Monday, 5 February 2018

Buggy Racing AAR 1

This is a play-through of Gaslands that I did. I've played about ten games over the past week or so, and have found it to be very fun. I've invented a formula, which is 3 Buggies for 50 points. Not sure why it needs that, coz there is a very decent range of vehicle types and add-ons you can get. But, I like the idea of three similar vehicles fighting three other similar vehicles in some sort of Formula 3B event. Also, buggies have few hit points (only 6 - cars have 10) so they're pretty fragile.

This is team Miyazaki.

Miyazaki go for Daring, Precision (Perk lists)

They get Virtuoso, which gives them a free re-roll of their skid dice. And Evasive Maneuvers, which means they can add hazard tokens to their dashboard in return for help with evading (damage saves).

Tom: 5 + Front HMG, 4 Front Ram 4, MoG 2, Powerslide 5, Mines rear 1 = 21

Dick: 5+ Front Minigun 6, Moment of Glory 2, Caltrops rear 1 = 14

Harry: 5+ Front Rockets 4, Moment of Glory 2, Slippery 3, Glue rear 1 = 15

Moment of Glory lets them completely make up a Skid Dice roll once per game and Slippery gives opponents who try to ram them 2 fewer dice. Powerslide will be demonstrated below.

This is Team Idris. They go for precision and speed.

They get N20 Addict, which is half priced Nitro and Speed Demon, which gets you 3 hazards after using Nitro rather than the usual 5, so I get the impression it's almost obligatory to carry Nitro if you're Idris.

Red: 5+ Nitro Booster 3, Expertise 3, Hell for Leather 5, Oil Slick = 18

Orange: 5+ Nitro Booster 3, Expertise 3, Hell for Leather 5 = 16

Yellow: 5+ Nitro Booster 3, Expertise 3, Hell for Leather 5 = 16

Expertise give them an extra handling dice, and Hell for Leather lets them use a Long Straight movement template whenever they like (usually only available in gears 5 and 6). And Nitro will be demonstrated below.

Miyazaki are set up for a bit of a fight, with lots of front guns, and rear dropped weapons. But their Virtuoso special ability makes them very reliable drivers, also. Idris are set up for pure straight line speed, and none of that messing around with opposing teams.

This run through is a lot more drive-y and a lot less fight-y than most games of Gaslands I've played, but even so, it still turns into a complete mess.

So, for not having that much word count dedicated to background, Gaslands does a very good job of giving the feel of the setting, through the various sponsors available, and associated in-game benefits. You can also make a decent range of vehicles.

The one above is a pick-up with a cannon on a turret, with tank tracks. which is exactly what it looks like and is exactly how it is treated under the rules. Unfortunately, after making the model I discovered it was illegal. There aren't enough slots in a pick-up to have a cannon and tank tracks, which is a shame. The only way to field the above vehicle is to call it a tank. Which you can do, but it ain't, so I will be declaring it legal, in any case.

And, you can even have helicopters and gyrocopters. They can't win races, coz they're too easy to manoeuvre. But I imagine they can annoy your opponents, mostly by dropping stuff onto the road.

The course fits very easily onto my 4' diameter table, and is plenty long enough. A buggy hasn't actually got to the end of it, yet.

A turn comprises 6 gear phases where everyone in that gear or above can move then shoot. So, obviously if you're in a higher gear you can go farther. But, you can also shoot more; this sounds strange but in practice works entirely well.

So, for the first gear phase, the lead Idris buggy, Red, uses Hell for Leather to get out in front. Unfortunately there isn't enough space for his team-mates to use it, so everyone else sets off behind at a more normal speed.

Second phase, Red does the same thing, but I want to put in a slide. Slides are terrible, usually, if you're trying to go straight, or turning, coz you end up at an odd angle to your intentions. But if you do it on purpose, you can make some very nifty 90 degree turns. So, what I want to roll is a slide and a bunch of harmless shifts. And that is exactly what I did roll, so Red manages to perform a perfect slide turn, while changing up two gears. (I rolled 5 dice because of the Expertise perk.)

And at the end of the second gear phase Red was a good way into the lead. The green flags below signify the end of the safe zone. Cars crossing the green gate get their weapons activated, and can therefore now shoot at things.

Red decided the straight was the place for his nitro. So he gets to make a long straight move before a conventional move. This also pumps up the hazard tokens. Idris, though, has the special ability that these only go up to 3 instead of 5. (6 hazard tokens and you lose control, so normally, using nitro puts you right on the edge.)

Back in the pack its more crowded and there was a bit of touching. But no one did any damage. If you rear-end someone you take their gear from yours when determining how many dice to roll, so at this stage there won't be many dice rolled because cars will be in a similar gear. But you still get hazard tokens even if you don't roll dice, so it will have an effect.

Below, Dick nudges Tom, his team mate. Both drivers evaded (coz they're not interested in damaging each other) and so take just one hazard token each. Harry sideswipes Yellow, and so they each roll their gear in attack dice. No damage, as it happened.

So, at the end of the third gear phase it's looking like a one-horse race, but I have played enough games now to realise that Red probably isn't even favourite to win.

Here's what the dashboards are looking like. Everyone managed to get up to fourth gear (not as easy as it sounds) so they can move this phase. Red has three hazards (from the nitro) and Dick has three, too.

Red carries on his way, while Tom gets into a slide while trying to get round the bend. He uses his powerslide special ability to choose another movement template instead of the slide template. This lets him end up in a slightly better position, but it's still sloppy driving.

Orange attempts the turn, too. He clips the rubble, for 2 hazards, and because he rolls a spin, he can position himself at the angle he desires, at the cost of another hazard.

Meanwhile yellow tries one of the slides that Red has been getting away with. He misjudges it a bit and ends up hitting the barrier, rolling damage dice equal to his speed.

Harry gets a sniff of Orange and blasts him with six dice of rockets. He rolls 5 damage (6s are two damage, 4s and 5s, one). But Orange saves one (roll your gear number of dice and sixes save). Rockets also inflict a hazard for every damage, so Orange ends up with 2 hit points remaining, and loses control because of his 8 hazards (6 would do it).

Orange also has to move medium as he flips over, and then gets placed at which ever angle his opponent prefers. Normally you'd take a flip test for this, to see if you take 2 more damage, but buggies are immune to this, for having a roll cage.

And so that is the end of the first turn. Red is miles ahead and Orange might be in a decent position to watch his back. No one has risked getting up into fifth gear at this stage, so there is no need to progress beyond the fourth gear phase. My lookout tower, which was built for a different setting (and scale) turns out to be an excellent gear-phase-dice holder.


  1. This looks fun. Love all the buggies they turned out great!

  2. Where did you get the drivers and gunners for the buggys?

    1. They are Ramshackle Games' 20mm Car Conversion set.