Sunday, 17 January 2016

A Home Made Dark Future Scenario

I'm a big fan of making things yourself. It appeals to my increasingly frugal nature and encourages creativity and diversity. While I haven't made anything anywhere near as cool as some of the inventive people in China have, like these guys did, I have come up with a scenario for pick up games of Dark Future.

I'm not the worlds biggest fan of pick up games, so I am a little surprised that I have done this.
I'm more of a narrative driven, campaign type of player at heart. Dark Future, when using all of the expansions, is basically a role playing game, or at least has plenty of role playing elements (such as career advancement, mileage, psychosis and media rating).
While these add an almost infinite level of detail to the game, they tend to slow it right down, and similar to Necromunda, add a fair bit of time to a game beyond the actual gameplay. So if you just want to play a "couple of quick games" it can end up being anything but that.

Included in the basic boxed set was a tournament scenario, but the rules for that were a little too basic. They had pre-designed vehicles, and eliminated the extremely fun "design your own nitrous oxide fueled death dealing death machines of death" vehicle design rules.

So I quickly came up with some steps that would allow quick games to be played that included as much as possible to retain flavour, while excluding some of the "out of game" requirements.
So check it out...
Dark Future Tournament Scenario

So players design their own gang, sanctioned op, or combination of the two, up to an agreed value. Then they have a game. And that's it. There's nothing too radical in that approach, but thumbing though the rules and scenarios can take some time. So I've added in a scenario that's kind of an average of all of the other scenarios. I haven't tried it out yet, but I think it will work. You have to be careful with averages though, because they can end up returning results you didn't expect. On average a human has one breast and one testicle after all!
Once an agreed dollar value fight is organised, players design their forces. One important difference that I have put in is that drive skill is purchased rather than being random. That way you can have a bit of certainty as to how your gang is going to perform. 
Players then roll up the type of scenario (either they are just trying to take each other out, or one is trying to outrun the other).
Then you roll for deployment type, either a pursuit, or an intercept. And that's pretty much it. This should allow for some fun games, such as trying to get past the cars in front and escape, or starting the game in front of your quarry. Diversity is the spice of life after all!

I came up with three simple victory conditions, to answer that age old question that gets asked at the end of wargames occasionally, "So, who won?".
One is to kill the enemy leader, one is to kill their most expensive vehicle, and the third is to wipe out more dollar value than their opponent. Each of these scores one point, with whoever has the most points at the end being the winner. So there are a few quirky options in there, for both deployment, and mission, and it is as of yet completely untested.
I am also not sure how to determine when a game ends. From memory, games can take quite a while, so I've just pit in there a "play to time limit" caveat until I figure out if there is a better option. I didn't really want to play a certain number of turns, as turns can be pretty short if cars are going slow, and pretty long if they are all pushing the redline.

But I think the scenario should be fun, and allow for some diverse games. On top of the other narrative scenarios and rules presented in the Dark Future book and supplements, this should allow for most types of games to be played with a minimum of preparation or set up time.

So fire up those V8's and grab the depleted uranium; it's time to hit the road!

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