Just . . . Don't

Things that seemed like a good idea at the time


More is better, but more brains is best.

     There was an evil man with an evil plan. He would build the ultimate fighting vehicle. Bristling with weapons, this dreadnaught could fire in any direction and at any angle. To build this death machine on a budget of only $20,000 he would have to be creative.

     He built a pickup truck with a recoilless firing forward, and put five passengers in the back with anti-vehicular rifles (this was before we started charging $$ for the use of gunners). They met his requirement: they could fire independently in the side and rear arcs of fire. At first, his creation appeared to be a legitimate threat.

     At the beginning of the 2nd second of combat, disaster struck in the form of a mid-sized car with a ram plate. Since it came in head on, the gunners were unable to bring their weapons to bear. The recoilless was unable to stop the approaching vehicle, and the pickup had neither the maneuverability to dodge, nor the side armor to withstand a t-bone collision with a ram plate.

     In the blink of an eye it was over. The impact hurled all five gunners to their deaths and destroyed the pickup's front armor, recoilless rifle, and power plant. The ramming vehicle earned $1,000 each for the slain passengers, $2,000 for incapacitating the pickup, and later earned another $1,000 for shooting the pickup's driver as he attempted to flee the arena on foot. Total: $8,000 and an invaluable lesson.

Take the money and run.

     The math was simple. Too much speed + too many maneuvers = overturned vehicle. The driver, we'll call him M.T., exited the disabled vehicle and began to run. The other drivers that night were in a poor position to run him down, and he proved an elusive target for their weapons. They kept missing and he kept running. As indicated on the score sheet, M.T. earned $250 for every inch (15 scale feet) traveled on foot. He had soon traveled many inches and had managed to run or climb across some valuable obstacle markers. Fearing that his luck would soon run out, he dashed into an abandoned vehicle for safety. Suddenly he was no longer a small, hard-to-hit, ducking, dodging target (-3 to be hit). He was now a gigantic stationary target (+1 to be hit). The other drivers released their frustration in an avalanche of slugs, missiles, and rockets. When the smoke cleared, M.T. was no more and the stadium had a brand new crater. Total: $0 and an invaluable lesson.

. . . and keep running.

     Front wheels destroyed. Another fleeing driver turned pedestrian. These were the days when grenade launchers were still legal in our arenas, and it was hard to keep tires on a vehicle. This driver, we'll call him J.Z., had gathered a few things before abandoning his vehicle and running for the exit. He was nearly out when he saw an opportunity. Another driver had lost two wheels, was maintaining tenuous control of his vehicle, and would be unable to fire for the remainder of the second.

     J.Z. had a grenade and an idea. If he pitched the grenade into the path of the crippled vehicle the driver could avoid it by maneuvering and go straight to the crash table or he could ride it out, take the damage from the grenade, and go to the Crash Table anyway. Either way, J.Z. would earn $5,000 if he caused the vehicle to crash. He pitched the grenade in the last phase of the second.

     The next phase was the first of a new second. The grenade took a bad bounce, landed far from the target vehicle, and failed to explode. The driver of said vehicle took this opportunity to fire on J.Z., killing him at the stadium exit and earning $1,000. It was later revealed that J.Z. had actually remained in the arena to throw a fake plastic grenade. Total: one dead pedestrian and an invaluable lesson learned.

Web posted by the Black Circle Gaming Society, March 1999 - February 2000.
Reprinted by the Seattle Washington Autoduel Team, February 2008.
Updated January 11, 2009 and April 05, 2015.
Original URL: http://www.mindspring.com/~aardvarkz/car/badidea.html