Match Report 16th August

With the summer hols in full swing and with all the many things going on in our busy lives the numbers attending Monday night fluctuated throughout the day. With two hours to go, the potential 11 came down to 6, before finally finishing with 7.

Apologies were received from Malcolm who has escaped to Northern Ireland, Helene and Josh with other commitments, and Pauline and Natalie needing to spend some playtime with Darcy (the wild beastie shown in previous photos) in order to ensure they got a peaceful nights sleep; sadly this meant they were not able to bring along the toffee and pecan cup cakes they had made!

We welcomed a new face to the evening session in the form of Liza, plus regulars Crispin, Ian, Daniella, and the less regular Joe and Alex.

RoboRally (Age 12+, 2-8 players, 120 min playing time)
The players taking a moment out to consider the chaos on the game board
Back by very popular demand this amazing Board Game was the requested game from at least three of the evening’s attendees. We started this game (it doesn’t seriously disadvantage late arrivals) without Alex and Joe, meaning we had 5 little robots all competing to get to the
first marker flag and trying to get to the central isle of the board whilst trying to avoid those blasted conveyer belts, fixed lasers and gears, not to mention each other.

Both Daniella and Liza had malfunctions on the programming front meaning that they spent the first couple of rounds going largely round in circles and not moving very far from their starting positions.

With the luck of the cards and determination that I would not allow myself to fall foul of the disasters I had encountered in my two previous attempts at this game I took an early lead and made it to within one space of the first flag in record time. Unfortunately, as is the way of this game my luck and programming ability then deserted me and I spent a couple of turns trying to actually achieve the last step onto the flag; turning left and then right, then left again then right again, doing u-turns and then more of the same- argh!

Crispin showing signs of stress or is he just playing up to the camera?
Behind me the other players little robots where taking quite a lot of fire from the various lasers on the course with both Crispin and Ian suffering (oh dear I hear you cry). With Liza and Daniella struggling to even get their robots into the race, when Alex arrived both of the lady’s robots were clearly within sight and he soon passed them. Not surprisingly Ian was first to reach the first flag (he claims his ability at this game is because of his engineering background) but at the expense of a life as he took fire from anybody and everybody – you naughty people

At this point Joe arrived, only an hour late (he knew he was supposed to be somewhere but had forgotten where!) but he was soon well into the game. He found himself very quickly on the other side of the course, having overshot the marker flag but he did manage to avoid the embarrassment of going off the edge of the circuit and so into the pits that mean certain death for a robot.

The Chaos around the first marker flag with robots heading in every direction!
Alex had by now become intimately acquainted with a conveyer belt (in much the same way as I had in my first game) and although he left it from time to time he never seemed to go very far from it and found himself going round and round and round and round………. Meanwhile Daniella was into the race but taking fire from every side and although she made it to the first marker flag she then had to Power Down on the flag itself, a brave and generally ill-advised move as it is preferable to do this as far away as possible from the other players and the havoc they can wreak.

As the play continued both Crispin and I had to power down, Joe I think picked up the first flag as he rushed back to his starting point, again overshooting the second flag. However, for regular followers of this blog and the match reports it will come as no surprise that Ian, having recovered from loosing his first life, quickly made it to the second flag and ultimately the third thus winning his third game of RoboRally  and indeed EVERY game of it we have played – well done or maybe that should be boo hiss.

Players having a laugh as Ian's robot comes within sight of the last flag
All agreed what a crazy, irritating and very funny board game this is. It leaves you reeling in frustration at your own inability to execute the simplest of plans, howling in disbelief as others knock you off your planned course and aching with laughter as various mishaps befall the other players. This has to be the funniest board game we have yet played and despite some feeling the need for counselling at the end of it, everybody wants to play it again.

Saboteur (Age 8+, 3- 10 players, 30 min playing time)
Players around Saboteur trying to work out if Ian is a Saboteur again!
With the customary break for drinks and choccie biscuits and now joined by Gwen we settled into another of the groups new favourite games - Saboteur. This might be the first time we have played it with 8 players and the speed of the game means that Saboteurs have to play a good game if they are to beat the mining onslaught of the good guys with this number of players. The first two rounds saw the Gold Diggers make it to the gold with Joe leading the way and then Crispin. Crispin it was noted became increasingly paranoid about whom the saboteurs were, accusing all and sundry irrespective of any evidence on which to base his accusations – this could have been the absence of cakes, too much caffeine or, as some kind soul suggested, age.

Saboteur cards laid out and getting very close to the gold, but will the Saboteurs strike?!
The last round went to the Saboteurs and when the gold was counted Joe’s 8 won the day, closely followed by Ian with 7. The big surprise of the evening was that in 2 of the rounds Ian was a good guy, having shown a marked talent to date for selecting the role of Saboteur despite it being a blind selection process; in fact when he played cards that would clearly make it obvious that anyone else was a good guy most of us were sat there wondering what new devious tactic he had come up with!

A great evening’s gaming rounded off with a lively conversation on schools and discipline, made especially interesting by the presence of two sixth form pupils from St Gregory’s Tunbridge Wells.

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