RogerBW's Blog

Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 6 February 2017 19 March 2017

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey.

My new copy of Robo Rally 2016 had arrived that morning, and I was keen to get it to the table.

The game has had a much-needed rules overhaul. Robots now activate in order of distance from the Antenna (generally, last in the race going first); each player gets their own deck of program cards; and damage has been completely revamped, with no more locked registers or player elimination. Instead, damage cards go to clog up your program deck, as in Colt Express; you still draw nine to fill your five registers, but if you choose to play a damage card in one of those registers you can discard it afterwards. (You also do a random action from your program deck, but hey.)

We got in two games while the other half of the group was playing one of The Hobbit. This new Avalon Hill version of Robo Rally (third edition, I suppose) may still have naff components, but it's not the drag-out-forever that earlier editions could turn into. (That's a thing that kills games for me - if a game of Munchkin reliably lasted half an hour or Fluxx fifteen minutes I'd probably play them quite often, but sometimes they can triple in length and comprehensively wear out their welcome.)

The checkpoint markers you collect are particularly nasty, being thin card, so I 3D-printed a set. Yes, I will sell you these if you want 'em. (Not these specific ones, which I did in haste with the low-detail 0.8mm nozzle so that they'd be ready in time for the game.) I'm also planning to put together a new player card at some point, containing the rules you actually need in play, like the full activation sequence and what happens when you reboot.

After that we shifted around a bit and played Automobiles, though only one lap as I hadn't noticed the time.

I'd also forgotten most of the rules, and we took a while to get started, though several players said they'd want to give it another go. I think this is another one that could do with a better quick reference card; I don't feel I should be doing designers' jobs for them, but I seem to be better at actually writing rules and play aids than they areā€¦

[Buy Robo Rally 2016 at Amazon] [Buy Automobiles at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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