Friday, May 11, 2012

Mean Streets: "Road Kill Rally"

We were slated to play Blood Bowl back on the 2nd but after our host Dean developed a sore throat (we warned him about blowing that homeless guy) and was forced to cancel we had to scramble to come up with a Plan "B".

After playing a partial game of Road Kill Rally at Davecon, I'd become slightly obsessed with vehicular combat flicks, even going so far as to re-watch Mad Max for the third time.  So, needless to say, I was quite predisposed to Andrew's eleventh hour suggestion to table a full-length rematch.

RE: Road Kill Rally, publishers Z-Man Games seem to harbor absolutely no pretensions about the game's originality: "think Car Wars meets Death Race 2000" they proudly proclaim on their website.      

Road Kill Rally is set in the year 2035 when reality shows are finally starting to get cool.  Vicious vehicular death sports have become insanely popular, drawing ratings in excess of three billion people for the infamous Rally Cup finals.

Players go behind the wheel of weapon-strapped cars and score points by flattening pedestrians, destroying competing drivers and attempting to finish first.  The driver with the most combined points at the end of the race is declared the winner (and apparently a rat bastard).  Basically this game makes Manhunt look like Mannix.

Andrew took the red car ("Blood Drive"), Chad took the green car ("Morbid Envy") and I had "The Black Death".  We then drew random driver Skills Cards.  I pulled "Nerves of Steel" reducing all of my Crash Checks by 1 die.  Andrew's avatar came equipped with a "Driver's Pistol", allowing him to attack any adjacent opponent.  Chad's "Nerves of Steel" gave him -1 damage from all attacks and crashes.

We then got to customize our vehicles with cards from the Accessory Deck.  I tricked out my car with a long-range Vulcan Cannon, anti-flame Asbestos Armor and Armor-Piercing Rounds.  Chad acquired a Flame Thrower, stocked up on ultra-efficient Napalm Ammo and bolted on the incredible versatile Composite Armor.  Andrew also went for a Flame Thrower, augmenting this with a Stereo System (+1 die to score Seniors) and a Psychopathic Driver (giving him an extra die when trying to kill pedestrians).

Andrew won the die roll and opted to hang back in the third slot.  I decided to take the second starting space, putting me neck-and-neck with Chad in the vanguard.    


Since Chad decided to crank his speed up to 120 miles per hour, he got the privilege of moving first.  Barreling into the Protester Barricade he played "Bloodthirsty", allowing him to roll two extra die while attacking the wayward kid.  I tried to counter-balance this with a "Mercy" card, forcing him to score double the amount of hits for a kill!  After missing that particular street urchin, he speeds towards another, dropping two cards to boost his chances.  With no interference this time he rolled three hits, decorating his front bumper with essence de preschooler.   

I kept my speed at 100 mph, intent on running over my first toddler.  I discarded a Rally Card to improve my chances to hit and Chad responded with his own "Mercy", resulting in a near miss.  Hoping that Chad has gotten all of the payback out of his system, I flopped another card to give me a bonus die in shmucking the second kid.  This time no impediments materialized and I successfully smoked L'il Billy just as he tried to cross the yellow line.  

Andrew followed up, attempting to mop up our table scraps.  He rolled two dice (thanks to his "Psycho Killer" trait) and gained a prepubescent hood ornament.  He then pulled in right behind THE CHADINATOR.  

In the combat round, Chad powered up his Flame Thrower in an effort to turn a Senior into a briquette.   Rolling a mitt full of five dice, he succeeded admirably.  

Since Andrew was moving faster then me, he got to go first.  After dropping some ammo he attacked Chad with his Flame Thrower, scoring four hits (and a +10 point Hit Token).  Although Chad's incredibly handy driver skill and armor nullified two points, he still had to lose two Rally Cards to Andrew making him ripe for a Wipe Out.  

I then did my damnedest to facilitate this, powering up my Vulcan Cannon by discarding cards for two Ammo.  Not content to roll only four die I also used Armor Piercing Rounds.   Despite the Axis & Allies amount of dice I chucked, Chad managed to earn himself a reprieve.  That is until Andrew played "Fuzzy Dice", allowing me to re-roll.  On the second roll I scored three hits, just enough to blow Chad off the road.  He immediately dropped down to 20 MPH and scrapped his primary weapon.  

Chad put the pedal to the metal to get back up to 40 klicks, revealing the Death Cult tile.  Wanting to hold onto his cards for insurance, he only rolled one die versus his first pedestrian which ended up being a miss.  His luck was considerably better on the second attack.

Andrew took his speed up one notch to 140 mph.  Now moving an insane seven spaces he had to perform a pretty daunting Crash Check going into a red corner.  With a single discard he reduced the initial five dice check to a four but still came away with four hits!  After turfing a matching amount of cards he then earned the unenviable distinction of being the first driver through the Flaming Barricade.  Unfortunately for Andrew, it was just too much for him to handle.  Since he can't pay the resulting three discards worth of damage he immediately Wipes Out.

I played a "Pass" card to get around Chad just before the Shortcut tile came down.  Completely forgetting my "Nerves of Steel" ability, I threw out two cards to successfully navigate around the red corner.  Despite throwing another Rally Card away I still took a point of damage going through the Flaming Barrier.  Now in the clear, I barreled down the two suicidal cultists, running them over without a twinge of conscience.  Since Andrew somehow thought that he was entitled to these pedestrians he promptly swore an oath on enmity against me.

Unfortunately I had no way to do a preemptive strike against him during the Attack Phase.  Andrew took aim at me with his Driver Pistol, rolling two die ignoring armor.  His one hit forces me to chuck my last card.  Chad also has no capability to attack.


After cranking my speed up to 120 mph I managed to kill the last cultist in my path.  Unfortunately, as my incessantly shitty luck would have it, I somehow managed a one-in-six-chance two pip die facing on my "Human Sacrifice" check.  This resulted in a four Rally Card loss and a fucking Wipe Out.  Incredible.  The resulting damage has me dumping my Armor Piercing Rounds.  One tear.

Andrew slowly recovered his speed, now traveling forty.  Because he's a Psychopath he was completely nonplussed after plastering one of the satanic lemmings.

Chad set his speed at 40 mph.  He rolled two pips while going through the Flaming Barrier, suffering two hits.  He then played "Cheerleaders", allowing him to draw three replacement Rally Cards.          
After missing a wayward pedestrian, Chad lurched into the opposite lane right behind me.

Because of my crash, I was out fir the subsequent Combat Phase.  Andrew went into a Pit Stop and re-arranged his arsenal.   He added "Free Candy" for the kiddies and a "Rocket Launcher", also for the kiddies but in a different way.  Chad pulled in for a Pit Stop as well.      


Andrew cranked it up to 60 mph.  His Psycho allowed him to roll two dice against an errant pedestrian but he drew two blanks!  The Picking Flowers tile went down just seconds later.

I ramped the Black Death of to 40 mph and played "Bloodthirsty" to try and nail the pedestrian that Andrew had missed.  He just had to go and complicate things by playing "Oil Slick" on me.  I finally remembered to start using my "Nerves of Steel", but even on one die a still managed to sustain a hit.  Mercifully, Karma then decided to cut me a break when I managed to overcome Chad's plea for "Mercy" by rolling five hits on my target pedestrian!

After the Euthanasia Day tile came down, Chad was quick to utter the timeless line: "Okay, what do I have to do to get in range of this old lady?"   He punched it like Chewie, discarding a card to go up to 80 mph.

During the Combat Phase, Chad rolled four hits, lighting Nan up like an octogenarian Tiki torch.  Next Andrew asked me point blank if I intended to attack him.  I then proceeded to show him that I really had no cards left to use as ammo.  Apparently he took this as some sort of conspiracy since he proceeded to blow my driver's head off with his Pistol, scoring three hits and sending me off the road.  Again.

I didn't attack him back during the Combat Phase because I HAD NO FUCKING AMMO!   Asshole.


Chad went up to 100 klicks, safely changes lanes on the Picking Flowers tile and then just barely missing a pedestrian.  He then accelerated towards another senior citizen, dropped yet another card to increase his odds and promptly sent granny flying into the ditch, walker and all!  He capped off this stellar run by plowing down yet another senior citizen.  Witnessing this, Andrew quickly advocated that we should "stop fighting each other and concentrate on Chad" which is kinda rich since I hadn't attacked the fucker yet!

The Traffic Jam tile came out.  Andrew spent a card to get back up to 100 mph and then burnt another  one in a vain effort to hit a pedestrian.

I also dumped a card in order to move up three spaces, ending my turn.

During the Combat Phase, Chad made what Andrew characterized as a "dick move" by playing "Crackerjack Pit Crew" to draw three new Accessories.  Andrew fired a rocket at a nearby oldster, blowing her right back into the arms of Sweet Baby Jesus.  Since I had no weapons left I ducked into a Pit Stop but failed to draw a Yellow Accessory.        

After all the retooling was dispensed with, Chad had the burner-riffic Flame Cannon, the terrain-defying Four Wheel Drive and a speed-boosting Supercharger.  Andrew's death wagon was now coming standard with a Rocket Launcher, Psychopathic Driver and Free Candy.  My car was now rocking a Veteran Driver who gave me a bonus Rally Card every round.


Chad "goes to plaid", traveling a whopping 140 mph!  He turfed a card to try and drill a pedestrian but missed.  He then hits the Jump Tile at optimal speed, rolling only one die!  Although he still took a single point of damage on this stunt, it was instantly absorbed by his Composite Armor!  He did get a bit spooked, however, when the following tile turned out to be incredibly twisty Boy Scout Camp!        

Regardless of the rapidly approaching Traffic Jam, Andrew gunned it up to 100 mph.  He moved five paces, flicking on his windshield wipers briefly to clear off the pedestrian gore.  He then had to maneuver through a three-die oil slick.  After reducing the challenge by two with a tandem discard, he managed to skirt any potential damage.

To get back in the race, I tapped into my Nitrous Oxide to take me up to 60 mph.  In order to improve my chances, I then dumped a Rally Card to liquefy a straggling pedestrian.  I then took Andrew's inexplicably helpful lane-changing advice.  His assistance almost made up for him saying "all I can say is that I've got my pistol ready" just seconds before.  

In the Combat Round, both Chad and Andrew tapped their Crackerjack Pit Crews.  I opted for the vanilla version but failed to acquire a yellow Accessory on my second straight attempt.

Staring down the barrel of an insane turn, Chad dropped his speed down to 100 and threw out a card to reduce a 3-die challenge to two.  After clearing the ninety-degree turn he floored it towards the next tile which was revealed as a Pit Stop.  Chad then bagged a rugrat on two die roll.

Knowing that he had to catch up to Chad, Andrew threw caution to the wind and actually accelerated into a turn, moving six spaces.  He optioned the Free Candy but still failed to take down his prepubescent quarry.

I chose to dump a slew of cards, getting up to 140 as a precursor to the impeding Evel Knievel-style jump.  But even before I could get off the Traffic Jam tile, I had to get past a three-die Oil Spill.   After chucking a card and factoring in my Nerves of Steel, I rolled the lone die and still took a point of damage for my troubles.  Despite this minor mishap I managed to clear the jump in high style.

During Combat, Chad took a potshot at the kid in the road ahead but between his craptacular rolling and my plea for "Mercy", the boy was spared.  Andrew took yet another Pit Stop.  I fired at a different kid with my Flame Cannon incinerating the little larvae on a five-die roll.  


Chad adjusted his speed and moved, taking advantage of the Pit Stop tile.

Andrew dropped his speed back one before heading into a red turn.  He discarded a single card to reduce it to a one-die challenge but still took a single hit.  He then followed a similar procedure dealing with a second tight turn.  Unfortunately he rolled a double-pip, which was re-rolled for another double and then re-rolled for a single!  Without enough cards to cover the deficit, Andrew flew off the road like an SUV on an ice-covered freeway.  

Wary of Andrew's fate I dropped my speed to 40 mph, reducing the three die turn challenge to zero with a combination of my Steely Nerves and two discarded Rally Cards.  After clearing the turn, I moved up four more road spaces and was done. 

In the Combat segment, Chad passed.  I squeezed the trigger of my Flame Cannon again, roasting yet another precocious tot.  Andrew, purely driven by his lust for Hit tokens, took another pot shot at me with his Driver's Pistol.  Mercifully he misses.  Ass goblin.    


Chad used his Supercharger to accelerate 40 mph, getting back up to 100.  Initially he was put off by the scary-looking Forest Fire Smoke tile but after we assured him that it was like the Road Kill Rally equivalent of the Mutara Nebula from The Wrath of Khan he seemed to relax a bit.  We had no such kind words, however, for the Rock Slide tile which was next to be revealed.    

I kept my speed even and moved up five spaces.  I still had to contend to a three-die turn so I biffed out a card and deducted another for my Nerves o' Steel.  Once again, I managed to roll a single hit but then decided to treat myself to a stop at the picturesque and relaxing Pit Stop spa.  In doing so I swapped out my Flame Unit for an infinitely cooler Anti-Tank gun!    

Andrew discarded a card to gain two speed increments.  In the process he flattened a youngling, rolling two extra die for being a TOTAL FUCKING PSYCHO armed with Free Candy.  Ewwwww.  He also chose to exploit the Pit Stop tile, strapping on Ram Plates in the process.

Since chad was completely obscured by the Forest Fire Smoke, I couldn't test out my new Anti-Tank Gun on him.  So I played "Spokesmodels" on him instead, which allowed me to rifle through his Accessories Deck and finally score a Yellow tech).  Instead of acting like a mindless Hit Token slut, Andrew finally decided to stay his hand against me.              

With his newly-acquired Spoiler, Chad felt pretty confident going into a red turn while doing 100.  He sacrificed a card to reduce the crash challenge to one die and then luckily rolled a blank face. 

After getting everyone's consensus that Chad would still be in my line of sight after I moved, I decided to keep my speed steady at 100.  

Andrew engaged the Nitrous Oxide and found himself hurtling down the road at 120 mph! 

Chad had no options during the Combat Round.  On the other hand, I decided to lob a shell at him from my roof-mounted rail way gun "just to see how it works".  After expending three ammo (!) I also piled on with "Critical Hit" forcing Chad to ignore armor on a successful hit.  Despite the shit-load of dice, I can only scored five damage!  As for Andrew, apparently his self-control has an expiry date of a single round.  He loaded up his rocket Launcher and fired it at me, scoring three hits!  Mercifully I managed to negate the damage with a long-hoarded "Dashboard Jesus".  


Racing towards the Farm, Chad toyed with the idea of increasing his breakneck speed to try and *quote, unquote* "score the chicken".  Also fearful of another barrage from my BFG, so he decided to hold onto his cards.  He still has to deal with a three-die red corner, which got reduced by one thanks to his Spoiler and a discard.  Although he still took a single point of damage from the roll his incredibly handy Composite Armor came to the rescue.

In order to overcome the same turn I subtracted one die for my Nerves and another for a discard.  Despite my precautions, I still took a single shot to the bollocks.  Nevertheless, Chad was still within my range.  Silently I prayed that Andrew would have the good sense to stop attacking me for one round so I could deliver the coup de grâce to our illustrious leader.

Speak of the devil, Andrew scaled his speed back by two increments in the hope of negotiating that same brutal turn.  The next tile turned out to be a very welcome straight-away.  After moving three spaces, he plowed right through the boulders thanks to his Ram Plates.  With two red turns still to contend with, he managed to cruise through the first and then the second.  He then dropped a well-timed "Bloodthirsty" card to annihilate yet another pedestrian.  

For Combat, Chad had no weapons and was forced to pass.  I loaded a new shell at the ungodly cost of three ammo and threw on "Sure Shot" just to be a prick.  As par for the course, my seven dice proved to be a washout, granting me a stingy seven hits.  Turns out Chad was also harboring a card called "You Miss", which tragically nullified all but two points of damage.  Andrew veered into a Pit Stop, acquiring Seeker Missiles and Thermite Warheads.  

ROUND TWELVE           

Chad hit turbo on his Supercharger, accelerating back up to 140 klicks.  Looking for two bonus Hit Tokens, Chad took a bead on the road chicken.  After failing on this roll he flew down the road with his eye on his consolation prize: yet another defenseless old woman.  Ever the spoiler, I made a case for "Mercy" and his single-die attack roll fails.  After more livestock peril was revealed in the form of a Cow Hazard, Chad tried a two-die hit and run, this time on an adult pedestrian.  Yet again he failed to connect.

Suddenly the Finish Line was revealed!  I blazed up five spaces, putting Chad just within range of my Anti-Tank gun.  But before I could fire at him again, I had to get around a brutal turn without killing myself.  I ditched a card, factored in me Nerves of Steel and still rolled a single hit.  Next I tried to catch the chicken under my front wheel well but failed spectacularly.  I moved up five spaces and got "Bloodthirsty" on an Estelle Getty clone, scoring my first senior on the three-die roll!   

Unfortunately Chad did a real dick move and played a card which caused the old woman to explode for three points of damage upon impact!  It was just enough to threaten yet another Wipe Out!  In an effort to avoid my fate I played "Fuzzy Dice" to re-roll the result.  Just after I cast the bones a spontaneous debate broke out as to whether or not I could have reduced Chad's "exploding granny" dice by discarding cards.  Since it was so close to the end, rather then paralyze the game, we just kept the results of the re-roll.

(If any reader friends intimately familiar with the game are out there and know for sure if I could have done this, please leave a comment below.  I certainly had three cards to throw away but the reason I didn't think to do it was simply because I didn't think it was an option.)  

Regardless if it was a Wipe Out or I was drained of ammo in ducking dice, Chad scored a well-timed reprieve.  I lost my Anti-Tank Gun and collected a third, crippling Wipe Out token.      

Andrew attempted to get around a three-die crash check at 100 mph.  He dumped two cards and got a blank on the die roll, easily pulling off the maneuver.  

Combat!  Again, Chad found himself toothless and decidedly inoffensive.  Andrew fired his Thermite Warhead-augmented Seeker Missiles at Chad and was positively disgusted when he only landed three hits.  Armed with four cards and Composite Armor Chad shrugged off the attack like a mosquito bite.  Meanwhile, I'm just sitting there, a smoking wreck on the side of the road.            


Only six spaces away from the Finish Line, Chad reduced his speed by one.  He tried to play the "Pass" card to avoid the Cows but we quickly ruled that it was only valid on rival vehicles.  Chad did his crash check around the four-die red corner.  Both the "Pass" card and Chad's Spoiler reduced this to two dice.  At first, Andrew and I were thrilled to see Chad roll a two-pip result but the re-roll was only one for a total of three damage.  This was reduced to two thanks to Chad's furshlugginer armor.  He then had to cope with the herd of Cows in the road, but the Spoiler and a single discarded card quickly dispensed with the bovine menace.  Clearing the final hurdle, Chad surged ahead and captured first place!

Andrew was forced to speed up to cross the finish line.  On his second move, he was forced to contend with the final ninety degree turn.  He chucked out a single card to reduce the difficulty but he still had to heave out four more cards in order to stay on the road!  Amidst all the high-speed finagling, he still managed to run over a pedestrian somehow.  He then parted with two cards to earn a reprieve from the Heifers of Doom.  

After my Wipe Out, I could only get back up to a speed of 60.  I chucked a single card to gain a die on a red turn and avoided any mishap.  

Needless to say, combat for Andrew and I was a moot point since I had no weapons and Andrew had no cards.          


Unopposed, Andrew crossed the finish line for Second Place.  I accelerated to 80 and moved three spaces into the final red turn.  My "Nerves of Steel" eliminated one die and a discarding card knocked out the other.  I then said adios to two more cards and beetled my way past the Moo Patrol.  

The rest was clear road so we just assumed that I crossed the finish line on the next round to finish third.  



Despite my third place finish I really dig Road Kill Rally.  Yes, there's a fair amount of luck and some of the rules are a tad "chicken-or-the-egg" but it still evokes the vehicular combat / ethically bankrupt death-race theme very well.   

I give Road Kill Rally four pips outta six!  


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