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Old 01-04-2018, 05:59 PM   #1
Magesmiley
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Default Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

I'm getting ready to run my annual Car Wars tournament at OrcaCon in a few weeks, and I thought that I'd run the design I'm using for the initial rounds by people here for comments.

The "qualifier" games all use the same vehicle (with up to 8 players) in the KEAR Coliseum (Warrior Stadium).

2068 OrcaCon Avenger -- Compact, Heavy chassis, Heavy suspension, Large power plant, 4 Solid Radial tires, Driver w/TC and BA and PFE, Light Laser in Turret, Recoilless Rifle Front w/10 shots HEAT, Plastic Armor: F22, L17, R17, B17, T16, U4, Gear Allocation: [72 lbs. @ Accel 5/Top Speed 117.5], Acceleration 10, Top Speed 120, HC 4, 3998 lbs., $16834

Obviously, this isn't the nastiest or best design that can be had for the budget. That's not the intent. The intent is to have a vehicle which gives players a good taste of the game, minimizes the rules needed to know/explain, gives the players options on what to do, and which still gets the game done in a timely fashion.

That's a big list. I've been using variations on this design for a few years, with this being the latest version (the big changes from the last event were moving the car back to 2/3 DM, changing from SB PRs to solid radials, and dropping a few points armor).

I wanted to see what everyone else's thoughts were. Please keep in mind the goals and that this is often being given to players who have never played Car Wars before.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:39 PM   #2
Blue Ghost
 
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Default Re: Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

Where is Orcacon?
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:58 PM   #3
Magesmiley
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Default Re: Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Where is Orcacon?
Bellevue, Washington this year. (About a 20 minute drive east of Seattle.) The event is listed in the MiB Demo Events board.

The folks at OrcaCon have been very supportive of the Car Wars tournament I might add - it had a large table right by the main ballroom entrance all day on Saturday last year, and it looks like it'll get the same this year too.

But this thread is mainly about feedback and suggestions for the design I'm using. :)
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:09 PM   #4
LokRobster
 
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Default Re: Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

I think its a great design for your target.

The turret will let there almost always something to shoot. The armor is strong enough that one round of lucky hits will still let the car survive, but on on average 3 rounds of hits on the same side by the RR, damage will start going internal.
No dropped weapons means less to track, acceleration and HC are high enough to keep things moving.

Should be a good beginning and intro to CW in a con setting.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:08 PM   #5
ckosacranoid
 
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Default Re: Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

very basic and somes with a turret and a front gun. seems to be the right mix if nothing else.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:18 AM   #6
Lindmark71
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Default Re: Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

Feedback:
Accel 10 is great. It makes movement easier. HTMs are an easier way to achieve that.

Having two different weapon systems leads to less than the full capability of the car to be used.

Staying away from dropped weapons for demo games is a good call. It helps to simplify the game.

Suggestions:
Add HTMs
Upgrade chassis
Add armor

Have a great time.

Drive offensively

Curt
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:57 AM   #7
TheAmishStig
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Default Re: Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

I'm still fiddling with my D4con design...how long do you expect those preliminary rounds to last? That's still my biggest struggle...striking that balance between 'tough enough to not be chumped before Turn 1 Phase 2, but not so tough they're trading blows for 3 hours before the first kill'.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:50 AM   #8
juris
 
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Default Re: Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

Agree. HT motors are too fiddly for beginners. Id just add that there should be a non combat way to win - like hitting a big bouncing ball 3 times - to encourage speed (and vaulting - everyone loves a good vault) :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LokRobster View Post
I think its a great design for your target.

The turret will let there almost always something to shoot. The armor is strong enough that one round of lucky hits will still let the car survive, but on on average 3 rounds of hits on the same side by the RR, damage will start going internal.
No dropped weapons means less to track, acceleration and HC are high enough to keep things moving.

Should be a good beginning and intro to CW in a con setting.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:52 AM   #9
Magesmiley
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Default Re: Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

Thanks for the comments - it helps keep me thinking about ways to make things better. Keep them coming. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindmark71 View Post
Feedback:
Accel 10 is great. It makes movement easier. HTMs are an easier way to achieve that.

Having two different weapon systems leads to less than the full capability of the car to be used.

Staying away from dropped weapons for demo games is a good call. It helps to simplify the game.

Suggestions:
Add HTMs
Upgrade chassis
Add armor

Have a great time.

Drive offensively

Curt
I'm actually deliberately making the cars less than optimal. In part to streamline fiddly things to deal with and in part to make them able to sustain a few hits, but not too many. HTMs are in the fiddly category.

As others have commented, while the split of weapons makes it less than optimal, it does give the players something to do all the time, while giving them a meaningful choice (accuracy vs. damage, plus a need to line up front shots).

I've stuck to 1d and 2d weapons to cut down on the number of dice being rolled, with armor being scaled to match the number of dice. I've tinkered with dropping the HEAT ammo too in prior games, but I've found it makes a better choice for players

I've also deliberately dropped the weight down to 2/3 DM. While it adds complexity, it reduces the problem I ran into with too fast kills due to rams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmishStig View Post
I'm still fiddling with my D4con design...how long do you expect those preliminary rounds to last? That's still my biggest struggle...striking that balance between 'tough enough to not be chumped before Turn 1 Phase 2, but not so tough they're trading blows for 3 hours before the first kill'.
The rounds are timeboxed to 2 hours, plus another 15 minutes or so if I need it. And that includes a 10-12 minute rules intro. I do introduce some of the rules as the game progresses and they are needed, but the core ones - moving, firing, handling, I introduce up front.

The victory conditions I lay out are:

Survivor with the most kills, with the tiebreaker for most kills being the earliest kill. (I've got additional ones, but it gets kind of convoluted to deal with some corner cases like everyone gets wiped out).

This makes it clear who the victor is when time runs out. This puts some time pressure on the players and tends to make them go after each other a bit quicker. It's also pretty close to the classic Car Wars victory conditions. And players seem to like blowing each other up.

I start the cars at 40 mph. This seems to be the best compromise I've found for getting the cars together quicker and it also helps illustrate how the phases work (as they move in most, but not all phases, and someone almost always gets up to sixty in a couple of turns, showing multiple moves).

There are a lot of little things I do to keep the gameplay moving as fast as I can - even little things like keeping the number of dice down, using a 10 acceleration to minimize half moves, no dropped weapons to cut down on rules (even though they look pretty).

A some big things you can do as a referee:
  • Know your targeting modifiers.
  • Know your collision procedures.
  • Know how to apply crash table results (and do them for players)

Knowing these things (and keeping the first to a minimum) takes a bunch of the heavier parts of the rules off of the players.


Some other info on the event for those who are curious:

I run the event on a single day. I have 4 qualifier games that use this vehicle, which can run up to 8 players. The top 2 get to progress to the final (a 5th game featuring custom vehicles that runs in a 4.5 hour time block). The smallest number I've seen in a qualifier game over the last 2-3 years is 5, with 8 being the most common number.

Yes, that does mean the number of Car Wars players it sounds like - my tournament at Dragonflight last August had a higher number of participants than the Catan tournament (which even was a National Qualifier with a trip). Nearly twice as many seats filled. We'll see if I can manage that again at OrcaCon - I'm crossing my fingers.

Make it pretty with a solid set of core rules and they will play.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:54 AM   #10
kjamma4
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicagoland Area, Illinois
Default Re: Starter Car (for OrcaCon)

The nice thing about your design is that it gives a good flavor of what CW is all about and at the same things not overwhelming them.

As noted, dropped weapons can be saved for later but the targeting computer allows them to put the targeting mods to use and I also like that there are two weapons to choose from.

I always like handouts in the new games I play so I feel more involved instead of having the GM do all the work.

Sounds like it will be a good time.
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