Kickstart This! #218: Steampunk Rally Fusion
Designer: Orin Bishop (Steampunk Dice, Steampunk Rally)
Artists: Lina Cossette (Brass: Birmingham, Brass: Lancashire, Charterstone, The Grimm Forest, Santorini, Steampunk Rally, Super Motherload, Unfair), David Forest (Brass: Birmingham, Brass: Lancashire, Charterstone, The Grimm Forest, Santorini, Steampunk Rally, Super Motherload, Unfair)
Publisher: Roxley (Brass: Birmingham, Brass: Lancashire, Dice Throne: Season One, Dice Throne: Season Two – Battle Chest, Santorini, Steampunk Rally, Super Motherload)
Genre/Mechanisms: card drafting, dice rolling, modular board, race, simultaneous action selection, steampunk, variable player powers
Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Steampunk Rally Fusion is already fully-funded. Pledges currently total more than 7.5x the initial funding goal with 1 day left to go on the campaign.
Player Count: 2-8
Solo Mode: no
What It’s About: “A standalone game that can be combined with the original Steampunk Rally. It introduces new tracks with unique event cards, new part abilities (Gear Up and Overcharge), and a new card type: Secret Projects. It also debuts new custom dice representing powerful Fusion energy.”
How It Works: “It is the turn of the 20th century, a renaissance of steam, steel and the mysterious power of Electricity! The mad genius, Nikola Tesla, has summoned the world’s greatest minds to challenge them in a no-holds-barred race through the Swiss Alps. On this neutral ground, the competitors will construct, push to the breaking point, and jury-rig fantastical contraptions of their own design to crown, once and for all, the greatest Inventor of all time.”
“Steampunk Rally is a card-drafting and dice-placement game. Players roll and place dice on their Invention to generate Motion, gain more dice, prevent & repair damage, and discard used dice. They can improve the efficiency of their Invention by adding Machine Parts, and harness the power of various Boost technologies, utilizing them to thwart their rival Inventors and achieve victory.”
“The game is played over a series of rounds until one player’s Invention crosses the Finish Line, at which point one final round is played. The player furthest past the Finish Line after the final round is declared the winner.”
Each round in a regular game of Steampunk Rally consists of 4 phases: Draft, Vent, Race, and Damage. In the Draft phase, players draw 1 Boost Card and 1 of each of the 3 types of Machine Part Cards. They’ll immediately use one of these cards, either constructing a Machine Part, Generating Power, Gaining Cogs, or Stashing a Boost for later use. Then they’ll pass the remaining 3 cards to the left and receive the 3 cards from their neighbor to the right. The draft continues until players have used 4 cards each.
In the Vent phase, players spend Cogs to reduce the pips of dice in the Die Slots of their current Inventions. Certain Boost cards are also used during this phase.
In the Race phase, player roll the dice in their current dice pool to advance their vehicles, using Cogs for re-rolls or to increase the value of their rolls, and activating Machine Parts to trigger various helpful abilities.
In the Damage phase, players may need to discard various Machine Parts to offset any damage they took during the Race phase. In some cases, this could cause the player to discard their Inventor Cockpit, causing their Invention to explode. In such an event, the player goes to the back of the pack and discards all of their Machine Parts except for their Cockpit– essentially forcing them to restart their Invention (and engine) from scratch).
Steampunk Rally Fusion adds some new mechanics to the game.
Event Cards are “thematic events that add an element of risk and unpredictability. In Machu Picchu, cards drawn from the deck are attached to the Artifact spaces, and will continue to affect all players beginning their turns in them for the rest of the game. On Mars, a new card is drawn every time a Tripod space is triggered, affecting all Inventors on these spaces simultaneously.”
Overcharge features “machine parts that may be optionally sacrificed as part of their activation to add powerful, one-time bonuses to their effect. Overcharged cards are immediately discarded and may not be activated again.”
Gear Up features “versatile machine parts that can be used as is, or unlocked for their true potential by spending the number of cogs shown from the player’s supply to permanently upgrade their activation effects. If the machine part is later removed from their invention, the player regains the cogs spent.”
Fusion Dice are “powerful energy dice with die values ranging from 4 to 9. Fusion Dice may be used to activate die slots of any color, but once placed, they cannot be vented or removed as long as that machine part remains part of the invention.”
And finally, Secret Projects are “hidden, long term goals that players may advance their progress towards once per race phase by adding energy dice to them that form a run of any length. At any time, players may reveal and activate their Secret Project, and the more progress has been made towards it, the greater their reward will be.”
Comparisons: The best comparison to Steampunk Rally Fusion is obviously the original Steampunk Rally, which can be picked up here via the Atomic Deluxe pledge. Apart from that, there are several popular & well-rated racing games, but not very many that also include engine-building. The two closest games may be Jamaica, which features players racing boats around the island of Jamaica while pursuing side goals like searching for treasure; and Thunder Alley, a stock car racing game where players use cards to control not just one car, but a team of 3-6 cars, and features hand management. Other racing games include Automobiles, Lewis and Clark, and The Quest for El Dorado (all deck-building); Camel Up and Downforce (auction/bidding); Flamme Rouge (hand management); Formula D and Rallyman (dice rolling); and RoboRally (movement programming).
What Should I Pledge?:
$55 Fusion Deluxe: a copy of Steampunk Rally Fusion Deluxe Edition and all promo items.
$75 Atomic Deluxe: a copy of Steampunk Rally Fusion Deluxe Edition and all promo items, plus a copy of the original Steampunk Rally, contained in one dual-sided box.
All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $75 for the Atomic Deluxe pledge plus $8 in shipping for a total of $83.
Steampunk Rally Fusion completes its Kickstarter on Thursday, May 14th and tentatively ships in August 2020.