Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

GASLIGHT Dogsled Race!

Bird's eye view of the race course

Bird's eye view of the race course

For Fall In! 2011 the HAWKs are running a GASLIGHT race game to celebrate our 1000th convention game in 10 years.  The HAWKs 1000 will involve a series of short, 1-hour race games:  arctic dogsled race, Amazonian boat race, desert car race, and mountain aerial race.  The players with the most points after four rounds will play in the HAWKs 1000, a car race around a circular track.

The contestants on the starting line

The contestants on the starting line

For race games, we’ve modified GASLIGHT with a few small additions from Jamie Davis’ “Future Race.”  (Future Race was inspired by Star Wars CRAPisode I and is probably the only good thing about the Star Wars prequel trilogy.  Get a copy today!!!)  Here’s what we borrowed from Future Race:

  • Movement speed has a random component.  For the dogsled race, sleds moved 1d6″ + 2″ per remaining dog.  We let players opt to NOT use the 1d6″; however, they had to move the 2″ per dog.  As a result of the play test, we decided to let the sleds move 2d6″ plus the dog inches.  BEFORE rolling their movement dice, players can elect to use two, one, or none of the six-sided dice.
  • Sleds had to move the entire movement distance.
  • In GASLIGHT vehicles turn up to their Spin and then move in a straight line.  For the dogsled race, sleds MUST move at least half their full movement distance and then can turn up to Spin to finish the move.  They can only turn once.  If a sled is going to hit an obstacle, the player may Save to try to turn early.
  • When sleds hit obstacles, the driver of the sled rolls his Shoot number to try to aim the sled away from the obstacle.  If unsuccessful, the player rolls on the Sled Vehicle Damage Chart for each inch the sled would move through the obstacle.  For instance if the movement would take the sled three inches into the side of a cliff, the player would roll three times for damage.
  • If a sled moved through another sled, there was a chance of a bump.  The moving sled rolled a Shoot to see if he could avoid or hit, whichever he was trying to do.  If a bump occurred, the “defender” rolled Save to avoid.  If that failed, the moving player rolled on the Bump Table to determine the result, which could be things like “attacker rolls on Sled Vehicle Damage Chart” or “defender rolls on Sled Vehicle Damage Chart.”
My sled slid on ice and flipped

My sled slid on ice and flipped

Each sled began the game with a driver (with a pistol), gunner (with a rifle), and five dogs.

Each player drew three cards at the beginning of the game.  These cards could be played on themselves or other players during the game.  A few of these were good things (like an extra burst of speed that gave the sled an additional 1d6″ of movement).  Most were bad things, like being attacked by Eskimos, walruses, or “The Northland Marauder.”  These cards help self regulate the race, because players tend to play these cards against the current leader.  In the picture above, my sled slipped on a patch of ice (played by Geoff) and flipped, killing my gunner.

Attacked by a walrus

Attacked by a walrus

Points were awarded as follows:

  • 5 points for first place; 3 points for second place; and 1 point for third place.
  • -1 point for driving a sled through one of the Eskimo villages
  • 3 points for rescuing a lost explorer
  • 3 points for capturing the Northland Marauder

Dave’s lead sled dog dart off after an arctic rabbit (a card played by Duncan) and went off the course, up the side of a rocky hill, across the rocks, and back onto the course, taking the lead.  He earned five points.  Chris left his gunner behind to battle a Yeti, and his driver was shot in the back.  Greg drove off the course and was later shot in the back as well.  Geoff came in second and had rescued a lost explorer, but he lost a point for losing his camping gear along the course, so he earned five points.  Sam’s sled had been stopped by a Mountie for questioning, but her gunner rand on foot for the finish line.  Duncan’s sled passed her to attain third place and earn one point.

When we play the full extravaganza at Fall In!, each player would carry their points to the next game with them.

It was a very fun game.  I’m looking forward to testing the other four scenarios.


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