To Ram or Not To Ram ... ?

You can't have a game of vehicle combat and not include rules for collisions/ramming; Not matter how hard you try, collisions will occur. Some due to poorly planned maneuvers and others due to reckless players who WANT to run into things(!)

The reason I am writing this post, is to present to you (the playtesters and the curious) my NEW thoughts on ramming and explain WHY these decisions were made.

First off, I want to stress that ramming has changed many times during the development of Outrider, possibly more than any other aspect in the game. The central reason for most of the tweaks was to find a simple way to replicate a complex situation.

A few requirements I have put on collisions, in order to 'fit' with the 'feel' of Outrider

  1. Quick resolution: Collisions & Rams should be  resolved in ONE (1) opposed roll.
  2. Pseudo-Simulation: Although Outrider is far from realistic in terms of physics, I wanted collisions to feel plausible. Some early concepts had vehicles moving too much or too little
  3. Balanced: From early on, I didn't want any single aspect to be game-breaking. If Ramming became absolutely superior to shooting, what appeal would their be in building a gun-centric build. I wanted every aspect of the car to be important and a potential cornerstone to a winning build.
Given those self-imposed requirements, I present the latest treatise on collisions. The newest concept added to collisions, is to create three separate collision types that are a mixture of ARMOR + (Attribute). This makes different vehicles better at performing certain types of impact maneuvers. Here is a brief rundown of the collision types.

Boxed in

Not really a collision, but rather a set of circumstances that prevent a collision. effectively, Boxed-In is a rule stating that a stopped car cannot initiate a collision with it's first maneuver card. This is to prevent players from spamming each other with new collisions after a loss of control of other collision.


Clipping is a new maneuver that is used either to evade a potentially damaging collision or to spin an opponent without the risk of taking damage. The driver’s skill and the vehicle's handling are important factors in this type of collision.


Ramming is used when the desired result is all-out destruction to the target car, regardless of the damage done to one’s own vehicle. Putting the pedal to the floor, the speed of the engine lends dangerous momentum to the crash. Ramming is nothing more than an intentional collision. It is a no-holds-barred maneuver that will result in damage for both of the vehicles involved. Ramming is a desperate but powerful maneuver.


With a quick slap of the fender to put them off their stride, the attacker strikes while the guns are in the foe’s belly. Blitzing is similar to a clip maneuver … with guns! Blitzing is a new brutal combo of reckless driving and gunnery maneuvers that can spin out and damage the target vehicle. This maneuver was created to answer the age old playtesting question: Can I fire my guns while ramming? Now the weapon die can be used in collisions.

Incidental Collision

Whenever a pile up occurs, cars are going to scatter and incidental hits are sure to happen. Whenever a vehicle is repositioned, due to a collision or other event, and it is pushed into the area of influence of another vehicle, an incidental collision has occurred. Incidentals have been happening more and more in games. Most incidentals end with all vehicles involved coming to a halt at the point of impact with no damage - usually because the displacing event is likely to have absorbed the damaging momentum ... and because its just easier to pick up and move on, game-wise ... well okay that isn't always true - see the next bullet point ...

Colliding with Obstacles and Terrain

Terrain elements can be involved in collisions. In most cases, colliding with objects and structures will inflict zero, one or two points of damage and bring a vehicle to a dead stop at the point of contact with no rolling necessary, depending on the type of terrain impacted. Some smaller objects will inflict no damage at all, but may still stop a car. There are many obstacles that may trigger special effects. Terrain specifics will be covered by special rules included in the scenarios rules as the properties of certain elements may change from scenario to scenario.

Any ideas or thoughts on collision mechanics? I'd love to hear them.



  1. Hi Gregg,

    Like it, you are right in that this is where most car combat games can often get bogged-down. It seems like you are reaching a good balance of playability/ reality/ physics. I like the introduction of clipping and the restrictions around being boxed-in. For me it boils down to two things, determining damage (which I think you've got nailed) and determining where the cards involved end-up. I'm hoping that this second part doesn't get complicated, as it does in some other games. For mw the simple solution would be to use the existing manouver cards (i.e if you are clipped the victims car is moved using a skid card (or two consecutive skid cards if you like a lot of movement) in the appropriate direction (R or L) depending upon where on the car the impact happened. For a Ram the victim is moved forward (if rammed from the rear) or sideways one card width if rammed from the side etc.

    Anyway, can't wait to see the next incarnation of the rules whatever you decide upon.

    All the best.


  2. I easily agree with Steve above. It's a fine balance when dealing with the inevitable collision, to keep it manageable in game-play yet maintain a sense of realism. I still look forward to seeing this being developed and released.