Pondering the past and future ...
Another big turnout for Robo Rally
... so what else is new?
Ralph Gleaton (right) and Tamara Houde
at the non-Greenville table.
year, another Sunday spent watching the Final from the sidelines.
I've only made it once in nine years, so I guess it's really
a tradition now. My wife's made it twice, and she didn't
even attend the first WBC. I mean, I program for a living , I
have a Masters in electrical engineering, with a specialty in
robotics, what more can I do? Possibly the requirement that you
know left from right is what's holding me back. Perhaps I should
adopt the Kaarin Engelmann method of writing a large L and R
on the palms of her hands. Of course, I'd probably have to get
the wife to make sure I put them on the correct hands.
Despite my woes, and the fact that Brad Johnson acquired his
fifth championship plaque, it was a good year for RoboRally.
We let the Greenville Mafia have their own table in the first
heat, except for Ralph Gleaton and my wife ( yes, I'm a Mafia
spouse ) who play this for their team game ( and were more than
happy not to have to try to wade through that bloodthirsty bunch).
As it turned out, Ralph was the only member of the Mafia to make
the Final this year.
The Final had a host of their own scrap-making as 18 of 24
robots were destroyed over the 25 turns of the game. There were
also a few more options in this game than in the past (eight
to be exact) at least partly because of the modified rule system
used this year. The board setup had one of the boards from the
new edition. On these boards, the double wrenches have been replaced
by a crossed wrench and hammer. Instead of having to choose between
repairing two points and collecting an option as with the double
wrench, a player who stops on the wrench/hammer repairs one point
AND gets an option.. Unfortunately for the rest of the table
Brad, who, as far as I know has never pulled an option before
at the tournament, ended up pulling three, the first of which
was the mechanical arm. which can be a huge advantage to a skilled
player ( and I've not seen a better player as evidenced by the
number of times he has won the tournament ).
This year's setup included four crossings of the cannery and
despite some minor difficulties there resulting from interference
by other players, Brad was able to finish well ahead of the remaining
players on Turn 20. Five turns later our time was up and the
nearest player of the three remaining players ( Craig Trader
and Reiko Brooks lost their last robots on Turns 23 and 24 respectively
) was James Kendrick who needed two turns (7 cards) with an optimal
hand to make it to the last flag, Ralph was actually physically
closer to the flag, but with three locked registers he needed
to shut down before he could get the cards he'd need to finish.
Brad Davis scored a moral victory by managing to reach the second
to last flag on the last turn. Thus ended another fun year in
Lancaster and I look forward to trying again next year, and possibly,
maybe needing one of my three assistants for the Final.