Gaslands Game – Death Race battle report: Hail to The King, baby!
The Game: Mostly textbook Death Race with 35-can single car teams. Two house-rules in effect. Audience votes in effect.
1: I imposed a ‘forced evade’ rule for collisions outside the start gate. So nothing but swapped paint and bonus hazard-tokens for anyone pulling the ‘activate vehicles in the back row’ troll-nanigans at the start. This didnt come into play as we actually squeezed all 5 vehicles into the starting lineup – which made for a crowded and comical launch on its own.
2: The other oddity I had in place I call “Bumble-Barriers” which I use scrap-made tank trap models for. They are a lightweight obstruction that trigger a collision window like destructible obstructions. So they don’t interrupt movement, but they cause a collision with a lightweight obstruction. They are not destroyed then hit, however; they are placed anywhere within short range of the active/colliding vehicle as per the Piledriver rules. This can trigger another collision window or put the barrier in the way of another vehicle. Only collisions with the active vehicle trigger this – so hitting one and knocking it into a nearby car causes a new collision but does not trigger another ‘bumble-bounce’. That last part can be omitted for maximum chaos, but for this game it was just moveable terrain folks could pass through and manipulate. No one did, however :/ so the field testing continues!
Our Game: Another game this week with the folks I’ve been getting into Gaslands, and the addition of two new folks playing for the first time. This event was just a Death Race competition, so no scenario write up. The game was a fairly smooth ride up the learning curve I think, introducing and going over details as they came up rather than deluging folks in info and making the game feel daunting to approach. Fun was had by all involved again, AND(!!) everyone that played is interested in playing again and learning more of the game. Which is still the real victory. ?
It was a 35-can limit for the event, and I built all the cars in the arena, save for one. I was nice to the new players and again had everyone on pavement for easy shifting, and everyone had turreted weapons so they could engage the mayhem without the frustration of trying to line up shots while still learning to maneuver. I made two cars and two trucks for folks and tried to tailor them to the players. I made a truck-chassis build with oil and napalm droppers and an improvised sludge thrower for one player and the model used was the Matchbox Poop King port-a-potty truck; correctly assuming his enjoyment of the lowbrow humor.
Savage Sean returned this week in the Miyazaki car Grease Lightning that was a car-chassis, HMG rear facing, roll cage, grenades, smoke dropper, and the perks: Powerslide, Slippery, Expertise, Trick Driving. (35 cans)
Maximum Carnage was behind the wheel of Moby’s Dick. A truck-chassis with a front mounted harpoon, a turreted HMG, a front ram, and steel nets for the crew. (35 cans)
The Swift was driving Rosie the Riveter. A car-chassis with a turreted HMG, a forward mounted mortar, A front ram, smoke droppers, and a shotgun in the hands of the crew. (35 cans)
The Nameless brought in The Nameless. A car-chassis with a turreted combat laser (which is a hoot, BTW), a front ram, an HMG facing front, and some molotovs for crew-fired fun. (35 cans)
The Other Guy came to the arena with The Poop King. A truck-chassis with oil, smoke, and napalm droppers and an improvised sludge thrower to lob his messes with, a front ram, a forward mounted minigun, and a crewman in the cab with an SMG. (35 cans)
I didn’t add perks to any of the builds as an attempt to keep things lighter as far as rules. The one car I didn’t put together for the event was a Miyazaki car built by the player driving it, and it was an all-perk monstrosity (LOL). That gave other players a glimpse at what perks are and that they are a thing, but might have left other players feeling a little shortchanged. With new players in the future I think I’ll either make the event entirely no-perk, or give cars a ‘free’ perk for them to see and use to get used to the idea of perks when I introduce them. The trade-off for the perks was clear to everyone. Thirty-five cans is a beefy budget for a single vehicle with no perks, so everyone had pretty built and very well armed rides, whereas the Miyazaki driver showed up with smoke dropper, a bag of grenades, and a rear-facing HMG for tailgaters; he was there to drive!
Setup started as normal. I made an arena that had a good amount of scatter terrain, but only a few large items to stop vehicles or block line of sight. I put a small field of 6 of my experimental Bumble-Barriers for folks to beat their way through or go around. Everyone chose to go around them this time. (☹) I designed the course to run back over itself and keep people crossing the middle so that no one ever felt out of contact of the action. It worked fairly well. The crowded starting gate made for a bumper to bumper kickoff - literally.
The first gate was in the far-right corner from the starting gate perspective and formed a really tight turn around to slow people up for that enjoyable ‘weapons free!’ moment. It worked as designed, and created a really chaotic and messy bottleneck for people to get first engagement going. Gate-1 was the only gate everyone passed.
Weapons started firing, smash attacks started happening, a few wipeouts transpired as folks learned to manage their hazard tokens, and general disarray ensued! On the way to Gate-2 four of the five competitors were eliminated. The Swift shot and wrecked The Nameless, causing The Nameless’ car-cass to collide into her and wreck her in turn. Moby’s Dick smashed into Grease Lightning (I know. I heard it. I didn’t pick these names!) near center court, and as the Miyazaki racer made it’s get-a-away it left two grenade attacks with the truck which was enough to wreck it. Not wanting to see The Poop King be first to Gate-2, Miyazaki gambled on punching through a jersey barrier bit of terrain to get out in front. The barrier had other plans, and Grease Lightning took 6 hits on 4 dice with only 5 hull points remaining. (Who here has seen the end of the movie Vanishing Point?)
At that point, the only one left was the port-a-potty truck cruising along the arena wall staying out of the chaos (which is incredibly ironic considering the player at the wheel). So it turns out The Poop King is actually number-one!
We had a brief reset at Gate-2 and I added a vehicle of my own just to roll some more dice and play a little more, but not much happened before it was time to wrap up due to the hour.
Having good times with Gaslands and sharing those good times with the folks around me. Until next time, Wastelanders! Throttle open, safeties off. Have fun, play games, grind gears, collect hazards!