Today was a very interesting day in the BotCave. The hardware guys were continually attempting to create a robot arm that would be able to hit things. Liam and Benjin put their coding time to good use by attempting to write code for a bot that looks like a chicken.
Halfway through, we all headed upstairs to play a robot game called Roborally. Somewhat similar to our goals in actual Botball, we each had a tiny robot figure that needed to get somewhere. With a series of direction cards, we each set out to “write a program” for our robot. Once we each had a written program, it couldn’t be changed. When the moves were actually put into play on the board, though, the other robots provided uncalculated obstacles, and so-called “genius” plans were quickly ruined. Robots could push each other out of the way, messing up carefully calculated pathways and typically leading to plenty of robot death and destruction.
The conveyor belts and rotation pieces that were provided by the board added another touch of difficulty, and robot programs had to be skillfully premeditated with all of the board’s characteristics in mind. There were also some Holes of Death, which robots were known to drop into and were never seen again. The board also had a few lucky wrench spaces that could bring the player’s bot back to a damage-free state.
The greatest source of robot death was definitely the LASERS. After each move, if someone else’s robot was facing yours, and there were no walls in the way… you got zapped. I’m pretty sure Tim noticed this, after he got shot by three people at once during one turn, and then nonviolent Hannah continued to shoot him until he was forced to power down in a last attempt to survive. It failed. He died anyway… then died again.
Everyone was shooting each other and a robot massacre was imminent, but somehow Liam avoided the fray and reached the first flag with only one damage counter. Chris found himself trapped in the Robot Rotisserie for a series of turns… he was rotating against a wall while trapped in the path of a laser that was preset by the board. At the end of the round, I, too, was unlucky enough to get a bit singed, but the game ended before my robot was completely annihilated.
Oh, by the way, I lost the game.