Sunday, 25 June 2017

Six By Six Machinas

Machinas is the one game on my Six By Six Challenge list that I've yet to play, So I decided to fit in a game before the end of June, so I would reach the halfway mark with at least one game of each of my selections played.

Since it was part of the challenge I decided to run a Six By Six race - six vehicles running for six laps.

Here they are:

Bulls On Parade (Yellow/Brown) - An excavator bolted to the back of a utility truck. Not something you want to get into close contact with, but a bit slow.
Pigs On The Wing (Red) - A meaty engine and a rear-firing gun.
Dreamline (Brown) - A ram-car.
Stay On These Roads (Green) - Another powerful engine, crammed into a nippy rat-rod.
The Fountain of Lamneth (Yellow) - A huge rocket pod mounted on a car.
A Farewell To Kings (White) - A decent gun in an otherwise unremarkable car.


I decided to run A Farewell To Kings, with the others being played by the NPC rules. Here they are on the starting-line.


And they're off! Fountain of Lamenth raced into the lead, the two cars with decent engines dropped in behind, and the rest of us brought up the rear. I opted for my usual strategy; sit back, build up dice and try to deal with one opposing car each lap.


NPCs have no patience, and Pigs On The Wing and Stay On These Roads raced ahead.


The mighty digger-toting ute also forged ahead, and had a go at the tiny Stay On These Roads. But it evaded the attack.


Fountain Of Lamneth was now back in fourth place. I moved up to pass, but decided to try out my gun. The yellow car was heavily damaged.


There was a lot of jostling for position at the front. This was the position at the end of the first lap.


Bulls On Parade had a go at Pigs On The Wing, but was damaged by the rear gun.


I closed up on the damaged ute, and fires another burst from my machine-gun ...


... and destroyed it. Fountain Of Lamneth had to swerve to avoid the wreck.


With no gun it's danger had been somewhat neutralised, but the driver boldly tried to bash me off the track, to no avail.


I closed up on the rat-rod, which was holding a fairly safe lead.


Meanwhile Fountain Of Lamneth fell foul of Dreamline ...


... and was smashed out of the race.


I was now jostling for the lead on the final bend of the second lap.


Into the third lap, I was in second place. The idea of being stuck between the red car's tail gun and the brown car's ram didn't appeal.


Into the first bend of the third lap, and I was able to take the lead; the powerful engines of the green and red cars were less use to them on the turns, where driver skill counted for more.


Pigs On The Wing tried to run Stay On These Roads off the road.


Dreamline now worked up on the outside


The driver of Stay On These Roads was having real trouble with his brakes; twice his vehicle lost ground as they locked up, including this incident where he locked bumpers with Pigs On The Wing.


However he found his mojo again, and raced back into the lead.


Into the fourth lap, and I'd been relegated to third place, in that position I didn't want to be in.


I made another run for the lead. My car had a couple of traits which allowed me to pick up extra bonus dice, even when I wasn't drafting another car, so I reasoned that if I could get in front at this later stage I might be able to hold the position. But to be safe, whilst I passed Pigs On The Wing, I decided to shoot at Stay On These Roads. My shots were on target, and the vehicle was badly damaged.


This move put me into second place, but I lost the position soon afterwards And Dreamline was quick to exploit my discomfort, smashing me out of the race.


At the end of the fourth lap, Stay On These Roads fell foul of the red car's rear gun. The green car flipped, and its wreck landed on Dreamline, who smashed through it with little difficulty.


And so as the race entered its fifth lap, there were only two cars left running. Pigs On The Wing was out in front, and unbeatable on a straight.


But on the first bend, Dreamline saw its chance, and moved in fast with its massive ram-plate ...


CRASH!


The winner. With a lap still left to go.


It was an exciting race, even if it didn't go to the finish. The only real problem is the the NPC cars don't really play a long game, something 'live' players would do in a race of this length. This is really a race where you build up your bonus dice resources as much as possible. I may have to make some adjustments to the AI in order to cover this, although it does mean extra die-rolling and slowing the game down. Having cars of different sizes racing each other didn't seem to be an issue, and cars were eliminated both by bashing and by gunfire, which was good.

My next job is to collate all of the notes on the extensive changes I've made to the game over the last couple of years.

6x6 - Game 4.1
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