Brad again ...
Another big turnout for Robo Rally
... so what else is new?
These bots are starting to look a
Another year, another - wait I actually won a game? How did
that happen? Despite a poor start in the second heat, and the
near miraculous luck of Henry Pfeiffer, who with only three cards
to program managed to touch Flag 2 despite, or perhaps because
of, being interfered with by two other robots on the same turn,
I managed with consummate skill to not only catch, but surpass
the leaders on the very last hand of the game. Surely this was
to be the year of the GM. Perhaps I would even play in
the Final instead of just taking notes on the outcome.
I came out strong in the semi-final taking an early lead by
virtue of spending the first five turns as a virtual bot. The
last register phase of each of the first four turns found my
bot sharing a space with Josh Githen's bot - a distinct benefit
to both players as neither needed to worry about the actions
of the other players. I managed to continue this trend
another turn without Josh's help, then the trouble began, and
by the end of the game I was back in fourth (or fifth) place.
Fortunately this game is almost as much fun to watch as it is
to play. Unfortunately, Josh came by at the last minute to drop
out of the Final as he had apparently made the Final in some
other race game, for which he was allegedly earning team points,
so we started our Final with only five players, the fewest we've
ever had. The realization of this has caused me to start considering
strategies for choosing alternates for next year's Final.
Brad Johnson gave the lie to his frequent insistence that
he's really 'not that good' by handily winning his sixth title,
then running off and leaving behind a book, coffee mug,
and pop-tart. The pop-tart I ate, but the book and coffee mug
await the annual unpacking of the convention boxes after which
they will be mailed out. Last year this happened in June,
so I make no promises about promptitude. Meanwhile, Robo
Rally remains a Brad lake dominated by one player that the
rest of us may visit from time to time, but no one dare contemplate
taking up residence. So ends another year of Roborally,
and for the second year running I have failed to bother with
the copious notes of the doings in the Final. Perhaps next year
I will return the format of detailed action, counting out the
fact that Brad won the game despite having to shutdown three
times, or that the race for third was so much more intense than
that for first, or perhaps not.
GM Marc Houde checks out his perpetual
champion in the Final ...
... as Jeff Finkeldey, Bill Navolis
and Curt Collins vie for second place.