Sunday, November 19, 2017

Machinas Test Drive

After picking up Machinas last week, I've been itching to give it a go. I decided to take it for a test drive this morning. I don't have cars or printed counters so I quickly drew a couple and used my Pathfiinder battle mat for the board.

For both vehicles, I rolled randomly on the non-player tables. The blue car (the good guy) has slightly better stats. (3 Savvy, 5 Tech, 3 Speed vs. 3/4/3). He also had armor-piercing ammo, a roll cage, and a box of nails (which I forgot to use). The black car had spiked wheels but old tires. For the most part, these attributes did not come into play

In my first trial, the raider (black car) tried to pass the Courier (blue). The Courier bashed, and flipped the raider. Game over in turn 1.

The second run was far less interesting. The raider drafted in the first two turns then tried to pass in turn 3. When he failed, he gave up the chase)

Game 3 involved a few desultory pass attempts. After 6 turns, the raider gave up.

My Thoughts
  • In general, the rules are solid. I picked them up easily and was able to speed through the games. In fact, set up was the hardest part!
    • To simplify set up, I am thinking of pre-generating a bunch of vehicles and recording their stats on index cards. If I need a vehicle, I can just pull one out of the pile of cards.
  • For solo play, keeping track of bonus dice seems like a chore. I already made a tweak to the rules and dispensed with initial bonus dice for the bad guys. I randomly rolled to give the good guy between 1 and 3 bonus dice to start.
  • I'm concerned that there might not be enough action. For the most part the game revolved around passing (which I think should really be called maneuvering) rolls. There was one bash, initiated by the lead car. After that, it did not seem advantageous for the lead car to bash so I kept holding off the challenge and waited for the enemy to break off.
    • I'm not sure if the problem was reducing bonus dice. I would think that it would offset. Perhaps I should also start the hero with 0, though that does not seem very heroic.
    • I also wonder if tone is due to these primarily being racing rules with an emphasis on jockeying for position. In contrast, I am most interested in combat.
    • Also, adding more raiders should make things more interesting. However, I wanted to start off simple for my initial test.
  • Despite my concerns, I see a lot of good ideas in these rules. I think I may be trying a bunch of tweaks to spice it up a bit.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your thoughts on the bonus dice. They do add a lot of overhead, but at the same time, form the major decision point for a player, eg at what point do you pick to blow the dice.
    With action in the game, if you run 3 NPC's, you will start to see things happen (albeit the game takes longer).