Nothing Can Prepare You for KARTOFFELKRIEG: Robotech with Potatoes

Potatoes gonna potate.

Imgur user Michael Cthulu has apparently created an entire game based on the idea of battling potato mechs, and decided to just give it away for free.

The instructions include not only the rules for play, which are pretty simple, but the scoring sheets and the patterns you need to make your own game pieces. Glue the printed sheets to some black foam core, cut them out with a pen knife, print up copies of the rules and scoring sheets, and find some potatoes.

It looks like it ought to be fun, and looking over the rules, they seem to be play balanced reasonably well and not too complicated. While setup will definitely take you some serious time, learning to play and teaching others to play takes just minutes. In theory, you could just cut out the parts from paper and do it all with chits, but somehow we don’t think it would be as much fun.

The Rules

Each Potato has 8 Hit Points and producers 8 Power each turn, and can take 8 Slots worth of parts.

Players each draw 8 parts from the bag and can then trade/fight with each other (a guy with lots of arms and legs might like a ranged weapon, etc.) The “Treads” are a special case in that they are physically two pieces, they only count as one. If you draw a single tread, immediately reach in and find a partner for it, this only counts as “one” part.

Parts players don’t want are put aside and any player can steal from that pile. If people get angry you may want to roll a die to decide the order your potatoes are built in, the person forced to build their potatoe first can go first during the game. Otherwise, just roll to see who goes first.

Assign Parts to Slots on your sheet, noting which, if any, parts occupy two slots.

Put Potatoes on a table with a few obstacles big enough to hide a potatoe behind. Potatoes should start in places where they are either too far away from each other to do immediate damage OR physically can’t see each otehr.

During a player’s turn they choose how much power to spend moving/shooting etc, up to the limit of their potatoe (a potatoe normally has 8 power, energiequellen can give it more). You can use any component any number of times as long as you have the power to do so.

To make a ranged attack against a potato your potato must be able to see it.

Physical attacks are generally considered possible at a range of 1? or less.

When you hit another potato with a weapon, roll an 8 sided die to determine which slot you hit. You can adjust the roll by (up to) the weapon’s accuracy (8 and 1 loop around to each other, so if you rolled a 7 and adjusted it by +2 you would be back at 1). If you hit an empty slot, the potato itself takes damage.

If the potato is partially behind something, roll hit location, but if the part rolled is behind the obstacle the attack fails (if you can use the weapon’s accuracy score to adjust the roll to a part you can see the attack still succeeds.)

If you do enough damage to destroy a part, it is removed from the target, excess damage is transferred to the host potato.

You win if you reduce all other potatoes to 0 hit points, or are the only potato left with any parts.

What It Looks Like

Here are some of the graphics and rule cards Michael created. He says the game plays a lot like old school tabletop Battletech, but way way faster. To play, you’ll probably need a tape measure. Michael says these pieces should be enough to support up to 4 players, though 3 may work better. You may also want to use smaller potatoes as well, such as what are termed “new potatoes”, as your standard Russet Burbank potato will probably not serve well supported by bits of foam core pinned with cocktail toothpicks.

Here’s Where It Came From

Here’s the original Imgur post the game came from. In between the image posts, Michael makes interesting or useful comments about the game, its design and some of the decisions he made. If you want to download something you can print out all in one go, including all the mech parts, score sheets and player cards, here is the complete PDF rulesheet with all the necessary artwork.

Dumb idea for an article? Dumb idea for a game? Don’t blame us.

Potatoes gonna potate.

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Update: The game had been picked up by Massif Games and a Kickstarter begun in March of 2018, but they fell short of their goal.

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