Okay… the red car is getting mauled here. How did he let himself get stuck like this…?
Always bet on black.
Let’s see… on the first turn, red won initiative and positioned himself to hopefully join forces with his comrade without having to take more than one shot from an opposing car. Probably not a bad plan. (In reality, red’s team mate botched his control roll and failed to be where he was supposed to end up!) But red won initiative on the first turn and then lost it on the second. So… black got to move two times in a row. This is a bad thing for red! (While I’ll continue to try to play the game as written… I wonder… if perhaps drivers might should have the option to use a smaller die than the one on their engine card. Other games like Samurai Swords and Hellenes allow players to manipulate the turn order to some extent. The lack of this could be perceived as unnecessarily capricious by snobby board-gamers. I hesitate to allow drivers to spend skill points to win initiative.) At any rate… getting blind-sided like this stinks. Your ideal position as we will soon see (especially if you have an extra secondary weapon on the front) is stopped and facing your opponent directly.
The Muleskinner should have ended his turn stopped...!
So here we see the red Gunslinger after he dealt the killing blow to yellow. Had he lost initiative, he might not have had a chance to do even that! Black is tailing him quite easily. (One thing we both ended up doing in this game was spending enough skill points to ensure 100% chance of success on such manoeuvres.) Though black is only getting two shots here, it is red’s fifth and sixth hits, so red is now out of the game on turn three. (Red probably needed a better armour die than the measly D6 that he gambled on….) On the other side of the board, we can see the now dead yellow Interceptor. His final move is the one that won the game for his side: by ending his turn directly into the Muleskinner’s face, the big van will have to ram the Interceptor, then back up to the board edge and then start going forward again. This extreme loss of tempo will give the other side a half dozen free shots at least. So… the moral of the story is… if you’re going to die, then slow someone down as much as you can. Also, if your opponent can do something like this to you, you better end your turn stopped!
The cha-cha of death.
Well… after the Muleskinner completed his three-point-turn, the end game consisted of several tit-for-tat exchanges like the one above. Though the Muleskinner was facing an opponent that had taken no damage… he need not have lost heart. The plus-two bonus on the armour die can be really tough to bust through sometimes! (The lilting waltz of hurdy-gurdy movement seen here is more reminiscent of something like BattleTech than what you see in phased movement games like CAR WARS.) I did not immediately see any manoeuvres that could give anyone an advantage. I tried, but attempting to deny my opponent shots tended to cost me too many of my own to be worth it. Again… it doesn’t come natural… but ending your turn stopped gives you many more options in the face of uncertain initiative die rolls. But more importantly, if you are stopped and your opponent is in arc… you can fire before you put your car in gear.
Here are the vehicle stats for this game:
Gunslinger: Engine d10+1, Driver D12+1, Armour D6, Weapon D8+1
Muleskinner: Engine D10, Driver D12, Armor D6+2, Weapon D8+1
Interceptor: Engine D6+2, Driver D10+1, Armor D8, Weapon D12
Linebacker: Engine D10+1, Driver D12, Armor D6+1, Weapon D8
As far as die assignments go…. The armour on my Gunslinger was painfully weak. That really should have been upgraded a bit more. I probably would have been better served with a different build. The D12 on driver is extremely useful…. Not only can you pull off those three-shot manoeuvres… but your skill point reserve can be used to ensure success on them at critical moments– plus… you can generally lay +2 on most of your shots. Still… dropping from D12 to D10 on driver should not hurt things too badly when you have a car with a +1 bonus there already.