Hot Day of Death, Third Run (Max 34)

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.

The terrain is the same as it was at Historicon and Fall IN. We found that this was such a wide track that the Max 34 bikes who flip easily in restricted terrain where they can’t gradually turn, had a relatively easy managing steep turns at high speeds.
And they are OFF! Early on in the race. You can see Il Duce and his Vatican pals in the background. Here, about two turns have passed in quick succession as the Holy Father disapproves of early slaughter. Someone (forget which one) has already violated the Pax rule (of no gunfire for the first couple of turns) and has suffered an Anathema point (-5 VPs).

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.

Example of a False Waif event card. Is it a helpless child, or a transvestite dwarf assassin? Hey, maybe it’s both!
Another early event, Revolutionary Bombardment, almost put paid to the smaller MonoWheel, called “The Singular”

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.

The Singular (small monowheel) crosses over Mussolini’s right nostril and gets a skull worth 20 pts.
False waif attacks the Baron
Nobody’s using the Devil’s Pit-stop, as usual.
Rounding the head and earning the first marking, it’s Charlie Abbott!
Motorcycles always do well in this race.. if they avoid fights and stay alive.
Some crazy supervillains were seen propping up the Mussolini regime.

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).

Mussolini’s Propaganda Crew was present, dodging bullets, next to some visiting super villains.
A period authentic improvised fighter strafes the field. Another random event.
It’s a short an risky life in the Monowheel service… One of the vehicles (Puffing Billy) can leave an oil slick. Here, the large mono encounters the joy of driving through one at Speed 5 (note the markers).
Almost winning on points. The end of the race is about three turns away.
A theme that got hammered home is that THIS course favors motorcycles. They go the fastest, and if they actually avoid combat the worst that can happen to them is random potshots or bad handling. The terrain is wide and forgiving (on purpose) because, hey, this is nominally a race, right?
Mussolini’s honor guard
The Blue Omega has already used up his spar torpedoes.. tsk tsk

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.


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