This is a documentation for Board Game Arena: play board games online !


From Board Game Arena
Revision as of 10:32, 30 October 2023 by Kevan (talk | contribs) (Undo revision 18419 by Billydabeast (talk))
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Playing a Round

Heat: Pedal to the Metal is played over several rounds. Some steps are compulsory, the rest (4-8) are all situational and only sometimes apply to your turn.

All players complete steps 1 and 2 at the same time (do them in order, but without waiting for each other). Then, starting with the frontmost car, closest to the Race Line, complete steps 3 through 9. Once a car has completed step 9 and ended their turn, proceed back through the positions completing one car’s turn at a time. Repeat this sequence until all cars have finished the race (check the number of laps on the board for the track you are using).

# Effect Notes
1 Shift Gears Compulsory
2 Play Cards Compulsory
3 Reveal and Move Compulsory
4 Adrenaline
5 React
6 Slipstream
7 Check Corner
8 Discard
9 Replenish Hand Compulsory

Shift Gears

First, check which gear your car is in, and decide if you want to leave it there or shift it one gear up or down from that position.

Note: You can choose to shift your gear up/down two positions, but doing so will require that you pay one Heat

Play Cards

Your current gear determines exactly how many cards you play from your hand. 1st gear means you must play 1 card, 2nd gear is 2 cards, and so on.

In this step you can play all types of cards except for Heat cards. Keep the 1-4 played cards facedown in your own Play Area.

Reveal and Move

Reveal the cards in your Play Area, then add all values together to determine your Speed. You also add values from Upgrades (see below) and Stress cards (each resolving to a random value from 1 to 4, drawn from your deck - see the "+ Symbol" section). Move your car forward by exactly that many Spaces on the track. Always put your car on the Spot closest to the Race Line if available.

Cars never prevent you from passing through them, even when it looks like the race track is blocked. However, if you would end your move in a Space where there are cars on all Spots, then you are blocked and must put your car in the first Space with a free Spot behind the cars that blocked you (as close to the Race Line as possible).

If there are 2 cars next to each other, the car closest to the Race Line is considered ahead for all purposes.


Adrenaline helps the last car to move each round (or in a 5-6 car game, the last two cars to move). It is not really a step of its own, but gives those players extra symbols that they may use in the React step. Players with Adrenaline may move 1 extra Space while adding 1 to their Speed value and/or gain 1 extra Cooldown.

Note: Adrenaline cannot be saved for future rounds.


In this step you get to activate symbols you have access to in ANY order you want.

In the core game you have access to symbols from your current gear (Boost and/or Cooldown) and Adrenaline if last. Each symbol is activated and completed individually.


Cooldown is an important aspect of the game because it allows you to take a Heat card from your hand and put it back in your Engine (so you can use the Heat card again). The number in the Cooldown symbol indicates how many Heat you can move in this way. You gain access to Cooldown in a few ways but the most common is from driving in 1st gear (Cooldown 3) and 2nd gear (Cooldown 1).


Regardless of which gear you are in you may pay 1 Heat to boost once per turn. Boosting gives you a + symbol as reminded on the player mats. Move your car accordingly, you may still be blocked.

Note: + symbols always increase your Speed value for the purpose of the Check Corner step.


May use your +1 Speed and/or 1 extra Cooldown

Garage Module Icons

Apply any of the icons on Garage Cards during the react step


Only applies if you are next to or behind another car at this point.

Slipstreaming is optional if you land next to another car, or in a Space behind a car or cars. If you choose to Slipstream, you move 2 Spaces forward. You can only Slipstream once per turn and if all the Spots in the final Space are occupied, place your car in the first Space with a free Spot behind the blocking cars.

Note: Slipstreaming does NOT increase your Speed value for the purpose of the Check Corner step.

Check Corner

If at any point this turn you crossed a Corner Line, you must now check if your total Speed for the round exceeds the Speed Limit of that corner (Speed = Sum of the values of all the Speed cards in your Play Area, +1 if you used the Adrenaline Bonus).

  • • If your total Speed for the round is equal to or lower than the Speed Limit, nothing happens.
  • • Otherwise, you pay Heat equal to the difference between your total Speed and the Speed Limit.

Note: If you drive through several corners on the same turn, you must pay for each of them separately, starting with the first Corner Line you crossed.

Spin Out

If you do not have enough Heat to pay for your excess Speed, you pay all the Heat you have and immediately spin out:

  • • Move the car back to the first available Space before the Corner Line that caused the spin out.
  • • Take 1 extra Stress card into your hand if you are in 1st/2nd gear, or 2 extra Stress cards if you are in 3rd/4th gear.
  • • Move your Gear pawn to 1st gear.


You may discard cards from your hand if you do not want to save them for future rounds. Do so by placing them face up into your discard pile. However, nobody can browse through the discard piles (including their own); only the top card is public knowledge.

Note: You can never choose to discard Stress or Heat cards (even the Upgrade ones).

Replenish Hand

Take all cards from your Play Area and put them onto your discard pile. Draw back up to 7 cards (or a hand limit specified by the Event card), then the next player can proceed with steps 3-9.

Heat Cards

As you race around the track you should use Heat to drive faster on straights and in corners. As a consequence, Heat cards will move from your Engine to your discard pile. Later on they will be shuffled into your draw deck and each your hand. The only way to get Heat cards out of your hand and back into the Engine is to cool down, typically by shifting to lower gears. This cycle means the same Heat card could be used several times during a race, depending on how fast you use it, draw it and cool it down again. Heat cards can never be discarded or played from your hand. They effectively reduce your hand size by filling it up with useless cards.

Paying Heat

Every time you are asked to pay 1 Heat, you must take 1 Heat card from your Engine and move it to your discard pile. If you do not have a Heat card available, you cannot choose to Boost. If you went through a corner exceeding the Speed Limit and do not have enough Heat to pay, you spin out.

Shifting up/down 2 positions

If you want to move your Gear pawn an extra step up or down (e.g. between gears 1&3 or 2&4) during step 1: Shift Gears, you have to pay 1 Heat immediately. As everyone shifts gears at the same time, just announce you are doing it, pay the Heat and move your Gear pawn accordingly.

Cluttered Hand

In rare circumstances you can get stuck with so many Heat cards in your hand that you don’t have enough playable cards for the gear you’re in. If this happens, use as many playable cards as possible and cover the difference with Heat cards. In this case, your car does not move this turn. Instead, when you reveal your played cards, immediately move your Gear pawn to 1st gear, place the cards that are in your Play Area in your Discard pile, and skip straight to step 9 (Replenish Hand).

+ Symbol

For each + symbol played you will add an unknown value between 1 and 4 to your Speed. This is done by flipping the top card of your draw deck:

  • • If it is a Basic card (Speed symbol), add it to your Play Area.
  • • Otherwise, immediately put it in the discard pile and keep flipping until you find a Basic card (Speed symbol).

How to Win

You win the race (and the game) by being the first player to cross the finish line after the number of laps indicated in the player area. If two or more cars finish in the same round, the winner is the player whose car is furthest ahead (the spot closest to the Race Line is the tiebreaker if two cars end up side by side).

  • • Slipstreaming can never be used to cross the finish line nor after having crossed the finish line.
  • • Disregard any Speed Limits in corners after the finish line, simply move as far as you can.

At the end of the round, all the cars that crossed the finish line are removed from the track and placed in order on the Hall of Fame Space on the board. The remaining cars continue playing until all cars make it to the finish. The Adrenaline bonuses are still applied based on the number of cars that started the race, not remaining on the board.

Upgrade Cards

Note: All Upgrade Cards are discarded when resolving a + symbol.

Basic Upgrade Cards

The Basic Game provides three upgrade cards. They all have 3 chevrons (^) and match your car color. They also do not have the Speed Symbol that your basic cards do.

  • Heat: Works just like other Heat cards, though it starts shuffled in your deck.
  • 0: Zero speed movement card.
  • 5: 5 speed movement card.

Garage Module Upgrade Cards

  • Scrap: (Mandatory) Discard the top card of your draw deck the number of times indicated
  • Adjust Speed Limit: (Mandatory) If you cross Corner Lines this turn, their Speed Limit is modified by the number indicated for you; “+” means you can move faster, “-” means you must move slower.
  • Slipstream boost: If you choose to Slipstream in step 6, your typical 2 Spaces may be increased by the number indicated.
  • Reduce Stress: You may immediately discard up to the number indicated of Stress cards from your hand to the discard pile.
  • Refresh: You may place this card back on top of your draw deck instead of discarding it in step 9.
  • Salvage: You may look through your discard pile and choose up to the number indicated cards there. These cards are shuffled into your draw deck.
  • Direct Play: You may play this card from your hand in the React step (step 5). If you do, it applies as if you had revealed it in step 3, including Speed value and mandatory/optional icons.
  • Accelerate: You may increase your Speed by 1 for every + symbol used by you this turn (from Upgrades, Stress, Boost, etc). If you do, you must increase it for all + symbols used and this counts for corner checks (step 7).