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Are you a fan of Battlebots? Maybe Robot Wars? Did you ever want to know what it's like? Well, here's your chance in our exclusive robot style RPGs! All you need to do is follow three simple steps to join up.
1. Create your own bots in some sort of computer-aided-design (CAD) program.
2. Enter stats for your bots
3. Role play with your bot on a weekly basis, posting your strategies in the RP Forum.


The roleplay is your chance to describe your strategy for your bots’ fights. Roleplay on time or you’ll forfeit the match and don’t refute your opponent’s strategy if they’ve posted it. Failure to do the latter will also have serious consequences. The deadline is 12:00 AM Sunday every week, unless otherwise specified by the tournament director.


All bots have 30 points that can be divided between 5 categories:

  • Speed:This stat affects how fast your bot moves around. For thwack bots, including Y-drives, this acts as your spinning speed while thwacking.
  • Weapon:This stat affects how powerful your bots weapon is. If this stat is higher than your armor, then it is also reflective of your bots weapon armor. For thwack bots, including Y-drives, this stat indicates the bots actual floor maneuvering speed, while your bot is spinning.
  • Torque:This stat determines linear acceleration, the ability to push other robots, and the acceleration that you push another robot at.
  • Traction:This stat governs rotational acceleration, the amount of control a robot has, and how much knockback it might suffer upon impact.
  • Armor:This stat is how durable your bot is. The higher it is, the more damage it will be able to withstand. As with Weapon, if it is higher than your weapon power, then this stat will be reflective of the weapon armor.


Overview: This set of rules and regulations will govern all RPG's officially sanctioned by ARC. Drowning City will not officially support RPG's that do not use these rules. This document is meant to be as all encompassing as possible, but remember that we promote abstract thinking. If you have a design not covered under this document, present it to the moderators first.

I – Designs

  • 1 – Legality: All designs must comply with the regulations of the RFL for legality. For example, no external combustion engines, liquid or gaseous weapons, electrical stun weapons, RF jamming, entanglement devices, etc. ARC does allow the use of flames as a weapon but not in the form of plasma or oxy-acetylene cutting torches. If you are unsure of your weapon’s compliance to the RFL rules, ask a moderator.
  • 2 – Weight: Obviously we can’t weigh a picture of a robot but please try to make yours look like it belongs in the weight class it will compete in.
  • 3 – Realism: This one is somewhat opinion based, and also limited to the designer’s artistic capabilities. However, we ask that you try your best to keep your designs realistic. For example: A picture of a LW with 5 Eteks stuffed into it is not only incredibly unrealistic, it’s also pointless due to the limit of the weapon stat. Similarly, a SHW with a 3:1 reduced mag motor for lifting will still lift, but will be highly unrealistic. Also, if you plan on using uncommon technology (i.e. Hydraulics, Omni-drive, Turbo and EFI engines) please have the decency to know how they actually work.

II – Stats

1 – Numbers and Limits

A – Wheeled robots: This will be any robot using tires, treads, saw blades, shuffling beams, parts of its own chassis and frame, semi-omni (mixture of omni and normal tires), giant track balls, or any other rotating mass touching the floor to propel itself. Wheeled robots will be allowed 30 stat points. They must have at a minimum 1 Speed, 1 Torque, 1 Traction, and 1 Armor. There are no maximum stats for wheeled bots, except for those limited by the total number of points available. Tracked robots and shuffling robots receive no special bonuses. Other propulsion systems (screws, hovering bots) will also default to wheeled robot rules.

B – Zero Traction robots: This is any robot a hover craft (air or magnetic) system. These robots will have a maximum of 30 stat points available. They must have 0 Traction and a minimum of 1 Speed and 1 Armor. There are no maximum stats for ZT bots, except for those limited by the total number of points available.

C – Walking robots: This is any robot that moves by contact with the floor other than that outlined under section A. Also, no individual component of the walking system can rotate 360 degrees around an axle. The 360 degree motion of the ‘feet’ must come from the combined motions of other parts. Walking robots must have at a minimum 1 Speed, 1 Torque, 1 Traction and 1 Armor. The total speed for any walker cannot exceed 5. The total torque for any walker cannot exceed 2. All stats for a walker are assumed to mean the same thing they do for any other type of robot. Walking robots have also a maximum stat limit of 32.

D – Multi-bots: Multi-bots or cluster-bots are covered under the same rules as stated in sections A, B, and C. Any combination of wheeled or ZT bots and Walking bots will be considered wheeled. Multi-robots will be given the number of stats for their type (the whole robot must qualify for the walker bonus) minus 4 points times the number of parts. For example, 2 wheeled robots together will individually have 22 points (30-8), while 3 wheeled robots will individually have 18 points (30-12). 2 walking bots would have 23 points (22*0.045+22) In accordance with current RFL rules a cluster is not counted as knocked out unless all of its sections have stopped moving.

2 – Speed: This stat will cover 3 separate but related functions. These are linear (straight line) speed, rotational (turning) speed, and acceleration.

A – Linear speed is how fast the robot can travel from point a to point b, and also includes a provision for deviation due to uncontrollable speed.

B – Rotational speed is how fast the robot can move in a complete 360 degree circle, while sitting in place. For thwackbots, the rotating speed also corresponds to their energy at the tips of their weapon, and will count as their weapon score. A robot with a speed of 10 will have a thwacking power of 10 as well. For vertical thwacks there isn’t enough time for their weapon to accelerate to full speed from a single 180 degree rotation so it will be assumed the weapon power is half their rotating speed in that direction.

C – Linear Acceleration will be determined by a combination of speed and torque.

D - Rotational Acceleration will be determined by a combination of speed and traction.

3 – Torque: Torque will govern pushing power and plays a role in the ability to accelerate in general.

A – Pushing power is a fairly simple stat. If your torque is higher, you will win a shoving match. That’s it. Plain and simple.

B – Acceleration in general is determined by the robot’s speed and torque. A robot will reach its top speed in the number of seconds you get if you divide the speed by twice the torque. So a robot with 6 speed and 1 torque would reach top speed in 3 seconds. A robot with 6 speed and 3 torque will reach top speed in 1 second. All robots will be considered to travel at 75% of their speed instantaneously.

4 – Traction: Traction will govern traction, turning acceleration, and control.

A – Traction decides how much the robot is affected by being hit by spinners, hit by rammers, and even affected by its own spinning weapons. As a general rule, as long as the robot has higher traction than a spinner has weapon or a rammer has speed, it will NOT be moved when hit. If the traction on the robot being hit is lower than these stats, it will be displaced 1 foot for every point of difference, minus 3 inches for each wheel the robot has over 2. For example, a 12 Weapon spinner hits a 2 wheeled robot with 7 traction. The spinner knocks the opponent 5 feet away. The same spinner hits an 8 wheeled robot with 7 traction, and the opponent is only knocked 3.5 feet away. For weapon recoils, the robot recoiling will be knocked away by how much its weapon exceeds its own traction, divided by two. The robot will also spin opposite the direction of its weapon rotation 180 degrees, minus 45 degrees for every pair of wheels over two. Regardless of the number of wheels a robot has, this spin will be no less than 5 degrees.
B - The higher your traction stat, the less likely you are to experience wheelspin if you change directions.
C – Control is mostly dependent on speed and traction. The greater the disparity between speed and traction, the more chance you have of losing control of your robot. This ties in with both deceleration and rotational speed.

5 – Armor: This stat has been rather loosely translated in the past, and hopefully these rules will keep armor under control. This rule will cover passive armor, active armor, weapon armor, and knockout probability (self and opponent inflicted). For any armor to be given any bonuses at all, (minus FBS shells) the total amount of armor receiving bonuses must not exceed 1/3 of the total armor on the robot as decided by the moderators and/or competition director.

A – Passive armor is the main chassis of the robot, to include all wedges, plows, and plates that are a part of the chassis or frame, and will have the base armor stat. Passive upgraded armor includes wheel guards, plows, wedges, bars, spikes, weapon shafts and heads(thwacks) and plates that are solidly attached but obviously not part of the main chassis. As a default, all passive armor counts as the armor stat with no additional bonuses. HOWEVER, you can give plows, wedges, rams, etc. additional bonuses as long as you offset that bonus with a subtraction from all other areas. Here's an examples:

Robot A
4 wheeled rammer with a plow at the front.
Speed: 10
Traction: 8
Torque: 2
Armor: 8 (+2 to the plow)
Weapon: 2

The plow now has 10 armor, while the chassis, wheels, and the rest of the robot has 6 armor.

The Parabolic Trajectory Rule - For a robot that has two independently hinged wedges that are on the same side, and the same plane, the armor bonus given to one wedge can apply to the other. In an example, a robot like Parabolic Trajectory (Pictured here: ) has wedges flanking the flipper on the front. If an armor bonus is given to one of the wedges, that bonus can apply to the other wedge without detracting from the armor stat:


Speed: 7
Traction: 6 
Torque: 2
Armor: 8 (+2 to the front wedges)
Weapon: 7

The both wedges have 10 armor, while the rest of the robot has 6 armor. 

Any 'collection' of wedges, plows, etc. that would otherwise make up a single piece can be counted like this as long as:

  1. Every part of that collection is on the same side.
  2. Every part of that collection is on the same plane.
  3. The entire collection does not make up more than 33% of the surface area.

All decisions on what can apply for this bonus depend on staff discretion. 

B – Active armor is any armor that is not solidly attached to the frame, or uses a special attachment for some sort of advantage. The armor bonuses rule that is used for passive armor also applies for active armor, as well.

C – Weapon armor is the durability of parts of active weapons. For all active weapons with 5 points or greater power, this will be the base armor stat +2. Spinners are a special case. Spinning discs, bars and other instruments that have a shorter diameter than the robot’s longest axis will have a +4 bonus, ring, cage, and shell spinners will have a +2 bonus along with all spinning instruments with greater diameter than the robot’s body.

D – Knockout probability and Damage govern how much damage a robot might take from a specific weapon, and whether it would knock it out or not.
-Note: this guide only serves for general 'damage dealing weapons' such as spinning discs, bars, hammers, crushers, etc. Obviously a flipper isn't going to scratch anyone.
The damage a robot takes essentially is determined by three factors. The robot’s armor, the weapon power of the robot attempting to damage it, and the level of resistance of the area being hit (a sharp corner vs a smooth surface for instance). In the past this aspect of damage has been loosely and inconsistently interpreted. From now on there is a more discrete system for what damages what.

Corner damage:

This is defined by a spinning weapon hitting a 'corner' of a robot (where two surfaces meet at close to a 90 degree angle). What is and isn't a corner is up to writer discretion - there may be two surfaces that meet at an angle larger than 90 degrees, but still considered to be a corner. Hitting a corner will result in the other robot getting spun away.

0 – Nothing. No chance of a knockout. The weapon will emit sparks at most.

1 – Minor damage. Scrapes and nicks, bending perhaps but the weapon will not penetrate the armor fully. No chance of a knockout.

2 – Some damage after repeated hits to the same area. Minor penetration. An opening will be formed and after repeated hits the opening will cause the ‘corner damage’ rule to apply to larger sections of the robot. Chance of a knockout only after an opening is formed and there are many repeated hits.

3 – Significant damage. An opening will form right away. Further hits will follow corner damage rules on the rest of the attached panels. Chance of a knockout after many repeated hits.

4 – Severe damage. Knockout potential threatened after multiple hits.

5+ - Catastrophic damage. Knockout potential threatened on every hit.

Flat surface damage:

This is defined by a spinning weapon hitting a flat surface of a robot. Curved surfaces can also be considered flat. Everything that isn't a corner, is a flat surface. Hitting a flat surface will not result in the other robot getting spun away. Hitting a flat surface will also never result in a knockout. If the point difference is considered large enough, 

0-2 – Nothing.

3 – Minor damage. Scrapes and nicks. Same rules as 1 point corner damage.

4 – Some damage after repeated hits. The flat surface bends slightly on impact. Cuts can be formed after repeated hits. If those cuts are repeatedly hits they can be formed into openings, which work under the corner damage rule. Otherwise same as 2 point corner damage.

5 – Significant damage. The flat surface bends noticably on impact. Cuts are formed immediately, and openings will form if those cuts are hit again. Otherwise same as 3 point corner damage.

6 – Severe damage. The flat surface bends significantly on impact. Small openings are formed immediately which then work under the corner damage rule. Otherwise same as 4 point corner damage. 

7+ - Catastrophic damage: Large openings are formed immediately, the armor will crumple and buckle against the weapon. No amount of weapon power will cause a one hit knockout against a flat surface, but once the opening formed, knockout potential is threatened on every hit to that opening.

Wheel damage:

0-2 – Marks and scrapes, bending perhaps but the wheels won’t be compromised.

3+ – Exposed wheels can be torn off from weapon hits. A KO is possible if wheels on both sides of the robot are torn off.

Internal self-damage:

0-4 – If a robot’s weapon power is this many points above its weapon armor, there will be little to no effect on the weapon’s performance throughout the fight. No self-KO chance.

5 – If the weapon power is 5 points above the weapon armor, the weapon will begin showing signs of fatigue, taking longer to spin up toward the end of the match. No self-KO chance.

6 – The weapon will do some internal damage to its own supports and will cease to work after 5 hits. However the rest of the robot will continue to function. No self-KO chance.

7 – The weapon will do internal damage to the entire robot and will cease to work after 5 hits, and will cause loss of drive power on the 5th hit.

6 – Weapon: This stat in the past has been the vaguest, made even more vague by the wide range of weapon designs available. We hope to cover all common designs here. If you have a design for a weapon not listed here, the same policy applies as before. Just submit it to the moderators and/or competition director for approval and final decisions. All approved designs will be added to this rule set.

I - Multiple Weapons -
a - Any robot using multiple active weapons will be reduced in weapon power based on two conditions. If the weapons are operated by the same actuator, on the same axle i.e. twin spinning discs, no deduction will occur. If the weapons are powered by the same motor but on separate axels i.e. a motor powering spinning bars on opposite sides of the robot, each weapon will lose one point. Weapons operating off of different motors will need their individual power specified. There is no bonus for independent multi-weapons, other than the weapon armor bonus for any weapons over 5 points in power.
b- Turrets, such as the one on Tazbot, allow certain weapons to have more utility. By putting a weapon on a turret, it allows that weapon to have 360 degrees of range; a large advantage over something like an axe, which can only hit whatever is directly in front of it.
A turret needs at least 3 weapon power to function.

II - Scrimechs vs. Active Weapons -
Scrimechs (self-righting mechanisms) that serve no other function are still counted like any other weapon. Scrimechs require only 1 point to function, as opposed to lifters that serve offensive purposes.

A – Passive weapons are any weapon that requires no weapon power to use. This includes but is not limited to rammers, static spikes, overhead thwacks, “dumb” thwacks, and any other static or non powered offensive device.

a – Rammers and robots using static spikes (provided they are on the ramming end of the robot) will hit with a theoretical weapon power equal to the midway point between their Speed and Torque, rounded down to the nearest whole number. Rammers have NO breakthrough factor, unless they have defined spikes or teeth. The theoretical weapon power applies to knockout probability. This rule also applies to robots with active weapons that can be used as ramming weapons, or that have secondary passive ramming weapons.
b – Overhead thwacks will have a similar system. The theoretical weapon power will be the midway point between the robot’s Speed and Torque, rounded down to the nearest whole number.
c – “Thwacks" are any robot that generates force by rotating the entire robot. Theoretical weapon power is approximately equal to the speed stat of the robot. The type of thwack head used will determine the type of damage done. Blunt weapon heads such as sledge hammers will dent and buckle armor with a higher KO factor, while sharp weapon heads will pierce and slice armor with more visible effects.
'Smart Thwacks' are those that can move around while thwacking using a 'melty brain' or similar system. For these, the speed stat still determines the theoretical power of the robot, but the speed the robot moves across the arena floor will be determined by either the weapon stat or the speed stat, whichever is lower.

B – Spinners are any robot using a rotating mass to inflict damage. This includes but is not limited to vertical bludgeoning devices, friction driven rings, overhead bars and cages, shells, discs, flywheels, saws, chainsaws, spiked belts, drums, “egg beaters”, and any other rotating mass designed for inflicting damage. An increase in weapon power will not only increase destructive capabilities, but also reduce spin up time.

C – Lifting weapons are any weapon designed to forcefully pick an opponent up off of the floor. These include but are not limited to lifting arms, lifting spikes, flipping arms, actuated jaws, lifting or flipping wedges, clamp systems, forklifts, and any other weapon used to pick an opponent up. This is another vague design that everyone has tried to claim their own theories on in the past. Many people have argued that at low weapon power, they simply won’t work. For this set of rules we will acknowledge that no one builds a lifting arm that won’t lift an opponent in that weight class. All lifting and flipping weapons, given a value of 1 weapon power, will be able to lift an opponent to the full height of the weapon’s capability. Weapon power will decide how effectively that will be accomplished.

a – Lifters will be any weapon designed to merely lift the opponent for control (includes clamps) and can be controlled to move to and stay at any point on their lifting stroke. Lifters are at all times capable of lifting an opponent in the same weight class. Weapon power will decide how fast that can be done.
For example:

  • 1 weapon power will result in an excruciatingly slow lift, and will likely result in the opponent being able to escape before being lifted.
  • 2 weapon power will result in a slow lift.
  • 3 weapon power is a below average speed lift.
  • 4-5 weapon power will result in the lifter rotating at a decent pace.

b – Flippers sacrifice control of the weapon to allow a high speed motion in one direction. Flippers will come back down shortly after lifting, and cannot be moved to anywhere but the final point in the stroke. Flippers are always capable of lifting the opponent at high speed, but the weapon power will determine the height of the flip. This height will be in feet and determined by the robot’s weapon power divided by two. At 1 a flipper will only move an opponent 6 inches higher than the top of the stroke, while at 10 weapon power the target will be tossed over 5 feet high. Also, this weapon power applies to a knockout probability upon landing.

D – Overhead striking weapons include but are not limited to hammers, axes, swords, impaled dead babies and any other weapon swung overhead to cause damage. Hammers are designed to do large amounts of damage in a single strike. Overhead weapons like these do damage differently from all other weapon types, and as such need their own damage scale to accurately reflect the type of damage they do. Since overhead weapons are hitting flat surfaces with a point or a blunt edge, all damage is essentially considered to be corner damage, on this scale.

Its also worth noting that some of this depends on the type of axe head, whether it be blunt, or with a point, or some kind of combination. This, in addition to the surface that they're striking, requires some writer discretion to suss out exactly how much, and what kind of damage is being done.

Flat Surface Damage -

< 0 - No damage:

  • Axe bounces off the armor.

0 - Minor Damage:

  • Blunt: Small bumps and dents.
  • Point: Scratches and nicks. Axehead can penetrate only after repeated strikes to the same spot.

1 - Some damage:

  • Blunt: Increased denting and warping after repeated strikes to an area.
  • Point: Small punctures - axehead only penetrating about halfway at most, unless striking the same area.

2 - Average Damage:

  • Blunt: Each hit warps and dents a small amount. Repeated strikes will lead to significant warping of the armor.
  • Point: Punctures cleanly on each hit. 

3 - Significant Damage:

  • Blunt: Each hit warps and dents noticeably. Repeated strikes will lead to major warping, and given enough time, the armor could cave in.
  • Point: Punctures cleanly on each hit and causes warping.

4 - Severe Damage:

  • Blunt: Strong strikes that can cause internal damage as well as constantly significant warping of the chassis armor.
  • Point: Punctures cleanly on each hit and causes significant warping. 

5+ - Catastrophic Damage:

  • Blunt: Each hit threatens a knockout due to internal damage. Major warping on each hit. Repeated hits will lead to the armor being caved in.
  • Point: Each hit threatens a knockout due to internal damage. Armor can be 'ripped'. Repeated hits will lead to major warping. 

E – Piercing weapons are extremely powerful claws or spikes designed to use force to break through an opponent’s armor.

a – Claws will always be slow moving; about 15 degrees per second. Claw type weapons will only pierce the opponent when they are equal to or greater than the armor stat of that opponent. Weapon power combined with the opponent's armor will determine the amount of damage, and it will adhere to the corner damage rules for all parts of the robot (since the piercing tool constitutes a corner).

b - Certain robots will prefer a 'Complete Control' style of clamping, where the weapon does not pierce the armor, but rather takes control of it. These weapons will be faster but never pierce the opponents armor. The speed of the clamp depends on the weapon power invested, which fall along the same guidelines as the speed for lifters.
c – Pneumatic spikes use a rapid release to affect opponents. Pneumatic spikes will achieve similar damage to crushers ie - corner damage rules anywhere on the opponent, with the advantage of firing more quickly, and the disadvantage of having a harder time aiming and a harder time affecting an opponent instead of slipping off.
d – Rotary piston spikes are rapid firing, and driven by cam/crank action from an electric motor or gas engine. Up to two spikes can be used from the same motor before incurring a multiple weapons deduction. These spikes will follow the normal rules of breakthrough and damage based on their power, and will hit at x times per second, where x is half of their weapon power.

F - Ramming Bars, used on designs like Force Feedback, Stingray, and Probot, are a weapon that consists of a mass that is fired horizontally without the purpose of piercing. These designs use a 'keep away' type stick for a variety of purposes: to push the opponent away, to dislodge themselves, to warp the opponent's wedges, or to slow down spinning weapons. Ramming Bars generally do not cause much damage, unless the opponent they are hitting are trapped against a wall, as ramming bars push opponents away. These are always fast moving, and operate mostly the same as overhead striking weapons where an increase in weapon power results in a faster striking force.

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