Chris Palmer A couple years ago at one of the HMGS cons, to celebrate the 1000 convention game that the HAWKs had run, we ran a game called “The HAWKs 1000” which was a race game based on the GASLIGHT and Future Race rules sets. The race had four courses: boats, dog sleds, zeppelins, and cars; and players cycled through each race collecting points. At the end, whoever had the most points was declared the winner.
We decided to bring the game back for this year’s Historicon as part of the HAWKs 20th Anniversary celebration. This years race had only three courses: dog sleds and cars like before, and this year we added Martian hover-skiffs. I was selected to run the hover-skiff leg of the race, Done Hogge ran the car race, and Buck Surdu ran the dogsled race.
|Martian hover-skiffs on the start line. On the hill in the background, John Carter prepares to lower his sword to start the race.|
We got twelve players for our game, which we broke down into two teams of 6, and each team cycled through each of the race courses. Each vehicle usually had 2 occupants, a driver and an assistant (who was usually armed), and players were given a random assortment of “dirty trick” cards that they could play on themselves or other racers. In my race, besides just trying to finish first, there were also a couple side objective that the players could hope to achieve; the first of these was to rescue a lost explorer who was located in a far corner of the course, and the second was to rescue a Martian princess who was tied to a monolith in another corner of the course.
|Another “dirty trick” card results in a Martian White Ape jumping aboard one of the skiffs and scuffling with the occupants.|
My Martian hover-skiff race got off to bang, when on the second turn a participant played a “dirty trick” card on another that involved a pair of rogue Martian snipers with radium rifles popping up on the course and taking potshots at the racer. One shot went wild (actually hitting another racer!) but the other shot hit the robot driver of the targeted skiff. The robot needed to make a Save roll, and rolled a 20, which in GASLIGHT, means something BAD happened. So, as GM I ruled that parts of the destroyed robot had fallen into the engine, and the player needed to roll a Save for the vehicle or it would take damage. He succeeded in rolling a second 20, which on the damage table indicated that the vehicle exploded and fell to the ground. I let him make a Save for his assistant figure, which he did, and so the assistant set off to finish the race on foot.
|In the first race, the player who had his skiff blown up, manages to rescue the lost explorer with his assistant, and finish the race on foot, actually coming in third!|
The highlight of the second game was when a player had his skiff crash with only the robot driver survive he tired to use the robot to steal the skiff of another player (who had parked it to rescue the lost explorer) and so I made him roll a Save to see if his robot’s programming was compatible with the other skiff’s. He rolled a 20 as well, and so I ruled that in it’s attempt to diagnose the skiffs programming, defensive software in the skiff had short circuited the robot.
|In the second race, the pair of Martian snipers appears again, and creates havoc near the finish line.|
Both runnings of the race were a hoot to GM, and a great group of gamers made for a terrific night. It was a great way for me to wrap up Historicon 2014.
|Done Hogge (in blue shirt, facing camera) ran a cross-desert car race filled with bandits and lost treasure.|
|Buck Surdu (in blue shirt at far end of table) ran an Arctic dogsled race complete with rogue Yetis and wandering penguins.|