There’s this wee game I played recently during my adventures – it involved several other players around a board that was scratch-built to look like a Coliseum track that you’d find in the likes of Ben-Hur (the classic, not the remake, although the imagery would be similar). The GM then gave us each 2 models – one chariot, totally immaculate, and another chariot, that was overturned and wrecked. The minis were 6mm in scale but they were beautifully painted. We were each given a stat card for our chariots, as well as a simple quick reference rule sheet.
What happened next was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had. It was essentially a chariot race game, with the winner (inevitably being this fortunate writer) being the first to complete 2 laps of the circuit.
Winning wasn’t easy – each player in their move could change direction and ram other chariots, just like they did in ancient Rome, and if others were fortunate enough to have passengers with bows and arrows, could also fire at other players who were in the lead, or in my case, have a go at shooting me because I was me.
The system was fairly intuitive and easy to pick up, very similar to Songs of Blades and Heroes, in that you choose to roll either one, two or three d6s to see how many actions you get, a successful roll being a four up. You then took your actions depending on successful rolls, however 3 failures was catastrophic – your chariot was wrecked and there was a chance that a mob of people would run onto the track and attack. The ease of the dice meant that play was very quick for such a large amount of players – 6 I think at the time.
I’ve deliberately left the name of the game out as it’s quite clever – it’s called Faustus and Furius by a local company called Ganesha Games – I’m sure you can see the parallels with a long-running film franchise yourself as well as Roman references – you don’t need me to fill in the blanks. You’re an adult after all. Aren’t you?
Anyways, the reason I’m talking about this game is that it got me thinking. The rules are fairly straightforward and easy to learn, and the game is great fun, but not everyone has 6mm chariot minis around. Some of the diehard Kickstarters among you may have Devil’s Run sitting about, giving you an ideal opportunity to play another game with your wee car minis. Some of you have X-Wing miniatures Game models, which would lend themselves quite nicely to this system. Hell, some of you have superhero minis just sitting there – why not dust them off and have a wee race among your friends?
As gamers, we’ve all amassed collections of miniatures that fail to see the light of day again once the thrill of that game has gone and we inevitably box them up for newer toys. I’m as guilty as others for buying into so many systems as well as selling stuff, that sometimes all it takes is a fresh system to reinvigorate our enthusiasm to play with those old toys again. I always imagine my wee men having that chat during the lonely nights just like the toys in Toy Story as Andy grows up, thinking that I don’t appreciate them anymore. That’s not true, I whisper to them all as they lie in their foam containers during their long slumbers. All any of us needs is a good excuse to grab the gaming case and get the lads out again (or lasses – really no need for gender bias when it comes to minis), and this game is certainly one of those games to consider.
I’ll be bringing this wee gem down to LGC soon for the punters to give it a go so I strongly urge you all to have a think about the minis that you’ve neglected and try to find new ways of giving them a new lease of life. They’ll thank you for it.