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Subject: RoboRally -- the "Option World" Variant rss

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Mark Casiglio
United States
Ansonia
CT
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Falcon 2018 September 28, 29, 30 in Stamford, CT
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Bored with their usual robot races, the super-computers at the Acme Widget Factory instead chose to equip their robots with every option available in a very liberal manner. Chaos ensued.

The Cast of Characters

Squash Bot (Csigs)
Zoom Bot (Chrissy)
Hulk X-90 (Eric - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/hseldon )
Spin Bot (Kyle - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/kylecsigs )
Twitch (Peg)

The 'Option World' Rules: (Four Flags on "The Vault" map) Robots that end the turn on a single-wrench space or a flag draw one Option card instead of discarding a damage token. Robots that end the turn on a crossed wrench/hammer space gain two Option cards instead of discarding one damage token and drawing one Option card.

With rules like that, we knew this was going to be a wild and chaotic session. We also adopted two house-rules for the contest: Discarded options (through death or because they only provide temporary advantage like the Ablative Coat and the Mini-Howitzer) would be returned to the Option Card pile rather than discarded. And secondly; any players preparing sushi for the rest of us would be exempt from the 30 second timer rule. This only affected Chrissy, but we felt it was a worthy handicap.

The Game
The game started quickly, and within several rounds most of the bots were in the area of the first flag. But not my son Kyle, who found himself trapped in the central 'Vault' area without the proper combination of cards to get out. Of course, the side benefit of this was that he amassed a ridiculous number of Options (13!) in just a few turns. Before long, all the option cards were in play. Some of the most valuable (including mechanical arm) ended up on Kyle's bot. Eric got some nasty ones (the chaotic Scrambler is a favorite of his), but it was Chrissy who turned into the tank with the mini-Howitzer, High Powered Lasers and Rear Lasers! Peg got her favorite, the Gyroscopic Stabilizer (since the rotating gears and turning conveyer belts always mess her up). Me? I got the curse of the Circuit Breaker causing me to shut down every two or three turns.

Flag two proved much more difficult, mainly due to its location. Wedged in tightly between a pair of conveyer belts prepared to whisk the robots in the opposite direction, a bottomless pit of despair and the ever present and very fatal edge of the board, it claimed more than a few life tokens. (note: we also always play with the house rule that players can continue to play even after all their life tokens are exhausted, but are not eligible to win).

Somewhere around this point, Eric and I pulled into the lead and began challenging for flag three while the others still struggled with number two. I thought I was going to bite it at one point when Eric was poised to shove my poor, battered robot down a pit -- but Zoom Bot to the rescue! I convinced Chrissy (okay, begged pleaded and bribed her) to use her mini-Howitzer to blow me right out of Eric's path (I think it had as much to do with messing up her husband's fun at tormenting me than it did with any degree of mercy). Hooray for me! Unfortunately the next turn I got pushed again onto a conveyer belt that led off the board. And as is typical, my ever so "helpful" circuit breaker decided that I needed to power down at that point for repairs. Bye bye Squash Bot! (Guess which option I discarded with my used life-token ...)

Things tightened up, and shortly everyone (except Chrissy, who was still struggling with number two) had reached the third flag and were racing for the fourth. Eric and I were neck and neck, but I had the flag in my sights while Eric was moaning about not getting the right cards. Kyle and Peg were right behind us, ready to sneak in if something unfortunate happened to one of us.

So there I was, all ready to step on the flag and claim my hard earned victory when Kyle decided Dad needed needed to be taken down. Trapped by his Radio Control mechanism, I was forced to follow his bot's program instead of mine. This pushed me right into Eric's Hulk X-90. Hulk, in turn got pushed onto a conveyer belt and moved. Eric squealed with a level of glee completely inappropriate for a man in his thirties ... seems the additional push and move was exactly what he needed to get to the flag with his final move. *sigh*

RoboRally is hectic and hilarious. It continues to be one of our favorites.
 
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Is Not Geddy Lee
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Sandy Hook
Connecticut
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I really don't know what whining you are talking about. Maybe the whining was coming from your direction when your son gave me the win!
 
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