In this new series of guest articles, Gaslands Lead Developer Glenn Ford provides some list-building and tactical advice for getting the most out of each of the new sponsors found in Gaslands: Refuelled.
GLENN: Back when the perks were first drafted, Slime was originally imagined as being a party-bus crew-heavy team, one whose grungy apoc-punk aesthetic was partly inspired by two perks called “load up on guns” and “bring your friends”, and the obvious movies. However, as the mosh-pit style ability of pinball became the centre of Slime’s fun, the focus on being able to slam about between other racers took over and eventually the idea of a crew-heavy Slime team just didn’t fit. It still made sense as an option and so went on the back burner.
Once the idea of offering free downloadable expansions crystalised, (and inspired in no small part by my bus with a massive sail), the obvious first choice for a bonus sponsor was dust-bowl pirates. Lurching galleons packed to the gunnels with scurvy racers was too good not to do, and Scarlett Annie was born.
Annie’s perks and abilities are built to allow both buccaneer-style boarding actions and also to run down vehicles without needing to use high impact collisions. The thematic rationale is that Annie’s crew want to capture enemy vehicles in as good a condition as possible, to add them to their fleet. They would rather close gently and board the vehicle then smash it up or wreck it. Of course, you’ll still destroy your target, but then boarding actions in this sort of situation never go entirely smoothly.
Annie runs on a unique crew economy, able to gain and spend crew throughout the race. As an aside, nothing in the game will ever force a vehicle to drop to zero crew permanently, but watch out, as Annie can choose to drop to zero crew permanently, and any vehicle that does so will be out of the game with no reliable way of recovery. It’s an available option, but only in the most extreme of circumstances.
Her perks make the harpoon their weapon of choice. Car Ahoy! Reel her in! It also provides an interesting option for lighter vehicles to use harpoons to essentially waterski behind heavier vehicles, pivot to bring weapons to bare, or make cable-assisted turns in the style of Tim Burton’s Batman.
Scarlett Annie can excel at both close-quarters battling and head-down racing. As such here’s two solid builds, depending on which path you want to go down.
Rammers – The Galleon
- Bus with Turret Mounted Harpoon, front-mounted Ram, Boarding Party and four additional crew.
Scarlett’s Crew Quarters ability makes additional crew ridiculously cheap and the best way to take advantage of that is with a mighty bus. The main thing to bear in mind with this build is that you must name all your targets in the shooting phase at once, so if someone is out of range before you shoot them with your harpoon there’s no naming them for your boarding action assault.
As always with low handling vehicles, driving the bus is something of an art. The key is to avoid rolling skid dice if at all possible. Get into max gear with template shifts and stay there as long as possible. Raise the Sails makes driving the bus a little easier than usual, and the harpoon means that those racers that pull ahead can be yanked back into pistol range easily enough.
Brian Freitas Freebie
Boarding Party + Side-mounted Napalm + Battlehammer
Battlehammer gives huge smashes. If the target isn’t dead, you can use Boarding Party and Napalm to add 4d6 and Fire. If that doesn’t do it, you can lose Crew to seal the deal. If that doesn’t do it, they take 1 Fire damage next turn before moving. If any of the above yields a dead target, you get Votes or Crew.
- Car with turret-mounted harpoon, Boarding Party, ram, grenades, gas grenades, two additional crew.
- Buggy with turret-mounted harpoon, Fenderkiss, Boarding Party, two additional crew.
A trick to keep in mind here is that when the harpoon hits someone: the lighter vehicle of the two spins and moves; so your turret-harpoon-buggy can use it both to race and turn on a dime.
Fenderkiss is a great ability for a buggy, the reduction in attack dice for anyone in a collision negates the weight advantage most vehicles have against the buggy, making rear-end collisions harmless and even well-placed T-bones more survivable than usual. In a Death Race, I would be tempted to set the buggy on the second line of the grid and attempt to get the car to yank the buggy up as soon as the car passes the first gate, effectively negating the disadvantage of being on the second line, letting you switch on both vehicle’s weapons in the same turn and slingshotting the buggy out in front.
The additional crew gives you the chance to take advantage of both Raiders and Raise the Sails, but be careful about early use of Raise the Sails, as the only way you have of picking up votes reliably is with Keelhaul and your extra crew represent free points of hull damage. Being able to take down an enemy on three hull points at the end of the attack step can be a vital option in the late game.
Avoid the temptation to shoot vehicles that you might kill at range, because you get nothing unless you’re touching an enemy when they’re destroyed. Your car is your main aggressive force. With a ram, harpoon and extra crew it can make a fair crack at taking down a target vehicle in a single turn if you choose your victim wisely.
Lastly, gas grenades are a great way of making nippy performance cars regret their single crew status. One is the loneliest number: they should have loaded up on guns and bought their friends…
Check out the rest of the Gaslands: Refuelled sponsor spotlights here.