A coop tabletop game of rogue Bots running rampant
By Sean Patten
A new breed of Bot is replacing your old Retro.  Known as Rogues, their cheap construction leads to dangerous malfunctions!  The Rogues must be shut down before they destroy everything. Fire up your old Retro Bots and start punching in programs-  all the Rogues must be pushed into pits to disable them and make things safe again.

Print out a set of double sided Instruction Counters for each player (this also includes tokens for Crates).  Print out a set of Rogue Cards, Calamity Cards, and Upgrade Cards.  Print out four board tiles and assemble them as described in the scenario. Each player chooses either a Treadbot, a Shotbot, or a Nanobot, and places them as indicated by the scenario.  Next, shuffle and draw a Rogue Card for each player.  Starting with the first player, place the boss and minion bot, then one of your rogues- go around the table placing one rogue each until all are placed..  Place the Rogues as indicated by the scenario, usually in the centermost squares first.  Shuffle the Calamity Cards and place them face down.  Decide who will be the first player, and give them the Pry Bar.

Each Round, go through the following steps in order.
  1. Gather up the ROGUE cards (not Bossbot or Minionbot) and shuffle them.  Each player draws 1 card at random.  Place the cards face up in front of the player that drew them.
  2. Start a 1 minute timer.  Players must program their Retros by placing instruction tokens in the order they want to run them, from left to right.  If the timer runs out, you may not add or change your program.  If all players finish programming before the timer runs out, turn it on its side- you may add the time left over to the next round's programming step!
  3. The player with the Pry Bar goes FIRST.  That player must move the BOSSBOT if there is one, then the MINIONBOT, then their Rogues, and finally their Retro must run its program.
  4. The next player (to the left of the first player) moves their Rogues, and then their Retro runs its program.  Repeat this step for the next player until all players have gone.
  5. Now draw a CALAMITY card and follow the instructions on the card.  Remember if you have 3 catastrophes on the table, you lose!
  6. Any player that wishes to may surrender an UPGRADE card to place a CATASTROPHE card on the bottom of the unplayed CALAMITY deck.  This can buy you more time!
  7. Finally, pass the PRY BAR to the left.  That player will be the first player in the next round!
When moving Rogues, start with the one closest to you and work your way around the board clockwise until all have moved.   Follow the instructions on the Rogue card.  A typical Rogue moves forward 3 spaces, then gets a special action.  Unless otherwise noted, ALL Rogues will turn when their move would take them into a wall, door, crate, pit, or other Bot, continuing their move in a new direction.  The direction the Rogue turns depends on the type of Rogue.  Note that some Rogues can push or even damage other Rogues as well as the Retros.   Here's a quick summary of the different Rogues, including how many to put out on the board.  If you don't have enough models, consider adding more of a different type, or just put out as many as you can.
They're just fast is all.
Any time it moves into a square with a Bot in front of it, that Bot takes 1 damage.
At the end of its move, it fires a LASER straight ahead, doing 1 damage to the first Bot it hits.
At the end of its move, if shoots FLAMES into the 3 squares in front, front left, and front right of it, doing 1 hit to any Bots there.
Does not turn to avoid Bots.  If it pushes a Bot into a wall or another Bot, continued movement into that Bot will GRIND, doing 1 damage to them.  It will turn after grinding once.
During its move, any Bot it moves NEXT to will be forced to move 1 square forward (if multiple Bots will be moved, start with the space in front and work around clockwise).
Functions just like a PROGBOT.  Bossbots are immune to hacking- they cannot be programmed.  Bossbots are also immune to damage- they cannot be stunned!  Goes after the Visebots.
Players should try to rescue the minionbot by driving it off the board, out one of the EXIT points.  If Minionbot falls into a pit, it is lost and no points are scored.  Goes after ther Servobots.
Bossbots and Minionbots are special bot types that can be added to your game for an extra challenge.   They go before any other Bots, Bossbot going first and Minionbot second.

All Retros may take up 6 instructions.  They may input any number of instructions up to that maximum.  They may only take a limited number of SPECIAL instructions, based on type.  When it comes time to run your program, you MUST run all instructions!  Some instructions, like SHOVE, give you a choice of direction at the time they are run.

TREADBOT- May take up to THREE LOADER instructions (marked with black and yellow stripes).
SHOTBOT-  May take ONE LOADER and ONE SHOOTER instruction (marked with red and white stripes).
NANOBOT- May take any number of HACKER instructions (marked with blue stripes).  Nanobots are very small, so they cannot push or grind other Bots, but they CAN be pushed or grinded by other Bots!   They may move right through another Bot (between his legs) but cannot end a move in the same square as another Bot.  Nanobots are also very vulnerable to damage- instead of being stunned, they are removed if they take any damage (as if they fell into a pit).

PUSHING- during normal movement, all Retros (except nanobots) that move INTO a square occupied by another Bot will PUSH that Bot back one square, if there is room.  GRINDING:  If there is no room to push a Bot (because there is a wall or another Bot in the way), each "move" will not change the position of the Bots, but the Bot being pushed will take 1 damage.

You MUST execute all instructions in order.  You may not skip an instruction or move less than indicated.
Rotate in place 90 degrees to the Right or Left.
Move forward 1 or 2 squares. You must move that far.  You may Push as part of a move.
Move forward 3 squares.  This is a LOADER instruction.
Back up 2 squares.  This is a LOADER instruction.
Rotate in place 180 degrees.  This is a LOADER instruction.
SHOVE. May move a Bot that is directly in front of you 1 square to the LEFT, RIGHT, or FORWARD.  Shoving a Bot into a wall or another Bot will do 1 damage.  Shoving is a LOADER action.
TRACTOR / FORCER. Count the distance to the target Bot.  6 minus the distance = the number of squares you must PULL (or PUSH) the target.   You cannot pull a Bot any closer than the square in front of you.   If the target passes over a pit, they fall in.  
Pushing a Bot into another Bot or a wall will do 1 damage to the target (they do not push other Bots).  You may only target the first Bot in front of you.  Tractor and Forcer are SHOOTER instructions.
PROGRAM.  Any instructions AFTER a program instruction may be applied to any Bot adjacent to you.  This overrides a Rogue's auto-turning system, so you can drive them into pits or other Bots!
  You can even program other Retros (it is polite to ask permission first though).  Program is a HACKER instruction.

Whenever a Rogue takes damage, it becomes STUNNED.  Lie the Bot on its back.  All it can do on its next turn is stand back up, facing the original direction it faced before being stunned.
Whenever a Retro takes damage, it becomes STUNNED.   Lie the Bot on its back.   If it is stunned while executing instructions, any remaining instructions are discarded.  On its next turn it will stand back up, facing the original direction it faced before being stunned, and run ONLY the first 3 instructions it has programmed.
If a Nanobot takes any damage, it is disabled and must be removed (as falling into a pit, see below).

If a Retro pushes, shoves, or pulls a Rogue into a pit, the Rogue is removed and kept by that player.  If a Rogue is ever pushed into a pit by accident (another Rogue pushes them in for example), no player keeps it (but it is still out of the game).  If a Retro ever drives or is pushed into a pit, they must be removed, and a CALAMITY must be immediately drawn!  Discard any upgrade cards the Retro had and choose a different type of Retro to replace the lost one, and start them just outside the Exit point nearest the pit they fell into.  They may move onto the board as part of their next move.

Crates can be Pushed and Damaged just like Bots. Crates can be both good and bad for you, as indicated by these special events.  Crates are optional- you do not have to take them if you don't want to.  The Scenario will indicate where to place crates when setting up.
  • Any time a crate is damaged, remove it from play and draw a CALAMITY card.
  • If a Crate is damaged when adjacent to a RETRO, that retro may immediately take an UPGRADE card!
  • Any time a Crate is pushed into a PIT, draw a CALAMITY card.  The crate stays in the pit, filling it like a normal square, and can't be pushed or damaged anymore.

Whenever any of the following events occur, you must immediately draw a calamity card and follow the instructions on the card.
  • At the end of each round
  • Any time a Retro is disabled
  • Any time a Crate is damaged or pushed into a pit
If a CATASTROPHE card is drawn, place it face up on the table.  If there are ever three CATASTROPHE cards on the table, the Retros lose to the Rogues- game over!   For any other card, follow the instructions on the card and discard the card when finished.  If a SURPLUS card is drawn, choose whatever Rogue type already in play that has the most available figures, usually whichever one has had the most casualties.  If a surplus Rogue is UNABLE to get onto the board after moving (too much stuff in the way), they are removed from play.

Whenever any of the following events occur, the player may immediately choose an upgrade card for their Retro.
  • Retro has disabled at least one of each type of Rogue in play (not counting Boss or Minion bots).
  • Retro rescues a Minionbot (moved off the board via one of the exits)
  • Retro disables a Bossbot (pushed into a pit)
  • Retro is next to a Crate when the Crate is "opened' by damage.

You may have up to two upgrades in play.  Upgrades are lost if your Retro is disabled.  Remember that at the end of a round, you may turn in an upgrade card to move a Catastrophe card to the bottom of the Calamity deck.

If three CATASTROPHE cards are ever face up on the table, the players have lost.  Hopefully the Retros can do better next time there's an outbreak of malfunctioning Rogues...
If ALL the Rogues are disabled, the players have won!  The Retros have earned the respect of everyone, and get their old jobs back!


DEADLY SPIRAL (standard scenario)
You'll need four of the standard boards for this scenario.  Arrange them in a spiral as shown below.  Note the walls are around the outside, and the exit points are where your Retros will enter the board.  After selecting Rogue cards, take  turns placing Rogues on the squares marked with RED arrows, facing the directions indicated.  Start in the center and work your way out until all Rogues are placed.  If you are using crates, place one on each square indicated with a crate icon.  Each player should place their Retro outside one of the doors as indicated by the BLUE arrows.  They will enter the board on their first move (you must move forward through the door with your first program instruction!).