Got RoboRally on a whim, read through the rule book and felt it's easy enough.
For the first game, I played against my brother on the Risky Exchange map.
My brother hadn't read the rules, but I boasted to him I had it all in my head. I explained to him the steps: program the registers, move the robots, board reacts, take damage and repeat. And take the flags in order. Finally, I warned him people always mixed up their left's and right's. Simple stuff, just lots of bookkeeping. But we've played Power Grid, so we are used to it. After my explanation, my brother was skeptical we could play it in 30 minutes, as the game suggested.
Anyway, we started the game. I shuffled the program cards and dealt ten to each of us. After programming, we moved the robots. We didn't use the 30-seconds timer to allow more thinking time. (I timed it and it took 31 seconds.)
Even in the first turn, my brother's robot managed to push mine, sending mine off-course and into unplanned territory.
In the second turn, my brother mixed up his directionality and his robot turned the wrong way. Is there a game where no one made this mistake? Still, he managed to steer his robot towards the first flag easily while I struggled to get back on course.
When my brother reached the first flag, he confirmed with me that he could discard one damage token. Yup, that's a repair square, so he could.
Then my brother moved towards the second flag while I still had problem reaching the first. Finally, after taking 5 damages and a register being locked, I decided to power down. I declared powering down after the cards were dealt out. (I've looked at the cards, but they didn't affect my decision. It's just that I declared my intention too late.) At this point we were still dealing ten cards, whether damaged or not.
After my brother cleared the second flag, he decided to detour to the double wrench square for a repair and take an option card. Since that square was blocked by two walls, he realized he could keep moving or rotating and collecting a card each register phase! And he did just that. I told him to keep the option cards face down.
At this point, I had plain given up on getting to the flags and moved to stop him. Just when I was close, I turned the wrong direction. The rest of the moves didn't make sense, so my brother asked me if I turned wrongly. "Nope, that's exactly what I wanted to do."
The next turn, he did the same, but not before wondering if we were playing it right. We were, I insisted.
After watching my brother collect another round of option cards, I asked him just how many more cards he wanted. He replied that he wanted to go through all the cards! "Wait until the game is over, you idiot! Can we continue with the game?" I was thinking what a broken game this was.
My cousin, who started browsing through the rule book, finally pointed out all our mistakes!
"Oh, we were trying out a variant."
No, that did not cut it. Since the play was unrecoverable, we stopped the game. My brother demoaned that if he hadn't been greedy, he would have reached the third flag and would have won the game before we realized our mistakes!
I'm sure all RoboRally players knew where I've gone wrong. I've re-read the rules since then, my brother has also read the rules. I believe we're not likely to forget this unusual game.
We've not played it since. It turned out that we didn't really like the game mechanic. I thought I would like it, but I was wrong.
Funny, I did this the first game also. We did find the wrench problem after it happend 2x in one turn, but the powerdown one we did the whole game.
Still had a great time when one of the players after trouncing around the board aimlessly for the whole game and in dead last place, finally touched the 3rd flag (we all were fighting for the second flag) and delcared, "I won".
We then had to tell him that you need to touch all three flags in order. We almost could not finish the game cause we were laughing so hard.
It is very important to make a very short track. Backtracking at least once and crossing. RR IS fun!
Making a looong track with no backtracking is just boring and breaks the game.
Also, this is definately a game that plays better with more players. I've really enjoyed playing RR but I wouldn't touch it as a 2 player game.