Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

2034: Badlands Run (spoilers)

We played the infamous Badlands Run adventure from ADQ 2/2 last night.  It was 5 hours of nonstop autodueling action.  We played more in line with the original 3rd edition pocket box rules, so there were lots of cars crashing and burning.  It didn’t take a lot of space as we only needed a few road sections to run the game.  Phased movement was unnecessary and we didn’t even need to use our turning keys, so things went quickly.

My player played his characters from last year’s 2033 campaign.  In those sessions, we played Convoy from ADQ 1/1, Road Duel and Pack Attack scenarios from the original pocket box, a weird role-playing session that culminated into a freaky Truck Stop variation of Pack Attack (with “magic” rules thrown in), and a slightly modified version of the classic Sunday Drivers game.  That would make this the seventh session for the campaign– with no shortage of Car Wars material in sight!!

My player took his Moose that he’d won from the Road Duel and also the two luxury sized vehicles that he’d designed for the Convoy scenario. He made no modifications to them in spite of all the new equipment that had come out in Uncle Albert’s in “recent” months.

One question that came up in the game was how long it would take to get armor repairs if you were in a hurry.  I played that the PC’s could generally get 5 mechanics to work on a car even if it was Sunday morning– but the players would have to pay double the standard rate for patching armor whether a mechanic was successful or not.  I played they were skill level 2 and could each successfully repair armor on  roll of 5 or better.  Hiring 5 mechanics for an hour by PC’s in a hurry costs $1500– but this trick only works in fortress towns.

Don’t read any further if you intend to play this scenario!!!


The insane tire wear rules from Convoy were dropped by the designers of Badlands Run. The scenario retains a similar rumors set-up. The final stretch of road forks just as in Convoy– with really bad things occurring if you try to take the short way. My player could see that coming from a mile away even without the hints in the rumors….

The “Gang of Thieves” were complete wimps. Like stock Vigilantes could do anything to $80,000 worth of PC firepower?! Rusty Pinkerton was a much tougher opponent. His tactics were very sound relative to the salvage gang… but by the time (2 seconds!) he realized things were going against him, his powerplant was on fire due to a shot from a laser! Still, the car he’d targeted had lost just about all of its side armor– both left and right! In the encounter that required the special counters from the mailing cover, it was all worth it just to see the look on my player’s face. The scenario was fairly harmless, though, except for to the guy in the station wagon!!

The rock throwing encounter was devastating. The Moose was completely demolished in that encounter and there was nothing the players could do. Also, the final ambush from the Hussar and the Iron Horse was unstoppable. Point blank shots from a pair of MG’s, a pair of HR’s, and an RR will send even the toughest car into a flaming roll. Fortunately the van carrying the VIP was equipped with a fire extinguisher– the players could still get him to San Francisco with only moments to spare. (Point blank tire shots were not very good for the ambushers….)

This was a very tough adventure with little room for miscalculation on the player’s part. I’d hate to see this game played with the helicopter coming out at the end!


9 responses to “2034: Badlands Run (spoilers)

  1. Andy October 24, 2007 at 8:36 am

    you should try – just found it myself and it’s as close to car wars you can get online… it’s a great game.

  2. Adaen of Bridgewater October 27, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Sounds like it was great fun! I haven’t played CW’s in ages. I am considering playing it online. Any thoughts as to the best way to do this Jeffro? I have NBOS Screen Monkey (and associated packages). Plus, I have been using the new ZMesh software from Zullo Technologies for play testing my friend and colleague’s LARP Shadows of Reality.

    Glad to see your post.


  3. jeffro October 28, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Good to hear from you, Adaen.

    I don’t know too much about them new-fangled technologies you mention, but the role-playing oriented adventures practically don’t need any board to play out: the players are generally going to maintain speed, stop and unload their weapons, or turn around a flee. You could probably manage most of what we did with just an instant messenger, but an occasional digital photo of the playing field might help.

    The main thing is the “marching order” of the vehicles…. The referee can track all of the locations and make moves based on the instructions of the players. For an all-out arena duel this couldn’t work, but for a road “adventure” it would be just fine.

  4. Adaen of Bridgewater October 28, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Sounds good. To be honest, I think I’d be interested in running an actual arena duel or two online (just to see how it would work). If you’re interested, we could give this a go together sometime. My rules knowledge is sadly lacking (it has been a long time and car wars was only a once in a while thing for me).

    Time is a bit short for me, but I’m sure we could set something up sometime.

    Anyway. Talk to you soon.



  5. jeffro October 29, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    There’s a guy that posts on the Steve Jackson boards that runs (I think) a PBEM type online game. Time is short on my end, too, but if you’re game maybe we could do a one-on-one Challenge Night event or something before we drag other folks in to it– you know, work the bugs out and all that. I’ve got scans of the original counters if that would help….

  6. Earlburt October 30, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    I’m the “player” referenced above. Unlike you two working saps, I am loaded with free time. I’d love to be part of a go at an online duel. I can’t really imagine how it would work, but I’m game to find out.

    A little old-school Killer Kart action would be fun. And simple, which I imagine would be critical, at least for the first go-around.

  7. Adaen of Bridgewater November 10, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    I have access to several online playing tools. I’m not sure which will work best for CW. I’ll take a look at my ruleset. Perhaps you two (Jeffro and Earlburt…assuming we all want to play) could devise some constraints/scenarios for me to consider in selecting our online tool?

    Let’s see if we can set this up by the end of January. Does that sound reasonable enough? With two of us scrapping for time, I don’t want to say (this month, or even this year).

    How does this look for you guys….and perhaps we should take this offline?

    ~Adaen of Bridgewater

  8. Earlburt November 12, 2007 at 11:47 am

    I’m down. January is realistic for me. Bear in mind though that I know close to zero computery stuff. I’m an end-user only. So, the technical stuff I must leave to others, while awaiting being told what to download and what to do with it.

  9. Adaen of Bridgewater November 24, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    My domain is My name is adaen. Put an @ between those in the usual order and you have my email address.

    I just sent an email to Earlburt.

    Jeffro, give us a shout.



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