Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Cycle Showdown

This past Sunday we had another round of mass Car Wars destruction. We played the “Midville II” mini-scenario from ADQ 4/4. Basically, 12 cycles try to bust through a road block. It features a stock Flash (from AADA vehicle guide), 4 Shogun 100’s, 4 Shogun 200’s, and 3 Outlanders (2 which have sidecars.) The peds get 10 shotgun totin’ MONDOs (useless!), 10 police with SMG’s, and 8 national guardsmen with various weapons.

We chose this scenario because there’d be no design element– all the forces are completely specified by the scenario. The key to victory in this scenario is to convince your opponent to accept a variety of rules interpretations in your favor. We aren’t teenaged rules lawyers anymore , but still… enough “gentlemanly agreements” in the wrong direction can totally kill your game.

Here’s a sample of some of the big ones: 1) How exactly do you handle a cycle ramming the barrier? What if he’s shot up the place he’s driving through? How do you handle a “wipeout”? 2) What’s the penalty for driving on the field? Is the debris enough penalty, or do cycles get the full -2 to HC for going off road? (We took the full penalty in our game… which meant I wasn’t going to risk leaving the road.) 3) How do you handle burst effect weapons? Is shooting the ground to carch peds/cyclists legit? If so, how do you run that? (We opted not to use this rule. This really reduced the effectiveness of my RR’s and RL’s… and my opponent didn’t bother firing his LAWs and VLAWs because of this ruling.) 4) For grenades and burst effects, when is a cyclist considered exposed? Especially in the case of concussion grenades…? 5) What happens to shots that ‘miss’– especially burst effect weapons!? My cycles crept towards the road block at about 30 mph. I got 5 RL shots and 5 RR shots at each tripod weapon. I’d hoped to score a hit or three and to take out some peds with the burst effects, but rolled less than 9 for all 20 rolls. (ARGH!) SMG fire whittled away my 2 lead MG totin’ Shogun 200’s. My wussy Outlanders got partially chewed up, but MG and Laser fire managed to take out one Mondo and one Policeman. In return, four concussion grenades took out three of my 4 “heavy weapons” cycles…. and I conceded the game.

Given the outcome (and given a new set of clear rules interpretations) I’d probably roar through the road block single file at as high a speed as I could stand. My lead cycles would probably keep their fire on automatic so they could toss their own concussion grenades when they get closs to the road block! The way we played it, staying to fight was suicide. My opponent seemed to enjoy his victory immensely, so hopefully it wasn’t a complete waste of time. (We started preping at 1:30, started playing at 3, and we’d finished around 5.)

Still, concussion grenades should not be so much more effective than RR’s, RL’s, LAWs, and VLAWs. Something was really out of wack there. (Not to take away too much from my opponent’s victory. He definitely out played me this time!) Rules I’d like to see are faster playing rules for “stands” of infantry. Three or four peds would be a single unit… they get one attack roll per turn… and they are attacked as a group. This could speed up the game tremendously… and also give us the chance to come up with a simplified “Car Wars”-ish rules for morale and leadership. I’m curious to know if GDW’s Striker (or some other miniatures rules) could have handled this scenario any more realistically….

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