Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Dueltrack– Tortoise Beats the Tank

This game was set at the Muskogee Fairgrounds.  We each designed $30,000 gas burning cars.  Our teams included 4 each of our designs that were manned by our continuing “Corporate” characters.

We used the figure eight track.  Our teams were split up on opposite sides of the track.  Each time a pair of vehicles completed a lap, it would be passed head-on by a pair of opposing vehicles 4 times (assuming they’re going the same speeds….)  Also, if each of your pairs were going exactly the same speed, then they’d run the risk of hitting each other at the crossways!  The first team to make 20 laps would win the game.

At first my opponent would not agree to having a weapons space limitation and a “no tire shot rule.”  I thought over my designs and realized that losing a tire at high speeds would be suicide.  Taking Plasticores would severly limit your speeds….  It just seemed like people were gonna die if we didn’t have the limitations.  I called my opponent the next day after sleeping on it and he agreed to take the 2-space weapon limitation and the “no tire shot rule.”  He mainly did not want a game in which there was only one clear design strategy.  The main fun for him would be agonizing over the various options– speed, maneuverability, defense, or offence?!  What to do!

Given my history, my opponent knew of my tendency to emphasize maneuver over firepower.  (Really, after all my years of playing Car Wars… I’ve lost more cars and drivers to missed control rolls than I have to enemy fire!)  But he was sure I’d be taking weapons– at least a space or two.  He even called the morning before the duel to tell me that I should be able to find better gunners for my cars– initially he’d wanted to limit my cre options!

He showed up to the arena with Luxury sized 400 cid monsters with room for a gunner and sporting a turreted Vulcan.  I in turn showed up with sloped/streamlined Mid-sized cars with turbo charged 450’s, laser reflective metal/fireproof plastic armor, HD Shocks, HD brakes, and NO WEAPONS.

There was no weapons fire permitted until your cars had completed the first lap.  His cars maxed out at 122.5 mph and acceleration 15.  My cars topped out at 165 mph and acceleration 20.  We were playing with banked (-D1 to maneuvers) on the outside circle, so there was no need to brake at any time.  Once we topped out, we pretty much stayed at our top speeds.  He felt no need to “push” the engines… the rules for that seem to destroy your engine on the first few seconds of trying!

As we went into our second lap, my opponent found out more or less how thick the metal was.  Obstacles were left on the track the two times he rolled 6’s for damage.  I was very pleased that I had taken fireproof armor because he was sporting incendiary rounds.  After getting about 4 shots against each of two separate vehicles (if I remember correctly) he’d only taken out a few points of plastic.  (I was 11/35 to the front, 7/35 to the sides, and 5/36 to the back.)

After completing two laps, I was about a half a lap ahead of my opponent.  We agreed that there wasn’t much he could do to change that… and that assuming everything went like it had so far, he could at best hope to get maybe 9 more shots concentrated on each of two of my cars.  We rolled the damage for these shots… and the armor was still pretty solid.

My opponent concede the race to me at this point– 20 laps for my to his 12.  He figured any sort of desperate ramming tactics would do him no good considering my armor….

We might as well have played paper-rock-scissors for this event.  If he had gone with a weaponless car with better top speed than me, HE would have won.  But then he’d have lost if I had taken guns….  He might have done better with Gauss Guns with extra magazines… I’m not sure….

I probably won this one because my opponent misunderstood the pricing of turbochargers.  He thought that they cost $1 per power factor of the engine… instead of being $1 per added power factor.  When we were playing, he just could not believe that a car could go that fast with that much armor….  Doh!

Ah well.  A chintzy victory for me, but a victory nonetheless.

It took exactly 2 and a half hours to play out the two laps we ran.  Better luck next time!

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