For the past couple of years our car-combat game itch has been scratched by Gaslands, but I thought yesterday it would be nice to set up and play a game of Machinas. When it kind of fell by the wayside back in 2018 I was in the process of rejigging a fair bit of it, and I recently came across my garbled notes and felt inspired to set something up and give it a try.
I played a four car, three-lap race. The vehicles, from top to bottom were:
Bad Blood - A gun front and back and a little bit of armour.
Perfect Day - Pure speed.
Mr Apollo - A little bit of armour and one big gun to the front.
Number Two - No weapons and no armour.
I played Number Two. No weapons and no armour translates to a 'cargo space' effect in my changes, which means that the vehicle can possibly score extra bonus dice during the race as the driver finds useful items stashed in the car. The other three cars were run as NPCs.
All four vehicles has a driver signature and a special feature, but I don't think any of them were triggered at any point.
They couldn't manage it, but it wore down both vehicles, so I maintained a cautious third place.
I survived! And we were now heading into the second curve of the lap.
It was a very close finish; I lost the final passing attempt by only a single point!
I enjoyed having Machinas out again, even though the AI never quite gives the same experience as live players. It's hard with an AI to balance the requirements of a race with the opportunity to shoot or bash, and sometimes vehicles aren't aggressive enough. I may tweak it a little to make passing attempts less frequent but potentially more aggressive. And I still have a fair bit of work to do tweaking my extensive changes to the game. However there's no getting away from the fact that for a race/chase experience, the Machinas system is in many ways better than Gaslands. Gaslands scores on variety of gameplay and the sheer amount of chrome.