Steampunk Rally

Steampunk Rally
Worker placement boardgame published by
No. of Players 2 to 8
Session Time 40 min to 1 hour aprox
Authors Orin Bishop
First Publication 2015
Essential Books N/A

Steampunk Rally is a dice placement and drafting racing game made by the boys over at Roxley. Two to eight players compete in a big race created from a sweet night of sensual lovemaking between The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix and Wacky Races with a heaping helping of Steampunk on top.

Players create wild technological racing machines from cards drawn each round, and then take the next five minutes going through all the mechanics you've added to your nightmarish racing dragster, adding Water, Power and Heat to the machine in an effort to win... Or, more likely, get confused and lose half the machine on a rocky road or to a leap of faith.

A new edition is rumored to be in the works called Steampunk Rally: Fusion.

How it PlaysEdit

At the start of the game, each player takes a scientist and their associated starting Parts, and then places the two Parts in connection to each other. Parts can be connected at a Junction (the half-circles at the edges of the cards), and while all parts have to be connected somehow, they can be connected in any manner, with open Junctions in any way you wish. Where they are placed don't matter.

At the start of each turn, all players draw a card from each of the four decks: The Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gadget deck. The three first ones have Parts, and the Gadget deck has actions and weird extra stuff. Then, you choose whether to keep the cards or sell them - Basically, if you keep a Part you have to put it on your Machine, and if you sell it, you gain whatever is in the top right of the card. You'll need to do this to gain dice, which runs your Machine. More on that below.

Who cares about gravity and balance anyway? IT'S GOT COGS AND STEAM BITCH

So, you've drawn cards and added them to your Machine - Now, let's race! First you activate your "!" token, which just activates some of your parts for free. Then, you roll all the dice you have in hand at once, and then place them in the machine anywhere where there is an empty spot. If you place a matching color on an empty slot in the machine, AND it equals or beats the number on the Part, the Part is activated once; it can be activated for every time you do this.

The effects of Parts include, but are not limited to:

  • Add Movement or Flying Movement (which allows you to skip damaging terrain).
  • Remove Dice from your Machine.
  • Give you extra Dice, Cogs or Health.
  • Damage your Machine.

... And many, many more. You just keep activating your stuff forever until you can't or won't place Dice in the Machine! So, why wouldn't you do that? Here's the thing - Placing Dice is easy, but removing them aren't automatic. The Dice stay there and take up valuable space on your Machine for the next round, so to get rid of them you need to use Cogs (a Cog removes two Pips from a Dice - e.g a Dice goes from 5 to 3. If it goes below 1 it is removed) or the Machine's own mechanic to get rid of them. You can also just throw a Part out if you don't give a shit about it.

Any Damage that puts your machine below 0 Health forces you to remove a Part for each point, and then you restart the Health counter to 0 for the next turn.


The game is fun as hell to manage if you're into this kind of game; the main issue with the game being that it feels almost like a solo game at times. With very limited ways of interacting with other players, if you are playing with players who aren't into worker placement games it may seem a little boring.

A house rule to solve this issue is to allow players to sacrifice Movement to instead Ram other Machines you pass during your turn, which deals Damage to them equal to the amount of Movement sacrificed. Flying Movement also forces the player to throw away an unused Dice. Use and change as you wish!

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