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Monday, October 7, 2013

Weapons vs. Overseers: A Qwik AAR

The team from Weapons Division snatches the bean; the game is on!
At the Circus Acceleratus, inside Turn 1, behind the statue of the Oppenheimer is the area of the infield where wrecked Machinas vehicles are towed until they can be salvaged. Deep into the off-season, this area is clear enough that the various crews of the Vestal Mechanics will play pick-up games of juggers.

Teams are formed from each division of the Vestals into a small league: Weapons crew, Engine crew, Machinas Builders, Track Overseers, Emergency Team, and the Salvage Squad. The occasional Brother Pilot also will join in on a game. Since the area is smaller than a usual field, the teams drop one driver from their starting lineup. The smaller field and starting teams usually make for a faster game, allowing all the teams to play on a given afternoon.

The match: On this day, teams from Weapons and the Track Overseers faced off in a grudge match (the Overseers having won the unofficial track championship vs. Weapons last year.) The Overseers were short a driver, so Brother Pilot of Saint Ford's Thunderbird joined in the fun.

A small wall of drivers is quickly formed in front of their qwik Sera.
Qwiks Rik (Overseers) and Sera (Weapons) faced off, and Sera snatched the bean with lightning speed. With Weapons having set up for defense originally, Sera fell back under the protection her Chain, Zan.

One of the Weapons Drivers moved in to knock down Rik, but Rik slipped below the swing only to end up next to Sera and her Chain. Sera slipped by and returned to the center of the field.

As Rik turned to see Sera go by, the heavy end of Zan's chain slammed him from behind, knocking Rik almost senseless to the ground.
The Weapons team completed its turn by forming a small wall in front of Sera, challenging all comers.

The Overseers' qwik, Rik, is knocked
to the ground twice -- and out of the
game -- by the Weapons' chain.
Once the action had completed itself in front of the Overseers' Chain Ela, she took aim at one of Weapons' drivers and let fly the chain, but it missed its mark and Ela swung off balance and into the zone behind her.

Each of the Overseers' drivers tried to break the wall in front of Sera, but it held fast. Qwik Rik managed to get to his feet and go for a tackle of the Weapons' chain Zan, but Zan is a master of his chain and again knocked Rik to the ground. Not only that, but Rik was knocked out! Now, the Overseers would have to hold out until 100 stones before they could sub in a new qwik.

Weapons had a great advantage, now, with space in front of them and the Overseers spread out. They main group with Sera and her two drivers moved forward, while Zan, with his bloodied chain, moved up to cover the flanks.

Again, each of the Overseers' drivers tried to push Sera's protection out of the way, but they held fast. One of Sera's drivers, Race, took a swing at the Overseers' chain, Ela, and knocked her out of the way, clearing the final path to the stake.

As much as they try, the Overseers are unable to break
through the Weapons teams' drivers to get at Sera.
In the Overseer's turn, Ela the chain was able to stand up, but could not move in to block Weapons' advance. Brother Pilot was the only member of the Overseers' team who was able to put himself in front of the stake. But when the Weapon's made their final push, Race easily pushed Brother Pilot out of the way, clearing the zone for Sera to stake the bean!

Though, Weapons had regained their honor, it was all in good fun. Rik recovered, and both teams shared some thorn apple stew as the sun set over the Circus Acceleratus, shining last on the statue of The Oppenheimer, as it should be.

After the Overseers' chain was knocked out of position, Sera was easily
able to move in and stake the bean, winning the game!
Rules notes: I took a few steps to shorten the game. The usual Qwik field is 5x7 zones, but I shrunk that to 3x5. The usual starting lineup includes 1 qwik, 1 chain and 3 drivers, but I reduced that number by one driver. (I originally tried just having one driver per team, but the field was too wide open, allowing qwiks an easy opportunity to score in one turn against a careless opponent.)

Also, to reduce the number of rolls and bookkeeping, I stopped rolling bonus dice. Next time, I might try something different; perhaps I will pool all of a team's bonus dice? It doesn't make too much sense in the game (bonus dice represent that extra exertion each player makes on the field, a factor not necessarily shared as one by an entire team.) I would only do this to make a solo game a bit easier. I'll keep the regular bonus dice rules when I play human opponents.

Finally, you might have noticed a fellow in the distance with one hand raised. Just as Red Sand Black Moon uses a Patron to determine who is active, I used this figure in the same way to remind me which team was active.

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