Operation: Rabbit Chaos
By Alice Turow
"My family's wealth and resources are entirely at ARF's disposal, Dr. Jahn," said Francis, a rebellious teen who'd struggled to find his own voice. "Hail anarchy! How may I aid the cause?"
Dr. Jahn pulled out a gun and shot Francis in the head.
"You! Skull! Take Francis' resources and find out what's afoot with BILL."
"But my name's not . . ." Dr. Jahn waved the gun casually at the stammering man. "Yessir. Skull. BILL. Right. Hail anarchy. Gotta go."
Dr. Jon, President of the Business Institute for Longer Living, addressed his Chief Security Officer. "We have something big coming out of our Los Angeles office. Dr. Woo's research has finally reached fruition. We need to get it to San Francisco in two days for further development."
"That should be easy enough," said Skip. "Any complications?"
"Ah." Skip paused. "Does the company policy have nutbar insurance?"
"Operation: Rabbit Chaos" is a five-part scenario for Car Wars. Each part can be played individually (although part III will need to be improvised somewhat), or as part of a mini-campaign. A referree is not necessary, but can be useful.
Under the cover of night, BILL is attempting to bring the notes and samples to its research facilities in San Francisco. ARF believes it is in their best interests to intercept this super-secret cargo . As it turns out, they are correct.
For this scenario, each player designs one vehicle for $15,000 or less. Place three clean sections of road down, however the BILL player desires. BILL places its vehicle down on the first section of road (wherever it wants), and declares its speed. ARF then places its vehicle down on the first section of road and declares its speed.
Play is as normal, except for placing new sections of road. Whenever both vehicles leave the last section of road, a new section is added. (It's dark and foggy, so visibility is limited to three road sections.) BILL has more accurate maps than ARF, and decides what style of road section is added and how it is oriented. ARF has its agents everywhere, however, ready to sabotage the highways at a moment's notice; as such, the ARF player decides whether or not the debris side is used.
BILL's object in this scenario is to kill the ARF vehicle, or escape. (BILL escapes by having three road sections between it and the ARF vehicle.) ARF's objective is to disable or destroy the BILL vehicle; the papers and samples therein are in a fireproof briefcase and can be retrieved easily. Neither player will know the others' vehicle design.
ARF may or may not acquire the notes. Regardless, BILL cannot allow those ARF agents to escape; they know too much.
This scenario begins with the ARF player constructing a contiguous 1350 square-foot base (six 15 square-foot sections) where their current cell operations are stationed. The ARF player can also place up to 20 single-square debris counters on the map (no more than two adjacent to each other; there must be at least 15 feet between them). Each player has $30,000 to design as many or as few cars as they would like.
The ARF vehicles start out stationary, placed wherever the ARF player wants. The BILL vehicles start out 225 feet away, moving whatever speeds that player chooses. The BILL player has 20 turns to get a vehicle driver to the base, inside it (doors are presumed to be available or easily made), outside it, and back off the map. One full turn must be spent inside the base . . . either to find and retrieve the plans, or to kill the cell leader. That driver must then make it 225 feet away from the base; ideally BILL will drive all of its vehicles more than 225 feet away from the base. After 20 turns ARF's reinforcements will have been alerted and return to base; any BILL vehicles still inside the 225 radius are presumed swarmed and destroyed by ARF members.
BILL wins if it gets a driver inside and outside the base -- and outside the edge of the map -- in 20 turns or less. ARF wins if it can repel all the BILL agents. Neither player knows the others' vehicle designs.
This scenario takes place immediately after the previous one. As such, any vehicles destroyed in the previous scenario are not used, and any damaged vehicles remain damaged. (If either side lost all of its vehicles in the previous scenario, the opposing side automatically wins this one. If both sides lost all of their vehicles, this scenario is skipped, and is considered a draw.)
ARF has gotten its vehicles up to speed, and is pursuing the BILL agents. (ARF's reinforcements are guarding the compound; besides, they wouldn't recognize the BILL vehicles anyway.) Predictably, the action has spilled onto the highways. BILL thought they would throw ARF off the trail by going the wrong way on the highway. They were wrong.
Place five clean, straight highway sections. BILL vehicles are placed first on the next-to-last section, traveling whatever speed that player wants. ARF agents are placed on the last section, again moving whatever speed the ARF player wants.
New sections are added once a previous section is emptied (or if there are less than three empty ones in front), at random as follows:
Road Type Added
small right curve
large right curve
Straight debris road section
Straight clean road section
Straight debris road section
large left curve
small left curve
In addition, if doubles come up on this roll, there is another vehicle on the road. The BILL player chooses a car or cycle from the Sample Vehicles section (or any agreed-upon source). The ARF player determines its speed and places it on the edge of the new section, facing towards the players' vehicles. These vehicles aren't interested in autodueling; they will follow the road in a straight line (turning as necessary to follow the road, but driving over debris or into vehicles) until they travel off the far edge.
ARF's objective is to kill the driver from the previous scenario. BILL's objective is to destroy or disable all of the ARF vehicles, or to have the driver from the previous scenario escape by having his vehicle (or a vehicle he's in) escape by distancing itself from ARF; if that vehicle can get five sections of road between it and all ARF agents, it will escape.
Unlike the previous scenario, both players get to see all the other players' vehicle designs (including their current state).
As it turns out, BILL was working on an experimental retrovirus that will render the human body capable of withstanding tremendous damage, without suffering the traditional effects of incapacitating trauma. Dr. Woo's Pituitary-Adrenal Stimulant, if it proves effective, could change the face of the world.
ARF has either synthesized their own Woo-PAS retrovirus from notes stolen in Part I, or acquired a final sample from BILL's San Francisco labs while they were distracting BILL's other forces in Parts II and III.
In this scenario, ARF needs to escape the BILL agents with the sample. BILL needs to retrieve the sample.
The ARF player has $40,000 to design as many (or few) cycles and trikes as he wants. The BILL player has $40,000 to design cars; the amount spent must be divided equally between cars. Thus four cars must each cost $10,000 (or less), two cars must cost $20,000 each, etc. Designs can be different between cars, however.
The ARF player places his forces first along one edge of the map, and sets speeds. BILL places its forces next, putting them 500 feet away. Both players agree on the left and right boundaries of the map.
Once all forces are placed, ARF reveals which cyclist has The Canister. The canister has the retrovirus sample inside it. If need be, the canister can be thrown the same distance as a grenade (or less); if another cyclist is within that range, he can catch it automatically . . . unless there is another vehicle in between the thrower and the catcher. Then the catcher must make a skill roll. If it fails, it lands beyond the catcher on the ground; picking it up is an automatic action for a stopped vehicle. BILL agents cannot exit their vehicles or otherwise acquire or destroy the canister.
ARF wins this scenario if it gets an agent with the canister off the opposite side of the map. BILL wins if it stops all ARF agents. Neither side is aware of the other's vehicle designs.
"Stop stammering and speak, Skull!"
"Dr. Jahn, s--sir, we have some information regarding the Woo-PAS retrovirus. It seems that it has mutated; it still provides the heightened protection from physical form, but it inflicts its user with a measure of berzerker madness that seems, at this time, to be incurable."
"Hm. Interesting. And how have you learned this?"
"Well . . . there were some rabbits BILL was testing on."
"And have you acquired these rabbits?"
"Well, Dr. Jahn, sir, the latches on the cages we purchased turned out to be much trickier than we originally thought . . ."
ARF, ever-believers in the proverbial Plan B, were successful in infiltrating agents into the BILL San Francisco labs. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.
The rabbits escaped.
These mutated Woo-PAS infected rabbits are both a danger and a tremendous opportunity, depending on their fate.
By this point in the campaign, BILL and ARF are running low on available vehicles and skilled drivers.
Each player gets $20,000 to design as many (or as few) vehicles as they want. Both players should agree on a map; at the very least it should include a building in the center (the lab the rabbits escaped from), and quite probably other buildings around there.
Players alternate placing vehicles, starting with BILL. If one player runs out of vehicles, the other places the rest of his. Speed is then randomly determined for each vehicle: 1dx10 mph. (The chaos of the situation has led to a lot of vehicular scrambling.)
Finally, each player places 10 rabbits, alternating one at a time; this time ARF goes first. Use pedestrian tokens (or make your own bunny tokens); for ease of play, each still takes up a full square. Because of the retrovirus' effects, each rabbit can take three hits of damage without any penalties; on the fourth hit the rabbit dies.
Woo-PAS infected rabbits all start out at 30 mph, and will not alter their speeds. Each time a rabbit has an option to move, it will move in the exact opposite direction of the nearest vehicle . . . even if this means hopping uselessly off the side of a building. (In the case of a rabbit being near two or more equidistant vehicles, roll randomly to see which vehicle he's fleeing from. Yes, this can mean running under the tires of another vehicle. Squish!)
ARF agents want to capture one of the rabbits; this mutated strain of virus could prove very useful in its global anarchy plans. To capture a rabbit, a driver must begin the turn adjacent to one, and its speed must be 0 mph (after deceleration). The rabbit will then freeze up. It will take 1 full second to grab the rabbit if on a cycle or trike, 2 full seconds if in a car. The driver now has the rabbit, and can drive off normally. If a vehicle containing a rabbit crashes or is otherwise taken out of commission, the rabbit takes one hit of damage, then bounds out of the vehicle to flee again. Targeting a rabbit is -5, but they are treated as pedestrians if struck by a vehicle.
The ARF player wins if it exits a map edge with a living rabbit. The BILL player wins if it manages to eliminate all the rabbits. If a rabbit manages to escape the side of the map (and isn't being carried by an ARF agent), neither player wins this scenario; ARF cannot control that rabbit's chaos (seriously limiting its usefulness), and BILL will have a possible bio-environmental nightmare on its hands.
If BILL wins more scenarios than ARF, it has managed to contain the Woo-PAS virus for its own purposes. Tampering in nature's domain will carry on as planned, and they will begin trying to work out the bugs of their experiment and develop a sellable product.
If ARF wins more scenarios than BILL, it will have what it believes to be a powerful tool in its goals of promoting global anarchy.
In the event of a tie, both sides are able to claim victory . . . BILL has the research at its disposal, but it also will have to deal with those pesky government phone calls once the Woo-PAS strain pops up in a town or two . . .
Regardless, it will quickly become apparent that the retrovirus does not work entirely as either side wants. Rather, regardless of whether it is sold as a stimulant or released in the wild, it will mutate into a variant of the common cold; humans who catch it will feel sick, but deny it and violently insist on going to work, school, or otherwise out in public as normal. Whichever side was able to claim victory will claim a small consolation, however, as they will be able to develop the specially formulated Wootang Elixir; this therapeutic citrus beverage will counteract the worse effects of the Woo-PAS cold strain.
Article publication date: July 13, 2001
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