Another look at Paying Attention

In a previous blog I wrote about how not paying attention in WoW could lead to your group all dying during a particular boss fight.  However, in WoW, there are always signals that out, warning you what is to come so then you can respond appropriately.  However, in a game like RoboRally, you need to pay attention to everything going on, because elements on the board will affect your robot and help dictate what happens to them.

This is the full game board for the last RoboRally game I played.  After 90  minutes, I was still in the upper left corner...the starting board.
This is the full game board for the last RoboRally game I played. After 90 minutes, I was still in the upper left corner…the starting board.

All the available boards for RoboRally are different in their layouts, but they all will throw you curveball after curveball as you try to navigate them.  Some elements push your robot forward, others send them back, some will rotate your robot, while others push you into pits.  You have to pay attention to all the belts, lasers, smashers, pits, and, of course, other player’s robots.  You are, essentially, at the mercy of everything else that is going on with the board, and thus, without the proper concentration, you will spend the large amount of time on the starting board not really going anywhere.

You must understand all aspects of the game in order to navigate it effectively.  While you do get dealt nine cards at the start of the round, you only get to keep five of them, and those five are all played one by one.  So, it is very easy to get completely lost if you didn’t factor in the board elements.  One misstep could send you down a pit, and thus to the start of the game (or your last waypoint).  After every card you play, the board elements, those appropriate, will trigger and do their thing.  So, even though you may have only played a move forward 1, the board elements might send you another two spaces forward.

This is perhaps the most confusing board I have ever seen in a RoboRally game.
This is perhaps the most confusing board I have ever seen in a RoboRally game.

This messes most people up, per my experience, as they do not always consider what the board is going to do in between their cards.  Another difficult aspect are the rotating board elements and cards.  It is very easy to completely lose track of which way your robot is facing.  Since you can only move forward (or backwards), many people accidentally line themselves up with a pit and instead of moving around it, they inadvertently rotate towards it and them step right out over the void.

Then there are the other players’ robots.  If one happens to be facing you, they will shoot you; they have no choice.  Any damage you take affects the amount of cards you are dealt, so it is very important to pay attention to where all the other robots are.  This is especially important if you happen to be close to another robot.  When this happens, you need to pay very close attention to how they are moving because they can move you.  If you are touching another robot, if their movement card has a higher number, they will go first, and that can end up moving your robot over.  Having this happen once will completely ruin your planned route.

This is my robot, Hulk X90, the last time I played RoboRally.  As you can see, I have 4 damage and thus only get 5 cards to plan my route.
This is my robot, Hulk X90, the last time I played RoboRally. As you can see, I have 4 damage and thus only get 5 cards to plan my route.

It is really quite frustrating when this happens.  Last time I played this game, I ended up getting stuck in the starting area for around four turns due to getting pushed by a couple players’ robots.  I had the perfect route all planned out where I could get a nice jump on everyone, but a simple shift of one square to the left made my entire plan worthless.  I was not paying attention to the routes available to the others and thus we all ended up trying for the same one.

Similar to WoW, RoboRally requires you to dedicate a good portion of your attention to the board and what is going on.  Unlike WoW, when I trigger happens, you cannot adjust your route, but instead need to suffer the consequences.  If you want to train your brain to pay attention and WoW is not your thing, check out RoboRally.

Have you ever played RoboRally?  What are your thoughts on it?  Please leave a comment below and/or share on Twitter.

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