Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Board and Card Games > Car Wars

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-04-2016, 03:27 PM   #1
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Cycle Pack Attack

My CW campaign has sloooooowly been grinding onwards and it has reached a point where I need to throw in another encounter.

My players have a flatbed big rig, but now they have a decent tractor unit with a pair of lasers (rather than a single VMG). They also have 2 support vehicles, a light trike with MMLs that was supposed to be the front man plus a salvaged midsized with front mounted blast cannon and not much else.

I think it is high time we finally had the classic engagement with a cycle pack attack. I don't expect any cycle to last long, so I think they will have to be plentiful (and psychotic).

Any suggestions on how this can be turned into a slightly plausible scenario that has some challenge (rather than a turkey shoot). The biker have to have some chance of getting at least some salvage or else why would they bother?
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 04:48 PM   #2
Nikas_Zekeval
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Peoria, IL
Default Re: Cycle Pack Attack

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
My CW campaign has sloooooowly been grinding onwards and it has reached a point where I need to throw in another encounter.

My players have a flatbed big rig, but now they have a decent tractor unit with a pair of lasers (rather than a single VMG). They also have 2 support vehicles, a light trike with MMLs that was supposed to be the front man plus a salvaged midsized with front mounted blast cannon and not much else.

I think it is high time we finally had the classic engagement with a cycle pack attack. I don't expect any cycle to last long, so I think they will have to be plentiful (and psychotic).

Any suggestions on how this can be turned into a slightly plausible scenario that has some challenge (rather than a turkey shoot). The biker have to have some chance of getting at least some salvage or else why would they bother?
IIRC ADQ had an article that covered this, including intelligent tactics for the whole of the biker gang. Not every 'member', one suggestion I recall was to use some cheap bikes and wanna be members and/or hanger ons as a distraction attack of the type the players might be expecting. Sell it as an initiation test.

Another tactic I recall to possibly be combined with the above is too use the cycles gang as dragoons, where the cycle is transport to an ambush site just off the road, say right before a turn.

Last edited by Nikas_Zekeval; 07-04-2016 at 04:59 PM.
Nikas_Zekeval is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2016, 05:52 PM   #3
ammulder
 
ammulder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Philadelphia Area
Default Re: Cycle Pack Attack

I've never actually run such a game... But wouldn't you think the cycles would want to take out the front two tires of the cab? There's only so much armor they can take (as opposed to the rest of the locations), and taking them out should preserve the cargo and salvage value of the entire rig. If you can chase off the rig's crew, you can even just relocate some of the other tires and drive the whole thing away.

On the down side, it doesn't actually disable the weapons on the rig, so you're taking the chance on finding some angle of approach that doesn't turn you into hamburger while the rig's crew attempts to change tires themselves.

Anyway, I can't help but think that if I was a cycle gang, I'd go with some combination of pre-placed dropped weapons, lead cycles with dropped weapons, and enough shooty bits to make a credible threat to a stationary rig.

And if it doesn't work out, well, there are always more initiates around to revise the plan with. :)
ammulder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2016, 02:36 AM   #4
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Cycle Pack Attack

My initial premise was that this is an initiation test for prospects.

They are allowed to formulate their own plan (accepting guidance from older heads if they wish) but they had to drive it forward themselves.

I am assuming that the bikes list value is <25K each (the actual cost will be lower as they will be using a lot of salvage).

I am allowing each bike to carry 1 pillion passenger to allow for dragoon support. Those dragoon are going to be prospects that cannot even ride bikes (but they may have useful car driving, trucking, mechanic or medical skills - at level 0). They will need to have Handgunner to even become a dragoon prospect, but will likely be Handgunner 1. They will have at best a shotgun or rifle and maybe some damaged body armour (these are the truely desperate). Their primary role will be to target dismounts and stationary tires to discourage the target stopping for salvage. They will rely on concealment for protection.

There is a band of vets with heavy vehicles and pickups ready in the wings to salvage, but they will not extract the attackers (but might ferry home any prospects that get away).
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2016, 06:53 AM   #5
ak_aramis
 
ak_aramis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alsea, OR
Default Re: Cycle Pack Attack

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
My CW campaign has sloooooowly been grinding onwards and it has reached a point where I need to throw in another encounter.

My players have a flatbed big rig, but now they have a decent tractor unit with a pair of lasers (rather than a single VMG). They also have 2 support vehicles, a light trike with MMLs that was supposed to be the front man plus a salvaged midsized with front mounted blast cannon and not much else.

I think it is high time we finally had the classic engagement with a cycle pack attack. I don't expect any cycle to last long, so I think they will have to be plentiful (and psychotic).

Any suggestions on how this can be turned into a slightly plausible scenario that has some challenge (rather than a turkey shoot). The biker have to have some chance of getting at least some salvage or else why would they bother?
1) cycle gangs rely on allies in town for intel.

2) There are lots of different things to salvage. Eliminate the tires and back off, and the whole rig's salvageable. Take out the engine only, and salvage the tires (Probably get $10 apiece used). The cargo is the most likely thing to nab.

3) remember that boarding to kill the driver is an option.

4) Gangs may offer to go away for a fee.

5) the preferred method is the toll booth...
ak_aramis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2016, 07:06 AM   #6
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Cycle Pack Attack

I am disinclined to have a road littering approach. To really stop the truck you will need to remove wheels, not just tires and that means mines (which in turn means mine droppers - the road is sufficiently busy that they could not be laid by hand in time). Mines are wholly passive and can be relatively easily avoided unless the whole 3 lane highway is coated. That represents a significant investment. If the fight goes badly you may not be able to collect them back up again. There is also the risk that in placing sufficient mines to take off a solid truck tire you are very likely to penetrate underbody armour with all the random internal damage that can cause (reducing your salvage).

You might turn a better profit by taking out an escort and encouraging the rest of the convoy to abandon it. If the truck is stopped then they will fight to the death. I doubt the players would be dim enough to get out of the truck to change tires (even assuming they decided to carry any). They will always be within hail of a town to summon aid (but that would take dozens of minutes to arrive). In the mean time they can bunker up and target anything that comes in range (and now they get +1 for being stationary). It will take a lot of damage to kill the laser turret and that can fire all day. Whilst the biker might win, I suspect the attrition would be too great.

Having already conducted two very sucessful infantry assaults against the players, I am reluctant to do it again (it is Car Wars not Squad Leader). I am happy to have peds in the mix as a discouragement to hanging around, but I don't want them to be the prime movers. This goes against my tactical experience in this regard, but I can hand wave it off as inexperienced hot-head cyclists convincing second rate infantry to take a back seat.

The advantage of a rolling attack is also that they may be able to get the truck to go out of control, they also reduce the chance of getting hit (both the speed penalty and by using the convoy itself to block LOS).

It also "feels" better.
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2016, 08:44 AM   #7
juris
 
juris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CA
Default Re: Cycle Pack Attack

Tractor with a flatbed trailer? Why not shoot out the rear armor and kill the crew (crew are behind engine and will be hit first)?

Are you letting cycles use CA and winshells? Then they aren't cannon fodder. If it's an initiation then just throw road misers at them but that's a really dumb initiation.

Can they go a bit off-road to avoid drops? The answer should be yes since they pick the place of the ambush. If not then 2-3 cycles up front with dropped weapons can do serious damage.
juris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2016, 12:57 PM   #8
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Cycle Pack Attack

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
1) cycle gangs rely on allies in town for intel.
Absolutely. They know the limitations of this particular owner operator. He hasn't been helping himself by selling footage of his fights to the networks (filmed from inside the cab using a helmet cam, so all his weapon displays and more usefully his convoy comms frequencies in full view). Luckily for him he is driving a new rental rig and a recently salvaged mid-sized, so the cycle gang is acting off out-of-date intel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
2) There are lots of different things to salvage. Eliminate the tires and back off, and the whole rig's salvageable. Take out the engine only, and salvage the tires (Probably get $10 apiece used). The cargo is the most likely thing to nab.
See above why you can't really shoot off tires and back-off. You 'll need to breach the armour to force surrender anyway, so why waste ammunition and probably lives going for tire shots to start with (other than to get a staioanry bonus - which goes both ways). The side of a tractor cab is big, tires are small, rockets need all the help they can get!
Cargo would be main target but the only portable stuff is in the cab. The flat bed cargo is 3 ISOs of orange waste for use as fertiliser $10's per ton.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
3) remember that boarding to kill the driver is an option.
Unsure how you would get inside the cab. I'd assume dorrs are locked. That means an armour breach again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
4) Gangs may offer to go away for a fee.
That will be a parallel option as you need to back up the threat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
5) the preferred method is the toll booth...
I agree, but that is peds and we've done that in spades ;)
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2016, 01:12 PM   #9
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Cycle Pack Attack

Quote:
Originally Posted by juris View Post
Tractor with a flatbed trailer? Why not shoot out the rear armor and kill the crew (crew are behind engine and will be hit first)?
Normally that would be an option but the flatbed is carrying ISO containers (which are higher then the cab back). Of course that does limit the ability of the laser turret to target the rear arc. Full on for the tail-end Charlie, but he only has a couple of MMLS front, worth the risk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by juris View Post
Are you letting cycles use CA and winshells? Then they aren't cannon fodder. If it's an initiation then just throw road misers at them but that's a really dumb initiation.
Definitely CA round driver (possibly round plant), windshells are too expensive and heavy. It's a trade off though, to have enough armour you need a heavy cycle, by the time you have done that you would have been better buying a trike.

It is probably moot though. The offensive weapons in the convoy are a Blast Cannon on the front man, a linked pair of Heavy IR Pulse Lasers in the turret of the tractor and a pair of linked MMLs in the tail end Charlie. An attack from the rear-quarter of the tractor means you only face the MMLs, but almost certainly a side attack, if they hit, they are going to strip those 10pt armour blocks quickly and if they miss then you don't need armour. If that turret hits you, you are going to fry.

As for a dumb initiation, it depends on the purpose of the initiation. If it is to force "Loud-mouth" to prove himself it may be a win-win. If he comes back victorious the gang scores some serious salvage and you know you can invest proper resources in him and maybe put up with his bragging. If he doesn't come back, it just cost you some cheap bikes rather than some expensive hardware for a little peace and quiet. It might also put some of the others back in their box for a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juris View Post
Can they go a bit off-road to avoid drops? The answer should be yes since they pick the place of the ambush. If not then 2-3 cycles up front with dropped weapons can do serious damage.
There is nowhere where you couldn't go off-road at some point (that would also allow concealment for the bikes to get into position). Taking a risk of underbody damage (tires are solids so immune to off-road damage) is far better than running into mines. Spikes will have no effect on solids of course unless you go explosive tipped and then you are starting to burn money.

You can also pull up in very little space without taking tyre damage if you are travelling at sensible speeds (55 or less), that means your bikes will need to be within 6" of the truck when they start dropping in order to get a counter under the wheels. No-one is going to drive until they are within 6" of you and if you start more than 6" away slowing to get them 6" away is going to look awfully suspicious. Plus you will be 6" away from the front man with the Blast Cannon which probably won't end well for you.

Remember the last attack that we group-planned here had a mine and ice dropper coat the road. He dropped only 1 set of counters before he got counter-attacked, lost a wheel, fishtailed over his won mines and then vaulted. Even thought I allowed him to continue to drop them as he flew through the air (which in hindsight is pretty implausible) they didn't end up in a direction that was useful and the rig that was only 1" behind him was able to avoid the majority of the counters. It didn't loose a single wheel or have its under armour breached.

The bikes would have to be riding line abreast, something that screams road coating. All the convoy needs to do is slow down and wait. This would work if the bandits were hired to slow the convoy down, but even then it's a pretty low threat.

Last edited by swordtart; 07-05-2016 at 01:16 PM.
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2016, 11:47 AM   #10
juris
 
juris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CA
Default Re: Cycle Pack Attack

Sounds like a well protected convoy. How about just 1 cycle up front - keep speed over 60 and distance over 10". The point is to slow the convoy down. A bike with a HDFOJ should do the trick (and CA). Just make 1-2 passes over the road in a serpentine pattern.

Heavy Cycle, Heavy suspension, Medium Cycle power plant w/SC,
10-pt CA (Power Plant), 2 Motorcycle Puncture-Resistant tires, Cycle
Windshell w/10 pts extra Plastic armor, Cyclist w/BA and 10-pt CA,
Heavy Flaming Oil Jet Back, Plastic Armor: F15, B28, 2 10-pt Cycle
Wheelguards, Acceleration 10, Top Speed 132.5, HC 2 (3 @60mph),
1298 lbs., $6766

The rest of the attack can come from the rear - avoid the lasers by staying in the rear arc of the rig, avoid drops by briefly going off road if necessary (I do not believe cycles take U armor damage from going off-road). If the convoy slows down or the tractor turns to use the lasers fire at the rear or side armor of the tractor. If someone in the gang knows what they're doing go for the 5th wheel. If the gang wants to force the rig to turn and fight shoot at the ISO containers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post

You can also pull up in very little space without taking tyre damage if you are travelling at sensible speeds (55 or less), that means your bikes will need to be within 6" of the truck when they start dropping in order to get a counter under the wheels. No-one is going to drive until they are within 6" of you and if you start more than 6" away slowing to get them 6" away is going to look awfully suspicious. Plus you will be 6" away from the front man with the Blast Cannon which probably won't end well for you.

Last edited by juris; 07-06-2016 at 12:14 PM.
juris is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.