Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

RoboRally» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Racing robots = mayhem rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Vojta Drevikovsky
Czech Republic
PRAHA
flag msg tools
mb
I believe it was New Year's Eve 2009 that I played RoboRally for the first time. It was one of the games that I somehow knew about but never played - it turned out that it's much more fun than I expected. It's one of the games that DOES have some kind of strategy to it but is much more fun playing without planning too much... Well, since I almost never win, perhaps I'm playing it wrong but at least I'm having fun.

As the name suggests, the game is a race between robots. Each player gets to play as a robot in a... well, some kind of factory. It's a place filled with moving conveyor belts, pushers, lasers and pits that cause much mayhem during the race. Fortunately, to avoid repetition, the game comes with an abundance of map-grids, some easier, some more difficult, some short, some longer but many of them have a theme of sorts... like "swirling vortex of terror" or "laser grid" or other fun things like that. But the fun is not only in being pushed to a bottomless pit by a pusher or blown to pieces by a fellow robot.

At the beginning of each round, every player gets up to 9 cards with various arrows to their hand and they have to use them all for their robot's current turn movement. The players have some time to secretly assign each of the card to one of five slots that stand for each of the 5 phases of the round. When all the players are done assigning the cards to the slots, the round plays out. At once, every player reveals the first card and the movement of all robots is executed simultaneously. In case two robots' movement would conflict, each card has a three digit number standing for the speed of the action, so the action with a higher number gets executed before the other one. After all actions are executed, the next phase begins and players reveal another card and perform those movements.

But it is the collision of two and more robots that the game stands on. You see, you might program a perfect move (speeding to the front, then turn right, move one space, turn left and move two spaces next to the pit) but if an opponent's robot has an initiative in a wrong moment, it can move you and suddenly whole your planned move is altered and you might as well find yourself in a pit or in the way of deadly lasers.

At the end of each phase, each robot shoots in front of it - so it damages the robot is "sees". Also robots get damaged by every laser it is standing in. Each robot has 10 hitpoints and as they get progressively more and more damaged, some of the programmed actions (the cards assigned to slots) get "locked" and will always get performed. So for example, if you have a damaged robot, it may always turn left and go 1 space back in the last 2 phases until you repair it. Getting all 10 hitpoints means getting destroyed, which puts you back to start of the race (or to the last waypoint you touched) and losing one of 3 "life counters". When a robot loses its last life counter, it is destroyed beyond repair and leaves the game. At the start of a round, you can choose to power down, which immediately repairs your lost hitpoints but you cannot do anything for the whole round and you can get pushed around, shot at, moved by a belt or anything else.

The game is about luck (less) and anticipation (more). The strategy is in avoiding the dangerous places because they will only get you killed... At least that was what the girl who almost always won was doing. But then again, going around all the fun is NOT fun. I prefer to spin in circles, get shot at and never win to that - shows how bad player I really am
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Green Dan
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In the version I have you get dealt 9 cards and have 9 hit points. when you lose points you get less cards. So if you have only 7 hit points left you only get 7 cards. Once you are down to 5 points your moves get locked in. did this change at some point?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tor Sverre Lund
Norway
Trondheim
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Greendan wrote:
In the version I have you get dealt 9 cards and have 9 hit points. when you lose points you get less cards. So if you have only 7 hit points left you only get 7 cards. Once you are down to 5 points your moves get locked in. did this change at some point?

Nah, that's still how it's played. I'm guessing he just mis-typed, or they are playing a very hard variant :)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bern Harkins
United States
Buffalo
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm playing first edition, and the robots have ten hitpoints; the first four are "free" (except for costing you a card), the next five lock registers, and the tenth destroys the 'bot. If there were only nine hit points, you could never have all registers locked.

9 cards is correct, tho... at least to start...

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vojta Drevikovsky
Czech Republic
PRAHA
flag msg tools
mb
thanks guys for the comments.

you are, of course, completely right. it felt normal when i wrote it down but now when i read it, i can't believe what i wrote. I changed the text accordingly.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.