Jason brought along his terrain set-up as well; he invested in a pile of MDF laser-cut fairground scenery, which gave the whole board a wonderful theme.
We had four players, and played with 50 can teams of exactly two vehicles per player. Dave and Ceasar both ran Rutherford teams (lots of destructive firepower), whilst Jason and I had both opted for Verney sponsored teams. This is a new sponsor, based around clever mechanical builds, rather than the mad-science builds of Mishkin from the original game. Verney sponsored teams get a number of perks based around heavy use of dropped weapons.
And away they go. Most vehicles headed out of the start gate in a traditional way. My motorbike headed off to the side. It wasn't there to race, but had the new SatNav perk, which allows it to store shift dice results which can then be passed to any other vehicle on the team. The bike's job was to drive around building up a pool of shift results which could then be used by my other vehicle (a truck with a mechanical digger strapped to the back) to keep it in the race by burning off hazards.
A small obstacle in the run-up to the first gate caused some consternation, and broke up the pack, causing some near misses. At this stage though, weapons were still not active, and no-one was really equipped for ramming.
Dave was first through the gate, with a rocket-armed car, and obliterated Caesar's lead vehicle. Jason was next through, and immediately sprayed the area beyond the gates with napalm. I took my truck through, avoided the napalm and added some mines. I also attacked Jason's car with the digger's grabber-arm, which would have allowed me to pick up and drop his vehicle on the mines and the napalm. Sadly he evaded the attack.
Jason's car sped off into the distance, dropping napalm, caltrops and remote-controlled RC cars as it went. I misjudged a turn with my lumbering truck, and crashed into Dave's rocket-car. We survived the collision, and in the next turn I was able to grab Dave's vehicle and throw it into a more awkward position. It took virtually no part in the rest of the race.
Everyone else was now maneuvering desperately to avoid the death-trap waiting on the other side of the gate. Caeasar turned his truck around, playing it safe. Jason's other car dropped an annoying gun-turret. Dave's flamethrower-car also approached the gate. Swerving to avoid the napalm it crashed into Jason's car, lost control and flipped through both the napalm and the mines, wrecking and exploding in the process. The plus side for everyone else is that napalm and mine templates are removed if a vehicle 'activates' them, so the way was clear for everyone else. Nearly clear, anyway. One napalm template remained. Jason tried to avoid it, and inadvertently picked up an illegal template for his vehicle. In that case he has to discard it and another player gets to choose his template for him. His car drove through the last of the napalm, caught fire, wrecked and exploded.
Jason was well out in front with his first car, easily navigating the obstacles on the track. I followed on with my truck, unable to catch him, but cruising along happily. Every so often we dropped mines and napalm to annoy the vehicles behind us if they ever got themselves organised enough to pursue.
My satnav bike had had a terrible time, rolling really badly and wiping out a couple of times (albeit that I was storing the shifts that would prevent this rather than using them to keep the vehicle in play). It still hadn't passed the first gate, so couldn't shoot, but I positioned it to try and interfere with Jason's lead car, which was now so far ahead that no-one was going to be able to catch it from the main pack.
Caesar got his performance car back in play, and tried to catch up, but never got past the first gate before the race ended.
My truck passed through the final gate, mining it as it did so.
Jason sped towards the finish. I revved up my bike. It may not be able to shoot, but the bike itself was a weapon. With a ll of the shits I had stored (and which the truck seemingly had no use for, as it was cruising nicely), I was able to accelerate to top speed virtually from a standing start, aiming straight for the front of Jason's car. If I could destroy him in the collision, then he would have to respawn back at the final gate, which I'd just mined, and would be behind my truck which could then just cruise to the finish line for a win.
BLAM! The two vehicles collided head on at speed. And both were wrecked!
I'd misjudged the positioning. When a vehicle wrecks it makes a short move straight forward before it ceases to count as active. and that move was just enough to edge Jason's car over the finish line before the chassis disintegrated. We had a winner!
I came second, with my truck, Dave a distant third with the rocket-car and Caesar was fourth.
Making the track an oval did make it easy for a vehicle to get out ahead and stay there, whilst being difficult to stop. There's a reason for building circuits where the lead vehicles have to pass back through the main pack. But the circuit did look gorgeous and the race was a lot of fun. The Rutherford vehicles never really got to unleash their full potential, but the changes to rockets certainly made them less deadly than they were in the original game. The Verney vehicles were great fun to play and frustrating to oppose, and I loved using the grabber-arm as well. My SatNav strategy worked OK as well, even if the bike kept wiping out. At one stage I had nine Shift results stacked up for my team to use.
Thanks to Jason for the great terrain, and to him, Dave and Caesar for a fabulous and entertaining game.