Conventions, Morning After Rules and Notes on the Setting

Outrider at convention tables?

Just got in another great playtest session in last night. I taught my friend Bill to play and loaded him up with an armfull of cards, tokens and various other paper bits. He's going to teach/run some games at an event he and his college-days buddies have dubbed 'Geekend'

More than one person has commented on the teachability of the game. Some have said that newcomers can learn the basics in less than ten minutes. I didn't originally envision Outrider at conventions, but the ideals of creating rules that are quick to learn, quick to play that deliver a satisfying amount of detail and enjoyment are certainly in line with the makings of a great tourney/con style wargame - and these are all ideals that I am purposely trying to work into Outrider.

I'll post specifics of upcoming convention / group play here when I get more specifics form the various event/group directors. At present I am formulating plans to demo the game at some cons over the course of the year.

'Morning After' Rules

After a round of playtesting last night, I am left with a few new situations that will be addressed in upcoming rules revisions
  • How to treat an ATTACK card that is the point of impact in a collision.
  • Rules surrounding making multiple shots from a standstill (i.e. spending all available APs on shooting, not moving.
  • Softening the difficulty of some maneuvers (Easy turns should be ... easy!)
  • Along with maneuvers, the loss of control results will be tweaked - the intent was to make failed driver rolls end in incomplete actions more than loss of control, but the opposite seems to happen more often
  • Rethinking the AP cost/Difficulty of actions such as shifting gears, attack tokens, etc.
Those are the current items on the drawing board. I'm really excited as to how the game has evolved so far. It feels close.

Notes on the game's setting

I have received some requests to explain the game's setting, as I make reference to things in the flavor text and scenarios that assume a bit of understanding on the part of the players. Being a lover of theme, even in non-rpg games, I wanted to create a backstory for Outrider. There are many car-combat games out there (board and video) and I wanted to distill elements that I loved into one game.

The year is 20xx. America has suffered the devastation of a second civil war. The conflict spread worldwide as various nations and interests in the world worked agasinst one another to preserve/destroy the influence of both the Corporate States of America (CSA) and the remnants of the United States of America (a collection of successionists). More than a decade after the 'War of Corporate Agression,' the world is struggling to function at a pre-information age level. With isolationist ideals at at all time high most individuals and remnants of government are very protective of their own interests.

The base game begins in the New Republic of Texas, an idependent state that has kept itself neutral in these years of reconstruction. Although the state's political ideaologies align with the successionists, the lucrative petroleum deals it holds with the corporate states would too valuable to lose. Most of Southwestern North America has regressed to a vast wasteland of desert, with a few shanty towns and centers of industry that are governed by some flavor of martial law or frontier justice.

The three factions represented throughout the base game are:

The Outriders

Outriders are mercenaries that are hired to be the guides, protectors or couriers through this brutal environment. Outriders are typically displaced Texan, US and CS citizens desparately eeking out a living anyway they can, even if it takes them outside the law (which it usually does). Anyone who wants discreet passage or parcel accross the wastes will seek the services of an Outrider as well as those who need someone to raise a little hell - No job is out of the question, if the price is right. At some point most Outriders operating in Texas are scouted by both the Rangers and the cartels. Some join one, some the other but most stay self-employed.

The New Republic of Texas Rangers

The Republic of Texas Rangers, or ROTORs as they are more commonly referred to, act as both the law enforcement and military for the Republic of Texas. They exist only to protect the inerests of the republic. Known to employ and often recruit Outriders, they by no means officially endorse the occupation of Outriding, as they often seek out and destroy Outriders when a conflict of interest arises. The ROTORs are currently engaged in a campaign to eliminate the influence of the Comanchero that is present in Texas and the southwest.

The Comanchero

The Comanchero are a group of Outriders on the payroll of a huge Central American smuggling cartel. Comancehros are frequently used to do the dirty work of the cartel within the US, Texas and CSA territory that borders the wastelands. At times they can form shaky alliances with freelancing Outriders, but once a common goal is achieved, the alliances dissolve (usually ending in violence).

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