A couple fresh new players this week, and Brad brought his terrain along, so it was a nice big chaotic learning game.
We were running 60 can teams, so with new players it was pretty much a guarantee we wouldn’t finish, but lots of cars means lots of interactions, and that’s always a good thing when you’re learning (whereas finishing and somebody winning is a whole lot less useful).
We got off to a gloriously messy start. The three cars on the road in the front line got off to a decent start, but the yellow truck had to get off the shoulder and that threw everybody else off.
I managed to position the Cougar decently in the first phase and lined up a Slip Away opportunity for gear 2. The Cougar (silver) bumped the GTX (green), which put the GTX comfortably in the lead. As a performance car with only armour and smoke, I wanted him way ahead before the rest of the pack hit gate 1.
The GTX was doing well at this point, but the Cougar and my Manx (the first buggy way in the back) got pretty bogged down in that starting pileup. I was able to keep them in good shape, but they were moving pretty slow. Some I tend to soft up early and fast, that meant a lot of swerves, veers, and evades.
More cars started to get free of the pack around this point, so I made plans to leave the track and cut across the very busy centre of the table with the GTX. This would mean some risky high gear maneuvering.
The Cougar and the Manx were getting ready to break free of the mess at this point, but a wipeout for the Manx left it spinning into the path of the Cougar, slowing them both down again.
We started to spread out a bit more as the gear phases outstripped some of the vehicles. It also gave me the chance to get the Cougar back in the game.
The jeep with the big gun opted to take the long safe route along the track instead of following the GTX through the middle. This meant my GTX would approach it head-on, and my smoke would be useless. My Cougar suddenly needed to get its machine guns into play.
The Cougar was able to land several hits over the next couple phases, and the jeep became our second casualty just before it rounded the corner and escaped.
And that’s pretty much where we ended this particular learning game. A couple vehicles trashed, and the rest of them spread all over the place. Good fun.
I think we wrapped up our ‘Darker Horizons’-style campaign the other night. This Capture the Flag scenario was our 4th of an intended 5 events, but I’m significantly ahead at this point and I think we’re going to call it rather than dragging it out. Three of us for this one, with Dave fielding a truck and a couple cars (one might be performance?) and Steve throwing down a couple performance cars and a buggy. I had 3 cars, two of which were performance.
I spent the cans earned last month putting a turret-mounted harpoon onto my basic car, which wasn’t necessarily a good call, but was certainly weird. Led to a lot of confusing situations. What gear is a car in if I’m hauling it backwards into my rear end? What happens after it’s hit my own side and still has remaining uncancelled hits (does it keep going in a slingshot effect)?
In our previous game, that basic car with nothing but extra armour was a real champion, but the harpoon did a lot of damage to him. By the time I was close enough to use it, the odds were pretty good that I’d drag somebody right into me. Also, we had a *lot* of explosive barrels in the field, so I caught myself in a lot of explosions as well. I think he had 1 point of hull left at the game’s conclusion, out of 12. Most of that was harpoon related. Definitely effective, though, in terms of ‘redirecting traffic flow’. Certainly kept a few cars away from flags, while my other cars got mean.
In terms of maneuvering, I got off to a rough start. A lot of terrain in my immediate vicinity coupled with some overly aggressive shifting on my part put me at risk of some early wipeouts, so I ended up making a lot of weird lateral moves that didn’t cover much ground. I managed to stay on the right side of 6 hazards, but it meant I wasn’t going to be the first one to any flag; I was going to have to *take* one.
My Corvette spent much of the game trading shots and blows with Dave’s vehicles on my right flank while my Mazda got itself mixed up with Steve’s cars.
Once Steve’s cars were out of the way, I just had to beat Dave’s damaged performance car (it was on this side of the arena after being slingshot across the field in the second phase) to the flash and get out of Dodge.
After snagging the flag/crate, I put the pedal to the metal and rocketed back across the arena with a series of gentle turns and long straights, careening into my edge during the sixth gear phase of our final turn (we were playing at a local shop, so had some time constraints). We all had a good time, but I think our next session will just be a one off race. I know Dave wants to try putting a war rig together, so maybe we’ll look into that. As for me, I need to find a sturdier anchor for my harpoon.
Seriously, I don’t know why I paint these when I’m planning to weather them.
When last we visited the Firebird, she was mostly built, sanded, and primed.
I went with a bright orange for the body, and added a couple of primered doors. Bright red for the fuel barrels (all of which will become increasingly subtle as I continue).
At this point, the car was pretty much complete, if a little too bright and shiny for my team.
Let the weathering begin! A heavy wash with Reikland Fleshshade and some bullet holes in the windshield (pin vise plus some scratches with a blade for the surrounding cracks), and we’re on our way. Really, I could probably leave stuff at this point but the team I’ve built this far is *very* heavily rusted out, so I’m gonna keep going.
And there we go. Some Vallejo Burnt Cadmium followed by a pair of weathering powders, plus some Agrellan Earth for dust and dirt. That primered door is almost invisible now, even if you’re looking squarely at it.
The bullet holes are a little less clear on this one than the corvette’s were, but they’ll do. I did notice at this point that some rust had crept onto the glass, but it scraped away pretty well after this shot was taken.
So, there we go! I have mixed feelings about this one. I like everything I did to it, but it sorta feels like I spent a lot of time doing nothing. I mean, the barrels have no game effect, I didn’t add a ram or weapons of any type… This is literally just a baseline car that I spent a bunch of time on, haha.
I like it anyway, and I suppose it will make a good car for campaigns. I can use it for the baseline model, and then swap it for something with weapons after I’ve earned some cans…
Or just try it as a baseline car? Might be a good opportunity to see just how helpful upgrades really are (or aren’t)?
Another Gaslands project of course begins with another stock internet photo, because I once again got so excited to start chopping it up that I forgot to snap a photo beforehand.
I got a bunch of new bits courtesy of Curtis at Ramshackle Games, including some of his new barrels and gas cans and such. My immediate desire was to drop them into an open trunk, Interceptor – style, but I couldn’t find anything that would lend itself to such a modification (I have neither a Dremel nor a proper jeweler’s saw, so I’m limited to straight cuts at the moment).
Lacking an easily removable trunk, I opted for the next best thing; I am very into chopping the tops off these things lately.
I went with this Firebird because I could actually work around the trunk entirely and drop my extra fuel tanks into the backseat. You know, once I was rid of the backseat…
Again, just a combination of straight cuts with the razor saw. I actually built a box out of tread plate for this one but it was probably a pretty big waste of my time. By the time I’d incorporated some fuel lines into the design and tucked the barrels in, the box is pretty invisible. You’ll see.
This being one of those hot wheels with an entire extra piece in the middle (and holding the wheels on place) meant getting a little more creative. Note I opted to keep the original wheels on this one. I love me some off road tires, but these just really seemed to suit the car so I kept them.
I actually did some sanding of the body this time. I was planning to repaint (no interest in keeping it emblazoned with Hot Wheels banners) and in the past I’ve noticed you can sometimes see the shape of the decals through a coat or two of paint (my Frazetta fantasy van has faint fireball outlines if you look closely). Those are the barrels I’ll be converting into spare tanks; I think the scale is pretty good on those.
Barrels/tanks are in place along with fuel lines (the same wire I use for pinning, but with the insulation left on), and I’ve bent and trimmed a Stan Johansen gunner into a more driver-y shape. Plus he’s got a pin in his butt, just so he doesn’t end up glued merely to some paint over fake chrome (I don’t want him snapping off later).
And here we go. The body’s riding a little high because I haven’t snapped it down into place, the windshield hasn’t been put back in yet, and the driver is drying elsewhere. This is a pretty decent indication of where I’m headed, though. ‘Til next time.
I’m generally pretty annoyed with the way the local Value Village handles the toy cars (and they’re not alone or anything, I’ve seen lots of stores in other cities do the same); the cars get bundled into bags and then tagged at $3.99 or $5.99 or something similar. It’s annoying because there’s usually not enough in a bag to justify the price regardless of what the cars are, and doubly so because there’s always one good car, one potential scrap car (good tires or a cool engine or something), and a bunch of chaff. Which is made worse by the fact that – based on the inevitable holes torn in the sides – other folks just yank the good car out and leave the rest. You occasionally find something worthwhile, but you have to buy a bunch of garbage at the same time.
Miracle of miracles, I occasionally find a bag that’s pretty okay. One time it was a bag of 3 Monster Jam trucks, another time it was a DeLorean time machine, a Firebird, a pretty sweet GTO, a 50s Chevy of some ilk, and a Silverado. Okay, I have no real need for the Silverado, but it had a to-scale bike in the back, so we’ll call it a win. This weekend I started messing around with the GTO.
Stock, this is what it looked like at one point. Mine was in rougher shape, with the roof a little squashed and the spoiler broken, plus lots of paint chipping (never a problem for Gaslands). I started by cutting off that roof.
I opted to smash up the windshield and put some of it into place. Looks okay.
I was originally thinking about putting a floor in the back, so I cut the rear seats out, but changed my mind one things got under way. I also repaired the spoiler; probably pretty unnecessary, but it will help maintain the ‘car feel’ a little.
I am also, of course, a sucker for big offroad tires.
Add a ‘ram’ made from 40k centurion parts and a bit of plating on the back, and we’ve got a solid baseline!
Doesn’t look much like a car anymore, though, does it?
Another Death Race this week. Decided to run 50pts this time instead of 60 to put a little more crunch into the build process. B brought a truck and a buggy, both tricked out with turreted HMGs and extra armour. I brought a performance car and a buggy with lesser armaments but more tricks. Big Tires, Hell for Leather, lots of nitrous, all sponsored by Idris.
I was right fast, but messy as hell. He was slower but a lot cleaner.
I started with a pair of Hell for Leather induced Long/Slide/Spins. Bad news hazard-wise, but got me an early jump and a couple audience votes.
I followed up with a similar second phase (long/slide/spin for the Road Runner and a clumsy nitrous boost for the Manx), but both cars ended up wiping out. Even with the Big Tires, the treacherous terrain put me up over the line.
I used my 4 audience votes to pop both cars into 3rd and keep going. Decent plan for the buggy (it got itself back into the race), but a stupid mistake for the Road Runner. Its best option was a 3rd gear hairpin through that treacherous terrain, and the dice were not on my side. It wiped out again, flipping this time for some extra distance.
The Manx managed to gain a little ground without crashing into his teammate, but that was about it. We were both rolling pretty terribly during this match. B’s truck and buggy continued to prove the value of slow and steady.
The Manx wiped out again, but not before covering a decent bit of distance. This time it was its turn to flip for an extra few inches.
This bright is to the end of Turn 1; B’s team also had some bad rolls and neither got out of 4th gear.
Snapped that photo a little early, apparently, so I added the Manx’s movement. It tucked nicely into the high – risk shortcut that I built into the second corner (I put one of these in the first game I played with C, and it made for some hilarious levels of mayhem).
The Road Runner’s reverse turn fell apart when I misjudged the size of the slide template and wound up sitting next to a bunch of exploding barrels. My spin would no longer get me where I needed to be, so instead I used it to line up a shot. Now I’d be going into the 2nd phase still facing the wrong way.
The Manx cleared the shortcut, but wiped out in the process. The Road Runner got in a ram, but at this point was surrounded by turreted HMGs that were starting to come on line as they crossed that first gate.
At this point the Manx was stuck in first and the Road Runner was taken apart by multiple HMGs. B’s truck and buggy continued their advance.
Further sitting for the Manx, and B’s cars/HMGs drew ever closer. They were still in 4th gear, so this brought Turn 2 to a close.
This is it, my bitter end. Forward wasn’t an option this time and even a short reverse left me in the turret-path of B’s advancing buggy. He told some 6’s, and I didn’t. With only the two of us playing, we didn’t bother with respawns, so this was the game.
That’s two Idris losses in a row for me. I think I’m getting overly hung up on trying to maximize certain aspects while ignoring other factors. Hell for Leather is certainly a way to generate Idris audience votes, but a bike can do the same thing for the same points, and is a whole extra vehicle. An HFL monster truck can use it to more easily trample/clear other vehicles, but cars are just getting a couple of template boosts. The free shift results coming out of the medium template are probably worth using it instead (I was picking up so many hazards I ended up using all my votes just to stay in the game anyway).
Weapons are the other issue here. I wanted more points for perks, so I avoided turreting any weapons, but I was so far ahead that my front facing HMG was generally useless and it was hard to find a good opportunity to drop caltrops.
I’ll have to give some more thought to future builds. The Manx wasn’t bad (although the HFL points would be better spent elsewhere) but the Road Runner was pretty much a hodgepodge of mismatched ideas (admittedly I just wanted to field that build because I like how it looks, which might not have been a very strategic plan, haha).
Until next time, here’s a final shot of this crew:
My latest start-to-finish project is a Hot Wheels Meyers Manx. It’s actually my second Manx; the first I left pretty much stock.
Other than popping some Stan Johansen figures into it, I haven’t done much. I expect I’ll paint the figures (and seats) at some point, but I don’t expect I’ll do much beyond that. It looks fun as is, so why change anything?
The new one was a little beat up, with the roll bar missing and the windshield broken so it seemed like a great opportunity to go nuts. What better place to start than a wheel swap?
The wheels came off a Matchbox MBX 4×4 with ‘Panthera Trackers’ emblazoned across the hood. It will become a wreck. Obviously there was no way those wheels were going to fit in the original slots. Not only were the wheel wells too shallow, but I had to alter the wheelbase as well; I opted to cut new slots on the outside with a hacksaw.
This let me keep the axles intact. They nestled into place quite well, and I used some green stuff to secure them afterwards.
I also added a bit of plating to cover the windshield gap and the missing roll bar, and gave the car a matt varnish in preparation for painting. Primer followed close behind.
For crew I used a couple of Ramshackle miniatures. I’m not a huge fan of the resin he uses (it’s very brittle and I found it more awkward to work with than other resins), but apparently it’s one of the reasons he can keep his prices as low as they are, so I’ll make do. They looked pretty decent once they were painted up, especially considering how tiny they are. There’s not a lot of room in the Manx; I actually had to trim some of the dashboard off in addition to the steering wheel, just to get the driver to fit. Had to trim his steering wheel back as well.
I also added some extra exhausts to the car (they came off some weird little dollar-store-looking garbage car that I got in a thrift baggie). I almost added an oversized engine block poking through the hood before I remembered the engine is in the back. The car itself got a Vallejo Turquoise paint job (no idea why I bother, haha), and a combo of GW’s Agrax and Reikland are used for a wash layer. Looked pretty rough at that point, but I was planning to rust this one pretty heavily so it wouldn’t be a big issue in the long run.
Look at these little monsters!
This brought me to the rust/dirt portion of the project. Some matt medium mixed with my favourite Vallejo pigments, followed with some of GW’s Agrellan Earth for dirt and dust, and we’re ready to go!
And for easy comparison, here’s a before and after using a stock photo; in really happy with how this little fellow turned out. Manx II is ready to rumble!