After two sessions of Escape: The Curse of the Temple and our first, great, try at Libertalia, we decided to end the night with a quick game of Robo Rally.
Or it would’ve been quick, if I hadn’t created a surprisingly hard course for us.
The board was Pit Maze. The first checkpoint had three paths leading to it, but two of them met shortly before the flag, creating a bottleneck. The third path was a bit longer, with some tight maneuvering required.
From there, we only had two ways to get to the second flag, and once again there was a bottleneck due to two L-shaped walls in one of those paths. The other path was longer, but conveyor belts made it a good option.
Finally, that conveyor belt meant there was only one way to get back to the last checkpoint, which had been placed rather close to the first one.
Oh yeah, to spice things up, the first player to reach a checkpoint would get an option card, the second would get two and choose one, the third got three to choose from, and so on.
Anyway, everyone picked the same path to reach the first checkpoint, which meant we soon ended up with four robots forming a small T-shape. Poor Trundle Bot was caught in the middle of that, while Hammer Bot was still virtual as he’d kept ending up beneath other robots.
This set up a lot of laser action, which also became the theme of the game. The moments where someone was allowed to draw nine cards were few and far between.
Out of this hilariously funny chaos, Hulk emerged to reach the first checkpoint ahead of everyone else. Surprising and impressive, considering that this was his first game ever. Twonky was also playing for the first time, and also doing really well.
I had been pushed out of the bottleneck twice, and as I was rolling down the conveyor belt leading away from there, I decided to go for the third path. So did Hammer Bot, but I managed to predict his move in a tight situation, sending him on a detour while I moved in on the first checkpoint.
While this happened, Hulk had used his newly acquired Retro Rockets to zoom on ahead toward the second checkpoint, while Trundle Bot had gotten the first one.
Me and Twonky moved in on the first checkpoint simultaneously. In order to avoid getting pushed off, I passed by with a move-2, made a U-turn and then took the checkpoint with a move-1. This pushed Twonky into a board-mounted laser, where he powered down for a nice suntan.
During all of this, Hulks inexperience had finally shown up. After a u-turn, he mixed up left and right and moved into a hole instead of the second checkpoint. This sent him all the way back to the first checkpoint, where him and Hammer Bot ended up in the previously mentioned bottleneck. They would be stuck there for most of the game, not getting out until Hammer Bot found a pair of Frog Legs more or less by accident.
This put the game in a more familiar mode: The experienced Trundle Bot was now at the second checkpoint, while I was racing after him, using my Brakes to best advantage. Even with four points of damage, I got to the second checkpoint fairly quickly, and on a fifth register as well!
I caught up with him just as I we were moving in on the final checkpoint. A move-3 from me sent Trundle Bot into a hole. Victory was assured, as I flipped over my fourth register for a back-up.
Or so I thought.
Somehow, I had made a beginner's error and messed up the last two cards. My move-2 card sent poor Twitch into the same hole as Trundle Bot. I really can’t explain how this happened. It sure was embarrassing...
Anyway, this sent us both back to checkpoint two, where we ended up being virtual under Twonky, who had gotten away from Hammer Bot and Hulk. This had the potential for a rather chaotic ending, but I ended up with some really good cards, getting move-3’s just when I needed them.
Trusting this luck would hold up, I decided to take a longer route to the finish line, as this would allow me to use a few extra conveyor belts just before the finish.
This paid of, as I did indeed get that final move-3 at the exact right moment one final time, thus reaching the last checkpoint well ahead of Trundle Bot, who was in turn rather far ahead of Twonky,
Hammer Bot had used his Frog Legs to good advantage, finally reaching the second checkpoint, while Hulk finally managed to get out of that darn bottleneck.
Next time, I’ll have someone else design the course, as I seem to have lost the knack for that...