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Captain Nic

Original poster
I would put this in my showcase thread, but since its urgent, and perhaps ambitious in nature, I'm giving this new tabletop game I'm proposing its own thread.

I present to you.... ROBOT SMASH! Yes, I totally didn't rip off the Hulk there.


A game of domination... and maintenance.

In the year 2960, a distant planet rich in mineral resources was found, later named Aurus after closer inspection of its yellow, rocky surface. Scientists and prospectors alike were driven to explore it, hoping to exploit its riches and secrets. The distinct lack of hostile wildlife on the planet, despite ideal living conditions, meant that most mining and digging activities on the surface of the planet went on uninterrupted.

That was, until a joint expedition of archaeologists and miners made a shocking discovery...

In 2972, within the gargantuan cave of Mount Elysium, a giant silver humanoid machine was sighted, standing and fully powered. Upon initial observation and analysis, the machine did not match the profiles of any known galactic countries or races, leading many to wonder just who built the giant robot and left it on in the depths of the cave. Not soon after, the giant robot lunged towards the nearest probe it could see, then charging towards the closest mining vehicle in sight, utterly crushing and tearing any machinery in its hands into pieces. The entire expedition then fled, being unable to retaliate; though there were no fatalities, the last thing that witnesses heard was a strange, eerie, cybernetic tone that sounded like it said, "robot smash." Mt. Elysium became off-limits for a few years after the incident.

Two years later, the planetary government sent an armed battalion in hopes of either gaining control of the robot, or putting it down for good. Upon entering the cave of Mt. Elysium, the entire battalion saw the robot, wandering about like a curious child. This was seen as an opportunity to catch the robot by surprise while learning more about its behavior. When scouts had reached the deepest part of the cave, they discovered a small room, sealed by a golden door. There was no problem opening the door, to the scouting team's surprise - but as soon as they saw what was inside, the robot had suddenly attacked their allies, forcing a retreat. The robot resisted all attempts to control it externally, and all weapons available to the planet's armed forces had no effect on its armor plating. Once again, the robot ignored the soldiers, throwing out any of those who were aboard vehicles, and simply went on a frenzy of metallic carnage. As the entire battalion withdrew, the same sound was heard once more - the almost unintelligible "robot smash." This time, however, with the discovery of the secret chamber, it was believed that a weakness of the giant robot was found.

At this point, nicknames to the robot and the secret chamber were given: the "Guardian" and the "Golden Generator", respectively.

With the government's power waning, the planetary governor resorted to making an offer to the only ones who can prosper on Aurus: the miners and prospectors, who were enjoying the vast fortunes to be found beneath the yellow rocky surface. The planetary governor declared that, with no heir, and with no one else he can trust in the government, he was willing to let the most daring prospector inherit his authority and holdings over the planet, provided that he/she could tame the Guardian in Mt. Elysium.

The year is 2985. There is still no aid from the nearest developed worlds, and prospectors are flowing from across the galaxy to seek fortunes on Aurus, each one attempting to control the Guardian, with zero success. You are one of these Prospectors, and while you'd rather remain a humble miner for the rest of your days, controlling the Guardian will be the biggest opportunity of a lifetime. The prospects of having such a powerful machine in your hands is irresistible. Will you live long and prosper, or will the robot smash?


Robot Smash! is played out on a grid map of Mount Elysium and its cave, with the capture of the Golden Generator and thus, the control of the robotic Guardian as the ultimate goal. As a Prospector, mining for Composites (which are your mineral resources) and gathering Assets (your mining tools, vehicles, mobile houses, tanks, etc.) are your initial priority until you can get past the Guardian and control it through the Golden Generator. The last Prospector standing, or the one who gains successful control of the Guardian, wins the game.

Up to 6 players can play Robot Smash!, with a minimum of 2 players. Each player starts with 3 Assets and 20 Composites, and moves through the grid map with a playing piece which represents a player's status as Prospector. The Guardian will attack players every three turns, and this is where dice are required, among other instances in the game; each player must roll a six-sided die successfully or lose an Asset to the Guardian. As players draw closer towards the Golden Generator, the Guardian becomes more aggressive.

A player who runs out of Assets has no choice but to flee Mt. Elysium, and thus loses the game.


A turn is composed of every player's movement, digging, and contact phases. Every number of turns, depending on player distance to the Golden Generator, there is a Smash! phase where players must roll to evade the Guardian's attacks.

First phase: Movement. The Movement phase takes place at the beginning of each player turn. Starting at 3 Assets, a player's initial movement radius is 3 squares. Movement radius increases by one square per three Assets, and for every ten Assets, the number of Assets required for increasing movement radius increases by 1.

Second phase: Digging. In the digging phase, players must make several dice rolls, in this order: Composites, Luck and Opportunity. When rolling for Composites, you gain composites regardless of and depending on your dice roll. Due to the the planet being mineral-rich, the least any prospector could get is 8 Composites. This could vary depending on where digging takes place.

When rolling for Luck, the initial roll will dictate whether or not the player will find Assets. On a roll of 6, the player must re-roll; on a roll of 1-4, the player gains 1 Asset. On a roll of 5-6, the player gains 2 Assets.

When rolling for Opportunity, the initial roll will dictate whether or not the player will find an Artifact (more on Artifacts below). On a roll of 6, the player must re-roll. On a roll of 1-5, the player simply finds an Asset; on a roll of 6, the player gains an Artifact, and cannot acquire another one until the Artifact is lost.

Third phase: Contact. Contact only takes place when players are within 5 tiles of each other. The player going through Contact can choose to ignore the other player(s), trade Composites with them, or attack one of them for their riches. The defending player can bribe the attacker 20 Composites or three Assets to avoid combat. Combat between all players can be completely negated for 10 turns by purchasing a Ceasefire Contract for 100 Composites. The duration of a ceasefire can be modified by 1 turn for every 10 additional Composites put into the contract.

Before combat, the player undergoing the contact phase must declare attack, and the defending player must bribe in order to avoid combat. Both attacker and defender must roll the total number of Assets in their opponents' control plus any artifact. On rolls of 4-6, Assets and Artifacts are destroyed; on a 3, Assets and Artifacts are captured; and on rolls of 1-2, Assets and Artifacts are left entirely intact. If an Artifact is captured, with the capturer already having an Artifact in possession, that Artifact is destroyed instead. The player who rolls the most number of successes (destroying and capturing) wins; the loser must enter another movement phase and cannot come into contact with another player for 2 turns. The winner must roll for loot after combat: the loser gives 2 composites multiplied by the resultant dice roll to the winner. If the loser has less than the needed composites, the winner has nothing to loot.

While not encouraged by most decent folk, sometimes this is the only way to avoid combat. The lowest price a player asking for safe passage can pay is 20 Composites or 1 Asset. The attacking player can roll once if he/she is not satisfied: the price increases by 10 Composites or 1 Asset multiplied by the resultant dice value. In fighting for the Golden Generator, the defender can demand any amount he/she wants from the attacker, due to the value of the Golden Generator.

Fourth Phase: Smash! Phase: The Guardian must sate its lust for metal, and can attack any prospector's mining team to satisfy its urge to destroy. Every three turns, each player must roll once: as soon as a player loses Assets, or if evasion by all players is successful, the Smash! phase ends.

If a player is within 12 tiles of the Golden Generator, he/she must undergo this phase every turn. A player in control of the Golden Generator forgoes this phase for a Maintenance Phase (more below).

On a roll of 1, a player loses 1/4 of his/her total Assets. On a roll of 2-3, a player loses two assets. On a roll of 4, a player loses 1 asset. A roll of 5-6 means that the player has successfully avoided confrontation with the Guardian. A player in possession of an Artifact has a much higher chance of being avoided entirely, only losing one Asset at a roll of 1.

Maintenance Phase: In lieu of the Smash! Phase, a player who has gained access to the Golden Generator undergoes Maintenance every turn. In this phase, the player must keep the Guardian pacified by 'feeding' it Composites. At least 5 Composites are needed to keep the Guardian running under player control, with every 20 additional Composites enabling other players to skip 1 Smash! phase. If other players undergo the Smash! phase, this phase can be skipped entirely if the Guardian successfully destroys assets. Note that the player in control of the Guardian will always undergo this phase regardless of whether or not he/she is in the Golden Generator.

Purchase Phase: Not really a phase per se, but can be done within the respective player's turn (1 turn is composed of all the players' respective player turns). Within his/her own turn, a player can decide to purchase Assets, sell an Artifact in possession, or sign a Ceasefire Contract from the planetary government.

+Artifact Trade
This can only be done with other players who aren't in possession of an Artifact; the highest bidder pays his/her bidded price to the player selling the Artifact and acquires it.


-Assets: These are the various vehicles and devices that prospectors possess in order to ensure that their expedition runs smoothly and effectively, and can be anything from humble tractors to armored fighting vehicles. In-game, these are essentially the 'hit points' of the player, and once a player runs out of assets, he/she loses the game.

Assets can be gained in the following ways:
>Purchasing Assets for 20 Composites each
>Capturing other players' Assets in combat
>Finding abandoned or old Assets in the general area, through the Digging phase

A player who has gained access to the Golden Generator must leave Assets behind as a garrison to prevent other players from accessing it. Note that this transfer can only be done while the player piece is standing in the Golden Generator tile.

-Composites: The planet Aurus offers a variety and abundance of mineral wealth, some of these precious resources only being discovered recently - turning them over to local governments, companies, or traders in general would surely turn a profit. In-game, these are the player's currency.

Composites can be used for the following:
>Buying Assets (see Assets for pricing)
>Ceasefire Contract for 100 - every additional 10 Composites increases the duration of the Contract by 1 turn
>'Feeding' the Guardian, for at least 5 Composites - every 20 additional Composites allows all players to skip their next Smash! phase
>Paying other aggressive players for safe passage

Additionally, they can be gained through the following:
>Digging Phase: At a roll of 1, players gain 8 Composites on normal rock, 9 Composites on rich ground, 10 on lodestones, and 3 in the Golden Generator. The amount gained increases by 1 per dice roll value higher than 1.
>Looting: See Combat.
>Selling an Artifact: When an artifact is not traded with another player, the retailer gains 50 Composites.

-Artifacts: Contrary to initial beliefs, the robotic Guardian is not the only valuable prize to be had at Mt. Elysium. Several technological artifacts, similar in profile to the giant robot itself, have been found beneath the surface, and there may be more, though they are very rare. How these artifacts work are not understood, as their physical appearance and presumed purposes vary. The Guardian sees these items as its own, and they may even register as blanks in its sensors - it will not attack the keepsakes of its builders, unless it notices strange things....

An Artifact is essentially a semi-invulnerability shield from the Guardian, only destructible in combat against other players. During a Smash! phase, players in control of an Artifact must roll for complete evasion - a roll of 1 means that the Guardian will still manage to destroy an Asset. An Artifact will be useful until access to the Golden Generator is attained - think twice before trying to get rid of it!

A player can only have one Artifact in possession at a time. Artifacts cannot be left inside the Golden Generator.

Discovered several years ago by military scouts, the Golden Generator isn't really a generator; it looks like one, but is in fact a massive control supercomputer built into the rock that protects the Guardian from electronic threats. It is presumed that once complete control over this chamber is attained, the Guardian can be recovered from its almost berserk state. It should be evident that the Guardian can tell who is in control of this great computer, as it will keep its distance from anything under its new master's guidance.

A player entering the Golden Generator for the first time will undergo all phases except for Smash! At the end of this turn, the player must leave behind Assets to defend the Golden Generator from competitors; an undefended chamber is easy pickings for the next visitor. During his/her next turn, he/she undergoes the Maintenance phase, in which the Guardian must be kept fueled.

If there is a garrison in the Golden Generator, another player attempting to access it will skip all phases except for Movement and Contact, and automatically enter combat. If the attacking player does not bribe the garrison (or the player, if present) into leaving, combat will destroy any active Ceasefire Contract, allowing players to attack each other again until a new Ceasefire Contract is signed. The price for bribing a player away from the Golden Generator is high due to the stakes involved; the visitor must give in to the defending player's demands or fight. A player successfully bribed out of the Golden Generator will undergo another move phase, as if he/she had lost a battle, but can still make contact with other players a turn after. A garrison bribed out of the Golden Generator takes the money and runs - the player who was in control does not benefit at all from this act.

A player in control of the Golden Generator must hold it for a number of turns, depending on desired game length. The least is 5 turns, highest is 10 turns.


Prospectors operating in Mount Elysium have an unspoken rule that they and their competitors, by entering the area, enter a state of undeclared war, and will prevent others from taking control of the Guardian unless they have common interests.

A player can sign a Ceasefire Contract for 100 Composites, which prevents combat between players for 10 turns. This duration can be increased upon signing, by 1 turn for every 10 additional Composites paid to the planetary government. A ceasefire can be withdrawn by entering combat against a player defending the Golden Generator.


Normal Rock: Yellow, solid rock, with lots of minerals beneath. Digging here yields at least 8 Composites.

Ruins: Only Assets and Artifacts can be gained here, during the Digging phase. Skip Dig roll when on this terrain.

Rich Ground: There is a higher occurrence of minerals here. Digging here yields at least 9 Composites.

Lodestone: This ground may perhaps be one of several sources of all the known minerals on the planet. Digging here yields at least 10 Composites.

Golden Generator: A sanctuary from the Guardian's random attacks. Digging into the rock surrounding the chamber yields at least 3 Composites. Assets cannot be gained here. Skip Luck roll when on this terrain.


-For the tabletop format, players have avatars in the form of playing pieces, a la Monopoly, which are moved across the grid map.

-For the tabletop format, Assets are represented by blue bricks, Composites are represented by yellow chips, Artifacts are represented by silver eggs.

-A six-sided die is required for play. The game can be modified to be playable with 8 sided dice or higher.

-The playing board would be 0.9m x 0.9m. The grid is 50x70 tiles. If in digital format, number of tiles, and thus, terrain arrangement can change.


I know this game is imperfect, despite pouring all the soul, hot blood, concentration, love, and time that I could muster into it. I need some criticisms, since this is still a theoretical game, so to speak. Please note that I'm going for simple gameplay here, so please try to avoid suggesting complex mechanics. If there are some serious issues, fire away!