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’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?
Thought I’d try some new options last night, and took a car, a bike, and a monster truck up against B’s truck and car. I brought a couple of rams and some perks; he brought turret-mounted rockets and HMGs.
Things got messy real fast. His pickup (Optimus) made a quick left to try and get away from my monster truck, but Wile E there gunned it over the car and slid into Optimus anyway (3 cheers for Hell for Leather).
The first half of the race was definitely going well for me. I was setting a solid pace and leaving Optimus and Ecto far behind. Probably should have been a lock but I made a couple of big errors that got me torn apart. The first was that I tried to put my car into too sharp a turn while in 4th gear; the Medium template B handed me in combination with a bad skid check left my car sliding right off the course.
A short while after that I forgot how fragile Bikes are and let myself wipe out in a high gear with only 2 bull points remaining. I had the shift dice available to drop into second, but didn’t think about that until after our already resolved everything. Sure enough, the Bike flipped and wrecked, leaving only poor Wile E to try and finish the race.
Unfortunately the track put him in range of Optimus right as the pickup cleared the first gate, and my poor Monster Truck was pummeled by rockets taking 5 damage, reducing him to 4 remaining hull points. I tried using audience votes to drown Optimus in hazards (he was a half inch from hitting a fence) but his Thunderous Applause cleared him completely, and I couldn’t get far enough away in time to prevent my taking another barrage of rocket fire.
Since it was just the two of us playing, we didn’t bother with respawns, and called the game in B’s favour since I was out of cars. Till next time!
I have more time for hobbies these days, but I keep using them for hobbies, and not for writing about hobbies. Also, M gave me a PS4 for Christmas and Horizon Zero Dawn is amazing! Grin. So that’s a factor. And finally, while I haven’t posted in a while, it might be in part because one of the blogs I occasionally check out introduced me to Gaslands. Post-apocalyptic death races played out using modified toy cars. I’ve played two games now, and I’m hooked (although, let’s be honest, I was 70% hooked before I’d ever laid template to mat). But let’s start at the beginning.
As I said, I saw mention of Gaslands on Steinberg Shed Space and immediately got excited about the concept. A fresh new Car Wars? Already scaled for Hot Wheels? I decided I should at least try to find somebody else to try it out, so I don’t just end up painting a bunch of models and never using them (fingers crossed, Saga! one of these days!). I outlined the basic concept to my friend CP, she was immediately sold on the idea, and so I ordered 2 books instead of one. I hit up the downloads section of gaslands.com and started putting some cars together based on the rudimentary knowledge I could glean from the build side of the quick reference card.
I selected the Gaslands rulebook as my staff pick at work (picking a gamebook seemed weird, but what the hey), and then I built some more.
I’ve raided the bits bins at the local shop a few times to bulk out my own bits supply now, and eventually our books arrived. I read through it and we set a date for our first test game.
We were now both totally committed to this one. CP had live-posted her way through our game (those are some of her black and white photos above) and netted us a whole pile of additional interest, along with a number of admirers for my modified taco truck. People started asking about it, and now we’ve got a 16-member facebook page for local players… which brought me to my second game; Demo Night at the shop.
Had 4 people take part in the first stage of a race, and several more checked it out and asked questions; I’ll probably do at least one more demo session before we set up a regular Gaslands night. I broke my various builds down into several 50-can teams of 2 cars each so that people could play before having to build anything, but everybody that played was similarly pumped about the building part of it, and so everybody had cars ready to go. I only took one picture (one of these days I’ll improve!); it’s pretty much the second shift phase of the game. Note to self, don’t make people corner right away.
The hobby time that I’ve spent lately has mostly been building, with a little painting mixed in, but I think I’m going to make that into a post of it’s own.