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Robo Battle Pigs
An entry in the 2001 8x8 Game Design Competition.

Designed by Randy Cox
An 8x8 fight-to-the-death for two players

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Equipment:

  • 8x8 board (chess board)
  • A token for each player that has a definite front (I like to use rubber pigs like the ones in my "Pass The Pigs" game, but chess knights work equally well)
  • Paper and a pencil for each player
Object:

To destroy your opponent's Robo Battle Pig by inflicting five points of damage with your laser or powerful robot fist.

Rules:

The pigs start the game on opposite sides the board, just to the right of the center line, facing the center of the board. In the example diagrams, A and B are the pigs, and the line indicates the direction that they are facing.

* * * A * * * * 
* * * | * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * | * * * 
* * * * B * * *
Each round of the game is made of five moves. Both players plan their five moves, recording them on paper. The players then reveal their "programs", and move their pigs simultaneously.

Commands:

  • (^) Forward - Walk forward one space
  • (v) Backward - Walk backward one space
  • (\) Forward Left - Walk diagonally to the left one space
  • (/) Forward Right - Walk diagonally to the right one space
  • (TL)Turn Left - Rotate 90 degrees left (counter-clockwise)
  • (TR)Turn Right - Rotate 90 degrees right (clockwise)
  • (F) Fire - Fire your forward-pointing laser
  • (H) Hit - Swing with your massive robot punching arm
  • (R) Repair - Fixes one point of damage (uses all 5 moves)
  • (X) Damage - Do nothing (the result of being damaged)
All movement directions are relative to the direction that the pig is facing. For example, A pig facing east that moves backwards is moving west.

When moving Forward Left or Forward Right, the pigs maintain the same facing (i.e. if they were facing north, then moved Forward Left, they end up facing north).

Collisions:

The Robo Battle Pigs cannot both occupy the same square on the board at the end of a move. Here are the possible collision states, and what to do about them.

  • Pigs move onto the same square - Neither pig moves.
  • One pig moves onto a square where the other pig rotates, repairs, or take a damage move - The moving pig stays in his old square, and the other carries out its action.
  • Face-to-face, back-to-back, or corner-to-corner pigs attempt to move "through" each other to occupy each other's original spaces - Neither pig moves.
  • Side-to-side pigs attempt to cross paths diagonally - Both pigs complete their desired moves.
  • One pig moves onto the square that the other pig leaves - Both pigs complete their desired moves.
Attacking Moves (Fire and Hit):

These commands are the only ways to damage your opponent's pig.

Firing the laser will hit a pig directly in front of you, no matter the range. Hitting will damage a pig standing in any of the three adjacent forward squares.

For example, if A (facing south) fires, then all of the squares labeled "f" score a damage point. If B (facing north) hits, then all of the squares labeled "h" score a damage point. (If this were a real game, then neither player would succeed in damaging his opponent.)

* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* A * * * * * * 
* f * * * * * * 
* f * * * * * * 
* f * * h h h * 
* f * * * B * * 
* f * * * * * * 
Damage:

If a Robo Battle Pig is damaged, on subsequent rounds it must play a damage move (X) for each point of damage it has incurred. This damage move can be played at any time during the round. The damage move causes the pig to perform more poorly the more damaged it is.

For example, if a pig has incurred three damage points, his commands for a round may look like this: ^ X X H X. This means that on the first step, he walks forward. Then he does nothing for the next two steps. Then he hits on the fourth step, and does nothing on the fifth step. Remember, the damage moves can be played at any point during the round.

Repair:

If a pig has been damaged, it may be repaired. To repair, the player writes "R R R R R" as his command set for a given round. During this round, the pig does not move or attack. One round of repairs reduces the pig's damage score by one point. A pig can receive damage from it's opponent while it is attempting to repair itself (if it gets hit twice while it is repairing, then subtract one damage point for the repair, and add two for the damage).

Winning the Game:

The game ends immediately when one Robo Battle Pig has incurred five points of damage.

Example Game

(The direction that the pig is facing is indicated by a line.)

* * * A * * * *
* * * | * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * | * * *
* * * * B * * *
Round 1 - The players record their five commands on paper, then reveal them at the same time.

A: F ^ TR v H (0 damage)
B: \ \ F ^ / (0 damage)

* * * A * * * *
* * * | * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * | * * * * 
* * * B * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 1, Move 1 - A: F B: \

B takes one point of damage from A's laser!

* * * * * * * *
* * * A * * * * 
* * * | * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * | * * * * * 
* * B * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 1, Move 2 - A: ^ B: \

* * * * * * * *
* * --A * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * | * * * * *
* * B * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 1, Move 3 - A: TR B: F

B misses.

* * * * * * * *
* * * --A * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * | * * * * * 
* * B * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 1, Move 4 - A: v B: ^

* * * * * * * *
* * * --A * * * 
* * * | * * * *
* * * B * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
Round 1, Move 5 - A: H B: /

A narrowly misses hitting B! Remember, a pig hits in the direction that it is facing. If B was one step further north, it would have been hit.

* * * * * * * *
* * * --A * * * 
* * * | * * * *
* * * B * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
Round 2

A: v \ \ TR F (0 damage)
B: / / TL X F (1 damage)

B is trying to get behind A by moving to the east. A is betting that B will move north, and is trying to get behind it and fire.

* * * * * * * *
* * * * |-A * * 
* * * * B * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 2, Move 1 - A: v B: /

They're both wishing that their next move was a hit!

* * * * * * * *
* * * * |-A * * 
* * * * B * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
Round 2, Move 2 - A: \ B: /

The pigs collide, (A tries to move SW, B tries to move NE) and neither goes anywhere. This is really going to mess up their plans.

* * * * * * * *
* * * * --A * * 
* * * --B * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 2, Move 3 - A: \ B: TL

A collides with B and doesn't move. B turns.

* * * * * | * *
* * * * * A * * 
* * * --B * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
Round 2, Move 4 - A: TR B: X

B uses his damage move (he must take one at some point during this round since he has incurred one damage point). A turns north.

* * * * * | * *
* * * * * A * * 
* * * --B * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
Round 2, Move 5 - A: F B: F

Both pigs fire. Both pigs miss. Not a very exciting round. They just bumped into each other a lot.

* * * * * | * *
* * * * * A * * 
* * * --B * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
Round 3

A: / TL v \ F (0 damage)
B: v v v X H (1 damage)

A runs to the corner, then comes out with guns blazing. B backs up to the wall and hits.

            |
* * * * * * A *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * --B * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 3, Move 1 - A: / B: v

* * * * * --A *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * --B *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 3, Move 2 - A: TL B: v

* * * * * * --A
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * --B
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 3, Move 3 - A: v B: v

* * * * * * * *
* * * * * --A * 
* * * * * * --B
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 3, Move 4 - A: \ B: X

B takes his damage move.

* * * * * * * *
* * * * * --A * 
* * * * * * --B
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * *
Round 3, Move 5 - A: F B: H

A fires its laser at nothing as it gets hit in the back! Ouch!!

Round 4 would begin with both pigs having one damage point each. If either of them gets too damaged, it might try to repair. During a repair round, the pig cannot move or hit.

Robo Battle Pigs © copyright 2001 Randy Cox.

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