A lot of the club membership was either absent, absent without leave, or sucked into the Special Project That Cannot Be Named this evening. This left Cei, Marco and I up for something easy and low-prep. Since we've done HOTT the last couple of weeks, it was obviously time to play some more Machinas.
We tried something slightly different, in that each player ran two cars, allowing for team tactics and for keeping players in the game. With three players that gave six cars, but we added a team of two NPC cars as well.
The cars were:
Marco - Clockwork Angel and Pigs On The Wing. The two fastest cars in my collection. One has guns at the front, the other guns at the back.
Cei - War Pig and Lola*. Two of my newest vehicles. Lola was a difficult choice as she's massively overweight. But well armoured.
Me - Hand Over Fist and Villain Of Science. These are both bashing cars with gadgets to make them difficult to overtake.
NPC - The Anarchist and Mary Jane's Last Dance. One with a flamethrower and the other with rockets. Nice and shooty.
(You'll notice that I've widened the source of my car names)
Here's the pack as they raced from the starting line at the start of the three laps. War Pig took a lucky early lead, followed by Pigs On The Wing and Clockwork Angel. Villain Of Science, The Anarchist and Hand Over Fist were in the middle, and Mary Jane's Last Dance and Lola brought up the rear.
Things went badly for my team in the very first lap, when a random event induced collision wiped out Hand Over Fist. It bounced off Mary Jane's Last Dance, who survived.
Marco got his cars into position, using the tail-gun toting Pigs On The Wing to hold off challenges, allowing Clockwork Angel (just out of shot to the bottom-left) to run unopposed and build up bonus dice.
As we went into the second lap, this was the position. My surviving car, the purple Villain Of Science, was fast enough to challenge Marco's vehicles, but I couldn't get past War Pig as well. Marco had both his cars in front, and was fending off all-comers.
A couple of turns saw some extensive wide passes.
War Pig briefly recaptured second place, but Pigs On The Wing aggressively took it back. I hung back at this stage; a couple of attempts to run Pigs On The Wing off the track had failed by a whisker, but had used up my bonus dice supply.
The winners. Clockwork Angel won the race with little difficulty, having so many bonus dice in hand that he was unstoppable. War Pig managed to sneak a second place - holding off other cars had worn down Pigs On The Wing. I came third with Villain Of Science. I'd tried to do better using a final nitro boost, but an event allowed War Pig to move across one lane and block me from taking second place.
Pigs On The Wing came fourth, with The Anarchist, Mary Jane's Last Dance and the unlucky Lola bringing up the rear.
Marco chose two good cars and used them well. Clockwork Angel can be put under pressure in a normal race, but no-one could reach it because Pigs On The Wing was there to provide cover. I made three serious attempts to bash Pigs On The Wing out of the game, but they all failed by one success.
So a good race with some interesting tactics. Lola was the most awkward vehicle to play, as she's slow but relies on having other cars behind her to bring her strengths into play. Possibly a good one for a road-chase scenario.
The new rules seemed to hold up OK. An adjustment to Luckless was a complete pain, whilst the new Saboteur trait was useful, but still relies on the player having good luck at the right time. Nitro could have clinched a second or first place with more luck, but timing when to use it is critical as you only get one shot. The obvious move is to use it on the last turn, but as this game showed getting blocked is a danger. There's something to be said to using it to take the lead earlier, then using the bonus dice it saves you using to hold off the challenges.
*Looks like a woman, but drives like a man.