Metagame

Prototype Zero

An 18-card racing game for two players.

Objective

Reach the finish line first, or destroy your opponent’s ship.

Components

Movement cards are double-ended. Their orientation determines the action that takes place. Because you have two programmed actions at any one time, you can’t move forward twice in a row without a special ability card.

On the back of the special ability cards are lane numbers: 1 // 2 // 3 and 4 // 5 // 6. This allows them to be used as lane markers.

The track area itself is made up of six lanes (columns) and at most three rows. Whenever the front row is empty, shift ships up together until one reaches the front row. Whenever a ship would move back beyond the third row, it takes a damage. Ships that would move left or right outside the track just stop – no damage is taken.

Setup

  1. Place the finish line on the table. Shuffle the remaining track cards and deal them in a column behind the finish line so all four are visible.
  2. Shuffle the special ability cards and split into two decks, one acting as lane marker 1 / 2 / 3, the other as lane marker 4 / 5 / 6.
  3. Place both ships in front of the lane markers in lanes 3 and 4. Take the movement cards for your ship.
  4. Program your first move (for just before the starting line track card).

Play

  1. Program a move: it will happen after the current track card.
  2. Reveal your oldest programmed move, and resolve from low initiative to high.
  3. If one ship is behind the other in the same lane, it fires on the front ship. If undamaged, flip it to its damaged side. If damaged, it is destroyed and the firing player wins.
  4. Resolve the special icons for your lanes:
    • Circles give you a new special ability, draw it from the side your ship is on.
    • Arrows shift your ship by a row, forward or backward.
  5. Resolve the track lines for your lanes:
    • Each lane has a corresponding line that shows you where your ship ends up.
  6. After resolving lanes, flip the track card over and put it at the end of the line, shifting cards forward to make room.

End

Play until you cross the finish line again or a player is destroyed. Whoever is in front when you cross the finish line wins the game. If both players are in front, continue racing until one is ahead at the beginning of a turn (or one shoots the other). That player wins.

Expanding

With two sets, you can play in teams of two. One team takes the red cards (mark the ships and cards to clarify who’s who) and the other team takes the blue cards. Shuffle all the special abilities together, but only use one set of track cards unless you want a marathon race. Ships only fire on the ship closest to them.