Houston Beer and Pretzel Wargaming

Beer and Wargaming...Pretzels?...Not so much...

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines! - January 2015

Posted by Andy on February 19, 2015 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Brian Weathersby hosted January's game night.  His blog contribution follows...


In January, seven members of Beer and Pretzels turned out to help me test a new set of auto racing rules I am writing for Two Hour Wargames. Although originally scheduled as a stock car racing test, I had been testing that part of the rules pretty regularly with other groups of people. Consequently, I decided to test the modern Formula 1 (1980-present) portion of the rules instead. This turned out to be a good choice, because Daniel Shaw worked for Dunlop during the game’s timeframe, and is a Formula 1 fan to boot!

In Formula 1 racing, the emphasis is usually on the team of two cars instead of individual drivers, so I gave each of the players two cars to run. In retrospect, this is probably not necessary for a one-off race, as the benefits of having a teammate become more apparent over the course of a season. There are extensive rules within the game for having cars run by non-player drivers, and this could include teammates. I decided not to use these however, as I felt like I was already burdening the players with learning an entirely new system.

One interesting thing I did learn is that you are going to misplay rules sometimes, even if you write them yourself. For some reason, I did not let players pass on the inside during the course of the game, even though passing on the inside is an important tactic in motor racing. I thought this was something that was going to need some serious work; imagine my surprise to find that the rules were already there! I’m going to blame the beer, or anything other than the fact that I just forgot what I had written.

Overall, the group said that it was fun and gave the feel of a real auto race. This was probably helped by the large wreck in a chicane late in the race that took several cars out of the pack! Several good suggestions were offered by the players. Daniel Shaw suggested that the problem about passing on the inside needed to be solved ( which was solved, simply by my reading my own rules a little more closely), and Rob suggested that there be a more bloody possible ending to wrecks, which was added to the appropriate tables. Since everyone had a good time, I’m hoping that we can do it again in the near future, but without the need for playtesting.