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Old 07-14-2010, 11:26 AM   #1
bosky
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
Default The canyon race

I've been doing regular Killer Kart matches with the new(ish) 5th Edition Car Wars rules. A few sessions ago me and a friend decided to add terrain to the mix, mostly just ruined buildings and some unfinished highway sections of mine. Well this lead to that and before we knew it we had laid out an elaborate race track representing a lush desert canyon.

We both used the same vehicle, in this cast a custom car we threw together with no regard for spaces or weight or any semblance of a vehicle design system. The Canyon Runner ended up as an HC 4, Accel 20 subcompact with a forward MG, rear HRx2, rear OJ, and 7 armor all around.

However weapons weren't immediately activated, to stop both cars from becoming smoking wrecks from overpowering point blank barrages. Once a car had their tires touch the highway they were assumed to have passed the "Weapon Gate" and could fire as normal. Also the highway reduced all Difficulty by 1 thanks to the well kept surface.

The race was played twice, mainly since the first attempt resulted in the yellow car barreling into a cliff at 90mph inside the first sharp curve. Our second game went much more smoothly, and I thought I'd talk about it here.

You can see the photos that go along with the race here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunny-h...7624493711562/

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Anyways the race began in earnest with the green car jumping ahead at 80mph while the yellow car took a safer 60mph approach. The high acceleration rates of both vehicles meant gaining speed wouldn't be a problem. Braking might be a different story though...
The initial stretch was quiet save the roar of engines echoing across the sloped walls. Rapidly approaching was the first corner, but neither car seemed to mind and went straight ahead to begin with. The higher speed of the green car meant they edged ahead during the bend, especially with some masterful driving to weave very close to the terrain to prevent any wasted inches. The yellow car took a wider approach in preparation for a sharper turn before the shortcut.
Unfortunately neither car took the shortcut (where the path splits around the small island), since it was rather brutal to navigate. Instead they continued on the nearly straight stretch towards the highway, both adjusting 15 degrees at a time to prevent losing any handling class.
The green car had sped up to 100mph by now, while the yellow car made up for its slower start by flooring it to the same. Screaming through the Weapon Gate first was the green car, who was quick to drop a patch of oil almost immediately at the start of the highway. Knowing that the smoother pavement of the highway would reduce the effectiveness of the oil, the green car opted to spray the slick substance as a blocker for the yellow car. Taking the bait the yellow car had to swing wide around the patch, losing desperate time as the green car sped ahead. A Machine Gun retort from the yellow car that missed merely added insult to injury as the gap widened.
Reduced Difficulty on the highway provided a chance to really make up some time. The green car stayed at 100mph, confident in their lead, while the yellow car rocketed to 120mph, the driver clearly unfazed by the upcoming turn.
As the pair dropped off the road the yellow car opened fire with its front mounted Machine Gun, this time hitting the leader. Unfortunately a poor roll meant a measly 1 damage was done to the ample 7 back armor.
Still leading into the turn after the highway, the green car held its own fire until the last possible moment, then expertly dropped a marker of unavoidable oil right at the chokepoint before the turn. Undaunted the yellow car blew through the oil without turning, thereby totally negating the +2 Difficulty it would have applied.
The higher speed of the yellow car had finally balanced the race, and the leader was nearly passed on the outside as both cars headed towards the last turn and the straight shot to the finish line.
Finally the green car matched speeds and both vehicles blasted through the dirt at 120mph. With such high speeds the phases went quickly and no further firing could be done.
Even with the near pass, the yellow car just couldn't close the gap. Their electric engines humming, both cars held steady during the final turn and last desperate straight stretch. The green car milked the angles to narrowly cut every corner, gaining a slight advantage that would eventually crown them victor!
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This was definitely a fun race. I think doubling back for a second loop around the highway section (ie: turning right before the shortcut on the return route) could have made for a fun time. Shooting wasn't nearly as useful as expected, mainly because each turn went SO quickly when everyone is moving 12" a phase (aka 36" a turn). That tends to eat up the track fast. Although there were a few good oil drops, neither played a major part in the overall outcome. I guess in a way flat out racing can be a fun focus (it was a race track after all...), but without huge explosions and shells flying everywhere it felt less Car Wars-y.

I liked the race because it felt like skillful driving was a big factor, as was outguessing your opponent on what speed they would set.
I imagine we'll give this approach another shot, since I think a track through narrow city streets with plenty of alleys could be enjoyable.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:16 PM   #2
schoon
 
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Oakland, CA, USA
Default Re: The canyon race

Thank-you for the recap and the pictures. It looks like much fun was had.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:56 PM   #3
DSumner
 
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Default Re: The canyon race

That really looks like a lot of fun. I've got a few questions. How long did it take to set that up? And how long to play out the game? Any issues with terrain getting in the way of the turning key?
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
bosky
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Default Re: The canyon race

Yeah it was a blast.
Setup didn't take too long, maybe 15-20 minutes. I didn't test any of the corners or really plan it much, I just started laying down terrain.
There were many turning key difficulties, but I think preplanning the track a bit better could have helped prevent those. Most of the time it was easy enough to temporarily shift the terrain out of the way though.
As for play time probably 1.5 to 2 hours. Having a set finish line definitely made the game run faster, and we were surprised at the distance covered each turn on some of the straighter stretches.
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