with each other (cannot push each other, cannot hit each other with lasers). Virtual robots interact with the board as normal (conveyors work, lasers work etc.). At the end of a turn, if a virtual robot is on a square all by itself, it then becomes a real robot and can interact with all other real robots. Note that reactivated robots can appear as real robots if no other robot exists on the square they reactivate on.
As robots move around the factory floor, opportunities arise to pick up option mounts (finishing turn on 2-spanner repair site). Option mounts are beneficial to a robot (shields, extra fire-power, tractor beams, etc.). Some option mounts, such as shields, and turret weapons have to be specified in the orders, as to what direction, or whether they are to be used. Others will have to have conditional orders (such as use tractor beam if opponent will fall into pit through my use). Some options (weaponry) are always in use. When people get options, they will also receive a description of how to write orders for it. An option can be destroyed instead of taking a damage point, but orders must be written for this. When a robot is destroyed, it loses an option.
The races take part on a factory floor. This section details all the elements found on a factory floor and how they interact with robots.
Pits - These are bottomless shafts. Any robot entering one of these squares is destroyed. Open edges of the game area also act like bottomless shafts.
Walls - Factory walls. These block robot movement and laser fire. Robots that attempt to move through a wall simply stay where they are. No damage is incurred running into a wall.
Checkpoints - These are the targets that robots must touch in order to win the race. Each checkpoint is numbered and they must be touched in order. A checkpoint is only touched if the robot occupies it at the end of one of the movement phases. Passing through the checkpoint does NOT count. When a checkpoint is touched, it becomes the place where a destroyed robot will reactivate. If a robot is occupying at the end of a turn, ONE point of damage is repaired.
Repair Sites - If a robot occupies one of these at the end of a movement phase, the repair site becomes the place where the robot will be reactivated when destroyed. If a robot occupies one of these at the end of a turn, the robot is repaired. The number of spanners indicates the number of points repaired. If 2 spanners are shown, the robot may opt to take an option card instead of being repaired (this must be noted in the orders).
Express Conveyor Belts - These conveyor belts move robots two squares. They move robots in the direction of the arrow. This movement occurs at the end of each movement phase.
Turning Express Conveyor belts - As belts round corners robots being moved are also turned. If a conveyor belt pushes a robot onto this square, the robot is rotated 90 degrees in the indicated direction. In these examples the robot must be pushed from the North. Being pushed in from the West does not turn the robot.
Conveyor Belts - These conveyor belts work exactly like express conveyor belts, except they only move robots one square at the end of each movement phase.
Pushers - If a robot is in the pusher square when the pusher activates, the robot is pushed into the adjacent square (in this example, the square above). Multiple robots can be pushed, so a chain of robots could be pushed by one pusher. Pushers only operate on certain phases. The race map will detail what phases pushers will operate on.
Gears - Robots sitting on gears at the end of a movement phase are rotated through 90 degrees, in the direction indicated by the arrows.
Crushers - Crushers exist on some conveyor belts. If a robot is on the square when a crusher activates, the robot is destroyed. Crushers only activate on certain phases. The race map will detail what phases crushers will operate on.
Lasers - Robots caught in a laser beam at the end of a phase receive a point of damage for each beam in the square. Robots are NOT damaged by moving through a laser beam, and laser beams are blocked by walls and other robots. If two robots are in line with a laser, the robot closer to the laser mount will be hit, but not the other. Lasers DO affect virtual robots.
Fred Turn 3
If finish on 2 spanner repair & damage > 3 repair, else take option card.
POWER DOWN next turn.
OIL SLICKS - If a robot attempts to end its movement on an oil slick, it continues to slide in the direction of its movement until it is stopped by a wall or another robot that is not on an oil slick, or until it is no longer on an oil slick. If a robot slides into another robot which is on an oil slick, both robots slide as described above. Note that a robot does not slide until it attempts to end its movement on an oil slick; robots that are still moving behave in the normal manner. If a robot begins its movement on an oil slick, the first square of movement is negated. Oil slicks have no effect on rotate cards.
PORTALS - A robot that enters a portal during the execution of a movement card immediately moves to the other portal of the same colour, and continues its movement from there. If another robot occupies the moving robot's destination portal, the portal does not activate and the robot continues to move as if the portal were open floor.
LEDGES and RAMPS - The thick brown lines separate one level from another. Where there is no ramp, a robot crossing from the upper to the lower level takes two damage points. If it lands on another robot, this robot is pushed and it also takes two damage points. The ledge is treated as a wall if coming from the lower level. If a ramp is present then it is treated as an extra square when going up. If the robot stops on the extra square, it slides back down. Going down, the ramp simply negates the 2 damage.
REPULSOR FIELDS - A robot that runs into a repulsor field is pushed directly away from the field for the number of square equal to its movement card, and loses any remaining movement from that card. A robot that is pushed into a repulsor field by another robot is pushed directly away by the number of squares equal to the pushing robot's card (the pushing robot loses any remaining movement). Repulsed robots may push other robots. Repulsor fields only operate if a robot runs into or is pushed into them.
CHOP SHOP - If a robot ends a REGISTER phase on a chop shop, it may either scrap an existing option and draw a new option to replace it, or may recharge one option. If a robot ends a TURN on a chop shop it may do the above OR draw an additional, new option card. In the postal game, newly obtained options cannot be exchanged in the turn in which they are drawn.https://variablepig.org