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Subject: What do you think of this map? rss

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Gregory Wong
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San Jose
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I'm going to GM a game of RoboRally at a con. I'll be using the Wizards of the Coast rules including virtual robots. The timer rule from the AH version will be used starting with the 4th turn. The available time will be about 3.5 hours. Its a 4 hour time slot, but I'll subtract off a half hour for rules explanation and cleanup.

One feature of this course is that each flag will have something unique about it.

Board layout consists of 4 boards in a row:

A B C D

A = Flood Zone
B = Cannery Row
C = Exchange
D = Machine Shop

Robots begin on a single wrench square on board C, Exchange.

Flag 1: Located on a 2,4-Flamer on board D, Machine Shop.

Flag 2: Located between the two conveyors on board B, Cannery Row. As per the "Scavenger Hunt II" variant listed in Armed and Dangerous, a number of option cards equal to the number of players is dealt face-up and placed near the board. The first player to touch Flag 2 in sequence, gets an option card from the stack as selected by the player to his left. The second player to touch Flag 2 in sequence, gets an option card from those remaining, etc.

Flag 3: Located on the conveyor loop of board D, Machine Shop. The flag moves along the conveyor.

Flag 4: Located on a dry square near the center of board A, Flood Zone.

Flag 5: Located near the center of board C, Exchange.

What do you think?
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Depends on how many players you have. I personally don't even break out a second board until I have more than 4 players. Each board introduces different elements, and the temptation to use several is great, but the more you add, the more spread out the robots can get, which kinda takes away opportunities for the players/bots to interact and mess each other up with lasers and upgrades.

You have a lot of back and forth action between the four boards, so it's kind of like a robotic shuttle run with weapons. The board choices and flag placements look great though!
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Berthold Nüchter
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I would not use more than two boards.
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Kevin Riddle

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Berthold wrote:
I would not use more than two boards.


I agree, 2 boards would be better and you could possibly get in 2 games to allow more players to enjoy the game if you finish early

more bot interaction is better than showcasing the great boards that come with this game
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Berthold Nüchter
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scout13 wrote:
I agree, 2 boards would be better and you could possibly get in 2 games to allow more players to enjoy the game if you finish early

more bot interaction is better than showcasing the great boards that come with this game

That's exactly what I think. One or two games of 60-90 min should be fun for everybody, a game of 3 hours can drag, especially if players fall behind.
I suggest that you download the rulebook of the 2005 edition. It contains many good courses of different difficulty levels and length and for different numbers of players. You could choose one of these courses or let them inspire you.
 
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Randall Bart
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Berthold wrote:
I suggest that you download the rulebook of the 2005 edition. It contains many good courses of different difficulty levels and length and for different numbers of players.

Beware! Many of the suggested courses have hideously unbalanced starts. Make sure the paths from the starting blocks to the first flag are comparable.
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Berthold Nüchter
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I think he will play by the rules of 1st and 2nd edition. All robots start as virtual robots.
 
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Gregory Wong
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Berthold wrote:
...
I suggest that you download the rulebook of the 2005 edition. It contains many good courses of different difficulty levels and length and for different numbers of players. You could choose one of these courses or let them inspire you.


I already have a copy of the AH game, but I'm using the Wizards of the Coast rules instead. And the courses in the AH game have already inspired this map. The idea of a moving flag on a conveyor and the idea of putting the flag in a flamer square, I got from the AH courses. The Scavenger Hunt II flag where you pick up an option selected by the player to your left, I took from Armed and Dangerous.

Having the robots shuttling back forth across the same boards is there to increase robot interaction. You have to double-back and re-double-back into the teeth of the trailing robots.
 
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Luke Stirling
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saxophone wrote:
Having the robots shuttling back forth across the same boards is there to increase robot interaction. You have to double-back and re-double-back into the teeth of the trailing robots.

Doubling back can definitely help to keep the interactions up, but it's still a massive challenge to keep a game spanning four boards interesting.
 
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Gregory Wong
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The consensus here seems to be in favor of shorter games on fewer boards.

I've e-mailed the convention's boardgame coordinator to find out if I'm allowed to run two shorter games during the 4 hour time slot.

If so, then I'll take my original idea and break it down into two games like so...

Game 1 Board

A B

Board A: Exchange
Board B: Machine Shop

Robots start on a wrench square on Board A, Exchange.

Flag #1 is on a 2,4-Flamer on Board B, Machine Shop.
Flag #2 is near the edge of Board A away from Board B.
Flag #3 is on the conveyor belt loop on Board B.

Should I put a 4th Flag back on Board A or end it after Flag #3?

Game 2 Board

C D

Board C: Cannery Row
Board D: Flood Zone

Robots start on a wrench square on Board C, Cannery Row near the border with Board D.

Flag #1 is on the other side of Board C away from Board D. This flag will have the Option cards associated with it (see original posting).
Flag #2 is on a dry square on Board D, Flood Zone.
Flag #3 is on Board C.
 
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Me, sin? Pf! Nah! Chill
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Looks like a great game to me! But it will likely last longer than three and a half hours, depending on how many players you have, and how experienced they are. Up to four experienced players (possibly as many as 6?) *might* be able to finish this game in 3.5 hours. Eight newbies - no way. Personally, I love long, marathon games of RoboRally! But if you want to make the game a bit shorter, you might consider arranging the boards in a T:

CR Ex MS
___FZ

And I'd advise against putting a flag in a flamer space. I've tried it before. It may not seem like it, but it makes it a lot harder than you think it will.
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