Saturday, March 9, 2013

VOID RACERS: the Second Playtest!

And this is slightly after where we all made it through the first gate and promptly flew off the edge of the mat!

Got together with a few members of the local club and had another go at Void Racers. And, boy!, did we go. Right off the mat. Inertia does, indeed, fight you both tooth and nail. 

This was a four player game around a new course: a simple loop with 3 numbered gates. As can be seen in the photo at the top, a few gas clouds were added to grant cover but not imperil movement as they act like stationary, perpetual smoke clouds.

All 4 racers made it out of the starting gate at maximum acceleration. The next turn we all crossed the firing line; mayhem ensued. So far, so good.

Here's where the education started. It had been discovered that speed was a form of cover, so going faster (at least twice as fast as your nearest opponent) was better than going slower. Everyone increased their speed. We all blasted through the first gate.

It was at this point that Newton bitch-slapped us. Unable to generate enough thrust - or temporarily unable to control our racers due to a critical hit - we discovered that the universe may be infinite, but felt game mats are not. Eventually, we made it back on course (see what I did there?) and dropped our speeds. 

Then the body-count started to climb. Weapons fire and critical hits took their toll on our racers. By the passing of the third gate, there was only one racer left.

Things learned:

Like all proper, old school wargames, clipboards were required!

There was the desirable effect of players having to choose between lining up an attack, or favorably positioning themselves for their next movement phase.

The race course will be surrounded by a energy barrier that allows errant racers to return to the race though at very low speeds. Have to see if this will be abused.

The dogfighting aspect of the game seems to be working, but the racing portion still need some tweaking, as it's proving far too deadly. Simple solution: there will be two levels of play - racing and dogfighting. Instead of inflicting damage, racing will use the same rules and weapons for combat, but the damage will be nonlethal and short-lived. Thrust points instead of structure points will be lost for a turn, and critical hits will temporarily disable random systems. Combat will still have a part in the race, but racing shall be what wins the game.

And, yes, we're still using counters. The miniatures are on the assembly table.

Thanks for stopping by!

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