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Subject: Our first RAMbots session rss

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Marcin S
Poland
Warszawa
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Background
Last weekend I finally managed to get one of pyramid games to the table - and it was one that I had wanted to try for a very long time: RAMbots.

Preparations
The crowd: me, my wife, and our two gaming friends. We met at their place, but I had everything needed with me: the pyramids (five Treehouse stashes), one board (borrowed from Taifho, a.k.a. GAMEID=[29858]), four player screens (the file is available here), and one copy of Playing With Pyramids.
Of course, I had read the rules a few times before, but explaining them to the others - now that's a different story! It took me a few minutes, but finally everyone seemed to get it. Anyway - I was hoping one or two turns would clear some of their doubts.

Gameplay
The programming phase went rather well. But in the execution phase there were some "surprises": one player forgot that the first "movement point" is spent on rotation. Also, the others were quite surprised by the "asynchronous" sequence. They were expecting that everyone's first instructions will be run first (in priority sequence), then everyone's second instructions, and so on. I did not fully describe it to them beforehand - I thought it would not matter in the first turn anyway.
After the second turn all but one player seemed to have grasped the idea. The programs went well (with an increasing amount of sneakiness, outrunning the others, attacking etc.). We RAMmed each other, stole beacons standing just in front of another player, spoilt each other's plans.

Results
The best in manoeuvering in this mess (and, consequently, the winner) was my pal. He got all four beacons even though he had lost 2-3 precious instructions in the previous execution phase.
One of the best things was that afterwards he told me: "Wow, I've not had so much fun with any boardgame for a long time! It felt like actual programming!". And he's quite a picky fella (and used to be a programmer too)! I know we will be playing it again.

Conclusions
Oh, and in case you're wondering if it's worht trying: if you have some spare pyramids lying around, GO FOR IT! This game is a lot of fun. A bit crazy perhaps, a bit unpredictable, but very enjoyable. One warning - it is much easier to grasp for folks with some science background (e.g. math) than for those more art/literature/linguistics/psychology oriented.
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