Rick’s RoboRally Options FAQ

Last Updated: 200303

A FAQ for those who use the Options. Lots of Options.

Board Elements

OIL SLICKS: Robots can drop devices on oil slicks.

CONVEYORS: Conveyors will normally move flat objects, and not move flying objects. Goo will not work on a conveyor.

FLAMERS: Flamers that cover two spaces can affect robots in both spaces. Options such as Ablative Coat, Shield, or Power Down Shield prevent flamer damage, although the Shields will prevent only 1 damage per register phase. Robots cannot jump over or fly through an active flamer without taking damage—flamers fill the entire square. An active flamer will not set off or destroy laid or flying devices—devices cannot take damage (page 10, A&D).

LEVELS: A robot falling from one level to the next lands and received 2 points of damage. Explosive damage between levels is calculated by counting the distance between levels as one square (A&D, p. 20). If the robot would land in a space occupied by another robot, move the landing robot into the next open square, determined by the direction the robot is moving (A&D, p. 9, 22), even across a wall at a lower level.

PORTALS: Portals are composed of energy fields that fill the entire square; robots with objects that affect movement, including flying robots, will still be affected. Flying objects are also affected.

RANDOMIZERS: Replace all programmed cards for that register phase (A&D, p. 17).

REPULSOR FIELDS: Repulsor fields act just like walls for weapons and laser fire. If a robot gets moved into a repulsor field other than by a movement card or a pushing robot, the repulsor field simply acts like a wall.

TELEPORTERS: Options that modify movement cards or that affect robots using movement cards (Crab Legs, Dual Processor, Fourth Gear, Overload Override, Reverse Gears, Goo Dropper, etc.) will not function on Teleporters. Instead, the robot will execute its primary movement card (A&D, p. 17). Options that affect movement but don’t interact with movement cards (e.g., Retro-Rockets) can be used.

WALLS: Explosion distance is calculated as a robot moves. Walls therefor provide limited protection from explosive damage (although damage can “wrap around” a wall). Walls do not block non-damage related effects.

WATER: Water only affects movement cards, not movement effects. Water does not affect robots when they are being pushed (A&D, p. 19).

Weapons

  • ADDITIONAL WEAPON: Additional weapons are in addition to the robot’s main laser. Unless stated otherwise, the additional weapon fires whenever the main laser may be fired. Robots must always use an additional weapon when possible.
  • MAIN LASER MODIFICATION: A main laser modification permanently alters the effect of the robot’s main laser. Whenever the main laser is fired, it must include the effect of the main laser modification. The effects of multiple main laser modifications stack.
  • OPTIONAL WEAPON: An optional weapon may be used anytime the main laser may be fired. The effect of the optional weapon replaces the main laser. (Note: At least one weapon must be used.)

Devices

Devices are treated like powered-down robots with respect to board elements (e.g., pushers, conveyor belts, etc.). Devices do not take damage and are in no way affected by other options. Devices are destroyed by pits and crushers. A device will not normally be “active” for the launching robot until the “Resolve Laser Fire” segment of the register phase, to provide the robot time to move safely away. Any other robot interacting with the device immediately after it was launched or any robot in the same square as the device during or after the resolve Laser Fire segment will trigger the effect (A&D, p. 6).

Devices launched in virtual mode are also in virtual mode, meaning those devices only interact with the robot that launched the device. All virtual devices are removed from the board when a robot ceases to be virtual (A&D, p. 7). Virtual robots interact with all “real” devices.

  • FLAT DEVICES: Flat devices aren’t pushed by pushers or other robots. They are not activated by other devices or flying robots.
  • LAUNCHERS: Any device brought into play by a launcher is placed in the robot’s square facing forward (unless otherwise specified). It immediately becomes active, but is not considered active for the robot launching it until the Resolve Laser Fire segment. If a launcher option is destroyed or exchanged to prevent damage, any unlaunched devices capable of explosive damage will explode, with damage calculated separately (A&D, p. 7).
  • BOOSTERS: Boosters affect robot movement. If a booster is destroyed or exchanged to prevent damage, any unused fuel counters will explode for separate 2-point damage explosions.
  • FLYING: Flying objects are affected by lasers, walls, pushers, portals, other robots, check points, and all non-flat devices. Flying objects are not affected by conveyors , gears, water, currents, pits, teleporters, randomizers, flat devices, or oil slicks (A&D, p.9). On a board with multiple levels, flying robots stay on the same level; they don’t fall down ledges or roll down ramps, although they can fly up ramps. If a flying robot would land on another robot, move the robot into the next open square (regardless of if there’s a wall in the way) (A&D, p. 10). Flying devices can pass through other flying devices (A&D, p. 15).
  • Explosions: Explosions (such as those caused by missiles and mines) can cause damage to orthogonally-adjacent squares, calculated as robots move (A&D, p.8). The explosion deals half damage for every space of distance from the original explosion. For example, a 4-point explosion would deal 1 points of damage to a robot standing two spaces away.

Options

Normally whichever option was activated most recently takes precedence. A robot cannot use any options when powered down unless the options specifically say they can be used while a robot is powered down.

You may only use one Phase Programmed -Movement per register phase and one Phase Programmed- Gadget/Token per register phase (A&D, p. 4-5), but there are no other limitations. You could, for example, drop a mine on the first register phase, drop a goo counter on the second register phase, drop another goo counter the third register phase, then drop another mine the fifth register phase. On any of those phases you could also use a Phase Programmed -Movement option (like Crab Legs) but not a second Phase Programmed- Gadget option on that phase.

If a program becomes “illegal” keep any counters or tokens used in the program but discard all cards except the primary card (A&D, p. 4). As an example, if Crab Legs is programmed to take effect on the 5th register phase and your robot ends up on a teleporter, you would execute the primary card and discard the other. If a Phase Programmed-Movement option is destroyed during a turn in which it has been programmed, the program for the current turn remains in effect. If a launcher option is destroyed or exchanged to prevent damage, any unlaunched devices capable of explosive damage will explode (A&D, p. 7).

Phase Programmed-Gadget options take effect before robot movement. Phase Programmed-Movement options take effect at the priority of the primary card.

When two cards are placed in a register, the movement card is the primary card. If two movement cards are placed in a register, you must choose which is the primary card [for simplicity, the fastest card should be the primary card]. When an option allows you to leave a register unprogrammed, you must still place a card from your hand in that register to serve as the primary card (A&D, p. 5).

Ablative Coat: Any direction or source. Will not function when powered down.

Abort Switch: After Abort Switch is triggered, you can still use Conditional. The Abort Switch is still active until the end of the turn. Abort Switch cards completely replace the old ones in the locked registers. Abort switch does not replace programmed actions (such as dropping a mine). Will replace all cards in a register, however programmed (such as Crab Legs).

Big Gun: The Big Gun could fire any phase the main laser fires (i.e., every phase). The Big Gun in water pushes back a square—Water only affects movement cards, not movement effects.

Big Jet: Portals are composed of energy fields that fill the entire square, so flying robots will still be affected. Occurs prior to programmed movement. Allows your robot to fly over walls and robots, but not between levels. The Big Jet explosion is 4 points.

Bio Option:

Brakes: Not usable on Teleporters. Affected by portals.

Bridge Layer: Bridges can only be placed over pits. Since drains are functionally identical to pits, they should be treated as pits for all purposes; therefore you may place bridges over drains. Bridges may only be placed over troubled water, so you may not place bridges over other water squares. A Bridge is only good for crossing pits, and cannot be dropped on other circumstances. A robot may leave a bridge on a trap door pit. Token will always appear in front of robot, regardless of direction of movement (e.g., Crab Legs).

Buzz Bomb: Only one Buzz Bomb can be in play at any time (A&D page 12). If you try to fire Buzz Bomb and you have another one in play, the Buzz Bomb will not fire. Missiles will drop down a level, but not come back up. Buzz bombs are pushed by pushers, and destroyed by crushers, causing it to explode. Only one Buzz bomb can be in place at one time.

Circuit Breaker: Will not work when powered down.

Conditional Program:

Converter: All damage is translated into energy. If a robot takes 2 points of flamer damage in a single phase it will get two energy counters. Energy will affect the next movement card, even if that card has been replaced. Destroying the option or exchanging it to prevent damage will cause it to explode for 1 point for each energy counter. Reflector damage goes on Converter.

Crab Legs: Crab Legs do not work on teleporters (A&D p. 17). Treat the teleporters as if the Crab Legs are “de-activated,” execute the movement card, and allow the teleporter to behave according to the movement card alone.

Drone Launcher: Missiles will drop down a level, but not come back up. Crushers and pushers will cause a drone to explode (A&D, p. 12). Other robots damaged by the explosion are not pushed. Retargeting occurs during “Resolve Laser Fire”.

Dual Processor: Cannot be used on a previously locked register. The movement card is the primary card.

Double-Barreled Laser:

Dual Processor: Not usable on Teleporters. Affected by portals.

Extra Memory: The extra card is not an extra hit point. The robot will still die after receiving 10 points of damage.

Fire Control: Treat the Fire Control damage as regular damage; you can choose to unlock one register for each point of damage you remove at a wrench site. If you power down, it of course will unlock all registers. Fire Control cannot destroy Shield (or Power Down shield) if the Shield negates the damage. Fire Control cannot destroy Converter unless causing the damage that causes Converter to explode. Cannot shoot off the Ablative Coat. Fire Control can be used with Double Barreled Laser (applying damage to two different locations, but, for example, Ablative Coat or Shield could mitigate). Will not destroy programmed token. Unlaunched objects will explode if the Launcher is destroyed. Locked register will lock only movement of primary card (e.g., Dual Processor). Flying robots that drop to the same level will take no damage. Can lock a register on a powered-down robot (the card will be assigned randomly).

Flywheel:

Fourth Gear: Not usable on Teleporters. Affected by portals.

Frog Legs: Portals are composed of energy fields that fill the entire square, so flying robots will still be affected. This option cannot be used when already flying.

Goo Dropper: Goo cannot be dropped in water (A&D p. 14). Retro-Rockets, Big Jet, and others break goo—any additional movement counts toward destroying the goo, but nothing more. Robo-Copter’s ability to generate extra movement can help destroy the goo, but nothing more. Cannot be dropped on conveyors, water, currents, or teleporters. Goo used on a conveyor belt is lost with no effect. Goo does not prevent robots from traveling through portals, but the goo itself does not move through the portal. So if your robot moves onto a goo/portal square, the robot is transported to the corresponding portal square just like normal. However, if your robot is transported to a goo/portal square, it cannot move out until the goo has been destroyed. Goo does not affect Flying objects.

Gyroscopic Stabilizer:

High-Powered Laser: Only affects main laser. As Double Barreled Laser affects the main laser, the High-Powered Laser is also doubled.

Homing Device: When this option is activated, during each register phase move forward 3 squares if doing so will bring your robot closer to the target robot. (If the target robot is less than 3 squares away, move to the target robot’s current square.) If moving forward wouldn’t bring your robot closer to the target robot, or if your robot is blocked from moving forward by a wall, then rotate your robot left each register phase until moving forward will bring your robot closer to the target robot. The priority of this movement is 850. When using this option, program your robot as normal. If the target robot is destroyed while this option is active, execute the remainder of your program (A&D, p. 14). Does not work with Retro Rocket or Robo-Copter.

Interceptor: Both players should have the same number of cards before and after exchanging cards. The player with fewer cards gives their whole hand to the other player and draws randomly from the other player’s hand to replace their hand (A&D, p. 14).

Mechanical Arm: Only orthogonal. Can only touch checkpoints. A robot on the checkpoint does not block.

Mine Layer: If an archive copy is deposited on a mine, it sets the mine off. Can be dropped on oil slicks and conveyors. If dropped on conveyor, will convey. Mines are not encountered when flying. If a robot moves onto or across a mine, the mine triggers immediately. Mines are not affected by lasers or pushers. Crushers cause mines to explode.

Missile Launcher: Missiles will drop down a level, but not come back up. Crushers and pushers will cause a missile to explode.

Mini Howitzer:

Option Dampening Field: Not limited by walls. If any robot’s device is programmed to be used within range of the option damping field, discard any counters or tokens programmed for that phase without effect. Devices already released by options continue to function normally. All options (including Ablative Coat and Power Down Shield) will be disabled. Superior Archive will not work if Dampened at the time of death.

Overload Override: Affected by portals. Not usable on Teleporters. If a register will be unprogrammed, a card must still be placed as the primary card (A&D, p. 5). If that register becomes locked, the primary card is locked. Cannot be used on a previously locked register.

Portable Teleporter: Lasers and pushers do not affect the portable teleporter; crushers will destroy them.

Power-Down Shield: The Power Down Shield does not block against Radiation or any other damage which is non-directional. Absorbs only 1 point of damage. Other damage is applied normally.

Pressor Beam: Presser Beam works in water—Water only affects movement cards, not movement effects. Pressor + Tractor equals zero movement.

Proximity Mine: If an archive copy (virtual or not) is deposited on a mine, it sets the mine off. Proximity Mine goes off if you drop one and then turn. Dropping then do anything but run away during the phase of dropping will cause it to go off. Treat it as if it read “be within 1 square” rather than “pass within 1 square.” Can be dropped on oil slicks and conveyors. If dropped on a conveyor, will convey. All non-flying robot movement can trigger, including that caused by Conveyers, Pushers, Mini-Howitzer, Tractor Beam, etc. Mines are not affected by lasers or pushers. Crushers cause mines to explode.

Radio Control: Radio control replaces that robot’s entire program for the rest of the current turn with a copy of your robot’s program. In cases of card priority, the target robot moves after your robot. A robot with Radio Control and multiple cards in a register (e.g., Radio Control and Crab Legs) replaces only with the primary card (A&D, p. 5). Radio Control replaces the entire program in a target register with multiple cards (e.g., a target with Crab Legs programmed). Abort Switch and Conditional will replace the primary card reprogrammed by Radio Control.

Ramming Gear: This is not an Additional Weapon, but a Run-Time Option. Even if the target robot can’t be moved, it still receives a point of damage. Will damage when pushing another robot from any side (e.g., Crab Legs).

Rear-Firing Laser: Fires every phase the main weapon fires (i.e., every phase)

Recompile: Your robot takes a point of damage after you receive the new hand; the point of damage does not require you to discard a card. Does not recompile the card in Flywheel. Does not recompile the cards for Buzz Bomb.

Reengineering Unit: Programmed objects transfer with the option (A&D, p. 4). Intercepted ownership conveys. Only when pushing another robot, not when pushed.

Reflector: Will reflect all of Double Barreled Laser (while receiving two points of damage). Fire control damage is reflected indirectly (not to same location).

Retro Rockets: Portals are composed of energy fields that fill the entire square, so flying robots will still be affected. Destroying the option or exchanging it to prevent damage will cause Retro-Rockets to explode for 1 point of damage per unprogrammed fuel counter.

Reverse Gear: Affected by portals. Not usable on Teleporters.

Robo-Copter: Portals are composed of energy fields that fill the entire square, so flying robots will still be affected. If the option is destroyed, your robot immediately lands and is no longer flying. If your robot takes damage while in use, you must destroy this option to prevent the first point of damage, and discard the option at the end of the turn (A&D, p. 16).

Scrambler: A Scrambler card completely replaces the previous one in the locked or otherwise replaced (e.g., Radio Control) registers. Options which affect cards at Run Time can affect a Scrambled card.

Scrambler Bomb: Any players with robots in range of the Scrambler Bomb when it goes off should discard their hands and program randomly for the entire turn. No programming of cards or objects can be performed. No card is available from Conditional. This effect is not blocked by walls. Options which affect cards at Run Time can affect a Scrambled card (e.g., Reverse Gear). When scrambled, Tokens (e.g., Mines) cannot be programmed.

Self-Destruct:

Superior Archive: Tractor Beam: Tractor Beam works in water—Water only affects movement cards, not movement effects. Pressor + Tractor equals zero movement.

The Big One: blocks line of sight. Cannot be damaged. Can be pushed by robots and pushers. Destroyed by crushers, causing it to explode (A&D, p. 11).

Many notes here are from: http://roborally.wikidot.com/faq, which is in turn mostly from WOTC.

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