A play test of something different…

The sound of the engines revving on the desert track could be heard all across the valley, the two vehicles waited next to each other for the ganger to drop the flag to start their death match.

The gang had decided that this was a good way to pick which gang member was the best driver and so get a promotion in the gang.

And the flag goes down and both vehicles screech towards the first bend as the rest of the gang cheer them on…

This will just be a simple Death Match type race of two laps, the first vehicle to complete the laps will be the winner ( or the survivor if one is killed! )

Both drivers have taken another gang member as a passenger who will be able to fire the vehicles main weapon and also fire from windows at the other vehicle with their own gun, they can also help with any jammed weapons, fires etc.

This is just a quick simple playtest for a new rule set I am working on, it will help me iron out any problems I find in the rules, hopefully there will not be to many!

The two vehicles are driven by Spider and Sand Man, both vehicles will have extra armour all round but Sand Man has thicker armour in the rear of his vehicle.

The weapons they have are very basic for this game, each vehicle has a fixed medium machine gun firing from its front arc operated by the passenger, Spiders passenger has a sawn-off shotgun and Sand Man’s passenger has a stubber ( basic rifle ) and both vehicles have one canister of oil which can be dropped onto the road behind the vehicle to cause a hazard, and both vehicles have enough nitrous-oxide for two uses each.

The track will be on a 6ft x 2ft table so a very long and narrow raceway

So just two laps from a stationary start….

Spider gets the jump on Sand Man and makes it to the corner first and immediately drops some oil, not much of a problem now but may cause some issues on the next lap.

Spiders passenger sticks his sawn off out of an opening of the vehicle and fires both barrels at point blank range into Sand Mans vehicle hoping to get some early damage and manages to get at least one shot through Sand Man’s side armour!

In return the passenger in Sand Man’s vehicle aims his rifle out of a side slot and puts a single round straight through the side of Spiders vehicle, two can play at that game.

Sand Man accelerates again and then decides to use a burst of nitrous-oxide and powers along the straight trying to get ahead before he reaches the far bend, his passenger takes another shot at Spider but the shot went wide of the target.

Spider accelerates again and keeps to the inside of the track holding the vehicle straight, his passenger loads his sawn off ready for another shot.

Spider hammers his foot down on the accelerator and rams his vehicle into the side of Sand Man trying to force him off the road, both vehicles take a little damage but both drivers are too experienced to panic.

Sand Man’s passenger fires off another round at Spider and although this time he was on target it bounces harmlessly off the vehicles armour.

Spider’s passenger fires off both barrels of his sawn off again into the front of Sand Man’s vehicle managing to do some more damage to the front of the vehicle, but again Sand Man keeps his cool and ignores it.

Sand Man makes the far bend first and tries to cut off Spider, but Spider holds his nerve and keeps his place behind Sand Man taking the outside line.

Sandman opens up his lead a little and drops some oil behind trying to catch Spider as he comes out of the bend, but Spider ignores the oil on the track and moves himself behind Sand Man setting up his main weapon for a shot at the rear of Sand Man’s vehicle.

The move worked and Spider’s passenger takes aim and fires a burst into the rear of Sand Man’s vehicle and the heavy bullets manage to get through the thick rear armour causing chaos in the vehicle as bullets ricochet around inside, this has shaken both occupants and forced Sand Man to panic break.

Sand Man uses his second and last boost from nitrous-oxide to try and keep out of range of Spider’s main gun.

Spider skillfully slides around the oil on the track and sits behind Sand Man waiting for now and biding his time as Sand Man moves into the bend.

Spider hits his nitrous-oxide button and powers down the straight closing on Sand Man’s vehicle, his passenger opens up again with the vehicles main gun but this time the heavy rear armour holds against the heavy bullets putting a smile on Sand man’s face.

Sand Man manages to ease his vehicle around the bend missing the oil on the track completely.

Spider seeing this decides to power into the rear of Sand Man’s vehicle hoping to cause enough damage to force him off the track!

But the heavy armour on the rear of Sand Man’s vehicle soaked up most of the impact, both drivers managed to keep control of their vehicles, Spider cursed under his breath.

Both cars opened up their throttles as they raced down the straight, the passenger in Spider’s vehicle lined up the sights again of the main gun and sent a burst of lead towards the rear of Sand Man’s vehicle, but that heavy armour on its rear protects it again.

Spider tells his passenger to hold on as he uses his last blast of nitrous-oxide and steams up behind Sand Man’s vehicle again, as Spider closes the gap a shot hits the front of his vehicle as Sand Man’s passenger fires his rifle out of the rear slot, but luckily the shot bounces harmlessly off the vehicles front armour.

Spider’s passenger pours some more lead into the rear of Sand Man’s vehicle causing some more damage, but still not enough to stop it.

Managing to fire again he poured some more shots into the rear of the vehicle and this time he managed to find a couple of weak spots and causes some more damage on Sand Man’s vehicle.

Spider manages to slip around Sand Man and get to the corner first taking the inside line, but it doesn’t work out as he planned as Sand Man’s passenger opened up with a burst of heavy lead from the vehicles main gun ripping large holes down the side of the vehicle causing Spider to lose control and spin out coming to a stop in a cloud of dust on the corner.

While Spider is trying to get his vehicle started and back into the race Sand Man slides past and powers down the straight putting as much distance as he can between him and Spider.

Spider eventually get his vehicle moving and gets around the bend, but he is a long way back now and things are looking desperate, he is so far back he is not sure how he will get back into this race.

Spider’s passenger is firing wildly now at Sand Man’s vehicle, but nothing is getting through the vehicles armour.

As the vehicles come up to the final bend in the race Sand Man has a big lead, Spider has to pull off something spectacular here if he stands any chance of winning…

And that is it as Sand Man pushes his vehicle to its limits and spins it around the corner hitting the oil on the track but it doesn’t matter as he has won and so will get the promotion in the gang, Spider will go away and get drunk and contemplate what went wrong and try again the next time there is the opportunity of a promotion in the gang.

Well that was fun, ok it was basic as I only used two cars in the game and only used basic weapons, but as I said it was mainly to see how the main rules work and well apart form a couple of tiny problems I found it went really well.

The movement worke really well although there was a slight issue with the timing of rams, but they were easy to fix and seemed to work well after the adjustment.

Shooting worked great as well although my dice rolling was up to it’s normal rubbish standard, even so both vehicles had lost over half of their hit points even with just basic weapons.

The armour worked well although Sand Man’s rear medium armour was really annoying!! I had real trouble getting through with the basic weapons, but still it worked very well and the game was great fun. Next time I will be putting a few more vehicles on the track and I will start using some of the more interesting weapons! 😉

Also next time I would have hopefully finished off some of the scenery as most of the bits on the table for this game have only just been printed and none of it has been painted!!

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  1. Vic Dobson

    Hi Mac,

    Nice looking game, and interesting looking too, not so much Circus Maximus as Circus Petroleum …

    I occasionally played Dark Future aeons back, and before that the old GW boardgame ‘Battlecars’ (and before that ‘Car Wars’ by Steve Jackson), but although I’ve seen Gaslands, I’ve not played it, nor am I likely to at this time (too many things to do just now to start yet another system!).

    Having played these I’m curious to see how your approach will work – I always thought road/car based games needed that special ‘something more’ but I couldn’t decide exactly what it was.

    However, your rules are table-top, not map based – that might be it – map based games are often limited in area/scope and invariably seem to stick to the roads
    – certainly Dark Future & Battlecars did.

    I shall look forwards to seeing these when they’re finally ready – they’ll make a grand excuse for a middle aged man like me to start buying Dinky cars again!


    • Mac

      Hi Vic,
      Thanks, the game was just a quick play through to test some of the basic rules but was still a lot of fun.

      The ‘track’ was all I could be bothered to set up for such a quick test and as I have only just started putting scenery together I was limited to what I could get on the table so went with the ‘Circus Maximus’ feel

      Played all of the games you mentioned and I think Dark Future was my favorite but it was overly complicated for the fast game that I wanted, I know a few guys that play Gaslands and although they seem to like it for me it seems a little overly complicated… have you seen the number of different turn templates that it uses?

      The game I am working on will be playable on any table it doesn’t have to have roads just some scenery to drive around will work, but there will be all sorts of ways of playing it obviously racing around a track of some sort will be included but it could also be racing around a city or in the desert or in a ring! Destruction derby style or… well almost anywhere depending on the scenery you have; I will be making loads to give me several options in the way I play the game.

      And Vic you don’t need an excuse for buying Dinky cars mate!!


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