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Supplement RV: Robotic Vehicles
(Advanced Vehicles Rules)

An early  CombatMekOne of the largest and most successful Galactic Empires of the later sixteenth millenium G.S. was that of the Rho Botek Civilization.  The exact details of their discoveries are unknown, but it is generally believed that the Botex stumbled across the ancient ruins of lost offshoots of the Teknik Giants' civilization sometime during the Botek Civil War in the early decades of the 15400's.  The Rho faction's early advances in investigating the ancient technology soon gave them a decisive advantage over their rival factions Sigma and Tau.  By the end of the century the Rho Botex had fully assimilated the ancient Teknix' advanced CombatMek technology and begun full-scale production of weapons platforms the likes of which the galaxy had never seen - giant battle robots of such immense subtlety, variety, and power that the Botex were able to quickly overwhelm all opposition in their area of space.

Rival Civilizations attempted to duplicate or steal the CombatMek technology, but for many centuries had little or no success.  Strictly governed by the Rho Mafellar dynasty, the Rho Botex maintained almost perfect control of this technology until the 158th and 159th centuries, when the majority of their military power was squandered in repeated and unsuccessful campaigns to eradicate the elusive JarJar infestations that had begun spreading to outlying Botek systems.  The JarJars' Dungan physiology allowed them to overcome the effects of conventional pesticides and genocidal weapons, and the Botex developed many new and experimental anti-Dungan devices.  While details of these experiments are unclear, it is apparent that during large-scale testing the Botek scientists managed to interdimensionally fuse advanced metals with Dungan DNA, creating a new alloy with the metal's durability and the Dungans' supernatural virulence.  The scientists, apparently Tau Botek sympathizers, hid their discovery from the Rho government and took the new Dunganium Alloy to nearby renegade Tau Botek space colonies.  Within a few years, the Tau Botek were able to secretly develop and deploy a series of Dungam Wing mobile suits, which, although few in number, proved to be far superior to the Rho Botex' legions of CombatMeks.  Exhausted by the resulting Botek Civil War, the Botek Civilization slowly began to wither under attacks from rival Civilizations, and by 15890 the Botek Empire had collapsed.  Their vital technological secrets were scattered, stolen, or destroyed in the chaos that followed.  While nearly all SpaceCivilizations now possess some level of CombatMek technology, it is generally accepted that none has yet matched the glory of the Botek Civilization in its golden age, and for this reason genuine Rho Botek CombatMeks and Dungam Mobile Suits are highly prized.

The Robotic Vehicles rules are included for BrikWars players who want to create extremely specialized vehicles.  (The term 'Robot' refers to any vehicle built using these rules; such a vehicle is called a Robotic Vehicle or just a Robot.)  This system is more flexible than the regular Vehicles system, but the rules are more detailed and complex.  Many BrikWars players think that the Vehicles rules are already enough of a pain in the neck without adding any additional overhead.  For this reason, it is not recommended that you build more than a few Robotic vehicles in any battle, if any; for most vehicles, just use the regular Vehicles rules.
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Introduction
BrikWars Basic Guide
The Trooper's Arsenal
Advanced Combat
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Robotic Vehicles
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Contact Mike Rayhawk
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RV.1 Building the Torso


Robotic construction begins with the Torso.  The Torso houses the power generators and control systems for all internal and external components.  The design and function of all weapons, tools, armor, and limbs are dependent on a solid Torso design.  A robot's Torso specifications determine almost all of its potential abilities.


RV.1.1 Size Rating

To determine a Robotic Vehicle's initial construction cost, you must first determine the Size of its torso or chassis.  The Size rating is based on the area of the torso (not counting limbs such as arms, legs, tentacles, wings, etc), which is measured in the same way as for a regular chassis under the normal Vehicle rules (see 4.1.1:Building the Chassis).  If you measure the Size rating and it is less than ten, or if the torso is a one-piece vehicle, consider the total Size to be 10 for all calculations.  If a robot's torso is designed with multiple Stories, then calculate the Size of each Story separately and add them all together.

Maximum Vehicle Size by TekLevel
TL Max. Size Largest Vehicles of the Era
TL0

(zero)

No vehicles unless CaveMen can ride DinoSaurs
TL1

One-Piece

Horses and canoes
TL2

200

Horse-drawn carts, triremes, siege towers, dragons, elephants
TL3

600

Pirate galleons, steam-powered trains
TL4

1000

Aircraft carriers, passenger jets, mega monster trux
TL5

2000

Colony ships, spacefighter carriers, mobile construction yards
TL6

5000

StarShip Civilization city-ships
TL7

no limit

Automated planets, artificially intelligent galaxies
The TL5 Templar ExoSuit
The TL5 Templar ExoSuit
In order to illustrate Robotic construction in action, we'll do the accounting for a simple Templar ExoSuit.
The Templar Torso

The Templar Torso
is very compact.  For larger vehicles and robots, the cockpit and control devices are built into the interior of the torso or chassis.  For robots as small as the Templar, the cockpit and control devices must be mounted on the torso exterior.  Because they are external devices, they are not considered when calculating the Size of the torso.

The torso dimensions are 4 dots long by 4 dots wide by 3 Brix high.  Multiplying the two largest dimensions, we find the torso's Size to be 16.

RV.1.2 Armor

Next you must decide how heavily Armored you wish your robot to be.  Robots must have a minimum of 10 points of Armor (a d6 counts as 3½ points, a d10 counts as 5½, etc.)  When choosing an Armor level, remember that Armor adds to your robot's Mass rating, which may limit its maneuverability.

Maximum Vehicle Armor by TekLevel
TL Max. AV Heaviest Vehicle Armor of the Era
TL0

(none)

Hair, animal skins, CaveMan body odor, fleas
TL1

1d10+4

Leather, grasses, palm leaves, paint
TL2

3d10+4

Wood, bamboo
TL3

4d10+4

Reinforced wood, limited iron and steel
TL4

5d10+4

Steel, plastics, composites, polymers
TL5

6d10+4

Tritanium, synthetic duralloys, limited energy shielding
TL6

7d10+4

Energy shielding, adaptive crystal lattice neutronium
TL7

no limit

Temporal-spatial discontinuity fields, dynamically-roving singularities

When robots are attacked, Damage is always rolled on the Subsystem Ker-Pow! Table (4.3.1: SubSystem Ker-Pow! Table), never on the Vehicle Ker-Pow! Table.
Templar Armor
Templar Armor
is fairly light, with an AV of 2d10+4.  (2d10+4 is 15 points of Armor.)

RV.1.3 Power

Finally you must decide how Powerful the engine of your robot will be, and in a general way, where in the torso the power source will be located.  The robot's Power rating will determine not only which weapons and components can or cannot be mounted on it, but also its acceleration and top speed.

Maximum Vehicle Power by TekLevel
TL Max. Pwr Strongest Vehicle Power Source of the Era
TL0

(none)

Rocks, gravity, feet
TL1

(manual labor)

Horses, manual labor
TL2

10

Elephants, magic, huge numbers of disposable slaves
TL3

15

Wind, steam-powered engines
TL4

20

Rocket fuel, nuclear fission
TL5

30

Cold hydrogen fusion
TL6

40

Antimatter reactions, sustained quantum singularities
TL7

no limit

Planck-energy distortion, hypermatter, superstring transformation

Big Power sources require big engines.  If your Civilization has developed nuclear engines for its submarines, than you can get the same Power output out of your moped - as long as you build your moped big enough to house a nuclear reactor.

Minimum Vehicle Size per Power Rating by TekLevel
TL Min. Size Power Source
up to TL2

N/A

all Power is supplied by Horses, Slaves, or other beasts of burden
TL3

3x(Power^2)

from wind or steam
TL4

2x(Power^2)

from petroleum or nuclear fission
TL5

Power^2

from plasma or nuclear fusion
TL6

(Power^2)/2

from antimatter or spatial distortion
TL7

no limit

from rebelling against the laws of physics
The Templar Torso
Templar Power
The Templar power unit, located in the center of the torso, produces 4 Power.  Because of its small Size rating, this is the highest Power rating the torso can support at TL5.

RV.1.4 Budget and Statistics

Once you have finalized the Size, Armor, and Power ratings, these three numbers will determine the rest of the robot's basic statistics before adding weapons and external components.

To calculate the CP cost for the torso or chassis, first add the points in the robot's Size and Armor ratings to the square of the number of points in the Power rating.  Divide this total by 20.  Rounded up, this is the initial CP cost for the robot's torso.

CP Cost for Torso: (Size + Armor + (Power^2))/20

Another important factor, often more important than the CP cost, is the robot's Mass.  The robot's Mass rating is equal to its Size times its Armor, divided by 100, rounded up.

Mass, in Blox: (Size x Armor) / 100

A robot's Mass and Power ratings determine its maximum speed (which may vary if the robot's propulsion system has less Power than the torso, or if this number exceeds the maximum speed for the robot's TL).  To determine a robot's Movement rating, square the Power rating of its propulsion system, multiply by 4, and divide the result by the robot's Mass.

Movement Rate, in inches: (4 x (Power^2))/Mass

For robots with a very low Mass, it will make a big difference whether the Mass rating is rounded up before or after you caluclate the Movement Rate.  To get accurate results, eaither wait to round up the Mass Rating until after you have calculated the Movement Rate using the above equation, or just use the following equation:

Movement Rate for robots of low Mass, in inches: (400 x (Power^2))/(Size x Armor)

Optional Rule: Robotic Performance Modification Indifferent Face
Normal Vehicle Performance Modification rules (4.1.3: Performance) don't fit well with Robotic Vehicles - the numbers don't add up quite right.  Fortunately, you can fine-tune most of a robot's statistics however you like.  If you want your robot to specialize even further, you can design the robot with less power in one area so it can have more in another.  Each entry in the following table is an area from which you can remove one or more Power Points to add elsewhere, or add one or more Power Points that you have removed from elsewhere.  The total number of Power Points added can never exceed the total number of Power Points removed.

Power Areas
pip Velocity - adding a Power Point to a robot's Velocity changes its top speed, as if its Power were increased by one.  Removing a Power Point similarly reduces a robot's top speed.  A robot's top speed may be increased in this manner to up to 10% higher than the maximum for its TekLevel.
pip Handling - adding a Power Point to a robot's Handling reduces its TurnRadius by one inch and adds a cumulative +1 Skill Bonus to all Piloting rolls.  Removing a Power Point increases the radius by two inches and incurs a cumulative -1 Skill Penalty to all Piloting rolls.  (You may also improve handling by using JumpJets - see RV.2.2: Alternate Propulsion.)
pip Acceleration and Braking - adding a Power Point to a robot's Acceleration and Braking increases its Max Accel/Decel by one inch.  Removing a Power Point decreases its Max Accel/Decel by two inches.  (You may also improve acceleration and braking by using JumpJets - see RV.2.2: Alternate Propulsion.)
pip Torque - adding a Power Point to Torque increases the robot's Cargo Capacity as if the robot's Power were increased by one.  Removing a Power Point decreases Cargo Capacity in the same manner.
pip Shields (TL5 or above) - adding a Power Point to Shields adds 1d6 to the robot's Armor.  This extra armor does not add to the robot's mass.  Shield advantages are lost if the robot loses power, or if the enemy attacks from within one inch of the robot's surface.  PBBs representing shield generators must be in an exposed position somewhere on the exterior surface of the robot.  A robot may not have negative Shield power.
pip Weapons - adding a Power Point to Weapons allows the robot to activate weapons and devices as if its Power were increased by one.  Removing a Power Point from Weapons similarly decreases the robot's ability to activate weapons and devices.

Optional Rule: Dynamic Robotic Performance Modification Surly Face
If complex power systems and robotic engineering play a major role in your battles, you may want to allow your robots to transfer power between areas in the middle of a battle.  This can be very complicated, so it is not at all recommended for beginning players.

A player who wishes to design his robot so that it can redirect power from one area to another must declare, for each Power Area, the maximum number of Power Points which may be added to the area, and the maximum number of Power Points which may be removed from the area.  He then adds these twelve numbers together, and pays this many CPs for power capacitors.  (Players should calculate and write down the varying statistics for each possible Power level in each area before the game starts, so they won't have to calculate statistics in the middle of a battle.)

If a player adds or removes more Power Points than the maximum allowed in a certain Power Area, then the systems governed by that Power Area may overload and shut down at the end of the turn.  Roll 1d6.  If the number rolled is less than or equal to the number of Power Points by which the player exceeded the maximum, then the systems shut down.  Roll 1d6 at the beginning of each turn thereafter; on a roll of 6, the system reactivates.

Next, he must declare the maximum number of Power Points which he can move from one area to another in a single turn.  The player must square this number to determine the CP cost for power transformers.  Power transfers may only be made at the beginning of a unit's turn.

When power transformers become too expensive, a player may install HeatSinks on the robot to increase the power transfer rate.  Each HeatSink must be represented by an appropriate PBB exposed on the surface of the robot, and must be able to be replaced by a similar piece of a different color to indicate whether it is hot or cold.  Each cold HeatSink can be used to increase the maximum transfer rate by one Power Point in a turn, but it then heats up and must cool down before it can be used again.  At the beginning of each turn, roll 1d6 for each hot HeatSink.  For every die that comes up 6 (or 5 if the HeatSink is immersed in water or in the vacuum of space), one HeatSink becomes cool and may be reused immediately.  HeatSinks are inherently fragile and have a maximum Armor of 1d10, plus whatever Shield bonuses may apply.

Untrained minifigs who attempt to pilot a robot may either steer the robot, target and fire weapons, or handle power transfers, but they do not have the skill to handle more than one of these tasks in a single turn.  A minifig with the Piloting Specialty (7.2.5: Pilots) may handle any two of these tasks, but not all three.  Only a minifig with the Super Piloting Specialty (he has paid for the Piloting Specialty twice) may perform all three tasks in a single turn.  Super Pilots are few and far between, which is why most robotic vehicles of this complexity have a crew of multiple minifigs.

Templar Budget and Statistics
Calculating the cost and statistics for the Templar torso is fairly straightforward:

CP Cost:
(16+15+(4^2)) / 20 =
(31+(16)) / 20 =
47 / 20 =
2.35
2.35 rounds up to a total cost of 3 CP.

Mass:
(16x15) / 100 =
240 / 100 =
2.4
2.4 rounds up to a total Mass of 3 Blox.

Movement Rate:
(Because the Templar has a relatively low Mass, we use the second formula:)
(400x(4^2) / (16x15) =
(400x16) / 240 =
6400 / 240 =
26.7
26.7 rounds down to a total Move of 26 inches.

RV.2 Propulsion Systems


For a Robotic Vehicle to move around, it will need at least one propulsion system.  A robot can only use one propulsion system at a time, but it may have multiple propulsion systems for adaptability or in case on is damaged or destroyed.  A propulsion system may have a higher or lower Power rating than the robot's torso; the robot's Move will be determined by the lower of the two Power ratings.

Each propulsion system has a 'Max Move' rating, which varies according to TekLevel.  A propulsion system may have a Movement rating much higher than its Max Move rating; this is perfectly all right.  The original Movement rating is used to determine maximum acceleration and deceleration, and all Movement Penalties are subtracted from the original Movement rating.  However, during play, the vehicle cannot travel further than its Max Move in a single turn, regardless of how high its Movement rating is.


RV.2.1 Standard Propulsion

Each propulsion system on a robot must be well-represented by at least one PBB (wheels, propellers, jets, etc.).  Different types of propulsion systems cost different amounts, and vary in performance.

Ground Propulsion
Cost (Power/4) CP
Cargo Capacity

Power"

Max Accel/Decel

1/2 Move

Class#/Turnrate

Armor/5 (min 1)

Max Move

TL x 4"

Ground propulsion is most often represented by tires and wheels, but can also include things like runners and skis.  Larger tires can overcome larger obstacles - for every two full Brix of tire height, add 1 CP to the cost of the Ground propulsion system.  (Use the height of the largest tire - you don't have to buy the height of each tire separately.)
Treaded Propulsion
Cost (Power/2) CP
Cargo Capacity

Power x 1.5"

Max Accel/Decel

1/3 Move

Class#/Turnrate

Armor/5 (min 1),
turns in place

Max Move

TL x 3"

Treaded propulsion is any type of ground propulsion that allows a vehicle to turn in place, such as treads, repulsor lifts, hovercraft propellors, or robotic legs.  If you have built a treaded vehicle but don't have any tread PBBs, you can arrange long rows of tires on the model and pretend that they have treads on them.  A robot that walks around on legs can also be treated as a treaded vehicle, as long as the robot uses the legs for walking only.  If you want to use your robot's legs for jumping, kicking, dancing, picking things up, etc., you will have to buy them as Limbs.

Larger treads can overcome larger obstacles.  For every two full Brix in the height of the treads, add 1CP to the cost of the Treaded propulsion system.

Boat / Train Propulsion
Cost (Power/2) CP
Cargo Capacity

Power x 2"

Max Accel/Decel

1/4 Move

Class#/Turnrate

Armor-8 (min 4),
rowed boats turn in place

Max Move

TL x 3"

Boat propulsion can be represented by sails and masts, by an outboard motor, by a sternwheel, or by an underwater propellor drive.  Train propulsion is represented by wheels or maglev bars on the TrainTrax.

If you are building a rowed boat, you can man the oars with galley slaves.  Galley slaves do not take any independent action except to abandon ship when it catches on fire, and then only if somebody forgot to chain them to the oars.  Each galley slave costs 1CP and provides one point of Power.  A boat rowed by minifigs, even the largest quadrireme, can turn in place.

Submarine Propulsion
Cost (Power/2) CP
Cargo Capacity

Power"

Max Accel/Decel

1/4 Move

Class#/Turnrate

Armor-8 (min 4)

Max Move

TL x 3",
1 Story of depth

Submarine propulsion is represented by underwater propellors or jets.

Flyer Propulsion
Cost (2 x Power)+3 CP
Cargo Capacity

1/2 Power"

Max Accel/Decel

1/2 Move

Class#/Turnrate

Armor/4 (min 1)

Max Move

TL x 6"

Flyer propulsion can be represented by propellers, jets, or rocket thrusters.

Hover Propulsion
Cost (2 x Power) + 10 CP
Cargo Capacity

1/2 Power"

Max Accel/Decel

1/2 Move

Class#/Turnrate

(Armor/4) (min 1)

Max Move

TL x 5"

Hover propulsion is any type of Flyer propulsion that allows a vehicle to hover or turn in place.  Hover propulsion can be represented by propellers, jets, or rocket thrusters.


RV.2.2 Alternate Propulsion

There are many possible alternate propulsion systems - tunneling underground, hyperspatial teleportation, inchworm gyrations, transmogrification through tight spaces, and so forth.  For most of these, you're going to have to figure out the point costs and statistics on your own; you can't expect us to cover every little detail.  However, two alternate systems of propulsion come up often enough that they merit special attention.

JumpJets
The first is the use of JumpJets (or 'Boosters' or 'Afterburners') - thrusters that, while not always powerful enough to act as a primary propulsion system for a robot or vehicle, are useful to maneuver during a jump or to act as a secondary propulsion unit in support of other primary propulsion units.  JumpJets cost 2CP per point of Power, and can never draw more Power than half the primary engine's Power rating.

JumpJets work differently from normal propulsion systems in that rather than having Movement ratings and TurnRates and so on, a JumpJet provides straight linear acceleration, and only in the direction it is pointing.  One unit of Power equals five Blok-inches of acceleration, so the amount of acceleration a JumpJet can provide in a single turn is five times the JumpJets' Power, divided by the Mass of the vehicle.  This acceleration vector is added to the vehicle's current velocity, and may allow the vehicle to exceed the Maximum Movement rating for its TekLevel by up to fifty percent.

JumpJet Linear Acceleration: (5 x JumpJet Power / Vehicle Mass)"

If JumpJets are used to slow a vehicle's fall, remember that they have to fight the downward acceleration of gravity (4" per turn, per round, straight down).

Limbs
Limbs are such an important part of robotic tomfoolery that they get a chapter section all to themselves (see RV.3: Robotic Limbs) - here we will just discuss the use of limbs as a propulsion system.

If the vehicle's legs are rudimentary, designed for nothing more than staggering around, then just treat them as if they were a Treaded propulsion system.  If the vehicle's legs are well-articulated, designed not just for walking but for running, climbing, jumping about, and busting Robotic moves with Robo-Kung-Fu action, then they count as proper Limbs and must be purchased as such.  (Their CP cost is discussed in the next section.)

Limb Propulsion
Cargo Capacity

Power"

Max Accel/Decel

1/2 Move

Class#/Turnrate

Armor/5 (min 1),
turns in place

Max Move

TL x 4"

Movement is determined as normal, based on the Power of the weakest Limb.  A robot can only support itself on limbs that have enough Power to support the robot's weight (minimum Power of at least half the robot's Mass in Blox).  A Robot can only stand, walk, run, jump, or shove itself about with Limbs that end in Feet.  If the robot loses one or more Feet, then its Movement is halved.  A robot can only climb, swing, or drag itself around with Limbs that end in Hands, and only if it can find (or make) decent handholds.

A Robot with fully operational legs can step onto or over an obstacle up to half the height of its legs (at 1/2 speed), or jump onto or over an obstacle the full height of its legs (at 1/4 speed).  It may also make a Big Jump, launching itself into the air with a maximum initial velocity of ((5 x Power)/Mass)", and it can absorb that much velocity on landing with no damage (as long as it lands on its Feet).  When on a Big Jump, the robot will be in the air for a number of turns.  On the first turn following the Big Jump, the robot will continue rising into the air at the same speed at which he launched himself on the previous turn, minus 4" of downward acceleration from gravity.  The robot will continue to feel a downward acceleration vector of 4" every turn, which will eventually reverse the robots course and return it to the ground.  While in the air, the robot cannot turn or modify its trajectory without the use of JumpJets.

A robot with enough limbs to hold itself up without allowing its torso to drag on the ground moves at full speed.  However, if a robot is unable to hold itself up, whether due to damage sustained in battle or due to inexcusably poor Limb design, it may find itself struggling to get around.  If the robot is dragging its torso or a rigid paralyzed Limb along the ground using two or more functional Limbs, it moves at half speed; if it is dragging itself using only one Limb, it moves at one quarter speed.  If one of a robot's legs is paralyzed and rigid, it may prevent the robot from moving entirely and have to be jettisoned (robots can automatically jettison Limbs).  If the leg is limp and dragging in the dirt, but the robot has enough other legs to keep walking around, each limp leg incurs a -2" Movement Penalty.  If a Robot has been reduced to a single leg but is still able to support itself, then it hops around at one quarter speed and must make a Piloting Skill Roll with a UR of 4 at the beginning of every turn to avoid falling over.

If a robot that walks upright fails any Piloting Skill Roll, it falls over.  It takes damage from a Collision with the ground (see 3.6.5: Collisions) at whatever speed the Robot was traveling when it fell.  If a robot has enough Limbs that it is able to get back up again, then getting up takes one half turn.

RV.3 Robotic Limbs


Robotic Limbs come in all shapes and sizes - from the normal forms of arms and legs to more unusual things like wings, tails, and tentacles.  Depending on the tools and objects mounted on the limbs, the uses of most limbs fall into four basic categories: manipulators, propulsion, weapons platforms, and striking implements.


RV.3.1 Buying a Limb

A limb's initial cost is determined by three factors: the limb's flexibility, length, and Power.

pip Flexibility:  1 CP for one axis of rotation; 2 CP for multiple axes
A rigid limb with freedom to move on one axis of rotation has a base cost of 1 CP.  A flexible limb, or one with freedom to rotate on more than one axis, has a base cost of 2 CP.  A rigid limb that has no freedom of rotation on any axis is a pretty sad excuse for a limb.
pip Length:  1 CP per 5 dots of length or 4 Brix of height
A limb built horizontally costs 1 CP per 5 dots of length.  A limb built vertically costs 1 CP per 4 Brix of height.  Weapons and tools may only be mounted on limbs that are at least three-fourths the length of the weapon or tool.
pip Power:  1 CP per point of Power
A limb costs 1 CP for every point in its Power rating.  A limb cannot have a higher Power rating than the torso of the robot it is mounted on.  Weapons and tools mounted on or held by a limb cannot be activated if their Power requirement is more than the limb can supply.


RV.3.2 Arming a Limb

Weapons and tools are mounted on Limbs at the same CP cost as if the weapon or tool were bought and mounted on a regular vehicle.  A weapon cannot be mounted on a Limb if the weapon requires more Power than the Limb can supply.  The Robot's main Torso must be at least three-fourths the length of any weapon mounted on a Limb, regardless of whether the Limb is much longer or much shorter than the Torso.

A couple of tools are Limb-specific:

pip Feet:  1 CP per Foot
If you would like to use a Limb to walk, run, jump, or kick with, you must buy a Foot for the Limb.  A Foot costs 1 CP, and has the same Power rating as the limb it is mounted on.  A Foot incurs no Movement Penalty.
pip Hands:  1 CP per point of Power
Any tool mounted on a Limb to be used as a manipulator (a mechanical hand, a claw, a multi-tool, a robo-surgery kit, etc.) is considered to be a Hand.  A Hand costs 1 CP for every point in its Power rating. The Power of a hand will determine its ability to lift, carry, and throw objects around, or crush them like walnuts.  A Robot can use its Hands to climb around or swing from ropes and overhead objects.  A Robot cannot walk on its Hands unless those Hands are also Feet, which costs 1 extra CP.  Due to the complex control mechanisms, a Hand incurs a -1" Movement Penalty.
pip Structural Reinforcement:  1 CP per 2 points of Armor
Any Limb can be used to strike targets, but when it hits a target, it does as much damage to itself as it does to the target.  If you plan on smashing a Limb into things on a regular basis, or using a Limb to parry or block attacks, you're going to want to toughen it up a bit.  Armor can be added to a Limb at a cost of 1 CP per 2 points of Armor.  Additional Limb armor is added through a special process called BludgeonPlating, which does not add to the Mass of the Robot or slow it down in any way.  The additional armor does not apply to weapons or tools mounted on the Limb, but it does apply to Hands and Feet.

Whenever your Robot attacks a target with its Hands or Feet, whether punching, kicking, squeezing, stomping, crushing, or slapping the target, it does 1d6 Damage, times the Power of the Hand or Foot.


RV.4
Control Systems


A Robotic Vehicle automatically comes with one manual control unit that one minifig can use to control every weapon, tool, and propulsion system on the robot.  This control unit must be represented by one or more PBBs (usually a computer console, steering wheel, or lever).  Additional control systems for copilots or gunners may be bought for a cost of as many CPs as are in the robot's Class number.  If a Robot has more than one propulsion system, it may have more than one Class number.  If so, then the additional control system costs as much as the sum of the Class numbers of all the propulsion systems it controls.  A control system does not have to include controls for every propulsion system on the robot, but it must include controls for at least one propulsion system.

If you want a minifig to act solely as a gunner, you do not need to buy a separate control system for him, as long as he is within reach of the weapon he wishes to fire.  All mounted weapons include manual controls, and can be fired by any minifig who has access to them.


RV.4.1 Robot Brains

Robots do not need human Pilots for every function or even any function.  Any number of artificially semi-intelligent RoboBrains can be used instead.  RoboBrains can be used as gunners to supplement a minifig Pilot, or a RoboBrain can be used to replace the Pilot entirely.  RoboBrains can also be installed in bases, to control any base device that can be remotely controlled.  If a RoboBrain has the ability to fire weapons, it may only focus on one target in a given turn.  However, it may fire as many weapons as it likes at that target.

If a RoboBrain controls propulsion systems as well as guns, then it costs as many CPs as the sum of the Class numbers of all the propulsion systems it controls, plus 3 points per 1d6 Skill.  Otherwise, the RoboBrain just costs 3 points per 1d6 Skill.  A RoboBrain is represented by any computer console PBB with lights, switches, or antennas on top, and must somehow be accessible for minifigs to fiddle with it.  Any minifig that gains access to a RoboBrain console, friendly or otherwise, can override or deactivate the RoboBrain and use the console as a normal control system.  If a given propulsion system or weapon is under the control of more than one RoboBrain or control system, then an enemy has to gain control of or deactivate all the RoboBrains and controls in order to gain control of that propulsion system or weapon.

Maximum RoboBrain Skill by TekLevel
TL Max. Skill
TL3 or
lower

(none)

TL4

1d6

TL5

2d6

TL6

3d6

TL7

no limit

Unfortunately, a RoboBrain is not as flexible as a regular minifig brain.  It must be given a basic program, which it follows extremely literally.  The program may be any length, but the specifics should be written down somewhere.  There are no 'secret' programs - a RoboBrain's program is known to all players, since RoboBrains constantly repeat their current instruction set out loud.

Example: Kamikaze HoverDolls are mass-produced with the following basic instruction set:

pip If enemy units are detected within 40", move to within optimum firing range of the nearest enemy unit. A HoverDoll
pip If there are enemy units within maximum firing range, attack the nearest enemy unit.
pip If no enemy units are detected, move to within 5" of the nearest friendly unit.
pip If no enemy or friendly units are detected, return to base.

Because the Kamikaze program does not include instructions to avoid shooting if friendly units are between them and their targets, units sharing the field with Kamikaze HoverDolls must be extremely careful about crossing the Kamikazes' lines of fire.

Any friendly unit may give a verbal instruction to any RoboBrain within 5".  The RoboBrain will carry out that instruction to the best of its ability, and then return to its original programming.  If it is an instruction with no specific time limit, the RoboBrain will continue carrying out that instruction until instructed to stop.  A RoboBrain can only remember one verbal instruction at a time.

If a minifig wants to change a RoboBrain's core program, it must use a RoboHack Tool, which looks like a radio with lights or switches on it, and costs 5 CP.  To use a RoboHack Tool, a minifig must have uninterrupted access to the RoboBrain itself for a full turn.  In that turn, the minifig may erase one or more instructions, or he may add one instruction.  If the RoboBrain's entire program is erased, then the minifig can spend one turn to change the RoboBrain's loyalties to any team or teams he chooses.


RV.5
Transforming Robots


For many PBB maniacs, the highest expression of PBB skill is in the construction of robots that actually transform into vehicles, and look good while doing it.  If you want to have transforming robots in your battle, then congratulations!  You're an inspiration to us all.

Transforming robots have no extra CP cost or special abilities - they behave just like normal robots in BrikWars except that they are much, much cooler and far more likely to impress enemy players.  No matter how complex the transformation, the act of transformation never incurs more than a -1" Movement Penalty, if any.  Just like in any good robot cartoon, all other battlefield action stops while transformation or dialogue is in progress.

Templar Propulsion
Templars employ 'simple' leg propulsion, meaning that their legs allow simple walking but not advanced moves like cartwheels or kicking.  This is bought as Treaded propulsion.

With a Power rating of 4, Treaded propulsion costs 2CP, plus 2 additional CP for the legs' height of four Brix, increasing the cost of the Templar to 7 CP.

The Templar's Movement Rate (calculated above) is 26", but this is higher than the Treaded propulsion's Max Move of 20" (TL5 x 4"), so the Templar is able to move a maximum of 20" per turn.



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