As I write this, the Origins game convention (and the AADA World Racing Championships) are a week away. We'll have a complete report in Pyramid #28. The trophies look great, and I look forward to running my first World Championship in quite a while. Now, where did I put that rulebook . . .
The World Duelling Championships at GenCon will be run by the NOVA boys who did such a good job last year. We'll have a complete report from that event in the next issue, too.
Here are some reports from the field:
The Club Racing Championship was a 5-lap sprint around a mock-up of the Ozark Off-Road Raceway. Don Jacques took pole in an Amex CA "Country Road M4". Mike Garrity started 2nd in a DKI "Gila Monster". In 3rd was Chris French in a CFI "Apex Chopper". Norman McMullen refereed.
The three-abreast start meant that the first turn, which is a boulder- lined strip one car-length wide, would see some severe action. Sure enough, Chris's turbocharged gas burner allowed him to out-accelerate Mike and Don; entering Corner 1, Chris pointed both of them. Chris bulled his way past Mike in Corner 1, then stormed past Don before Corner 2 (the NW 180). Once in the clear, the CFI truck simply out paced everybody.
Mike provided a few interesting moments in his efforts to catch Chris, including cutting the course twice. At the NW 180 he simply turned right and went through the grass; at the eastern jump he went over the TV bunker, landing on the track. He took the whoop-de-doos at high speed every lap, all but destroying his tires, and pushed his power plant.
As Chris approached Don's pickup he shot the unfortunate Amex vehicle's back armor off and destroyed the driver's component armor. With the strong possibility of being wiped out by Chris or Mike Don slowed down and pulled off the track midway through his fourth lap.
But this act of gratuitousness and unnecessary act of mayhem did not help Mike's most pressing problem - namely, a certain CFI pickup that had vanished over the horizon. Mike's course-cutting brought him in range a couple of times, but not even explosive-tipped HMG rounds could stop the CFI juggernaut. Chris sailed over the finish line nearly 2 seconds ahead of Mike, completing the five laps in 1 minute, 29.2 seconds.
2047 SPARK Duelling Championship
Five of SPARK's best the 2047 SPARK Duelling Championships. The format for the championship was Division 15, and the arena chosen was the Rainbow Bay Blast Furnace, known for its tight confines and flame-shooting concrete bunkers. To make things interesting for the competitors, the arena was programmed to fire two bunkers per second, and the championship was to be decided in a simple manner - the last duellist standing after 30 seconds would be declared the champion. No checkpoints, no laps, just straight-out vehicular brutality. With these stipulations in mind, duellists Pete Jansen (2044 North Region Champion), Becky Teed, Brian Strassman (2045 SPARK Duelling Champion), James Beecher (2045 SPARK Racing Champion), and Jeff Tidball (defending SPARK Duelling Champion) took to their vehicles.
The action started slowly, as the competitors maneuvered within the tight confines of the arena in order to get a clear shot while avoiding the flames from the bunkers. Jeff quickly earned the title of "Fire Magnet", as it seemed that as Jeff maneuvered to avoid one flaming bunker, another one would fire in his path. Brian scored the first kill of the day when Pete drove through a flame cloud left by Brian. Pete caught on fire, and thanks to the volatile combination of a gas engine and anti-tank gun in his vehicle, blew up four seconds later. Fortunately, the confettied remains of Pete's vehicle were confined to a little-traveled section of the arena.
The remaining duellists continued to take potshots at each other when the opportunity presented itself. James Beecher, driving a metal-armored ram car with an ATG of his own, turned Becky into the second casualty of the day with a withering volley of ATG fire followed by a T-bone collision. Jim tried to repeat this on Brian's car, but only succeeded in peeling off all of Brian's left side armor and slowing his vehicle. Brian turned into a casualty a few seconds later when, while maneuvering cautiously due to a low handling status, presented his left side to Jeff. One recoilless round later, and Brian was both dead and uncloneable.
With three vehicles down and time running out, Jeff and Jim began a game of cat-and-mouse through the corridors of the Blast Furnace. However, they soon realized that neither would be able to kill the other before time expired. At the 23 second mark, Jeff and Jim decided to call it a draw, and became SPARK's first co-champions.
Jeff Tidball's vehicle was not available at the time of this report. James Beecher's car, the "Metal Dung Beetle", is below: