Extra weapons or other devices that you can add to your bot are called ‘devourables’ because the most common way to get one is to eat it off a fallen foe. Meatbots are cannibalistic, you see: Once a bot loses its meat, it lies there helpless and you can have your bot gnaw off its big sharp claws or a layer of its protection or some of its extra muscle. By your next match, your bot has digested and incorporated that improvement. Most matches permit the winner to gnaw one trait off the loser, but some high-stakes matches are “all you can eat. ”
Devouring in Combat
Anything that comes off in combat is fair game: You eat it, you keep it. To consume a torn-free devourable, you have to be in the same hex as the item. Then you must spend the rest of the turn consuming it. While eating, your bot sits there, unable to even move its base Move, unable to attack, doing nothing but chewing and swallowing.
Even after eating the gadget, your bot can’t actually use the abilities until it has had time to digest. In other words, not until the next match. On the bright side, any ripped-off devourable is effectively neutralized for the duration of the fight.
(The exceptions to this rule are bots with Hypersnack. Meatjocks fear them.)
On the off-chance that you can’t eat a devourable because your stomachs are completely full, you have the option of upchucking or tearing off one or more of your gadgets in combat. You must allocate one d10 you rolled for each device you want to remove (regardless of how many Stomachs it occupies). Devices come off in the Attack phase (since you’re effectively attacking your own bot).
You cannot use failed Grandstand dice to remove unwanted devices, but those weenie 1 and 2 results on attack rolls can be allocated for stripping and vomiting.
With this device, your bot can spray acid, either in a wide cloud or in a narrow stream.
Range: See below.
Standard Attack: The cloud is the standard attack. It does Damage 2 in a cone formation.
Grandstand Move: The special attack is a concentrated Acid Stream. Acid Stream does Damage 2 in a ray formation and reduces your affected opponents’ Defend by 3 for the rest of the round.
‘ Aggro’ is shorthand for ‘aggression’ (not ‘aggravation’ or ‘agriculture’ or anything else). An aggro pump, therefore, is a device that pumps up your bot’s aggression.
Since that’s clear, here’s what it does. When you install an aggro pump, you can roll as many d10 Attack dice as you wish: The Attack trait of your bot is no longer relevant.
In the war, this was used to knock down buildings. Big buildings. Far and away the most damaging weapon authorized for arena use, the bonespear flinger has one huge drawback: The magazine holds three bonespears, and after they’re fired, it’s empty. Of course, that’s cold comfort when you’ve taken a hit from one and the other guy still has one left. Or when you’re up against someone who has two flingers with three spears each. Lost spears cannot be retrieved in any fashion. Once fired, they’re useless.
Range: 6 hexes
Standard Attack: When struck, the target takes Damage 6 and is knocked back a hex in the opposite direction from the spear flinger.
Grandstand Move: The special attack is called a “Shotgun Wedding. ” If you fire a bonespear at someone when there’s either a wall or another bot in the hex behind him (meaning, the space he would move into with a standard attack), you might effectively nail your target to the wall, or to the other bot. The primary target takes Damage 6, and the secondary target (if a bot) takes Damage 3. To separate, all bots involved must take another 3 Damage. If two bots are stuck together, they move together with a –2 penalty to base Move each. (See the Lock attack under “Lockjaw” for full rules on how bots move when stuck together.) If the target is pinned to a wall, he can’t move in any direction until he takes 3 Damage to rip free.
A boom launcher launches rockets that, when they hit, go boom. And the fans go wild.
Like the bonespear flinger, the boom launcher has limited ammo. After ten shots, it’s empty. But ten should be plenty, right?
Range: 10 hexes
Standard Attack: Damage 2 in an explosive formation. Remember, even if it misses, the boom launcher does its Damage 1 to a target at ground zero. If the attack roll equals or exceeds the Defend of any bot one hex away from ground zero, it does Damage 1 to those bots too.
Grandstand Move: Skilled jocks can aim their missiles down at exactly the right angle to glance up off the floor and hit their enemy from underneath. This technique is called a Hurl. When done correctly, the Hurl does Damage 3, moves the enemy bot two hexes (heading away from the boom launcher), and reduces his Move by 2 during the Move phase.
Each layer of Chitin increases a bot’s base Defend by 1 .
Crane Whip Arms
Crane Whip Arms extend the reach of your basic claws or your Gougers. When making any attack with those weapons (other than a tackle, from page 2.), those weapons are considered to have a range of 2 hexes. They also let you pick up discarded Devourables from two hexes away, where normally you have to move into the hex.
A bot with an Endurance Pump does not get weary nearly as quickly as one without this augmentation. While it does not improve your bot’s Move rating, it does let you roll as many Move dice as you wish. Your Move rating is still the basis for your bot’s quickness, but it no longer limits how many d4 you can roll to take extra steps.
Explosive Leg Muscle Enhancement
Each ELME graft enhances a bot’s Move by 1 .
For each level of Extra Meat you add to your bot, it can take two more points of Damage before it quits. Take ten points of Extra Meat and your bot doesn’t stop until it’s taken forty points of damage. (Though that option doesn’t leave you any room for other Devourables, of course.)
Gougers are big thick sharp claws. They let you rip and tear at any opponent you can reach.
Range: 1 hex
Standard Attack: The standard Gouger attack is a simple swipe or stab. It has Damage 3.
Grandstand Move: The special attack with Gougers is called an “Organ Peel” . With a successful Organ Peel, you can remove one Devourable from an opponent’s bot. The attacker chooses a hex adjacent to the victim. This is where the item lies, waiting to be consumed. Organ Peel does no damage. Organ peels cannot remove an opponent’s plib gun, or the basic teeth and claws.
Bots with Hyperheal regain one Meat during the Defense phase of each turn. Alternately, if her bot has been hit by a round from an onco-cannon (see below), the jock can opt to expel the round instead of healing. If she chooses to reject the onco-round, it gets kicked out before it can interfere with the bot.
Normally, devouring another bot’s lost enhancement takes a full turn and it isn’t available until your bot can digest an assimilate it (a process which takes much longer than any arena fight has ever lasted). However, bots with hypersnack can swallow a shed devourable in its square with any standard attack roll — even a 1 . (Lost Devourables have Defend 0.) Furthermore, the Devourable is online and ready for use by the Pick phase of the next combat round.
Enhanced jaw muscles for your bioengineered snack machine. Go get some dinner!
Range: 1 hex
Standard Attack: Damage 2
Standard Attack: Everyone likes to see a Lock. This is when a Lockjawed bot bites an enemy and clamps down. When the Lock is successfully established, the two bots are stuck together. There is nothing anyone can do to get them apart, unless (1) the biter is knocked out of the fight, (2) the biter’s meatjock decides to let go, or (3) the bitten bot voluntarily spends an attack die and takes 6 Damage to wrench free. As long as the attachment lasts, both bots have their Move decreased by 2, and when one moves, the other moves. A Lock does Damage 1 on the first turn it’s applied. Neither bot can move the other bot without moving itself, though it can move without moving the other bot if it stays in an adjacent hex.
Grandstand Move: None.
Nerve Lace makes your actions just a little, tiny bit faster. When your meat’s on the line, a little tiny bit can be more than enough.
Normally, tied actions are resolved simultaneously. If one bot has a Nerve Lace, its Grandstands, Attacks and Movements are resolved as if they were higher than any bot with the same die result, but no Lace. Thus, two fighters who each roll Grandstands are quite likely to kill each other… unless one has the Nerve Lace to break the tie and kill his opponent before that finishing move goes off. Similarly, if two bots have tied Move scores, the bot with the Nerve Lace gets to go after the unimproved bot, or he can choose to move simultaneously, as normal.
The feared onco-cannon was the weapon that turned the tide of Canadian aggression and eventually won the war for the forces of peace and justice. It fires tightly coiled rounds that, when they strike bioengineered flesh, start giving it contradictory and unhealthy instructions. Simply put, it makes your bot sick.
Range: 10 hexes
Standard Attack: When an onco-round hits, it does Damage 1. However, it stays in the bot (unless expelled with Hyperheal, as described above). At the beginning of each round after the initial impact, the onco-cannon’s controller can choose one of the following effects for the round to have on its target.
- Damage 1, but that’s so boring.
- Reduce base Move by 1. It cannot be reduced below one.
- Reduce base Defend by 1. It cannot be reduced below one.
Note that the reductions last until the end of combat, and they’re cumulative. As long as the round remains in the bot, the controller can keep doing damage. If you put four rounds in your opponent, you can affect his bot four times next turn, and so forth. You don’t need to make rolls for your round to do its thing.
Grandstand Move: Once a round is in, you can attempt a more sophisticated attack by rolling one or more Grandstand dice. It’s called a “Bio-Rejection Protocol” or BiRP . You must have at least one onco-round in an opponent to make a BiRP on him, you can only attempt one BiRP per onco-slug each round, and if you make a BiRP attempt, you can’t choose any of the other effects. But if the BiRP succeeds, you can make one of the Devourables on his bot just fall off and lie there on an adjacent hex, useless to him unless he takes the time to swallow it up again.
If the affected bot has no Devourables remaining, the BiRP ejects the pilot. When this happens, the match is immediately paused — no remaining attacks or moves occur. The pilot is gently escorted to a nearby hospital while his motionless bot is hauled out of the arena. The other bots return to their starting positions and the match begins again — usually after a somber hush in which the fans contemplate with dread the idea of someone really getting hurt.
Okay, the technical name was “ Active Response Defense Matrix, ” but since that got shortened to ARDM and was pronounced “are dumb” the admittedly-uncool name “Twitchy Flinchpump” entered meatjock jargon. But though they may not broadcast it, many still use of this device, which raises a bot’s awareness of incoming attacks and gives it a limited set of avoidance instincts.
With a Twitchy Flinchpump, you can roll an unlimited number of d6 defense dice. Your bot’s Defend score does not improve, but it no longer serves as a limit on the number of dice you can roll to protect yourself.
This is a rocket launcher that propels a grenade very high up in the air. Initially designed for long-distance barrages, it’s somewhat inefficient in the arena. But it looks cool, so the fans like them.
The way an Up Down works is, you fire it on one turn and it comes down and explodes the next turn. By spending any attack die — even those cruddy 1s and 2s — you can place a counter on the board indicating where the Up Down shell is falling. On the next turn, after the Defense phase but before anything else (even Grandstands) it goes off. It is effectively impossible to defend against a Up Down shell if it explodes right by you — see the description of the standard attack for the nuts and bolts of it.
This sounds fabulous, right? In practice, unless the gunner sets off at least four shells, the blast can be completely avoided with Move 2. Nevertheless, it can be quite handy for controlling the movement of your enemies, even if it doesn’t damage them.
Range: For the purposes of arena combat, its range is unlimited
Standard Attack: The Up Down does Damage 3 in an explosive formation.
If a bot is in ground zero, that bot takes Damage 3, no matter how high its Defend. A bot in an adjacent hex takes Damage 2, no matter what.
Grandstand Move: None