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"Broken Axles-Review (some what long)" Topic

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527 hits since 7 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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DropKick197107 Nov 2017 8:10 a.m. PST

I haven't had a chance to play the game yet but I thought this ruleset was interesting enough to post a review/flip through.

The game is skirmish level but with minimal rules. The rules of the game are short at under 10 pages. The rest of the rule set is dedicated to scenario and force creation. There is no art in the rule set. The game is designed for 15mm but the authors say the set is usable for up to 28mm.

The layout is pretty standard and what I've come to expect from a ruleset. The set is organized well and it flows in a logical procession beginning at how you start a game to how it is finished.

The scenarios are comprehensive in their setup and execution. Nothing new is in them, not to say they are boring just what I've come to expect in skirmish games nowadays. I did find the prospect of being attacked by radioactive bugs interesting. So not only do I have to dodge The Great Lord Humongous but I have to watch out for the big giant grasshopper that wants to eat my face.

Force creation is a straight point buy system. It is simple and doesn't require a lot of math or a special spreadsheet which is nice. I created a force in less than 10 minutes using their car sheets. I didn't have any problems locating the information needed to fill it in. And by sheet, I mean card.

My only complaint about the physical layout is the coloring. Black ink on top of a blue or green background is really hard to see. Since it was a pdf I couldn't change the coloring so these old eyes had to read the rules in good lighting. If the authors are reading this I would recommend changing the color to a lighter shade. The current coloring doesn't lend itself well to printing or geezerhood.

Activation is pretty standard. You and your opponent nominate a car and dice off to see what car moves. You keep doing this for each car until all cars are activated. Once the car is activated you roll a number of activation dice according to the size of the engine. Each pass is worth one maneuver action but a failure will result in some wonkiness in your car.

The maneuver actions for your car are accelerate, brake, or swerve. Each maneuver is in a straight line, so there are no templates or angles for determining turns.

Attacks and boarding actions may occur at any point during a maneuver. Also, the car doesn't have to use all of its available maneuver actions.

The distance a car may move is determined by car type.

Ramming is pretty straight forward. Each player rolls a number of dice according to the armor profile. The person that rolls the highest on one die is the winner and does damage according to the info on the car profile. The loser then is moved away from the winner a number of inches.

Being on the losing end of a ram may result in a car going out of control or becoming a wreck. A control roll is a straight roll according to the driving skill of the car.

Combat is a simple die roll against a target number. Each weapon has a given number of dice to roll and each success is a point of damage. Each weapon has a 180-degree arc. There are only four types of weapons. The descriptions of the weapons are general so they allow for a wide variety of modelling options. There are flamethrowers and harpoons with their own set of rules.

Each car has a number of boxes that represent the amount of damage the car can take before it is destroyed.

Boomsticks are different. When thrown you roll on a table to see what happens.

Boarding actions are carried out the same way. You nominate how many boarders are attempting to jump to the other car and roll on a table to see what happens for each boarder.

The combat between boarders is a straight dice off with the loser dying. You have to attack the defenders first before you can get to the driver.

This game is more in line with Mad Max: The Road Warrior than with most of the car games I've seen lately. They tend to be more of a space fighter game with a different skin and over loaded with gadgets and weapons. They lack that sense of high-octane eminent danger you find in the chase scenes of Mad Max, Road Warrior. And that's where I think this game really shines.

The way the authors have recreated that feeling of eminent danger is by having a separate phase were the terrain moves. After all actions have been taken the terrain moves in a straight line towards the back end of the board. But the road is never empty and after the terrain is moved you roll to see if more terrain appears on the board. There are two types of terrain. Running into heavy is instant death while running into light terrain isn't instant death but it does a lot of damage.

This is a pretty solid set of rules. The price isn't too bad. It can be download from Wargamevault for about $9 USD US. There are some clarity issues that need to be addressed but not significant enough to take away from game play. The authors are really responsive to questions on the FB group. I got answers to my questions within a day.

I'm hoping to give this game a play soon. When I do I'll write up an after-action report. Thanks for reading.

Vigilant07 Nov 2017 12:28 p.m. PST

Sounds interesting. I look forward to your AAR.

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