Kickstart This! #244: Rallyman: DIRT
Designer: Jean-Cristophe Bouvier (Rallyman, Rallyman: Dirt, Rallyman: GT)
Artists: Joëlle Drans, Loïc Muzy (Fireteam Zero, Mythic Battles: Pantheon, Rallyman: GT)
Publisher: Holy Grail Games (Museum, Rallyman: GT, Rising 5: Runes of Asteros)
Genre/Mechanisms: dice rolling, different dice movement, modular board, push your luck, race, roll/spin and move, simulation, solo/solitaire game
Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Rallyman: DIRT is already fully-funded. In fact, pledges currently total more than 14x the initial funding goal with 3 days left to go on the campaign!
Player Count: 1-6
Solo Mode: yes
What It’s About: “A roll and move racing game, where each player has a mixture of Gear, Brake and Coast dice at their disposal to get their car speeding along the track. Each die can only be rolled once per turn. Each die has a certain number of Warning symbols. If you get 3 in one roll, you’ll lose control of your car, increasing your time and potentially damaging your vehicle.”
How It Works: “A game of Rallyman: DIRT is made up of rounds with each player getting one turn per round. At the beginning of each round, you must first determine the order of play. The order of play at the start of each round is determined by the Distance of each car along the track and then by their speed or position in the case of a draw.”
“During their turns, players will be using the dice available to them to move their car along the track, trying to complete it as fast as possible. During their turn a player will do the following: Choose their dice; then Roll their dice and Move their car.”
“There are 4 different types of track shown on Rallyman: DIRT Dashboards: Gravel, Gravel (leader), Asphalt and Snow. A player can use as many dice as their Dashboard allows them. However, each individual die can only be used once per turn. The Black dice or ‘Gear’ dice are used to accelerate or decelerate progressively. The White dice or ‘Coast’ dice are used to maintain the same speed. The Red dice or ‘Brake’ dice are used to brake hard, slowing your car by more than one gear at a time. The Brown Dice or ‘Leader’ dice are used in exactly the same fashion as the white ‘Coast’ dice, except only the first player each round uses these.”
“The black dice represent the gears of your car. Gear dice are used to move whilst accelerating or decelerating progressively. Each die allows you to move your car forward one space, whatever the result of the roll. When starting your turn in a Gear higher than 0; however, your first die may be one Gear higher than your initial Gear, the same Gear as your initial Gear, or one Gear lower than your initial Gear.”
“White Coast dice are used to move while maintaining the same speed. Each Coast die allows you to move your car forward one space while remaining in your current Gear, whatever the result of the roll. A Coast die can be used at the start of your turn, during your movement, or at the end. You can even choose to only use Coast dice during your turn. You can alternate between black and white dice as you see fit. You cannot use a Coast die if your current speed is 0.”
“Brown Leader dice are only used by the first player each round. They function identically to Coast dice as explained above but include an additional “Caution” icon. This represents the difficulty of being the first driver to hit a rally stage! The leader will be clearing loose dirt and debris that make the course trickier to navigate, therefore making it easier for the drivers that come after. However, the first player gets to impose other penalties onto the drivers following them during the Stage.”
“Red Brake dice are used to reduce your speed more quickly when a mere deceleration simply won’t do! Using a red Brake die combined with a black Speed die allows you to move forward one space while reducing your speed by two Gears instead of one.”
“A Rally without corners wouldn’t be half as interesting and, in Rallyman: DIRT, how you navigate these treacherous twists and turns will go a long way to determining your score at the end of a Stage! “Corner” spaces are identified by the presence of speed restrictions (the circled numbers) along with the absence of a dividing line between the inside and outside lane. There are two ways to tackle a corner which defines how many spaces it is made up of and the speed limitation you’ll have to adhere to. When cutting theough the inside lane, this path is shorter but requires a lower speed. When drifting around the outside lane, this path is longer but allows you to maintain a higher speed. Drifting cars are turned perpendicular to the track.”
“On some corners, Drivers can perform a Slide to start their turns early and/or end them late. This can give them more opportunities to control their speed and distance. Some spaces adjacent to corners are intersected by a dotted line. These spaces can either be entered normally or a car can Slide into them. Shortcuts in Rallyman: DIRT are special spaces recognizable by the Shortcut symbol (a curved line). These spaces can be moved into when you decide to cut a corner to save time. Certain Track tiles have Jump spaces representing a bump in the road that you can jump over. When planning out your trajectory, place your dice as normal. If the die you place on a Jump space is the same Gear as the one shown, you’ll gain some air! You must count your car as moving one additional space. Skip the next space after the jump (meaning that you do not have to place a Gear/Coast die to move through it) and place your next die in the space after it.”
“A player’s turn ends when: they have finished their move action, they are blocked, or they suffer a Loss of Control. At the end of each of their turns, players gain a certain number of seconds to add to their overall time based on the Gear that they finish in. As such, drivers should be looking to maximise the distance travelled whilst maintaining the highest speed possible.”
“A Stage ends once all players have crossed the finish line. When crossing the finish line, a player’s final Time card is taken depending on the Gear they are in on the space immediately after the finish line. Any other dice placed after that space are not taken into account for your Time card and do not generate seconds in the case of a Flat Out roll.”
“Each player fills out their time on the Rally sheet, entering their name (or driver’s name or team’s name) and the time for the stage they just played. At the end of future stages, players can add the time from the current stage to those they completed previously in order to see their current overall time. When compared to the other players in the competition, this allows you to track which player has the lowest overall time and is therefore at the top of the leaderboard! The number of stages and the tracks you use is completely up to you and you imagination. The player with the best overall time at the end wins.”
Comparisons: The closest comparisons are going to be the previous version of the game, 2011’s Rallyman: Dirt, or the recent second edition of Rallyman, Rallyman: GT. Designer Jean-Cristophe Bouvier has worked fairly exclusively on the 2 Rallyman games and their recent second editions. A few other popular and well-rated car racing games include Automobiles, Downforce, Formula D, and Thunder Alley.
What Should I Pledge?:
$56 Driver: a copy of the Rallyman: DIRT core box, the 100% Expansion, and the Co-Pilot Pack.
$113 Sponsor: everything in the Drive pledge level, plus the RX Expansion, The Climb Expansion, and the R4 and R5 Expansions.
$240 GearHead: everything in the Sponsore pledge level, plus all Rallyman: GT content.
$21 RX Expansion
$21 The Climb Expansion
$12 R4 Expansion
$12 R5 Expansion
“This is the KS edition of the game. With stretch goals, it will have more content and higher quality pieces than future printings do.”
All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $240 for the GearHead pledge plus $31 in shipping for a total of $271. If you’re only looking to pick up the Rallyman: DIRT items, then you’re looking at $113 for the Sponsor pledge plus $18 in shipping for a total of $131.
Rallyman: DIRT completes its Kickstarter on Thursday, July 23rd and tentatively ships in July 2021.