I ran a game for the Scrum Con 2020 convention last Saturday. As the “Hot Day of Death” scenario, set in a not-quite historical Mussolini’s Italy in 1934, seems to be popular in most shows I’ve run it, I was inclined to run it one more time before building something new. My first intentions were to create a Berlin 1934 game for Historicon but I’m going to take a break for Cold Wars, and return in Historicon with a convention “Junkwaffel” like game.. with an beefed up convoy with heavy weapons fighting off a small horde of bikers. As Junkers go slow and bikers can almost double their speed, but are very fragile and can’t take more than a few hits, I’m inclined to give the Outlaw side a small horde of motorcycles and maybe a few buggies. I’ve also got a hankering to do a motorcycles only game, now that I have about twenty of them. That’s all in the future, however.
I had a pretty big crowd for this scenario.. maybe 12 players tops. It was all a fun crowd of players, so they were pretty patient. I personally think 12 might be pushing the limit for a game optimized for fewer players. I don’t help things by adding random events, either, since they add something to resolve every turn. Still, I like what they do for the entertainment value alone.
With that many players I was up front about anyone who is in it for the “race” part. Mad Maximillian 1934 is a violence game masquerading as a race game. The chances were we wouldn’t even achieve one lap. I was technically right, too. I introduced a new mechanic for simulated “race” games using this system. First guy to pass a marker takes a symbolic “dolphin” (in this game, skulls). I had 2 out at each end, a skull was worth 20 points. Each time a player causes internal Critical damage on an opponent, that’s 5 points. If a player has acted unsportsmanlike (given the background of this game, it would be “being under anathema” which costs 5 points. It’s actually a neat way to score races and it gives the slower vehicles a chance to win on points.
As I said, random events were plentiful. I played both of the fighter cards, the seismic disturbance event, twice (which rises up a random sludge pit).
Summary: This was a great game, with fantastic players. In the end, EVEN THOUGH HE WASN’T IN THE LEAD, Duncan Adams won on points, having caused the most critical damage (at 5 points each, they add up). By race position, the leader was Charlie Abbott. Observations.. I love the event cards and will keep using them. They slow the game down but the point isn’t a race so much as improvised violent comedy. I’ve enjoyed running the Coliseum game but I’m not eager to recreate it in Berlin quite yet. I want to make the next race out of doors, on terrain that is more limiting and can cause more crashing and destruction. You know, as one does. I’m working on a Fuel heist scenario for a future game, plus a smaller, faster game of motorcycles and buggies only. See you at the next convention.