Monday, June 30, 2014

The Laurel Lakes 500

At last, a low-key weekend!  Outside of a few friends coming over to see the house, and a kid's playdate I just needed to be at,  things finally started to unfold.

First off, for the first time, my basement workstation, with the first couple of the dozens of boxes, kits, and miscellany brought down from the garage.

The stools my wife snagged at a Salvo/Thrift Shop dirt cheap. They're two or three inches short to be perfect, but I'll put up with them till Christmas.   I'll also need to snag a desk lamp that will be bolted onto the side of the bench.  Those flourescents are freakin' bright, but they're behind my hulking frame and adding shadows while I'm painting.  I also have two more metal shelves to bring over from the old house, plus a seven-foot plastic one for the opposite wall of the basement that we're setting up as a pantry to supplement our cabinet-poor kitchen.

I've got two quick projects I christened the bench with.  I'm painting up my Gnome Wars Americans (Union) up to become the Imperial Guard of California.  Any good flag makers already have a California flag in their normal stock, please let me know.  I'm also working on them so they can be fill in French for some Great Gnome War campaigning hopefully in August.  In Gnome Wars, the Swiss are the primary enemy of the Germans, so the French may fill in a role more akin to the Belgians.  I also do not like the French gnome sculpts which are huge and look more 1917 than 1914. 

The second project I'm keeping secret, although for the loyal readers I will hint that (a) I paid retail for stuff you would never imagine me buying in the first place and (b) it's for the Gnomish Space Marine project.  I'm about halfway done with the ten models, pics coming soon.

On Sunday, I filled in the time between church and the previously mentioned playdate with a new race concept.  GwtG contributor Mike Lung and I have been putting around ideas for a Gnome car race to add to the other events at the HMGS Inc cons.   Mike's pulling out all the stops with 1/43 scale cars and German machine gunners puttied up to look like drivers.  I, on the other hand, wanted to test out the basic rules, start from there, and move onto elaborate gadgets, off road courses, and running gun battles later.  If it's good enough for my 3 and 5-year olds, it's probably simple enough for a wargamer to understand.

So while the girls watch some horrible princess video after lunch, I dug out some engineering graph paper I had snagged years ago at an Office Depot closing for around seventy-five cents a pad. 

The track for the initial Laurel Lakes 500 would make an engineer cry:

Sponsored by the Army National Guard and Jurassic Park 4
Another fun thing I pulled out of the boxes in the garage, some old race cars my Dad had when he was a kid that are now mine.  I would carefully take them down off the shelves my dad had his antique cars on in my parents' bedroom and spent hours with those six, plus a few larger ones, racing across the bedspread and the carpet.  I would have killed for an actual track, much less some rules.

 The rules we kept simple.
  • 1d6 for movement.  You must drive around other cars.
  • If two cars ended a turn either side by side or bumper to bumper, both wold roll a d20.  On 1-5, that car would spin out and lose a turn. 
  • Cars could only pass on the outside on the turns.
  • I did have a few directional arrows to poorly represent racing physics.  On a five lane track(?) anyone in the center had to decide to go high or low through the turn.  While the outside lanes did have more spaces, some of those squares had other arrows that, if a car ended it's move on that space, it would automatically slide out further to the next lane.   There was a spot on each turn, that if land on a spot on the third lane, it would shoot you out not only to lane four, but continued to lane five..
The prize of the race?  The winner got to keep the dinosaur that was decorating the racetrack on their dresser overnight.  Upon finding this out, the girls became cutthroat.

The first lap had Maja and her green cars jumping out to a considerable lead.   Surprisingly, three-year old Millie had some problems with the lanes, and I kept on wiping out my two cars trying to pass one another!
 At the end of first lap, Millie's blue car had caught up, but halfway through the first turn, Maja's team came roaring back and back the blue car in tandem, and subsequently kept spinning each other out. 
The post-race team meeting is NOT going to be fun...
Millie then took took over and fired off a series of rolls so big, a one turn penalty for rolling dice off the table couldn't even slow her down.   Celebratory ice pops were served in the winner's circle, as well as important lessons about being a sore loser and poor winner.   
Maja rules lawyering the position of the cars.
We'll run a few more races, tweak the arrow concepts for drifting and such, and maybe I'll try to put together a wild figure eight track for the 4th of July weekend.

Two other amusing thoughts:  I have a spot in an Alpha-Test this weekend for a much beloved new version of a game.  I may be staring at something that may have a header:


Then again, I might be hallucinating.

I also woke up this morning rolled over to grab my glasses, and woke up face to face with a dinosaur.  Seemed little Millie didn't want to sleep in her room last night and waltzed on over to sleep with Mommy and Daddy, dinosaur in tow.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh! What a nice clean, open workspace....very jealous!

    Try the Flag Dude. He has some CA flags in his colonial line. I really like his flags and use them for the Ambearican Rev units I'm building plus lots of my historical 7YW and other units.

    I guess the Laurel Lakes 500 is sponsored by Sinclair Gas. I like the rules. I'm sure Maja is demanding a rematch!

    Can't wait for the update ont he gnomish space marine space mouslings are itching for a fight!

    the Cannombal King