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Session Report

Date: 15th July 2005
Game played: Mac Robber ( Queen ) BGG Id: 16500

After Palazzo, I decided to try this newish game from Queen, which has had a bit of a slating in a number of circles. Consequently, I wasn't expecting too much from it but, afterwards, I thought the negative press was a little harsh.

Mac Robber is all about the rivalry between the Scottish clans and their fight to be recognised as the mightiest throughout the Highlands. Over a number of rounds, players are trying to obtain VPs through having superiority in various areas of contention (i.e. most cubes of each colour in play). Each round, players have three things to do: Firstly they draw six cubes at random; these can then be used to perform two actions (which are basically options on placing cubes in the various regions of the board). As you can only use up to four of the cubes for your own actions, any remaining cubes can be used by the following players in turn to help their position. Finally, the player can choose either to attack another player (which involves three rounds of a fight card duel with the winner gaining VPs, and removing cubes from a losing defender if the attaker wins) or exchanging fight cards with the draw deck. At the end of the round scoring takes place and, once a player has amassed 30 or more points, the game ends on revealing an estate tile valued lower than the VP total of the leading player - most VPs wins.

The game wasn't that bad: It has a bit of a building momentum to it as players' cube holdings increase, but there is a potential runaway leader problem. I certainly found myself in a position halfway through the game where there was no way I was able to catch up (through a couple of poor mistakes on my part, I might add). Nige seemed to have a very strong position and, although both John and Mark G kept in pretty close contention, Nige always seemed to be ahead by enough not to be in trouble. The game has a strong "Take that" feel to it, as raids are commonplace - being one of the key ways to gain VPs. The card battles are pretty much a lottery though, as you have no way of knowing if your opponent is drawing good or bad cards, although one or two card exchanges can give the impression of getting a stronger hand.

Mark G

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