Twank Sumo Melee

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Twank Sumo Melee

Postby Luke_BMM » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:01 pm

Twank Sumo Melee



Twank Sumo Melee is a simple sport in which the victor is determined by attrition. The last Twank standing wins. The goal is to batter your opponents up and down the battlefield while keeping your own frame intact. Doing so requires a bit of planning, a hint of strategy, more than a little luck, and an opportunistic streak a mile wide. While Twank Sumo Duel may be a battle of wits, subterfuge, and fortitude which ultimately explodes in a clash of steel and assorted low-cost steel alternatives, Twank Sumo Melee is a bit less... refined. It's actually outright chaotic. Rather than two combatants staring each other down, Twank Sumo Melee, as the name implies, can involve up to 8 combatants at once.

(As a side note, this is basically a touch of MFZ die-rolling applied to Robo-Rally's basic gameplay. If you're familiar with the latter or any of its numerous clones, this should look pretty familiar. If you're unfamiliar with the idea, it's essentially a game about programming. Everyone secretly plans out their moves and then they all take effect at once. The MFZ die-rolling aspect is then used to apply priorities and damage when Twanks inevitably come into contact.)


There are four different systems corresponding to the four actions. Each is indicated by its color:

  • Red is forward movement
  • Green is turning to the left
  • Yellow is turning to the right
  • Blue is backward movement

Your frame can have up to two systems of each color.


To play Twank Sumo Melee, you'll need an 8x8 playing field. You can use a chess board, if you'd like, or a 32x32 base plate with 4x4 spaces marked off in some fashion, perhaps. You can even just draw boxes on a sheet of paper if that's what you have handy. While the colors of the spaces do not have any impact on play, there are 8 special spots which are worth noting - the 8 possible starting spaces. Those starting spaces are the four corners and the four center spots.

In addition to the playing field, each player will need the following:
  • A Twank-Like Object. Technically, you can play with any type of frame you'd like... just don't tell the folks at Twankus LLC. Your frame should have a clear forward-facing direction, a distinguishing characteristic, and some sort of representation of its 4 systems.
  • Two white dice
  • One die of the appropriate color for each of the Twank's 4 systems (for a total of 6 dice, including both white and system-specific)
  • A container to secretly hold your action markers (a non-transparent cup or mug works great, a cloth bag is even better)
  • Action markers in the following quantities and of the appropriate colors:
    • 6 Red markers
    • 4 Green markers
    • 4 Yellow markers
    • 2 Blue markers
    (If you prefer, you could make cards indicating the color and action instead of using markers. If using markers, you could use any reasonably small lego pieces of the corresponding colors - 1x1 plates, tiles, or bricks in a coffee mug work great!)
  • Though not required, a screen or divider may be helpful. A simple sheet of paper can be draped over your actions to keep them secret, for example.

Once you have the board in place and everyone playing has gathered their gear, you determine starting positions. Everyone rolls one die and adds +1 for each green or yellow system and +2 for each blue system. The player with the highest total determines their starting position first, then you proceed clockwise around the table. In the case of a tie, roll again amongst tied players until you have a clear winner.

During the game, each Twank will always remain facing an adjacent square (this does not include diagonals, so there are four possible facings). Anyone setting up in a corner square must start facing away from the two closest edges. Anyone setting up in a center square must start facing towards one of the two closest edges.

Once all players have set up in their starting positions and put all their action markers into their respective containers, play begins!

Order of Play

Each turn follows the order of play until there is one Twank left standing:

  1. Each player shakes up their container and secretly draws actions markers from it to get a total of four.
  2. Each player secretly rolls their unlocked dice.
  3. Each player chooses their actions, in order, for their turn. Their Twank will take those four actions in that order, for better or worse.
  4. Each player then secretly allocates dice to each of those actions. See Applying Dice, below.
  5. Once all actions have been chosen and dice have been allocated, Players take their first action in order of the highest total. See Taking Actions below.
  6. If any Twanks come into contact with each other or an immovable object during their actions, resolve those collisions. See collisions, below.
  7. Continue through the remaining three actions, resolving in order from highest to lowest for each and resolving collisions as they comes up.
  8. Once all actions are complete, everyone puts their non-locked action markers (see Collisions, below) back into their container and the next turn begins.

Applying Dice

Dice can be allocated to any action, but only dice of the corresponding system/color count. White dice are an exception - they're Wild and can be applied to any action. If you have unused dice (which do not correspond to any of the actions you drew for the turn), you may apply them wherever you'd like, but they will be discarded. You may not allocate dice to locked actions (see below).

Once everyone is ready, actions and dice are revealed. At that point, take a moment and discard any non-matching dice until the next turn.

Taking Actions

Actions take place in order of die totals allocated. In case of a tie, then compare the number of dice applied to the action between the tied parties (a 4 and a 2 will go before a 6, for example). If it's still a tie, then Blue goes before Yellow or Green, which goes before Red. If it's still a tie, then roll for it! The actions taken are pretty self-explanatory. You move one space forward or backward or rotate 90 degrees to point at a new adjacent space, depending upon your action marker. If your move would take you into another space which is already occupied, your movement stops and you resolve the Collision instead. Note that you do not follow up into the space where you would have moved, even if you knock your opponent back.


Whenever one Twank is required to move into the square occupied by either another Twank or an immovable object, a collision occurs. Damage is dealt based upon the highest total score. Knockback is determined by the greatest number of dice. In the event of ties, both parties deal with the results as though they had lost.

A Twank taking damage suffers two effects: One of their actions is locked, as well as one of their systems. That means that, at the end of the turn, the locked action does not go back into the container and will remain in play, in the same position next turn. Additionally, place one of your system dice next to the locked action marker and set its value to 1. That system die may no longer be allocated, either. For the rest of the game, you will be performing that same action. The die you choose to lock with the action may be one already allocated to a future action, it's usually preferable (and perfectly valid) to lock a die which has already been used or discarded!

A Twank is knocked back unless its current action has more dice allocated than its opponent. When knocked back, you move your Twank one space away from the opponent with which you collided. If the knockback would move you into the space occupied by another Twank or object, do not move and take damage (again, potentially) instead. The optional Chain Knockback rule may be used instead, if all parties agree.

Immovable objects include any space off the board and also the remains of any destroyed Twanks. There are two results of a collision: Damage and Knockback. Immovable objects always have the highest total but do not cause or suffer knockback. Do not crash into immovable objects! They hurt!

A Twank which has been damaged four times has all four registers locked and all four systems permanently allocated to those actions is destroyed! Do not remove it from the board, however. Instead, place wreckage on the square in which it was destroyed (before any further knockback is applied). That space is now an immovable object for remaining contenders to deal with.

Optional rules

Time Limit!

Optional, but highly recommended. Place a 30-second timer in the center of the table. While selecting actions and allocating dice, any player may announce that they're starting the timer and flip it over. When the timer runs out, everyone must stop. Any unallocated dice are discarded. Any undetermined actions are placed in order by the player to the left.


More to come on this, but each player could optionally receive 1 trap to place on any square except the 8 starting spaces before players select their starting positions. Players with only one red system get two traps. Players with no red systems get 3 traps! Each trap is secret until revealed. Traps are randomly drawn from a deck and can include things like:
  • Immovable objects (act as normal)
  • Mines (cause damage and are then removed)
  • Repulsors (any time anyone tries to enter the square, all Twanks in all adjacent spaces suffer knockback)
  • Catapults (move anyone who tries to enter the square one space forward)
  • Teleporters (move anyone who enters the square into a random destination square with coordinates 1d6+1 across and 1d6+1 down, in case of a collision, the teleported twank determines direction of any possible knockback)

Chain Knockback

This will add some mayhem, but will definitely make the game take much longer. When pushed into another opponent by a collision, resolve that collision as normal. That could, in turn, cause further collisions. Madness prevails!

Movable Immovable Objects

Allowing immovable objects to be pushed into the path of opponents can quickly ruin someone's day. You may optionally agree beforehand that Mostly Immovable Objects always have the equivalent of 2 dice and may suffer (and deal!) knockback normally. Board edges, however, still act as described above, unless...

Out of Bounds

If all players agree, you may optionally decide that anyone moving off the board does not bounce off an immovable object but is instead removed from the field of play and has, effectively, lost. Note that this does open the awful proposition of starting in a center spot and drawing 4 red actions - resulting in immediate death. This is probably a really bad idea, but hey... you do you.
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