Outrider from Dice Fist Games has a successful Kickstarter that is ending soon. Set in an apocalyptic setting after a severe food shortage, players are car driving, mercenaries for hire assigned to protect truck shipments of food that pass through the the wastelands of Texas. It’s billed some as a board game but really is a miniature wargame using cards for cars. With souped up engines, welded armor plates, and machine guns strapped to the hood, players duke it out seeing who will be the king of the roads.
The game uses a clever system of assigning die types to various car characteristics to represent engine power, defense, driver skill, and weaponry. Players distribute a single D6-D12 for each of the car attributes with a higher die type translating into a more effective stat. Each car type also has base stat bonuses which add to the die type value, allowing players to rely on base car characteristics plus a lower assigned die type if seeking to tweak out a different attribute more.
Players resolve their turn one at a time, using a special maneuver deck. Players program the movement for their turn and then flip through the cards one at a time on their turn to move. It’s a rather simple, elegant system over relying on movement using a measuring tape. As each card is turned over, some may require maneuver tests. If successful the car continues, otherwise some mishap could happen.
During each maneuver card placement, there is an opportunity to fire weapons at opponents. Again, rather than using a ruler to measure out ranges and arcs of fire, a special set of cards is used. If the target is within the boundaries (or corridor of fire) of these cards, it’s hit. Then it is a matter of rolling the weaponry attack value versus the target’s armor. As with all the rolls and checks you have to equal or better a target number, with damage tokens used to record how much a beating your car can take before it’s a bullet-ridden wreck.
There are several Kickstarter add ons from additional cars to varying types of weapons, drivers, and equipment. It has a smattering of feel along the lines of X-Wing and Wings of War, but I totally dig the theme of the game. It’s successfully funded too, but will wrap up in a matter of days.
As the Kickstarter goes, I am a bit torn on the final product. While the quality of the cards and dashboards look top notch, I am disappointed with the various counters. It seems they’ve stuck with the concept of a better print and play version. The counters scream being printed on thick cardboard counters. The dashboard would really shine if a plastic dial was used instead of a separate counter. Instead you have double printed tokens on cardstock, which sort of makes the components fall flat. I totally understand the guy needs to make sure they can deliver and all those extra bits would likely mean the base cost of the boxed game would creep up more. But man, I’m hoping another publisher picks this up and gives the component quality some love.
Nonetheless, it looks like a fun game that straddles the mini wargame and board game camps pretty well. The box version seems they will have nice cards printed on good stock. At the very least, I am going in for the print and play version. If looking for a sleek version of Car Wars, or a more road warrior themed version of Wings of War/X-Wing, Outrider looks like it’s right up your alley.