It’s that time of the year again… and for me it means not just new games under the tree, but remembering old times with old friends on past Christmas breaks. This year saw a chance to introduce somebody new to the greatest game of vehicular combat ever made– and the introduction of some new characters into an all-new campaign.
Here’s a brief rundown of the events:
Murdock misses with a potentially game-winning heavy rocket shot! Doh!!!
“Murdoch” sole survivor of Amateur Night at Brewer’s Cellar!
Four Pisces going in. After a harrowing opening pass, Jose Feliciano and El Cid took each other out in a tragic head on collision leaving little more than the tires on their vehicles and 3 pristine heavy rockets among the wreckage. On Murdoch’s third pass, he just barely missed with a heavy rocket shot at a key moment, but managed to circle around and use the one on the opposite side to finish off Carl Britanalananewsky for the win.
His Pisces is as good as new and he has $525 in his pocket.
Skill points: Two points of Driver, two points of gunner, and four general skill points.
Harry Saladin skids directly in front of Akira Jones just moments before his untimely demise!
Akira Jones Wins Big with Two Kills in his First Outing!
This was played in Amadillo Autoduel Arena with each side coming in with a Pisces and a Joseph Special. The long ranges combined with revised small box speed modifiers mean that driving turned out to be more important than shooting. Akira Jones got on Special Joe’s tail right out of the gate and machine gunned his left-side armor for several seconds straight. Just as Joe fell unconscious and coasted into the arena wall, Harry Saladin blew in at high speed looking for a chance to scoop up a payback kill. Akira turned away, narrowly preventing his being on the receiving end of a t-bone. With Joe on his tail, Akira let loose with his two rear firing heavy rockets and missed with both. He then tapped the breaks and let Joe race back in front of him. Rather than accept being tailed by his nemesis, Joe maneuvered violently in order to attempt setting up another t-bone. Joe lost control, then skidded directly in front of Akira as Akira’s Pisces landed a t-bone of his own, locking down a first-rate win.
Akira Jones — Skill points: three in Driver, three in Gunner and four General Skill points. [Salvage: Pisces with ten points damage left, four points damage back, five shots fired from each MG, both rear HRs fired and left HR fired. Pisces with nine points damage front, no right armor, two shots fired from each MG, three points damage on power plant, and right HR fired. Joseph Special with seven points damage front, no left armor, two shots fired from RL, and five hits on power plant.]
John Renier — Missed out on the action, but has a brand new Joeseph Special that’s fired a single round of ATG ammo for his trouble. Skill points: one in Driver, one in Gunner and one General Skill point.
Special Joe — Free hospital care! Skill points: one in Driver, one in Gunner and one General Skill point.
In previous campaigns, I adjusted the speed and range modifiers downward in order to give to-hit targets that were closer to what were typical before the introduction of speed mods. I also ignored the general skill points awards from later editions of the game and made the “free” skill points for entering events harder to pick up.
Now that the small box is back in print, I’ve attempted to play it more or less as is. The results? A new duelist that has survived three Amateur Night events is liable to come away with Gunner-1… which is almost enough to offset a good chunk of the speed modifiers. Anyone that’s Gunner-1 and that owns a targeting computer can probably hit often enough that the speed mods are not so bad.
Also, nobody really wants to play game after game featuring Killer Karts and Stingers– especially when speed modifiers are combined with the -1 to-hit modifier for compacts. Besides, the chance of a character surviving three events straight is so low, the winners really deserve to have something to show for their efforts. $10,000 cars for amateur events are reasonable… and third round contenders deserve to face off in $20,000 vehicles.
If you want to run a continuing campaign with successful duelists taking part in rpg adventures between events… then you basically need to see to it that every Amateur Night event results in at least one character coming away with a decent road vehicle.