WBC After Action Report and Top Centurions
Sneak Peek of WBC Winners

WBC Event Winners
WBC Event Reports

WBC Yearbooks
WBC Event History and Laurels
WBC Event History and Laurels
WBC Medals
WBC Boardmasters


Robo Rally (RRY) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 26, 2016 Icon Key
60 Players Rick Steeves, NC 2016 Status 2017 Status History/Laurels
2016 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

A Lifetime of Rallies

Marc Houde is one of our more dedicated GMs and has been for a long time as you will see below. Not only is he one of the very few who has given me carte blanche to schedule his event whenever it best fits the schedule, but he just plain refuses to miss a year. When his parents 50th Anniversary coincided with the first Seven Springs WBC, I figured we’d lose him for a year. After all, his folks were springing for a free trip to Hawaii for the occasion. Hmmm … hula girls or WBC … tough call. Well, Marc found a way and cut his trip short to make it back for another year of Robo Rally and skeet shooting and alpine slides, etc. Let’s just say the family had a great summer they will long remember.

In 1991 I attended my first game convention, Origins, in Baltimore, MD. My group, all of us being poor college students, found it to be needlessly expensive. In 1992, I attended my first Avaloncon in Camp Hill, PA. I and my friends all found this to be a much more enjoyable event as evidenced by the fact that since then, we have only missed one, in 1995, when we had all moved to different places and could not even scrape together the measly entry fee. I started running RoboRally in 1999 the first year that Avaloncon became WBC. In 2000, I met my beautiful wife Tamara at the RoboRally table. She arrived as part of the Greenville Mafia delegation who, among their many other accomplishments, can boast they had the first ever winner of the RoboRally Tournament.  Back in those days, if we weren't gaming it was because we were eating or sleeping. By the time WBC moved to Lancaster in 2005, we had two children and a much more relaxed gaming attitude. After the first year there, I was already leery of the move, but things seemed to improve dramatically over those first few years. Most of you know what happened thereafter, and it has been discussed ad nauseum elsewhere. Just for the record, I would like to say this year was hands down, the best convention experience I have ever had. 

I suppose that since this is the RoboRally report, I should talk a little about the actual tournament itself. One gratifying thing about this game is every year we have new people at the game demo, and this year was no exception as four or five new players came to learn the rules. I can't remember a year where I taught the game to less than three new players.

Our first heat was in the ballroom, and that went reasonably well, though we did have some who did not realize that the Wednesday session was the (now) annual death match. For those people I will reiterate (though it was in the game preview), the Special game, usually Death Match, occurs on Wacky Wednesday, if there is a Wednesday heat, or Heat 2 if there is not. 

Heats 2 and 3 took place in the Rathskeller room. This was an awesome space for the event, but hard to find for many people. We delayed the start of Heat 2 slightly to accommodate latecomers. Next year we will bring signs to help direct people to the appropriate areas.
Our semifinal was scheduled for the Chestnut room, but Tin Goose drew a larger crowd than expected and was using all the tables in the room. Fortunately, Convention Director Elect Ken Gutermuth was on-hand to suggest we use the Alpine Room instead. This was another out of the way, but very nice space for our needs. As we had checked on this in plenty of time, I was able to await my semifinalists at the bottom of the stairs and save them the walk to Chestnut. Kudos to all of them for arriving well in advance. We may have even gotten started a few minutes early because of that. The highlight of the semifinals was that seven-time champion Brad Johnson earned the Kaarin Engelmann Memorial Crash and Burn Award and player aid, by being the first player eliminated. 

The Final was ultimately held in the Chestnut room, (though certain individuals who will remain nameless (Ewan McNay) updated the note left on the board for the semi's to indicate otherwise. ) Fortunately, all of the players who made it this far were wise to his shenanigans. He was rewarded for his treachery on the approach to Flag 1 when he decided not to shut down, because it looked like someone else might push him onto the flag. This plan was foiled however when another robot moved  behind the robot that was already on the flag. 

   I have to say that the new champion, Rick Steeves' love for this game is greater than any I have seen previously, to the point where I saw him playing it several times in open gaming, as well as coming to all three heats. He has also brought with him several fan boards that he had printed out, that were very cool looking, though I would be reluctant to use them in a tournament game due to the time factor. (Though I am considering creating my own boards for a future Final) 

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
Ashley Worley, bg Mark Geary, OH Andrew George, NY Ewan McNay, NY Carl Sykes, NC
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Aidan McNay, Andrew Emerick, Curt Collins, Tamara Houde, Tom McCorry and Rob Flowers all found the Rathskeller for a heat.
GM Marc Houde resplendent in his genuine new Hamaiian shirt oversees his finalists.
GM  Marc F. Houde [18th Year]  113 Lee St., Front Royal, VA 22630 
 houdem@gmail.com  NA