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Axles and Alloys» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A self-published game with a lot to offer. rss

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Chad Egbert
United States
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If you enjoy movies like Mad Max and Death Race, then you will probably like to play Axles & Alloys. This game is about driving hopped up vehicles loaded with weapons with your main destroy everything in your path.

The rules are free to download and can be found here:


To play, you need to provide your own vehicles to play, this may turn some people off to the game but I really like it as it encourages customization. Matchbox and Hot Wheels vehicles are perfect for this game. Of course modifying them with weapons, ram plates, etc. (Warhammer 40k bits work well for this) makes everything look better. Also terrain of about any type helps. It’s more challenging to drive around objects, than to have an open battlefield.


Getting started is fairly quick. First players need to determine what type of game they are playing (elimination, race, teams, etc.) and the type of vehicle they are using.

There are 3 vehicle types to choose from: Light, Medium and Heavy. Each one has different max. speed, acceleration, deceleration, turns, hits and capacity.

Max. speed = this is the maximum amount of distance the vehicle can travel in one turn (inches)

Acceleration = the maximum amount of speed increase (inches) a vehicle can change from one turn to the next.

Deceleration = the maximum amount of speed decrease (inches) a vehicle can change from one turn to the next.

Turns = the number of turns (up to 45 deg. each) a vehicle can make in one player’s turn

Hits = how many hits per line a vehicle can take. Each vehicle has 3 lines of hits.

Capacity = the number of weapons/equipment allowed on the vehicle.

Game Turn Sequence

Once the vehicles are placed and ready to start, each player writes down their vehicle speed for their turn (up to their max. acceleration/deceleration). Everyone reveals their speeds and the fastest vehicle goes first (rolling for ties). Vehicles can defer until later in the round to go after a slower vehicle if they want. Anytime during a player’s movement, a player can fire a weapon (the player moving or another player, whether they have moved yet or not). Once all players have moved, the next turn begins.


Turning can be accomplished before moving, at the end of movement or midway through a move. Here is an example of movement.

A vehicle is moving 16” and wants to make 2 turns. (Turn 45 degrees, move 8”, turn 45 degrees, move 8”)

The faster a vehicle goes, the less control is has. If a vehicle is traveling at 13” or more, it must make a skid check every time it turns. On a roll of a 6 it skids. When a skid happens, player must roll 2d6 (pick the lowest) and the vehicle skids that many inches in the direction it turned. That amount of inches is subtracted from the vehicles total movement, and the rest of the move is continued. When traveling 19” to 24” skids happen on rolls of 5+, and on a 4+ when traveling over 24”.

Firing weapons:

There are various weapons, but here are the basics.

Light = roll 1d6 up to a 12” range
Medium = roll 2d6 up to 12” range or 1d6 up to 24” range
Heavy = 3d6 up to 12” range, 2d6 up to 24” range or 1d6 up to 36” range.

The faster a target is traveling the more difficult it is to hit.

Stationary (numbers shown are rolls of d6s) = 4 and 5s do 2 hit points, 6s do 4 hit points.

1” to 12” = 4 and 5s do 1 hit point, 6s do 2 hit points

13” to 20” = 5 and 6s do 1 hit point

21”+ or jumping = 6s do 1 hit point


Earlier it was mentioned each vehicle has 3 rows of hits (the number of hits in each line varies between vehicles, with heavy vehicles having the most at 6). When a vehicle gets it, the player adds a mark for each point of damage taken. If a row is filled up, the player must roll a threshold check for each component the vehicle has. When the first line is filled, a roll of 6 destroys the component. Once the second line is filled, a roll of 5 or 6 destroys the component. When the third line is filled, the vehicle is destroyed. Components that need to be checked are; fuel tank, driver, engine, steering, brakes, weapon, dropped weapon, turret, flame tank. Depending on what is hit, there can be various affects. If a driver, fuel tank or flame tank is hit the player is out.

The interesting parts

This was a basic overview of the game, and while it’s not much more complicated, there are a few special items like dropped weapons, nitrous and jumping that are described in detail in the rules.

I have played Car Wars and Dark Future, and while those games are fun with much more detail the simplicity of this game is what keeps me coming back to it. Getting into a game, even if it’s been months since the last time, does not take long before you are up and running.

Besides being simple, customization is one of strong points of this game. Modifying your vehicles is only the start. The scenarios you can create are almost endless, especially if you add in the motorcycle and pedestrian rules (see the forums on this game page).

My Rating

I will never turn down a game of A&A. Quite frequently I find myself thinking of ways to customize my vehicles and new scenarios to try. I’d give this a 10 if it were a published game, but the way it is I give it a 9.
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