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Subject: Session Report: Roborally- 8 Player game rss

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Session Report: Roborally
Players: Mike, Wei Ming, Terence, Gladys, Sam, Shealin, Jean

Since everyone else had not played Roborally before, I took it out for them to have a try. None of the players I had introduced it to in the past liked it much (which is why I hesitated to introduce it to this group) and I suspected that this time would prove no different. I tweaked the rules abit to make it play faster, using this as a means of damage control- even if they don’t like it, it would be over very soon:

1) Introducing the timer- I have the first edition, but thought the second edition’s timer was a great idea. I grabbed the timer from Cranium and voila!
2) I didn’t want to mess with the virtual robots, but didn’t have the starting board of the second edition, so I made everyone start along one edge of the board.
3) The winner only had reach the flag and stay there at the end of any phase and return to any square on the starting edge.
4) Anyone who ended a phase on a repair site (regardless of number of wrenches) repaired one damage and took an option card. Only one such repair per visit. Was allowed.

Using only one board and one flag, the game was over remarkably quickly (a little less than an hour, including rules explanation). I made a fatal mistake at the start of the game, as I had mixed up Mike’s ‘bot for mine, and the first round’s programming instructions sent me thrashing in circles. Needless to say, in such a short game there was very little room for recovery and that mistake took me out of the rest of the game.

Other than this, with 8 players on the board, there were plenty of laser shootouts and chaos. Mike sailed into the lead as his starting position was the most advantageous and maintained it for the rest of the game for the win. Shealin came a distant second and the rest of us couldn’t even make it to the flag.

I guess this must be one of the most expensive white elephants in my collection. Noone who’s tried it likes it enough to play it again (except for my long suffering wife), and I can’t bear to sell it because I had so much fun painting the minis. Sigh.
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Richard Cox
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I guess this must be one of the most expensive white elephants in my collection.

Gee, too bad. One of my favourite games. Takes a certain "bent" to enjoy it. You can tell those that do enjoy it, as they are almost never the last to get their segments programmed.

Eight players can be tough, as the mayhem is difficult to predict, and a sense of frustration can ensue if "nothing I do ever works out".

I would suggest a "team" variant, where your laser only fires if the other team's bot is in line of sight. This leads to intentionally pushing of multiple bots for maximum effect.

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