This is duelling during Pale Horse Ice Arena's Winterduel. Hot steel on cold ice for five months in the spectacular Rocky Mountains of Colorado is the attraction, and duellists from around the world come to test themselves. Pale Horse offers the most dangerous and exciting duelling anywhere, rivalling bigger and longer tracks and arenas. The Gold Cross Iceman Special is hosted in December by Pale Horse, and this year, Pale Horse will host a number of gas-powered events. In total, Pale Horse will offer over 2.5 million dollars in prizes.
As one can see from the map, Pale horse is not a long course. In fact, it is quite small by most track standards. However, one must also keep in mind that all racing will be run on ice, and driving will be almost twice as difficult as in normal circumstances.
The following special equipment is available for ice racers:
Ice-Racing Suspension: IR Suspension gives a vehicle an HC of 4 while it is on ice, HC 3 on snow, and HC 2 everywhere else. IR Suspension costs 300% of body cost for trikes, and 500% of body cost for cars. IR Suspension is not available for any other types of vehicles.
Chains: Chains reduce the hazard of maneuvering on ice from +D4 to +D1, and eliminate the additional penalty for maneuvers on snow. A vehicle using chains may not go over 50 mph and if a tire takes any damage, the chains are lost on that tire. If more than one tire chain is lost, the penalty for maneuvering on ice goes up to +D3.
Snowtires: Reduces the penalty for maneuvering on ice to +D2, but also reduces the HC of the vehicle by one. These are available in all types and sizes, and cost 150% as much as regular tires.
Icetires: These special tires have been designed with ice-racing in mind. They have 1/2-inch steel spikes set in the tread to provide traction, These reduce the ice-driving penalty to +D1 and does not reduce a vehicle's handling class on ice. (However, these tires are not good on any other surface: -2 to HC on snow and -3 on dirt and pavement.) When a crash is rolled while using these tires, roll on the regular table but reduce all tire damage by 1 point per die roll. Icetires are available in all types, but weigh two times as much and cost three times as much as regular ones. Icetires also take less damage from debris and spikes (-1 point), and they have two extra DP.
Skates: These are used in place of the front tires on ice-racing vehicles. Handling Class is not affected, and a vehicle using skates suffers no additional penalty for maneuvering on ice. Skates come in three types: Light skates cost $100, weigh 50 lbs. and have 10 DP; Medium skates cost $150, weigh 70 lbs. and have 18 DP; and Heavy skates cost $200, weigh 100 lbs. and have 24 DP. Skates take up no space, and are targeted at a -4. If either skate is lost in combat, the vehicle rolls immediately on Crash Table 2 and its HC drops by 4 permanently. A vehicle that loses both skates must decelerate 15 mph per turn and cannot maneuver. Motorcycles may not use skates and neither can any oversized vehicles.
Retractable Skates: These work the same as regular skates, except that they are mounted with tires instead of replacing them. The mechanism which raises and lowers the skates costs $1000, weighs 100 lbs. and takes up two spaces.
A number of other factors must be considered in ice racing, Namely:
Thin Ice: Areas designated as Thin Ice may not bear the weight of a passing vehicle. The referee should pre-assign weight limitations to these areas. Any vehicle lighter than the ice's weight limitation can pass over without difficulty. A vehicle up to twice the ice's weight limitation will last on a patch of thin ice for only one turn. After that turn, the ice will break and the vehicle will sink. This should only be a problem for slow-moving or disabled vehicles. If a vehicle weighs more than twice the ice's limit, however, it will break through immediately, sinking like a rock. A vehicle that breaks through the ice will leave a hole the same size as the vehicle with an extra 1/4" all the way around.
The water beneath the ice fo the Pale Horse arena is 35 feet deep, and very cold. A character that spends more than 30 turns in the water will freeze to death. Rescue crews stand by to fish participants out of the water, because it is nearly impossible to climb out of icy water yourself (using the two dice and pray method, it would require a 11 or 12, and only one attempt can be made every 10 seconds). Certain grudge matches stipulate that the rescue crews not be available, but most of the time, characters in the drink will be rescued.
Acceleration: With regular tires, a vehicle may only accelerate at 2.5 per turn until they reach 25 mph, after which they accelerate at the normal rate. Snowtire-equipped vehicles accelerate at no greater than 5 mph, regardless of the power of the engine or power plant. Only Icetire-equipped vehicles accelerate at whatever rate their power plants will allow.
Weapons: The only weapons that have little or no effect on an ice-track are oil-jets and ice-droppers. Flaming oil-jets are not allowed on Pale Horse until the last race of the season. All other weapons may be used, but firing at the track is greatly discouraged (a fine of $1000 per shot is usually levied against the offender). Lasers, machine-guns and other non-burst-effect weapons have no effect on an ice track. Burst-effect weapons will create a pothole that is the equivalent of an obstacle. If a burst-effect weapon does more than 15 points of damage to a patch of thin ice, a 1/4"-square hole will appear. Hitting this hole is a D6 hazard, and all thin ice within 1" of the hole has its weight limit cut in half. Flaming oil, flame-throwers, flame clouds and other fire weapons will convert regular ice to thin ice (with a weight limit of 1000 to 6000 lbs. - roll one die and multiply by 1000) after 30 points of cumulative damage is done to it. Thin ice will melt through (with the same effects as above) with 20 more points of fire damage.
Facilities: Pale Horse offers not only a gleaming all-ice racetrack, it also has an off-road track that is in use during both the winter and summer, a lodge and restaurant, enclosed grandstands, complete garage facilities and gas at $75.00 a gallon (except during special events, when it is provided at no cost to the participants). See the map for the layout.
I hope you like racing on Pale Horse as much as I have. With the addition of gasoline events, it should be a very interesting and exciting season. Hope to see you there.