Outrider Vehicles: A Breakdown

With the (local) public debut approaching this weekend I thought I would give a brief rundown of some of the concepts present in Outrider, focusing on the vehicle builds and weaponry choices.

Outrider's Rides

My love of cars is at the core of Outrider's design. I wanted to create a system that allowed players to start with a template and then customize it. Currently in Outrider, there are only seven vehicle builds but almost daily I think of ideas for more. Below is a list of those basic vehicles and a brief description of each.

Raider: Jack of all Trades

Raiders are the the most common vehicle to be encountered in the Southwestern Wastes. The reason is simple: They're cheap to make and they're fairly balanced and durable. With no complicated automation and with only one main weapon anchored in a fixed-forward position, there's little to go wrong.

Vehicles Used: Any. Raiders can be made out of Dune Buggies, Trucks, although many are built out of old passenger cars, trying to camoflage themselves as townie/civilian vehicles. That can make them very dangerous to the careless traveller.

Pros: Extremely well balanced attributes. Raiders are fast, nimble, tough and dangerous.

Cons: Due to their simplistic construction, Raiders typically are left offensively blind on the sides and to the rear. Smart Outriders can use this to their advantage - But beware groups of Raiders - they can cover their blind spots well.

Renegade: Scourge of the Southwest

Most Renegades began their Outriding existence as Raiders. Over time, weight (and armor) was shed to make a faster, better handling vehicle with less punch, but more flexibility. Bandits, Highwaymen and militias alike keep more than a few Renegades around to use as a go to vehicle for strike and fade situations.

Vehicles Used: Most Renegades are scratch-built rail-jobs (dune buggies) or stripped-down passenger cars; although it's very common to see one built from the remains of a truck and military GP.

Pros: Renegades are quick and their excellent handing can make improbable feats of driving seem easy. The wide frontal sweep of the Renegade's weapons can be extremely deadly.

Cons: Renegades sacrifice armor in favor of speed/agility. A solid hot from even a light weapon can devastate a Renegade fast. A lot of 'Riders will put inexperienced drivers in Renegades, thinking the crisp handling will save them.

Interceptor: Pavement Predator

Most Outriding jobs involve making runs across the desert wastes. It's advantageous to use the highways, when you can - and Interceptors own the highways. Capable of break-neck speeds, drivers of Interceptors always seem to be one step ahead of their opponents. Some superstitious 'Riders claim they can outrun bullets. Most law enforcement agencies employ Interceptors. Some smugglers have been known to use Interceptors for super fast runs.

Vehicles Used: A lot of Interceptors are pony cars, sports cars and perhaps the occasional exotic.

Pros: Fast. If equipped properly, can maintain an edge over other vehicles.

Cons: Lack of weapon hard points. High speeds can lead to many losses in control if too many risky maneuvers are performed back to back.

Gunslinger: Badlands Drifter

Outriders live a brutal life. The unspoken terms on any Outriding job is that someone will probably be killed during the run and if you want to get paid, that someone ain't going to be you. Gunslingers are built with for one purpose: deal death and deal it quick. Typically wielding twin-linked weapons on its front fenders or on it's flanks, Gunslingers evokes the image of a grizzled gunfighter standing, hands hovering over his pistols ready to draw. Some even look like mini attack copters on wheels.

Vehicles Used: Gunslingers are almost uniformly made up of muscle cars and street rods, as a certain reputation must be upheld. Although occasionally other vehicles will crop up as Gunslinger builds.

Pros: Powerful positive capability. Gunslingers can drive and shoot with he best of them. Paired with the right driver, Gunslingers can hit hard and get away quick.

Cons: Gunslingers share the same type of weaknesses as the Interceptor and other fixed-weapon builds. The vehicle has a large blind spot and can't handle hug amounts of punishment - but if you strike first, that may not be a problem.

Linebacker: Swiss Army Knife on Wheels

So many attempts have been made to make a truly versatile vehicle. Most of those attempts have been left smoldering and rusting in the West Texas sun. The Republic of Texas Linebacker is one the few versatile builds that has worked well enough to generate copycats. Originally developed as a backup for Texas Ranger Interceptors, the Linebacker has come into its own as a frequent one-car army. Brandishing the twin front guns of an Interceptor/Gunslinger, the Linebacker adds a rear-firing weapon to deter chasers and to help close-up its fixed-weapon blind spots.

Vehicles Used: Texan Linebackers are typically made from large sedans or small to midsized SUVs. Linebacker copies have used large, antique cars, (mini) vans and various types of wagons.

Pros: Multiple hard points and as durable as any truck.

Cons: Slower than most other builds, the Linebacker also tend to be a bit unforgiving in demanding driving. Many drivers are lulled into the assumption that versatility means doing a lot at once - this is a bad trap to fall into with such a heavy vehicle.

Tailgunner: Battin' Cleanup

Tailgunners are a vehicle that was born out of necessity. A large percentage of Outriding jobs involve escorting a convoy of some sort. At a minimum, any convoy needs one vehicle to lead and one to tail or 'sweep.' It became clear quickly that riding in that sweep position was very dangerous. Outriders had to find a way to protect their six and still be able to defend the convoy if necessary. Turning the primary weapon backwards and aiming the secondary towards the front, Tailgunners are the ultimate escort vehicle.

Vehicles Used: 99% of all Tailgunners are pickup trucks of some variety. It's possible to modify a SUV or van to serve as a Tailgunners and quite o few station wagons have shown up, mimicking the Tailgunner build.

Pros: Wide rearward-sweep keeps enemies off your tail. Tailgunners make great support vehicles and can be brutal with the right parings.

Cons: The Tailgunner sacrifices any formidable forward firepower to sustain a large weapon at the rear. Like other truck builds, the Tailgunner tends to be slow and has sluggish handing

Muleskinner: Beast of Burden

Muleskinners are by far the most important of all other vehicles. That's because they are built to haul (and protect) cargo. As to what that cargo is ... is not always your business but it needs to get there safe(!) The downside to all this is that Muleskinners are often the target if attack and if spotted, will usually draw the attention of unwelcome guests.  To this end, Muleskinners have been built to outlast other vehicles, since they typically cannot out run or out gun them.

Vehicles Used: Muleskinners are made from vans, delivery/moving trucks and the occasional armored car. Station wagons, SUVs and similar vehicles have been used to draw less attention.

Pros: Tough as all get-out, Muleskinners can live through things that would have destroyed other vehicles.

Cons: Slow, Mushy handling. The Muleskinner has a limited fire arc as most of it's interior and exterior have been devoted to armoring and cargo space ... leaving no room for weapons, ammo or the automation needed to provide good coverage.

Well that covers the vehicles in the base game (stay tuned for more!). As promised, I will be covering weapons in the next post (as this one ran a bit long).

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