Lunatix Loop Rules
In Lunatix Loop players attempt to be the first racer to complete three laps around the Loop -- a patchwork track of asphalt and dirt -- while attempting to keep their cars in one piece.
The official vehicle of the race is the Trabant, a vile car, made primarily of plastic that runs on a noxious mixture of 2-stroke fuel and other unspeakable ingredients.
Each racer straps himself in for the harrowing ride of his life, his little plastic shell of a car the only thing protecting him from the rams of his opponents' cars and his own engine explosions. Indeed, each racer often becomes his own worst enemy as he pushes the limits of his car and his psyche. The stresses of racing life and curves taken too fast are more than enough to justify the nickname, "Lunatix", that the racers have earned.
Drivers to your Trabbies! Strap in!
Before the first game, the stickers for the tacks, oil, glue and luck should be adhered to the corresponding colored chips. Place the tacks stickers on the red chips, the oil stickers on the black chips, the glue stickers on the blue chips and the four-leaf clover stickers on the green chips.
If this is your first game, set aside the turn around cards. These cards are not used in the basic game. Lay out the board on a flat surface. Separate the turbo cards, hazard cards and gadget cards and shuffle each set of cards to form three decks. Put the hazard cards and turbo cards near the edge of the board in the spaces provided. Place the gadget cards near the pit.
Deal each player a speedometer sheet at random and place it in front of him. Each player should put a silver current speed marker on the 40 m.p.h. dot and a red maximum speed marker on the 140 m.p.h. dot.
Each player takes the car that is pictured on his speedometer and places it on the track on the dot corresponding to his car's color. The cars should all face the finish line.
Each player takes one each of the following cards: ram, brake, drop and accelerate. This set forms a hand of action cards that each player will choose from each turn.
Each player takes 3 green luck chips and then selects a total of 8 road hazard chips consisting of tacks, oil and glue. It is suggested that new players try a selection of chips for their first game.
The first player who is able to complete three laps around the board
in the counter-clockwise direction and cross the finish line is the winner.
The game proceeds in a series of rounds. Every round each player chooses one of his four action cards and places it face down in front of himself. When all the players have done this, all of the action cards are turned over simultaneously. The order in which each player takes his turn is then determined based on the numbers on the action cards that were played.
On a turn, each player moves his car 1 square forward for every 10 m.p.h. shown on his car's speedometer. For example, if a car is moving 90 m.p.h., it should be moved 9 squares. Cars can be moved forward or forward-diagonally.
During a round, each player must complete one of the actions printed on the card that he chose for that round.
The corners of the track have safe speed ratings. Cars that enter a corner at speeds over the safe speed must draw hazard cards. These cards can cause damage, skids, braking, and even psychological distress in the form of lunacies!
Cars can take damage throughout the course of play. For every point of damage that a car receives, its maximum speed is reduced by 10 m.p.h. This is marked by the red maximum speed marker on the speedometers. Players may repair their cars in the pit stop, as well as get new gadgets, tacks, oil and glue. They can even get counseling in order to rid themselves of lunacies.
A round is over when all players have moved their cars. New action cards are then secretly chosen by all of the players to begin a new round. This continues until one player crosses the finish line after completing his third lap.
At the start of every turn, each player secretly chooses a single card from his hand of action cards and lays it on the table face down. When all players have done this, all the chosen cards are revealed simultaneously.
Players then take turns moving on the track in the order indicated by the number in the upper left hand corner of each card. That is, the player with the lowest numbered card moves first, followed by the player with the second lowest card number, etc. When there are ties, resolve them in the following order:
Cars move a number of spaces equal to their current speed divided by 10. For example, a car traveling at 50 m.p.h. must move 5 squares. Cars may change lanes at will (but see the rules on curves) so long as they move into an empty adjacent space to the front, front-right or front-left squares. Cars may not move into squares containing other cars. Cars may never be anywhere but in a space, nor may they skip over a space (except as instructed to by certain cards). Note: If a player's speed is reduced in the middle of a turn for any reason, the player should move his car as if he began his turn at the new, reduced speed.
Sometimes cars become positioned in such a way that a player needs to move his car forward, but cannot, because all the available lanes are blocked. In these cases, the player must rear-end ram one of the blocking cars, causing 2 dice of damage to both cars. This ends the ramming player's turn.
The curved sections of the track have maximum safe speed ratings at the start and end of each lane.
If a player moves his car into the first square of a curve at a speed higher than the safe speed for that lane, the player draws 1 hazard card for every 10 m.p.h. that his car exceeds the safe speed. The player should then apply these cards, one at a time, to his car.
After the player draws and applies all of these hazard cards, the car may move freely through the curve without taking additional hazard cards, (even on successive turns) unless:
From time to time, players will be forced to roll dice in order to determine the number of points of damage to their car. Each damage die causes between 0 and 2 hits. A player must reduce his maximum speed by 10 m.p.h. for each hit his car receives. If a player's maximum speed should go lower than his current speed, he must immediately drop his current speed down to match it. Cars that are turboing, however, may ignore this rule (see Action Cards: Accelerate).
Cars that are damaged and drop their current speed as a result should complete their move as if they began the turn at their new, reduced speed. Example: if a car traveling at 120 m.p.h. is damaged such that its new maximum speed is 90 m.p.h., it should only move 9 squares on its turn instead of 12.
If a car is ever damaged such that its maximum speed is 0 m.p.h., the car is out of the race. Turn it upside down on the track. For the rest of the game it will serve as an obstacle to the other cars.
The actions allowed for each card are listed below. A player must determine, before choosing an action card, that he will be able to complete at least one of the actions on the card during his move.
During his move a player playing the ram card must complete a ram against one (and only one) opposing car. This can be done prior to, during, or immediately after all movement has been taken for his turn. The ram itself does not take any additional movement to complete, and the rammer need only be in a square adjacent to another car to ram. (The ramming car never enters the target car's square.) Note, however, that a car can never ram another car in the rear, rear-left or rear-right square.
To ram, a player lightly taps his opponent's car with his car to signify the ram and then both players immediately roll damage dice according to the type of ram that was completed.
There are three types of rams: sideswipes, rear-end rams and head-on rams.
These are the only actions allowed with the ram card.
Restrictions: The ram card may only be played if there is an eligible target. The player wishing to ram must be able to calculate (based on his car's current speed) that he will be able to reach a square adjacent to an eligible target car in order to play the ram card.
Before any movement, the player must reduce his car's current speed by 10, 20, 30, or 40 mph. The choice of how much to brake is up to the player. The player then moves as normal.
This is the only action allowed with the Brake card.
In addition to moving normally, the player must drop 1 or 2 of the same type of road hazard chip. (Road hazards include tacks, oil and glue.) During the player's move, a road hazard chip can be dropped into any square that the player's car vacates (no more than 1 per square). Road hazards may not be dropped into a car's final square.
When a car enters a square containing a road hazard chip, the effects are immediately applied. The chip is then removed from the board. See the chart for the effects of each road hazard.
These are the only actions allowed with the Drop card.
Restrictions: The drop card can only be played if the player has at least 1 road hazard chip in his possession.
Before movement, the player may increase his car's current speed normally or he may choose to "turbo". If the player decides to accelerate normally, he may coast (accelerate 0) or he may accelerate 10 or 20 m.p.h. The choice of how much to accelerate is up to the player. The player then moves as normal. A player may not increase his speed over his maximum speed when accelerating this way.
Players choosing to turbo must draw the top card in the turbo deck and follow its instructions. Cars accelerate between 0 and 60 m.p.h. when turboing, but beware -- the nitrous oxide used when turboing is dangerous and can explode, causing damage to your car!
If a player does not like the turbo card drawn, he may choose to nullify it and draw a new one by expending a luck chip (see Luck Chips).
Used turbo cards are collected face up to form a discard pile until the "Click" card, instructing the player to reshuffle the deck, is drawn. At this time all the turbo cards are shuffled together to create a new deck.
Note: A player ignores his car's maximum speed on turns that he decides to turbo. At the end of the turn, however, the player must drop his current speed down to match his maximum speed if his current speed is higher than his maximum speed. This is useful at the end of the game when a player's maximum speed may be low.
These are the only actions allowed with the accelerate card.
Hazard cards are drawn when a car runs over oil or when a car enters a curve at a speed faster than the safe speed printed on the track. Used hazard cards are collected face up to form a discard pile until the deck is empty. When this happens, shuffle the discard pile to form a new draw pile. Note: most Lunacy hazard cards are retained by the player until they are "cured" in the pit.
If you must draw multiple hazard cards, keep track of the total cards by pulling them off the deck and then applying them one at a time.
If a player does not like the hazard card drawn, he may choose to nullify it and draw a new one by expending a luck chip (see Luck Chips).
When a player draws either a hazard card or turbo card that he doesn't like, he may negate its effects and draw a new, replacement card by expending a luck chip. He may continue to nullify cards as long as he has remaining luck chips.
The pit offers temporary shelter from all of the rams, hazards and other dangers that a player encounters when racing around the track.
Players enter the pit by driving their car into the pit square. The pit square can be entered from one of four different entrances. In the basic game, however, only one entrance is used (see diagram). Each entrance has its own safe speed rating. Cars that enter at speeds over the safe speed must draw hazard cards as if they were in a curve. Cars that skid as a result of a hazard card ram the wall of the pit for 3 dice of damage.
After these hazard cards (if any) are drawn, the player may immediately spend 15 points improving his car by purchasing any of the following:
Unused points cannot be saved.
When a player purchases a gadget card, he selects the top two cards off the deck, chooses one to add to his hand, then discards the other to the bottom of the gadget deck.
After spending these points, the player must drop his current speed to 0 m.p.h. This ends his turn.
There is no limit to the number of cars that may be in the pit at any one time. Players must keep track of the order in which the cars entered the pit, however, since this is taken into account when determining the order of play for the next turn.
Restrictions: Players may not drop road hazard chips in the pit nor ram opponents in the pit. A player may never repair his car such that his maximum speed goes above 140 m.p.h. Players may not purchase additional road hazard chips if it would bring their total over 8. Luck chips may never be purchased.
On the turn after a player has entered the pit, he must exit it by playing the accelerate action card. (Note, the player may also play the rocket booster and charger gadget cards to accelerate.) He then completes his move normally. Players may exit the pit at any speed safely. The maximum safe speed for the pit only applies when entering it.
If the eligible exits to the pit are blocked by opposing cars, the player must remain in the pit for an additional turn. The player may not ram in this situation, the turn is wasted and no additional goodies can be purchased.
Players may not win the race when exiting the pit. See Winning the Game for details.
Gadgets can be purchased when a car is in the pit and become part of the player's hand. Cards which contain a number in the upper left hand corner, such as the charger card are played like an action card. The other (gray) cards protect the car or driver in some way and are not played as an action. They can be kept secret until used, whereupon they are placed face up next to the player's speedometer.
A player may only have up to three gadget cards in his possession at any one time. If he ever has four, he must immediately discard one by placing it face down at the bottom of the gadget deck.
A player wins the game at the exact moment his car crosses the finish line after completing 3 laps in a counter-clockwise direction.
Laps are counted when a player goes through the pit, but a player may not win the race by going through the pit. If a player goes through the pit on his third lap, he must complete an additional lap to complete the race.
Laps are not counted in a clockwise direction.
The race is won by the first player to move his car across the finish line. This may happen in the middle of a round, before the other players have had a chance to move their cars, so it is important to pay attention to the order of play when selecting action cards near the end of the race.
The turn around card may be used to allow more outlandish strategies to the game, and to give players who are hopelessly behind additional options. If all players agree to using the turn around card, add one to each player's hand of action cards before the game begins.
With this card, instead of moving normally, the player must either choose to U-turn or complete a "bootlegger", in order to change his car's facing on the track.
The U-turn is handled like a 10 mph curve. If the car is traveling faster than 10 mph, the player must draw hazard cards accordingly (see Curves). Regardless of the outcome, the car's new current speed is automatically set to 10 m.p.h. after completing the turn. The effects of road hazards that are hit during the course of the U-turn are applied in the final square.
A bootlegger is handled like a 40 m.p.h. curve, so if the car is traveling faster than 40 m.p.h., it must draw hazard cards accordingly (see Curves). Regardless of the outcome, the car's new current speed is automatically lowered to 0 m.p.h. after completing a bootlegger. The effects of road hazards that are hit during the course of a bootlegger are applied in the final square.
These are the only actions allowed with the turn around card.
Restrictions: The turn around card may only be played if the player's car is in the inside or outside lanes of the track (so that it can complete a U-turn), or it must have a speed of at least 40 m.p.h. to complete a bootlegger. If these conditions change, or if the player is unable to complete a U-turn or bootlegger when it becomes his turn because other cars obstruct the path of the turn, the player should then move move normally, without performing a special action.
See the Optional Rules page.
See the Quick Reference Page for descriptions of each gadget and hazard card.
Author: Matt Leacock
The author would like to thank the playtesters for their numerous suggestions and comments: Max Brace, Tom Bucher, Neil Christiansen, Matthew Conley, Dave Cortright, Envelope Games, Rich Fulcher, John Hartinger, Rick Heli, Tim Hoffman, Gordon Hua, Richard Irving, Jeffrey Kessler, Tim, Ruth and Pat Leacock, Donna McKeown, Grant Moy, Dave O'Connor, Brian Pepper, Glen Proctor, Chris Salvato, Craig Silverstein, Mike Tobin, Ken Tidwell, Eric Tucker, Jay Tummelson, Phil Vogt, Jason Woodburn, and Bernard Yeh.