The Third Law

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

These are the Three Laws of Robotics as written by Isaac Asimov. The Third Law is a miniature wargame soon to be Kickstarted by Primogenesis games. It refers to Asimov’s law in that the robots must battle each other to survive. The game is set in a not-too-distant future where civilisation ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. We were apathetically carried towards the end by the robots we created to labour for us. The ruling class have decided that humanity must never war with itself again and so instead must instigate ritualised robot battles to compete for precious resources. These robots, or “wreckers”, are operate by Machinists, the one in a hundred thousand who can control multiple wreckers via a neural interface. You can find out more on their website here:
As the game is called The Third Law I’ll discuss three of the key rules.

Firstly we have the machinists themselves. They are unique characters which act as generals for your force, known as an “array”. They take part in the battle only in an indirect way. There is no miniature for them as they are controlling the wreckers from off the battlefield. Interestingly they change how your array plays by determining the effect of your critical hits, which machinist upgrades you have access to and by allowing you to use a set program. This means that while you might have the same wreckers in your force you will still have a different play experience.

Next up we have “subroutines”. Now plenty of games have some sort of resource management; orders, focus, influence and whatnot. Where The Third Law differs is that each wrecker brings some of three different types collectively known as “subroutines”. Offensive (for attacks), Dynamic (for movement) and Defensive (for Defensive, obvs). By taking certain wreckers in your array your access to subroutines changes meaning you will have to adapt your playstyle. Always challenging and fun.

Finally there’s the idea of nodes. On the battlefields there are locations that will allow you to score points by causing damage to your opponents machinist. The key is that these nodes will become earthed once you control them meaning that you can’t camp on them to gaining points each turn. Instead they open nodes on you opponents side of the board meaning that you will have to move around the board trying to gain control of different nodes each turn. No hiding in the corner of the board for you in this game.

All in all these make for a really interesting game that gamers will understand but with plenty of new mechanics to keep you interested. You can check out our video interview with Dave from Primogenesis HERE and we’ve got a gameplay vid HERE. Expect us to be playing more of this in the coming weeks with an update on the Kickstarter once we have more info. Go and check out there FACEBOOK page for more info too.

Until next time gentle readers.

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