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Subject: 2-player variant: each player with 2 robots (works with 3 or 4 also) rss

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Kris Wolff
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The wife and I love this variant:

- Each player has two robots (starting in two separate starting blocks, as usual)
- Each player continues to have a single board
- After a player places his 5 cards, they are executed and applied to BOTH of the player's robots simultaneously!

A few notes:
- If both of a player's robots are going to bump, the player may choose which robot moves first
- A player takes a damage token if one of his robots shoots the other, in addition to being shot by other players or lasers on the board
- Because a player has two robots, when receiving damage tokens, each PAIR of tokens fills a space on his board. Therefore, you would be down to 8 cards after 2 (or 3) damage tokens, etc.
- Only after BOTH of a player's robots has touched a flag is it considered to have been touched

It is best to use "simpler" boards for this variant, as it becomes REALLY hard to not kill your robots.

(This variant is best as a 2-player alternative, but works with 3 or 4 players as well.)

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Lori
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What happens when one of your two robots is killed? And do they power down only together?
 
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Mi Myma
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Seems like an exercise in futility if both robots, in different positions, facing different obstacles, have to execute the same program. It would probably be a very long, slow game. You'll have to program very carefully to keep both robots alive and make forward progress with both of them. Programming each robot separately, you can make as much progress as you can with your cards. If they both have the same program, you'll usually have to slow down one robot to accommodate the other.
 
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Kris Wolff
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ellephai wrote:
What happens when one of your two robots is killed?

When one is killed, it goes back to its last restore spot, as normal and you remove all but 4 of your damage tokens.

(We played with only 3 "life tokens", but I suppose you could go with 6 if you want... If you're dying that much, the game probably isn't very fun at this level though.)



ellephai wrote:
And do they power down only together?

Yes, both power down at the same time.
 
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Luke Stirling
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Kind of sounds like playing a marble puzzle but without the dexterity element.
 
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Kris Wolff
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Seems like an exercise in futility if both robots, in different positions, facing different obstacles, have to execute the same program. It would probably be a very long, slow game. You'll have to program very carefully to keep both robots alive and make forward progress with both of them. Programming each robot separately, you can make as much progress as you can with your cards. If they both have the same program, you'll usually have to slow down one robot to accommodate the other.

It is certainly an "advanced variant", only for players who are already good at the game. If you try it and it's completely futile then don't use this variant.

And, yes, you will generally be focusing on one robot's "progress" while just making sure the other doesn't die for a turn or two, then switching. Hopefully you'll play well enough so they both make progress on the same turn.

I thought this variant would be WAY too difficult to even finish a game, but it went surprisingly well!
 
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Kris Wolff
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paralipsis wrote:
Kind of sounds like playing a marble puzzle but without the dexterity element.


Totally felt like that at times. The spaces on the board where one robot could be "stuck in a corner" worked wonders since he could bump into the walls while the other robot made progress...
 
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Gareth Taylor
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I've played this way occasionally, and think it's good fun. (But then I play RoboRally much more for the challenge of finding the best way through a board, rather than the interaction with other robots.)

We played with two boards, with two checkpoints at extreme opposite ends. We each had one robot starting on each checkpoint, and the objective was to get your robots from their starting checkpoint to the other checkpoint and then back again.

I agree that they have to power down simultaneously, otherwise you could keep one asleep and just program the other. Far too easy!

It's been some years since we played, and I can't remember how we dealt with damage now. I think we had separate damage for each robot, and the number of cards you got was determined by the more damaged robot (so a slightly harsher version than the one mentioned above).

We also had some penalty for a robot dying, because we wanted to avoid the solution of focusing on robot A and ignoring robot B completely. If B died, I think we gave A one damage point as well - but I could be wrong.

Anyway, a great variant. Wonderfully thinky.
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Simon Lundström
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I usually play with 2 robots each, but they get separate stacks of cards. Also, it's capture the flag (go to the opponent's starting position and back again).
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Randall Bart
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Seems like an exercise in futility

You need to try it.
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Archibald Zimonyi
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We actually tried something like this.

One gameboard
Duplicate sets of flags (four for each robot).
5 players

The robots started on opposite ends of the board and we opted for a board that was not symmetrical (which would have made little point).
Since I own the older version we had the red larger flags and the smaller greener flags so in case the robots ever met, the robot trying to tag the larger flag went first.

I thought it was great fun, but then I really like RoboRally. But in general, the group had less laughs. It was more solitaire then playing with others.

One big problem occured, since we played with unlimited life, you could kill off one robot and concentrate only on the other to have progress. In my opinion that was sort of killing the whole idea of using multiple robots per person.

This could have been solved by both robots having to take the flags in the same round (forcing both robots to move forward in the game) for example. We also discussed other solutions but never really got far enough to give it another go.

If I would try this version again, I would probably only go for one flag as the way we played it, it was hard enough.

Archie
 
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