Well it’s been almost a year (to the day) since my post about reworking White Line Fever to push-your-luck, and from there I’ve slowly been trimming, refining, and playtesting the game. In a recent push of motivation I finally took all the interior pictures necessary to replace the placeholders. And I’ve spent a few hours putting it all together into a finished v1.0! Hooray for a release!! Best feeling!!!
White Line Fever v1.0 PDF rulebook
I might add a title page similar to the one above (with a bit more polish) or maybe even with an entirely new picture, but we’ll see when that happens. Otherwise I do want to come back to the system (after a bit of a break to work on other projects) to continue my work on the campaign system I started brainstorming.
You can see the rough notes on that called Open Road brainstorm.
But for now it’s celebration time, maybe I’ll buy a few new Hot Wheels and watch the new Hobbs & Shaw or something.
Really, really close on a finished version of White Line Fever now. My last chunk was testing Droppables and finishing their art and printable sheets. And then once everything is done I just need to take a bunch of in-game pictures for the diagrams in the rulebook.
There have been a few minor rule tweaks to clarify and simplify the rules (no more Reverse driving, for example). I clarified some line of sight/arc measuring, updated and renamed Outnumbered for multiple players, etc.
As for Droppables I went back and forth on the size of them, and ended up with a 3″x3″ square. So same length as a standard Hot Wheels, but wider. The original idea of 2″x2″ was too small and ineffective in practice, especially compared to shooting your main gun. 3″x3″ seems like a good compromise.
Testing Droppables, including the idea of placing up to three 2″ squares per use, which was hard to manage
I also tweaked the Droppable options themselves. I removed Barricade (which causes a Crash) because it was a bit boring, and why would you ever choose Oil (Spin Out) over it? I also changed almost every Droppable to do at least 2 damage as well as their effect. And what I’m most excited about is I added a “Gateway” which is a semi-positive Droppable as it lets you instantly move to ANOTHER Gateway droppable anywhere on the table. Could be pretty cool with a semi-organized team or a semi-joke match where everyone uses Gateways. Oh and I reworded Springboard to 5″ back, and a new Speedboost to go 5″ forward.
Speaking of weapons I tweaked some of the others, namely the Tank Cannon damages you after firing instead of pushing you back. Because it turns out being pushed back when trying to line up a bunch of shots isn’t a bad thing, haha. I changed the Push/Pull weapons to ignore line of sight as well, and removed the Shadowblaster, and added an Enforcer (the only 2 damage Secondary weapon).
On the campaign front I’ve had some luck figuring out a series of systems I like for it. Just need to firm everything up and then eventually I’ll put some “Open Road” rules up here.
Anyway should have White Line Fever all wrapped up before Christmas. In fact I’m going to play it tonight, woot!
Collisions currently do too much damage. The involved cars roll D8 and take damage equal to the result, with a MINIMUM of their Speed. Cars have 20 Armor (hitpoints). So a Speed 6 car is going to take 6-8 damage, which is brutal. Even a Speed 1 car takes 1-8. Know how frustrating and…uninvolved? it is to take 8 damage three times and explode? This is even worse once the Hammer Brand is involved (+2 Damage to others, -2 Damage to self) as you potentially are doing 10 max damage. In other words 1 more damage than the HIGHEST weapon damage in the game, which is only single use. So it’s time to revisit them. I want people to die from shooting, not from crashing.
Rename?: Speaking of crashing, I was considering today of renaming the more clinical Collision term to Crash. Can’t tell what would fit the tone and theme of the game better.
Anyway to fix up Collisions I had a few ideas:
Flat Damage: Take damage equal to your Speed. Predictable and a bit boring. Would work better for vs obstacles than vs cars (which would be a much messier crash).
Roll Off: I like the head to head nature of a roll off during a crash. I just can’t figure out how it’d work to feel different than just rolling damage. For example if the White Challenger rolls a 7 and the Red Mustang rolls a 4 what happens? Does the “winner” take less damage? Maybe the damage is the Speed still, so in this case the Challenger would take the lesser Speed as damage? How does that work with similar speeds? How does it work vs obstacles? What about the different between the dice? Or a slower second roll? See how it gets weird?
Max instead of Min: What about if instead of Speed being the MINIMUM damage you take, it’s the MAXIMUM? This changes a Speed 6 car from 6-8 to 1-6. It also feels better “rolling against yourself” since you have a chance to roll low and take less damage. The Hammer Brand in this case could just remove the max cap for the enemy, so they just straight out take D8 damage.
Currently the winner is the last option. I’m going to give it a few playtests and see how it works. But the math seems much more favorable, the system still works for vs obstacle and vs car without needing changes, the Hammer Brand provides an interesting option, etc.
Open Road: Campaign System
I’ve mentioned that I want to eventually include a campaign system for White Line Fever that uses real world road maps. Primarily because I spent most of my 20s going on 200,000km of road trips. So I’ve been back-burner-brainstorming on how to use the maps to make a series of meaningful, interesting decisions that link together car combat while still having resource management and the feel of a road trip. Lofty goal.
So far my heart is tending towards a dice allocation/placement style. Some light reading in the genre:
More to come on that in the future. And I swear one of these days it won’t take me freaking 3 months to take in-game photos for my rulebooks. Haha man I’m awful at doing that in a timely fashion.
Almost ready to wrap up the core rules of White Line Fever. So far there IS amazing placeholder art (left), let me tell you my hand drawing skills have never been better. So besides a few more playtests I need to take pictures and make diagrams for the rulebook (like right, from an old Car Wars setup I had).
There are otherwise no more outstanding TODOs. I imagine weapon numbers will get tweaked over time and potentially new ones added or existing ones removed, but that’s pretty natural as the game is played more. In the meantime here is the current rulebook for White Line Fever, complete with record sheets (that, as usual, I’m pretty happy with!) and all the placeholder art you could ever want.
Get the exciting White Line Fever almost-done-rules PDF
As to my previous post about wanting to include Speed into Floor It checks, the math just didn’t work out, so I’m sticking with the simpler, more generic approach of D6 vs Maneuver number. Much more enjoyable to always know your odds, not be less than 50% right away at high speeds, not need another different dice, etc. I’m still open to figuring out a solution to this, but what I came up with so far in a few playtests and attempts just didn’t quite blow my socks off.
Anyway after release I’ll take a bit of a break and then start on a longtime goal of trying to make a campaign system that uses real world roadmaps to track progress. I have a few vague ideas of how I want the campaign to work, but generally there should be interesting and meaningful decisions made between the different route options available, as well as resource management and tough calls in between fights. Completing a solid, lightweight core game should help facilitate this, instead of throwing everything into the first release. The other big expansion idea I want to do is increasing the Action options, so you can do more each Maneuver instead of just shoot or drop weapons. Again still in the very vague stages (I’m trying to not get TOO far ahead of myself) but I think I’ll add a Utility slot on each car that can be chosen and gives another Action, such as repairing self, aiming guns, boost straight ahead, etc.
Some more good changes to White Line Fever from my most recent playtest. I still need to sit down and think up some more Deployment types though, since the existing two are a bit limited. Ideally I’ll have half a dozen.
One issue that’s always kind of irked me about the reworked rules though is “Floor It” not factoring in your Speed. How it works is you get 1 free Maneuver each round (and each Maneuver let’s you move, turn/drift, and attack), then you can choose to push your luck and try to get more Maneuvers. Each subsequent Maneuver requires a successful roll on a D6 where the target is the number of Maneuvers you’ve done so far. So to do a 2nd Maneuver is 2+, third is 3+, and so on right up to 6+. But Speed isn’t a factor, so going for 1 extra Maneuver at Speed 2 is as difficult as Speed 6.
For a game with the subtitle “Speed is Everything” this seems wrong. But it adds another step and some super minor math to involve Speed, so I’ve been hesitant. I’m still working on a solution, but the main contender right now is switching from D6 to D12, and changing the target to be Speed + Maneuver num. So Speed 4 trying for a 2nd Maneuver would require 6+ (4+2) on a D12 instead of just a flat 2+ on a D6 with the current way.
My biggest concern, besides the slowdown in play (I found it awkward to add up, but that might have been because I kept the Speed marking dice on record sheet beside the table and the Maneuver counting tokens on the table), is how the pace of play will be affected. Will average Maneuvers go from 4 to 1 or 2? Also will one Speed emerge as the clear choice? Right now Speed is more a choice of what you think you can get away with given the terrain and where you expect to drive through in that round. I also think it becomes slightly less transparent on what your odds are…obviously going faster and doing more Maneuvers is riskier, but HOW risky is not as easy at a glance as a linear D6.
Other possibilities are a D10 (likely to make Speed 5 or 6 completely pointless…plus I hate D10) or 2D6 (even more math though, even if it’s mostly second nature for people). Still trying to brainstorm some other possibilities to factor in Speed.
Continue reading “Changing Hazard Checks to account for speed”
Huzzah, looks pretty rad right? I’m pretty happy with all the little touches, like the images under important fields, how the armor track turned out, the circles to fill in for Brand, and so on. You can get the current version of the record sheets as PDF if you’re interested.
I also did a playtest of the trimming and reworking I’ve been doing for White Line Fever. Went really well and played a lot more smoothly than in the past. Since my last post I’ve added Droppables (like oil, spikes, etc.), removed the once-per-game Crash ability, tweaked how the order of Maneuvers works, added a satisfying exploding car rule, and more.
The main chunk of remaining work is in taking photos for the rulebook and playtesting even more. I’m sure some balance tweaks will happen to weapons over time, just like how Dinosaur Cowboys went, but I think I’m pretty happy with how the game works overall now.
My biggest epiphany was to think of the game like a skirmish game but instead of 28mm miniatures it has cars. Because previously I had this subconscious restriction that car movement must be plodding and a bit tedious to try to achieve some sense of realism. Sort of like the turning key in Car Wars: sure it’s great and realistically shows how hard different angles of turns would be for a car…but at the same time it can feel like math or geography homework trying to weave your car through some hills. Or phased turns in Dark Future or even Gaslands. Whereas with White Line Fever the cars sort of behave like vehicles from a skirmish or wargame, as in they just turn up to 90 degrees and move in straight lines. So the combat flows really well, and pushing your luck trying to get more maneuvers is satisfying. So yeah, that was a good realisation on par with my initial a-ha of all cars getting the same number of maneuvers and faster cars just go further each time.