Factory Floor Carnage and Beans!
With Cloud 9 finished in the next room people mingled a bit more. Drinks were poured, bowls of crisps refilled, and discussions about the next games were had.
Several people wanted to play Robo Rally and Sarah wanted to play Bohnanza (“Beans!”). I accepted the role of rules tutor for Robo Rally and Sarah took another group off for Bohnanza.
As the Rally-ers were preparing the board, one guy sheepishly came through from the other room. “Have you got room for one more player?” he asked. Of course we had! This brought us up to an epic eight player game.
Robo Rally is a game about carnage! Players control robots on a factory floor. These little guys (the pieces are so cool!) must charge around touching a series of flags in the correct order whilst being pushed along by conveyor belts, rotated by gears and shunted by other robots. All while avoiding laser beams on the board and from other robots and avoiding pit traps!
Movement is controlled by cards dealt randomly to each player at the start of the round, which the players ‘program in’ to their robots. Then each player’s first card is revealed and the results applied simultaneously. This continues for each card in turn. It generally ends up with all the players’ robots being shunted by the other players’ robots, resulting in carefully plotted plans failing terribly. This often has disatsterous, and hilarious, results.
About half of the players in the game had played before, but I find that experience can count for nought in this game due to it’s random nature. Indeed, one experienced player managed to fall off the board several times!
After 2.5 hours we finally had a winner who had succeeded in racing round and touching the three flags. The second place guy had managed to touch two flags, while a whole slew of us only touched the first flag in the whole game!
After the marathon run of Robo Rally we were starting to get hungry. Cue lots of looking at pizza menus and discussing what kebabs were available from the local kebab van.
With everyone sat around munching on various greasy substances I took the opportunity to natter with a couple of people who’d arrived during Robo Rally. Others were again talking and mingling. I noticed a group had freed Letters From Whitechapel from a pile of games and were eyeing it up. I had a suspicion that I knew what game I would be playing next!