In the future, the hottest sport around is Bot Battles. Steel gladiators enter the ring and duke it out until only one warrior is left standing. The most famous arena of all is Gekido. Bot controllers from around the world gather there to prove they have the skills to outmaneuver the competition. The matches are fierce, and in the blink of an eye, someone is crowned champion, while everyone else walks away with nothing but scrap metal.
Gekido: Bot Battles is a fast, fun showdown in the Bot arena for two to four players. Each player takes control of one of the six available super-cool, pre-painted mini Bots and prepares to do battle. The Bots all have their own skills and attack capabilities, and players will be able to tweak those abilities with Tech cards, unlocked Powers, and by taking advantage of the arena tiles. A calculating controller, with a little bit of luck, should be able to wipe out the competition.
Over the course of several intense combat rounds, players move their Bots around the arena and attempt to land attacks on their opponents. The more difficult the attack, the more damage they can inflict. However, controllers have to be careful. These Bots are still new technology and have a tendency to malfunction. Failed attacks can backfire, damaging the Bot in the process.
To launch an offensive, players have to create an Attack Command for their Bot. They roll five Command dice, and based on the result, declare which attack they are going to attempt. They can roll the dice twice more but must keep whatever they have after the third roll. Successful attacks deal the corresponding damage to the target, but a misfire causes damage to the active player’s Bot.
The Attack Commands require different amounts of dice, depending on which maneuver is being attempted. The more dice needed, the more devastating the blow. Executing some of the simpler commands can earn players Tech cards that are useful in future turns.
Tech cards come in three different varieties and can only be played at certain times (indicated by the card). Red Attacker cards can be played after attack rolls. They give players the ability to manipulate the dice results or dole out extra damage. Green Defender cards can only be played by the targeted player and disrupt the attack in some way. Grey Tech cards can be played by either the Attacker or the Defender and provide some sort of tactical advantage.
As if it weren’t enough for players to be engaging other killer Bots, the arena itself can become a deadly force. After each roll, the attacker can choose to use the tile effect instead of playing a tech card. The designers of the arena thought of everything, decking it out with advanced technology like Energy Stations (allowing players to flip rolled dice), Laser Turrets (adding to the attacker’s strength, but lowering their defense), and Hot Grills (which grant an extra reroll of the Command dice). Choosing when to effectively take advantage of Tech cards and when to use the arena tiles can be the difference between victory and a trip to the junk yard!
As players zero in on other Bots and hope to land an attack, they’ll have to choose a target and lock in on to them. Target Lock tokens are used to ensure that everyone doesn’t just gang up on one player (no matter how big a jerk they are). Players have a Target Lock token for each of the other Bots in the game. The tokens start on the ‘Ready’ side, making all the other Bots a valid target. After a player has leveled an attack against a specific Bot, the attacker must flip that Bot’s Target Lock token to the ‘Loading’ side. It’s only once a player has attacked all the other Bots, that they can flip their Target Lock tokens back to the ‘Ready’ side and start dealing out damage again.
Speaking of damage, no one wants to see their Bot get beat up in the arena, but when they do take a hit, they battle even more fiercely. As a Bot’s structure is compromised, Upgrades and Powers are unlocked, giving them a fighting chance. Upgrades increase the strength of a Bot’s attack or defense, while Powers are abilities that can be used in the heat of battle, instead of playing a Tech card or activating an arena tile.
Gekido: Bot Battles is easy to learn and highly replayable. It perfectly captures the feeling of sitting ringside, furiously inputting commands into your Bot as it fights for survival. As these metal warriors trade blows back and forth, eliminating each other from the match, you’ll be happy they’re the ones doing the fighting!
Gekido: Bot Battles will be available at your FLGS on May 19.
Learn more about Gekido: Bot Battles here.
This article was originally published in GTM Magazine. Learn more here.