Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

RoboRally» Forums » Sessions

Subject: All I Wanted Was Robots with Frickin Laser Beams... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Christine Kelly
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
A few Sundays ago my group gathered at my house for a day of gaming. Things are always interesting when we get together - we can be pretty competitive with each other and are always looking for the win, but we still manage to have a great time and a lot of laughs. As usual, the time went by too fast and our list of games yet to be played was only slightly diminished.

The day started off with what some would call a 'light' game, Avalon Hill's RoboRally. I didn't have high hopes for this game, as Avalon Hill is a division of Hasbro, and Hasbro is not really on my list of game designers I enjoy.

We went through the rules rather quickly, and chose a layout from the booklet to begin. RoboRally has players taking control of individual robots racing through a factory in an effort to be the first to touch all the checkpoints in ascending order. Players make the robots move by 'programming' them using 5 different cards, each with specific actions such as 'move forward 3', 'rotate left', 'U turn' and so on. All players program their robots and then reveal their cards one at a time, taking turns moving their robots. It sounds fairly simple, but it gets more complicated when the robots begin to interact with each other. You can be bumped by an opponent one square off course and the rest of your program is thrown out of whack. You may find that the program you designed to send your robot veering towards its goal now leads him directly into an open, gaping pit.

We played a few rounds of the game before coming to the realization that we were definitely doing something wrong. We had failed to place the robots on the appropriate starting squares, resulting in one of our players starting off the game conveniently placed in front of a brick wall. We were also moving the conveyor belts and other board obstacle after every card was played, rather than when the entire program was over. We ended up restarting completely in order to “give everyone a fair chance”, but I think it was just because I had taken the early lead. Once we got the rules down the game really began to take shape.

The game ended when I managed to make my way to the third and final checkpoint, just barely beating out the player behind me. The other two players in our game were still engaged in a battle over touching the second checkpoint and were not much competition (sorry guys!). The game really came down to who received the appropriate cards on their final turn, rather than any real strategic planning. The best move I made in the game was deliberately falling into a pit after the second checkpoint, in order to move back to my starting space which happened to place me on a fairly direct route to the final checkpoint.

RoboRally is really more of a race game than a particularly complex strategy game. The game has great rules for interaction, but playing 4 players on such a large board basically left us all doing our own thing without running into each other too much. In spite of the racing, the game seems pretty well thought out. I think if it was played with more people (it can hold up to 8), or with fewer people but a smaller board, the gaming would be much more interesting. We never really got to take advantage of pushing other robots around or shooting our opponents with our front-mounted lasers. I would really like to try it again with these modifications, and I am sure it would be a much better experience.

Overall, RoboRally was an interesting game, fairly straightforward but light and fun. I may just be saying that because it was the only game I managed to win the whole day, but I stand by my statement.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
a a
United States
Nebraska
flag msg tools
Larry is correct on this one. The board components move after everyone has completed their robots movement as show on each INDIVIDUAL program card. So the conveyor belts will move 5 times each round.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Packard
United States
Palmdale
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gritdog is absolutely correct. The board elements (conveyors, gears, lasers, etc.) all activate (in a specific order listed in the instructions and play aids) after EACH program card (i.e., 5 times per turn).

Also:

Quote:
The best move I made in the game was deliberately falling into a pit after the second checkpoint, in order to move back to my starting space which happened to place me on a fairly direct route to the final checkpoint.


This is misplayed as well. Your archive point is the last wrench square (including flag squares, since they are all wrench squares) you touched. So if you fell into a pit, intentionally or otherwise, soon after touching the second checkpoint, your archive point is that checkpoint, and you'll come back on the 2nd flag, not your starting space.

Don't be discouraged by these two errors. As you said, you read the rules quickly. Take the time to re-read them, and play again as soon as you can. It's a fantastic game in my opinion. I've played it scores of times and every time I've really enjoyed it regardless of how well or horribly I played.

From what you've said here, I think you and your group will really get into it with your next play. And trust me ... you WILL run into situations where you're effecting each other with your chest-mounted lasers and pushing each other off course.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christine Kelly
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
I knew it was just to try and stop me from winning, next time I will read the rules myself!!

I think we will definitely have to pick this up again, many modifications to be made!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Smith
United States
Troy
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A couple of things were played wrong.
- Board elements (conveyors, pushers, etc) move after every register phase (card). So, the way you started playing the game was correct. Robots also shoot simultaneously with board lasers, which are the last board element to activate. For example:
1. All robots execute card #1
2. Fast conveyors move one square
3. All conveyors move one square
4. Pushers push
5. Gears spin
6. Board lasers and robot lasers fire
7. Tag flags and archive spots
8. (repeat for cards 2-5)
- Flags are also archive spots, so when you tagged flag 2 and then jumped into a pit, you should have archived back on flag 2. At least in the original game the flags were archive spots, because they are single wrenches. All wrenches are archive spots.

Also, you didn't mention how many boards you used, but I've played over 100 games of Robo Rally (yes, I'm addicted), and the guidelines they give in the rulebook for board size aren't conducive to robot interaction (as you experienced). My recommendation is to use only 1 12x12 board for 4 or less robots, and 2 12x12 boards for 5-8 robots. Never use more than 2 boards, unless you want a big race track with little to no robot interaction. By using a small board, strategy/bluffing becomes a bigger part of the game.

Some variations to spice up the game:
1. Give each robot one random starting option card.
2. Put a stack of option cards equal to the number of players under flag 1. The first robot to tag flag 1 chooses which option he wants and puts the rest back. Same for each robot that tags flag 1.
3. Turbo Wrenches -- Single wrenches heal 1 point of damage or grant one option card. Double Wrenches heal 2 points of damage or grant 2 option cards.

Have fun!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Hall
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
mvettemagred wrote:
the guidelines they give in the rulebook for board size aren't conducive to robot interaction (as you experienced). My recommendation is to use only 1 12x12 board for 4 or less robots, and 2 12x12 boards for 5-8 robots.

I don't know about that. Quite a few of the courses given in the rulebook do use only one board, or are for 5-8 players with two boards. Obviously some are bigger, but I can see that you would want some courses with more boards specifically for when you want a low-interaction race.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Smith
United States
Troy
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry, I should have mentioned my knowledge is of the rule book that came with the original 1994 game. That book suggested 4 boards for largers games. I've run several PBeM games of RR and whenever we used four boards, there was very little interaction. Those games usually came down to luck of the draw on movement cards, which (IMHO) is much less fun than games with more robot interaction.

I now almost never used more than two boards. The only exception is three wide open boards laid in a row, like the Grand Prix expansion boards. When those boards, you can be on one end of the board and still shoot someone 30+ squares away. That's quite fun, actually. robot
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Daneman
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The courses in the new edition rulebook are actually pretty good, and there are quite a few of them. We played 3 (two 1-board ones with 3 players, and one 2-board one with 7 players) and they all played pretty well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michel Condoroussis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ok, so I re-read the rules, wow did we play wrong (no I was not the one who read them originally). Hopefully we will have time to play this weekend and once you won (ck13), slightly beating me, I knew something must have been played wrong!! (although I think Roborally will have to wait till the week after)

Pezpimp
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Red Dragon
United States
Willows
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mvettemagred wrote:
A couple of things were played wrong.
... For example:
1. All robots execute card #1
...
7. Tag flags and archive spots
8. (repeat for cards 2-5)

Uhhhh... you mean it counts as tagging a flag or a double-wrench space (to repair or gain an option) by stopping there at the end of a card? I assumed the game owner knew the rules, and we played it that you had to stop on the flag or double wrench at the end of the whole turn (i.e. after the 5th card) in order to count as tagging it. Not so?? (And what if you stay on the same double-wrench space at the end of five consecutive cards (turn turn turn turn turn), do you get five extra option cards??)
Quote:
Never use more than 2 boards, unless you want a big race track with little to no robot interaction. By using a small board, strategy/bluffing becomes a bigger part of the game.

We played on four boards with 3 robots, although we didn't go to the 4th board because our anticipated 60-minute game had already gone over two hours, so I can certainly see the sense in sticking to two boards max.
Quote:
1. The first robot to tag flag 1 chooses which option he wants and puts the rest back. Same for each robot that tags flag 1.

Uhhhh... you mean you don't start on flag 1? If not, then where do you start, so I can tell the game owner next time we play?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michel Condoroussis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey Red,

Your best bet is to download the instructions from Avalon Hill, found here:

http://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/rules/roborally.pdf

It cleared up a lot of things for me.

Pezpimp
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It counts as tagging if you get there at the end of a card (after conveyors etc). It doesn't get your repaired or options cards unless its at the end of a turn though. If you started the turn on a wrench and turned 5 times you would get repaired again, but only once.

There is a bit of the board with the starting locations, numbered from 1-8. roll for who gets each location.

 
 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.