Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Team Amateur Night Game 11: Stock Joseph Specials at the Double Drum

This was the big one.

We started this one innocently enough: our usual random starting positions (improved now with a handy 1d8 roll…), our usual move of the top and underbody armor to protect the sides better, and our usual opening maneuver of facing off into four independent passes. This would be our longest game, yet… with an unbelievable amount of action.

The opening pass in the upper right went horribly for me. I was starting out in the “tube” so I think I had to turn a little more than my opponent. He came right down my throat and took me out with a few ATG shots followed by a head-on collision. I’d done little damage in return… and I didn’t think I could possibly recover from this setback.

In the upper left corner, we made our pass at each other and I managed to make the 20 or 30 mph D6 turns to turn back on my opponent. In the lower right corner, I did the opposite: I gunned it as I went past and headed for the madness in the opposite drum. I inserted a little role playing into the mix by putting my paint sprayer on automatic after that car got hit on the right side for a massive 15 points of damage. The paint sprayer did not actually cause a penalty to the car that was tailing me: at first it just messed up my continuous fire bonus against the car I was targeting in the opposite drum.

The fourth mini-duel in the lower right corner also went poorly for me. This one ended up being a low speed pivot and counter pivot battle as we both went in forwards and reverse trying to second guess each other. I seemed to take a lot more damage here and even got blurped with a single paint cloud, though I did manage to work off the three second -2 penalty that resulted from that….

With the opening complete, all seven remaining cars converged into the upper right portion of the left drum. I appeared to be losing badly, but my luck finally changed. One of my cars hit the guy that had killed my first car: the damage went through the ATG and damaged the power plant. I rolled 3d6 for the 5th edition fire rules and rolled less than the damage: this resulted in a fire marker. Yee-haw! At the end of the turn I rolled to see how that fire marker would do. I rolled a six: add an extra fire marker! Woo-wee! The pedestrian bailed out and started pestering everyone with his useless SMG. (Note: my opponent reminded me of the chance for fire even though we’d started the first phases of the following turn. We reapplied this rule retroactively only because of his honesty.)

On the following turn, I made a similar shot against my opponent’s second car. I rolled high damage, scored a fire marker after the plant took hits, and rolled another 6 to get a bonus fire marker at the end of the turn. This was insanely fun, though I still felt miserably behind my opponent: he had one car that was completely undamaged…. Mine were all falling apart! (Note: my opponent had allowed me to change the move of the car that fired this lucky shot. I was originally going to stay still and continue to fire at the damaged car I was targeting. Because of his honesty and graciousness, he let be pivot to make this game-changing second shot.)

My car with the paint sprayer turned into the left drum and cut up towards the pedestrian that was shooting from cover from behind his flaming car. (Note: we forgot to check for explosion in this game—that could have really changed things in my favor if we had…!) I rolled to a stop and covered my teammate from the SMG fire with my paint for a few turns. I then fired my SMG at the pedestrian taking cover and completely nailed him. Totally put him into the hospital. (His DP went negative and I allowed him to make a “saving throw” against death considering the arena’s state of the art medical equipment. He rolled an 8 or a 9 on 3d6, so he did survive. But the subsequent hospitalization would prevent him from competing in the final Hotshot round….) The tactic of rolling to a stop and using an SMG seemed to be a pretty good tactic. If I had remembered to apply the burst effect rules, I probably could have done as good or even better!

So I had three cars to his two. My car that had scored the awesome fire marker kills met his end fair and square—the undamaged car that had been chasing my paint streaming car rolled up and cut him down. I just couldn’t pivot away in time. Perhaps I was too greedy to attempt to fire that one last ATG shot….

My car that had gotten blurped by a paint cloud slowly rolled up toward the mess. He’d lost his side armor and was firing furiously at the car that had dueled with him since the opening of the game. I pivoted to protect my missing right-side armor and set myself up to ram that annoying pedestrian with his stupid SMG on the following turn. But that crazy ped used his 4 squares of movement for the rest of the turn to get into position for a final shot at my car! After the turn break, I could only get up to 10 mph. That ped was going 12.5, so he went first! He shot my car and killed my driver! ARGH! There’s no reason that this insane ped couldn’t have drug my driver out of that car and then start driving around again. Instead he just fired the rest of his SMG clip at my last car…. Grrrr….

That left my paint cloud trailing car against two enemies. I slammed it into reverse and went right at the car that had faced him in the opening. I went straight back, slowly picking up speed for several turns, and then curved around the left drum obstacle. My opponent finally accelerated faster than I could, but I still managed to get off every single RL round my car carried. My opponent did a few well executed maneuvers to keep his nearly destroyed side armor out of my arc. The other enemy car was not in the action for some reason, though my paint cloud trail probably protected me from him and the evil pedestrian both…!

I then stopped and put my last car back into first gear and accelerated for the final clash. My opponent’s two cars were just about out of ammo or had their weapons destroyed. Even the pedestrian fired his last shot. The car that I had been targeting swung back around toward me. I think he was going faster than me. I stayed going towards him so I could get two shots off at him. My massive luck on die rolls was not enough to stop him completely. Though I did kill him, in the following phase, his car plowed right into me with a game ending head-on collision. If I had just avoided him for a few more seconds, I could have left the arena in my fully drivable car and kept it…. Ah well, I was completely exhausted at this point and not thinking straight anymore….

I think I could have won this one if I had remembered the explosion and the burst effect rules. I also (for the tenth time) needed to remember that getting in close against my opponent is suicide: he seems to have a knack for putting himself in exactly the most inconvenient spot! I’m not sure I could ever learn to be as evil as him, but I can minimize the number of chances he has to pull off his wickedness. (If I had just turned away one phase sooner….) Still, I wouldn’t have had a chance in this game at all if he hadn’t reminded me of the fire rules, so I don’t have anything to complain about. (Besides, I’d gotten really lucky in the last game….)

All and all, it was an incredible game. Everything seems to work as it should… and the game affects feel realistic for what they are. We still learn new tactics and new rules nuances with almost every game. (I don’t think this game could have lasted near as long as it did if we had left the top and underbody armor in place. That one change would have yielded a lot more salvage value for the winners….)

Driver: +2
Gunner +2
Handgunner: +2 (Extra +1 for ped kill.)
Prestige: +1
Kills: +1
1/17/08 Team Amateur Night Game 11: Stock Joseph Specials at the Double Drum—Crossed the Drum with Cornelius on his tail. Put paint sprayer on automatic. Ducked into the hideaway and stopped to take out a pedestrian shooting his SMG. Fired all RL ammo into Cornelius. Got out of reverse and slowly accelerated… finally killing Cornelius with an ATG shot. Cornelius car still got the head-on collision to take Yahoo down to zero DP.

Joseph Special salvage: No weapons or armor left. (A good power plant, though!) Tire damage: 3, 4, 5, 5.

Driver: +3
Gunner: +3
Kills: +2
Prestige: +3
1/17/08 Team Amateur Night Game 11: Stock Joseph Specials at the Double Drum— Dueled with Hyena at a speed 5 dogfight. Killed by a pedestrian (Corky Mcswain?) that managed to run into a defenseless side’s arc and fire his SMG through the breach: knocking Tanaka unconscious!

Driver: +3
Gunner: +3
Kills: +2
Prestige: +3
1/17/08 Team Amateur Night Game 11: Stock Joseph Specials at the Double Drum— Took out two cars with ATG fire to their power plants—setting them both on fire with the 5th edition fire rules. Killed by Cornelius because she could not pivot her car around in time—she was just a little too greedy for kills….

Gunner: +1
Prestige: -1
1/17/08 Team Amateur Night Game 11: Stock Joseph Specials at the Double Drum— Knocked out in an early one-on-one duel with Nesbitt. (Massive ATG fire through the front armor and a ram….) Knocked unconscious.

One response to “Team Amateur Night Game 11: Stock Joseph Specials at the Double Drum

  1. earlburt June 23, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    The Joe’s were a real revelation on two counts– the low HC and the ATG. They made it really clear that low HC vehicles are good for very little aside from highway driving. At HC1, only the tiniest maneuver can be recovered from each turn. This was a very low speed duel, which stemmed partly from the Double Drum’s geography, but mostly from the Joe’s clumsiness. ATGs are also clearly a poor man’s weapon.

    Of course, the Joe’s tremendous popularity in early CW history occurs during the period of low vehicle sophistocation, not long after the mainstreaming of road dueling. It makes no sense from a metagaming design standpoint. The Joe only makes sense within the context of a richly developed gameworld, where people buy lousy cars because little else is available and they don’t know any better… just like real life, actually.

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