Friday, May 15, 2015

Axles and Alloys: Fire Circle race mayhem!

The Hook

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday at the new Fire Circle track!

Hot Axles and Alloys racing in the Deadzone!  Will new meat win the vaunted Deadzone Champion trophy, or will Terry "The Terror" Carr and his hated 'Dutch Oven' Jeep maintain his reign? 

The Story

If you followed last week's action of the group's six-race challenge, Ken was supposed to host a F1 race this week.  Unavoidable circumstances saw the location and game changed to my casa and finely tuned F1 cars replaced by post-apocalyptic beaters.  The only similarity was they were ready to race!

Participants:  Jon Mark, Ken, Terry, Bill, Cordry and me.  

The Game

The course
We positioned ourselves at the start line, engines revved and weapons primed.  I took off with Cordry hot on my tail.  He fired his flamethrower at me, but mercifully missed.  Bill, who was in the second rank of cars, gunned his engine and rammed the back end of Terry's Jeep, Dutch Oven.  This had unfortunate results for Bill, as he bounced off the Jeep's bumper and spun out, facing the wrong direction.

Starting positions

Bill's folly...
The race swept around the first corner, with guns blazing away at targets of opportunity.  I jumped the dirt ramp, with Cordry close behind.  Ken decided to try to jump his car so it would land on mine..."death from above", so to speak..., but had to fall back on merely putting holes in my chassis while still airborne.

Yee haw!!!
We rounded the second bend in good order, with me still in the lead, Cordry still shooting away at me and Ken close behind.  Jon Mark and Terry were following at a 'safe' distance, but still able to affect the things to come.

I was almost at "Fire Circle Loop", the namesake of the track, when things fell to pieces for the race.  First, Cordry decided to gun it and ram me, sending my buggy into an out-of-control spin.  I ended up pointed the wrong way, at a standstill and offering a fine firing profile for Ken as he rounded the corner.  Never one to miss an opportunity to waylay me, he hammered my vehicle with weapon fire.

Spun out...

...and destroyed.
Terry came around the corner and placed a beaut of a shot on Cordry's car, which then smacked into mine, finishing off both of us.

 As Ken and Jon Mark tried to maneuver past the smoking hulks of the destroyed vehicles, they both had bad luck with traction, landing themselves on the barrier walls.  They both wound up pointing in favorable directions and took the opportunity to shoot at Terry as he whizzed by. Unfortunately for the rest of the pack, Dutch Oven took what they gave it and kept on going.

Then came Bill, with his long-range rifle slung across his hood.  He rounded the corner and took aim at Jon Mark.  His shot was true, as he not only hit Jon Mark's car (the Fishbat), but killed the driver as well!

Where it ended.
It was nearing quitting time, with Cordry grumbling about his bedtime.  We called the game with only half a lap in the books...a far cry from the three I'd imagined.  Dang it.

On the backside of the race, near the starting line, Jon Mark, Cordry and I were tangled up in gridlock.  My car, the Fez, had skidded into a barrier and wound up taking last place.

End result?  Terry was in first, with Ken and a late-arriving Bill in second and third, respectively.

The winner...again!
Another great night of gaming, with lots of laughs and loads of my wife's fantastic popcorn.  I so totally get my butt handed to me when we play this game, but it's fun!

Next racing stop?  F1 in Japan.  See y'all next time!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Conncourse 300

The Background

The club, spurred on by Ken's love of Springtime racing, has started a six-course race competition.  Unlike other race leagues, this one will span several genres and ages.  Racers take their top four finishes and add up the points to be declared the "Racing Champion" for 2015 (there's also a spiffy traveling trophy presented to the winner).

The first race was 54mm Roman chariot racing.  The event was well-covered at The Penny Whistle blog.  In short, Ken took first, I took second and Jon Mark took third.  With that in mind, I hosted the second race of the 'season':  The Conncourse 300.

The board and cars used were from the defunct WizKids game, Race Day.  The rules were Going the Distance.  Slightly smaller than Matchbox cars, the styrene vehicles are punched from baseball card-sized sheets and assembled.  The white edges I colored to match the cars' paint jobs.  I think the effect was good.

It was a full house.  The participants of the night's game were Greg, Jon Mark, Bill, Terry, Ken, Carl and myself.  We each had two cars (Jeff Gordon was not selected) and high expectations.  After I explained the nuances of the track (lanes ending and starting in corners, 'A' compound tires, drafting and pit stops) and laps/field dice (five laps and 3d6 field dice), we were ready to roll.

Note - Sorry for light bulb glare in any pics.  Unavoidable, really.  Also, the big marker (HeroClix figure) visible in some photos is the 1st place indicator.

The Race

Starting positions
Greg won the pole position, followed closely by the rest of us.  The race started well, with the inevitable gridlock in the first turn for the cars toward the back of the pack.

Positions after 1st moves

Positions after 1st Field Move
Due to the nature of the track, lane changes had to be made, but options were limited for players wanting to play it safe.  There was also a lot of "team tactics" (Jon Mark's words), where a player's second vehicle would purposefully hold up the pack in order for his first vehicle to advance unhindered.  Hilarity ensued as a combination of solid tactics, taking advantage of situations and crappy dice rolls kept everyone in the race.

Only a couple of vehicles DNF, but plenty of walls and cars were hit as everyone tried to jockey for hard-fought positions.

Carl's doom
The reason I chose five laps instead of the usual three became clear later in the race, as people had to pit or DNF.  This caused another set of 'choke points', as access to the pits was limited to only a few spaces.

Pit stop

We were in the middle of lap four when a couple of players stated they needed to get home and to bed (early risers/workers), so we had to cut the race a little short. It's a shame really, as every position was heavily contested and the final outcome was far from resolved.  Still, people have to work, so we called it.

End Results

1st: Jon Mark
2nd: Terry
3rd: Ken
4th: Greg
5th: Ted
6th: Bill

Another enjoyable evening with the gang!  Next week is F1 racing from Japan.  Watch for the AAR on The Penny Whistle.