Monday, 19 October 2015

Tanker Chase

I've been playing more Machinas this weekend, messing around with the changes I'm making to weapons, defences, features and signatures. So far things are looking good, and I should try and write everything up properly before I lose the various bits of paper my notes are scribbled on.

I have run races mostly (including one three-lap one featuring eight vehicles at the start in which only three crossed the finish line at the end). But I thought I'd play and document a chase this evening. I went for the traditional approach - a V8 Interceptor escorting a tanker and being attacked by a gang of scavengers with mixed vehicles.

Here's the Interceptor and the Tanker. The former has a shotgun for the driver, plus some scrap-metal caltrops to discourage passing attempts and the obligatory big engine. The latter has heaps of armour-plate, a big ram and some chains, also to discourage passing.

The scavengers. I selected six vehicles for them: three bikes, a buggy, a ram-car and the truck/excavator combo. Between two and four would start the chase, with the others possibly appearing as reinforcements.

Here's the bikes and the buggy. The buggy is armed with rockets, whilst the bikes either have machine-guns or hand-weapons.

The ram-car and truck/excavator are both unarmed. But who needs to shoot?

The initial chasing vehicles were the buggy and one of the bikes. They would be run as NPCs, whilst I would control the Interceptor and the Tanker.

Things nearly went badly for me at the start. I had the interceptor draft the Tanker in order to pick up some extra bonus dice, but the Tanker's brakes failed and there was a hair-raising near collision.

Although the bike was at the back of the pack, it made the first move ...

... getting a good score on passing successes.

They weren't enough to take on the Interceptor, though. However they weren't so bad that the Interceptor could hold off the pass with the caltrops.

The chase continued. Drafting the tanker seemed like a good plan.

Unfortunately the Interceptor skidded, and lost ground, allowing the bike to slip past.

The bike now had a clear run at the tanker.

It lined up for a pass, which would allow it to rake the tanker with gunfire.

But the tanker got lucky - I chucked in piles of bonus dice, and not only got to hold off the pass, but could respond by bashing if I wanted to as well. I wanted to.

I moved in for the bash ...

... ten dice to the bike's three.

I scored more successes, but the bike managed to get successes on all three dice which meant the difference wan't enough to take it out. The bike served back, having had a lucky escape.

The Interceptor tried to pass the bike on the inside so that the driver could line up a shot with his gun, but the bike managed to hold it off.

Now the buggy moved up, looking for a shot despite the close range not being optimal for its rockets.

It lined up the shot and fired, but the range saw most of the rockets overshoot, and no damage was scored.

The vehicles jostled for position on the next road section, with the buggy trying a wider pass this time, for a better chance of a hit.

The Interceptor used a random event to slide over one lane and spoil the shot.

The bike moved in for another stab at the tanker.

Once again I used as many bonus dice as I dared to contest the pass. Some cunning driving saw the tanker pull sharply in front of the bike, and ram it ...

... and this time the bike didn't survive.

Again the buggy tried a shot, but couldn't line one up. All cars were running low on bonus dice now, making actions harder.

The buggy tried close passes ...

... and wide ones, but to no avail.

Reinforcements arrived, in the form of a ram-car.

The buggy took that as a cue to pull out of the chase.

The ram-car spent a couple of road sections just drafting, sizing up the opposition.

Then it moved out for a pass. It rolled well, and I decided not to waste dice contesting it with the Interceptor, but save them to defend against the possible ram ...

... which never came, as the ram-car went straight for the tanker.

There was lots of scraping and grinding ,,,

... and although this picture makes it look like the car was in trouble it was, in fact, the tanker which almost came a cropper, being saved only by its armour.

(Writing this up I realise that I'd made a mistake at this point. The tanker failed to crash by one point, but the result it got should have seen it fall back behind the ram-car. I read the result as an unsuccessful bash and had the ram-car drop back. This was important, as you'll see.)

The Interceptor moved out, hoping to get a shot at the ram-car.

But once again the tanker's brakes failed, and it slipped back into the vehicle behind it. This is treated as a ram ...

... and again the tanker rolled badly. Even its armour couldn't save it from a margin like this.

The tanker flipped ...

... and rolled across the road, narrowly missing the Interceptor.

(Another mistake - it was getting late - it should have landed on the Interceptor, forcing a control roll. Had I not made the first mistake the tanker would have dropped back onto the Interceptor behind it, not the ram-car. The Interceptor had two lucky escapes due to my lack of concentration.)

A final passing attempt by the Interceptor failed. I called the game at this point as the tanker was the real objective.

Back down the road the scavenger reinforcements were already at work stripping the crashed vehicle's carcass.

This was a fun game. Running two vehicles in a chase gives the player more decisions to make, so things are more interesting. With the different vehicle sizes in play a chase can be quite a challenge. I just need to find a way of factoring relative points values into it, something I have cracked for races between mismatched vehicles and which I will detail in another post.

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