An alternate rule set for use with Racer Knights of Falconus(tm) racers and game materials.
In any case, after finally getting some playtesting in, I've modified some of the Bad Guys pamphlet that I first posted on New Year's Eve; ditched the plan of a Scenarios pamphlet in favor of a Scenarios page, with the scenarios themselves as separate one-page downloads that include tokens and map/goal cards; and started making minis and reference cards for the Bad Guys. (I'm trying to make as much as possible card-sized in the interests of making storage convenient; if you've got something to put your Knight cards in, you also have something to hold the game aids, Bad Guy references, and scenario rules.)
Both of these, I think, are annoying. So, I put in some work on Stat Block Cards, which let you keep all the information you need handy by slotting strips that summarize your racer's stats and Special Abilities into a holder card.
The result is that you can easily hold and move everything you need: your Stat Block Card, your Dashboard Card (which includes a summary of the most common rules and rolls), your Knight Card (which includes the Turn, Move, and Fire measuring tools), and two dice.
This pretty much wraps up everything I wanted to have available as part of the Core Rules release. I'm going to try to get some playtesting in, which will likely result in some rules tweaking, and I still need to do a thorough proofreading of everything. But aside from some snips and folds here and there, the next release -- which I plan to post by 12/31/2012 -- will be the "Scenarios" pamphlet to provide arenas and adventures, and the "Big Bads" pamphlet to provide nasty things to make those arenas and adventures more harrowing.
So, it's up where the world can get to it. Now to go post about it on BoardGameGeek and put my work in front of a lot of people used to seeing, you know, great games. I really don't know what I was thinking.
Anyway, head over to the Downloads page for the various'n'sundry.
They don't, especially, as none of them look like the cars you'd build in Car Wars. However, I loved them anyway, and spent quite some time cheerfully building the models, just because I liked having them.
Eventually, my daughter and I tried a few games of Racer Knights of Falconus with the rules that came in the booster packs. I ... didn't like those rules. Due at least in part to my (short) history with Car Wars, it seemed sub-optimal that players each took an entire round's worth of actions in blocks. That might work for simulated naval battles, but I thought a car combat game should have more fine-grained movement and immediacy -- if you see someone coming from way across the arena to ram you, you'd try to get out of the way.
However, aside from the coarse movement, there were other aspects I didn't like, chief among them the fact that there was no way to lose control of your racer. You couldn't spin out, or fail to make a tight turn and slam into a wall. There was also no concept of persistent speed; you could be on approach for a ram one moment, and going in reverse the next. I couldn't make sense of that at all. Racers only had between 5 and 6 Damage Points, and many weapons do 2 or 3 per successful hit. While this let you keep track of damage with an adorable d6 nestled in the racer's engine (which I never even considered doing, because it's a royal pain), it wasn't nearly sufficient damage-taking ability for a game that is largely about vehicle combat. And, finally, I've never been a fan of the D&D-style "Armor Class" where how hard you are to hit and how hard you are to damage are glommed into a single statistic. So, I decided to try writing my own set of rules.
I had a few goals in mind. Primarily, I wanted the revised rules to fit on a single sheet of paper. Ever since a friend gave me a copy of Cthulhu Dark, I've been fascinated with the idea of minimalist game systems (indeed, I chose Microlite 20 when my wife and daughter wanted to play in a fantasy campaign).
Besides the wish to keep a very light and quick set of rules, I also wanted to keep and use all of the materials that come with Racer Knights. The racers' stats needed to have meaning, the knights' special abilities needed to make sense, and the handling/weapon arc/movement/range side of the knight card needed to be used in the system I came up with. (Ideally, I would also come up with some use for the scores of Waypoint Guards you end up with if you collect any significant number or racers, but that's a task for the "Arenas and Scenarios" pamphlet. Coming soon! I hope!)
I lucked into one rules change: my daughter and I were already using polyhedral dice to keep track of Speed Points, and the process of changing the die to keep track of remaining Speed Points while taking actions led to the interrupt-driven turn ordering that ended up in the game.
Once I had a basic rule pamphlet, we played a few games, I invented a few new arenas and obstacles ... and then my effort just sort of petered out. I kept thinking about it, but never really got moving. After much aggravation with myself (and after reading a compelling article by John Kovalic), I decided to use National Game Design Month -- NaGa DeMon -- as impetus to actualy finish the rules, by promising myself that, at the end of November, I would post something where the world could see it, and then tell people where it was.
At the moment, I've got the core rules close to done, and some little bits of support material in a similar state. I just got the web content started today, as it occurred to me (rather late in the process, if truth be told) that in order to put the rules somewhere I needed somewhere to put them.
So, let's see how I do.