Philip Reed(PhilReed)United States
Scott, Sam, and I sat down yesterday afternoon for another round of Car Wars, this time trying a couple of Scott's revised rules as well as the fire/internal damage deck. The game was roughly one and a half hours -- thirty minutes of which was discussion -- putting it at slightly longer than our goal of fifteen minutes per player.
How did things go? Keep reading and find out!
tl;dr - Still fast, still fun, needs more attention applied to collisions. Oh. And no more twin rocket launchers in a turret.
Turrets and Rocket Launchers
"How many weapons can I shove in a turret," I asked Scott as we were working on vehicle design. The response of "up to two identical weapons" had me immediately dump the majority of my 12 design points into a turret and two rocket launchers. I then applied about 75% of my vehicle's armor to the right and back of the car.
The plan? Drive straight out. Turn hard. Stop. Play bunker. And pray Sam and Scott never had a chance to get around to the sides of the car that had almost no armor.
Firing First + Twin Rocket Launchers = No Front Armor for Sam
The game started off as violently as we could hope when the very first barrage from my twin rocket launchers shredded the front of Sam's car. Sam, carrying a flamethrower on each side and with most of his armor on the right and left sides of his car, drove through the rest of the game with zero front armor. That made him a very attractive target.
How Many Collisions?
I lost track of the number of times Sam and Scott rammed my car. We tried the revised collision dice out, and a good part of our discussion turned to various ideas on how to keep collisions as simple as possible without completely ignoring what happens when two cars hit each other. The updated collision dice helped, but we're still working on this.
The trick is to make collisions fun and satisfying without completely bringing the game to a halt AND without making rams so powerful that everyone ignores the weapons.
Sam and Scott have ideas, I have an idea, and the next step is for the three of us to bounce those ideas around and try to streamline the system and make it fun and dangerous. I'm sure that between the three of us we'll have this nailed down over the next week.
Out of Control
Sam tested the maneuvering system by collecting out of control tokens. I mentioned these last week -- see https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/43804/vroom-taking-car-wa... -- and at one point during the game Sam had four of these which was not making life any easier. Scott's updated maneuvering system works quick and clean, but as we played the three of us discussed ways to make maneuvering just a little more dangerous.
Now we don't want everyone zigging and zagging randomly without worry, but there needs to be just a little more risk than there is now. Maybe revising the dice mechanic will help, or we could increase the challenge of various maneuvers. Needs more testing . . . aw, you mean we have to play Car Wars again this week? So horrible for us, right?
About Those Twin Rocket Launchers
Brutal is too weak a word to describe the damage caused by twin rocket launchers in a turret. The weapons took no time to reduce both Sam and Scott to cars with no front armor, and both of them were soon suffering internal damage as the rocket launchers just kept firing.
As Sam and Scott raced around -- their speeds were usually at the upper range of the system -- I rolled and stopped, rolled and stopped, doing everything I could to keep my strong right and back sides facing them.
When we sit down again I am certain that we'll tweak the way weapons and turrets work together -- I'll likely never again shove two rocket launchers into a single turret -- but we test these ideas for exactly this reason. It's better to have a few off-balanced playtests and try everything than it is to ship a game that has a weird loophole for someone to exploit.
Next Time I'll Talk Fire and Internal Damage
I forgot to explain the deck for fire and internal damage, didn't I? Well, we're scheduled to play again this week so I'll have to snap some rough pics of the deck and talk about how it works. It's not that we didn't use it during this session -- we drew several times; Sam and Scott both had flamethrowers and they weren't afraid to use them -- but I neglected to take any pictures of those cards during play.
Yep. Next time I take those pictures and tell you guys how the deck works. I promise.
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