Life is lawless and dangerous. Survivors like you either live in scattered, fortified towns, or roam outside as bandits. YOUR mission is to cross the wilderness to the far-distant oil-refinery at San Anglo and bring vital supplies back to the peaceful town of New Hope. Even in the armed Dodge Interceptor you are given, the journey will be wild and perilous. Will YOU survive?
Here she is then, my Interceptor. My limited car knowledge tells me that i’s basically a Lamborghini Diablo, which is an obvious choice to mod up for combat on a barren wasteland where petrol is worth killing over. After leaving New Hope all I see is desolation and roaming dog packs, civilization really has curled up and died. I pull up in a small town just outside New Hope and the sound of dog howls is suddenly joined by the crack of a shotgun blast, ignoring the chance to find out who is indulging in some gun-play, the best option seemed to be to get moving again.
Zig-zagging around the abandoned cars strewn about the highway I eventually came across a small filling-station, Joe’s Garage. A smart looking hot-rod was parked outside so I went to see if anyone was around, from inside the office an apparently rather cold young lady greeted me, ‘Hi! Can I help you?‘.
I should really have smelled a rat, but the chance to buy some stuff is always tempting, especially as I had 200 credits burning a hole in my pocket. I stepped out of the car to speak to her and was promptly jumped by a skin-head with a crowbar who had been hiding behind the pumps. Not wanting to hand over everything I had at essentially the first hurdle, I took the guy on, not a tough opponent at 7/10 but I had only rolled a Skill of 9, so I wasn’t too hot myself. By the rules of the books hand-t0-hand combat I managed to knock him unconscious, but before I could turn my attention to the girl, she had jumped in their car and took off. Searching the garage didn’t turn up much, I set off on my way with a brand new length of chain.
Roaring out of the garage I was enjoying being able to hit a speed of 190kmph, uninhibited by the man, but I soon hit a different problem. There may be no police, but there are heavily armoured Chevvys with Steven Seagal sitting in a machine gun turret.
Vehicular combat was going to be quite straightforward for me though as I’d rolled a maximum Firepower of 12 and damage was done at 1D6 per hit, so at 8/15, he didn’t last too long.
Shortly after this conflict, my radio crackled into life, it was one of the leaders of New Hope. Since I had left, they had been attacked by a biker gang who had kidnapped our council leader, Sinclair, and I was warned to be on the look-out for them. My progress was quickly brought to a halt though as the highway I was riding on was now completely clogged with abandoned traffic, my fuel situation was also becoming an issue as I had emptied the last of my supplies into the car and I needed to be finding some more pretty quickly. I took an easterly turn off the highway and my eye was caught by an ambulance off the side of the road.
Checking out the vehicle turned up an empty drivers seat, I went around to the back to open up the doors and inside I found a small explosive that went off for 4 Stamina damage. Dazed and confused, I crawled into some tall grass, assuming that this booby trap would flush out its owner. Sure enough, an angry man in a headband followed the trail of blood I hadn’t realised I’d left and started shooting at me. Passing a Luck test, he missed, but I was now stuck in a shoot-out with him. Not easy given my Skill, he was 8/12, and despite killing him off I took a few hits. Sustaining in gunplay and getting hit more than once results in a loss of 1 Skill point – very harsh in my opinion, especially as this now meant I had a Skill of 8 to struggle along with. I took 150 credits and some knuckle dusters from his body and drove off to the east, then turning back south.
My next obstacle was a small river with only a rickety old bridge to cross it. Wanting to keep moving south, I took the chance to drive across and the bridge was actually able to hold the weight of my vehicle! Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to sustain the blast of the explosives I triggered by driving across, destroying the support structure, sending me crashing into the water below. My adventure was very much over.
So let’s skip back and leave that one shall we? Turning back from the bridge, I headed back to the last junction, past the ambulance and found myself taking Skill tests to successfully jump a bridge. Another junction could take me south or continue west, trying to keep on track, I took the southerly option. My progress was brought to a close again however as this path took me to a section asking if I had any fuel cannisters left… Having not yet found any reserves I had to again accept that my adventure was over!
Heading west at that last junction seemed to keep me running a little longer though so I stuck to that route, eventually coming across a man in a motorcycle helmet, waving his arms in the road. I was now one of them, ‘I might be able to kill him to get some petrol…‘, I mused. Of course I still had a lot to learn in these wastelands and had been tricked into yet another ruse, the man ran to a ditch, flinging a grenade back at me, which a Luck test meant only caused a minor 2 Stamina points of damage. A second man popped up from behind the ditch and I was in another gun battle, thankfully they were relatively weak, having Skills of 7 and 5, I was able to dispatch them without sustaining any more loss of Skill. My reward was a throwing knife which I stuck in my boot and carried on driving.
More abandoned cars blocked my path as I continued west, but this time I did the intelligent thing and got out to investigate the vehicles for supplies. Very useful was the crowbar I came across, especially useful as I used it to pry open the boots of several cars, eventually turning up a precious cannister of petrol! An additional Luck point was also mine. Turning off south, this time I had the reserve fuel to keep myself going and I drove until it got dark. It was rime to get some rest, so I pulled up at a nearby cafe.
Still having a modicum of self-respect, I rejected the option to sleep in the outhouse and went inside the cafe to find a bed. Satisfied that it wasn’t rigged with explosives like everything else seems to be in these parts, I set my head down for a bit of a sleep and managed a good nights rest for 2 extra Stamina points. Another day of driving and being blown up by things awaits…