I volunteered to run Gaslands at the Gong Garage Gamers last night, and ended up with five players, three of whom had never played it before and a couple of whom hadn't read the rules. But despite the novices I wanted to try a 'full' game as much as possible, so I constructed six teams of two cars each using the sponsors and perks. This gave everyone a choice.
So we ended up with ten cars on the starting grid, in a figure-of-eight race. There were a mix of types, including a buggy and a couple of pick-ups, and a range of weaponry and team-styles.
Needless to say, the start was chaos, with vehicles bumping and bashing right from the start. Actual weaponry doesn't activate until the first gate has been passed, so there was no shooting.
Things started to spread out, but it was still chaotic. However some cars were approaching the first gate. In the centre the pink Woman King was rammed head-on by the big Bulls On Parade. Both vehicles took so much damage that they limped around on their last hit for a few moves before wrecking. Woman King managed to pass the first gate even, before a minor collision finished it off.
This was the last photo I got. In the background you can see the wrecked Woman King. But the key feature is Caesar's Back In Black who passed through the first gate, activated its guns, then turned and charged headlong into the pack with weapons blazing. The car in front of him was armed with a flamethrower and highly explosive. And the one next to him was equipped with and experimental (and also highly explosive) nuclear reactor. A disaster was in the offing.
In fact the flamethrower survived the crash. As did Back In Black, but he fell to a passing shot from the spiky buggy Please Don't Touch that you can see on the left. And exploded. Amazingly the two volatile cars survived that as well.
Also in the background you can see my speedster, Perfect Day. And for him it was. I'd survived some gunnery from Caesar as I passed through the gate, but once through I was clear to start running the course. The carnage behind me left the first gate littered with wrecks, making it tricky to navigate, so I soon built up an unassailable lead.
I had a hairy moment when the flamethrower armed The Anarchist got on my tail, flipped and exploded, but I avoided serious damage from the ensuing spectacular fireball.
Gate 1 pretty much saw the demise of six of the ten vehicles. Caesar and Jason lost both of theirs, but Gary and John had to leave, so handed their survivors over. Jason made a bold attempt to catch my speedster with the nuclear-engined Stationary Traveller, but misjudged his template choice at the final moment and failed to line up the ram attack that would have ended my dreams of victory. He had to resort to gunfire instead, but my driver deftly evaded damage to cross the finish line for the win. Only three of the original ten vehicles survived the race.
This game was chaotic, but people picked up the mechanisms pretty quickly and seemed to enjoy themselves. The carnage at or before Gate 1 means that we didn't get much in the way of shooting; most vehicles capable of doing it crashed not long after getting the opportunity. To be fair my designs were pretty random, based on what I had to hand and with little regard to any specific team tactics. Hopefully as more people get the rules and design their own vehicles and teams we'll see some more cautious and considered play.
Having played races in all of the games so far it would be interesting to try some of the other scenarios, as these allow for different styles of play. They also rely more on the Audience Votes system, which we haven't tried so far.