CWIN Vol. 1, No. 8
Arena Watch
Double Cross Dueltrack
Alexandria, Louisiana

Written by Michael Drennon

Web Posted October 18, 1998
Updated August 05, 2000

The Double Cross Dueltrack: Trust no one, stay in the throttle and conserve conserve your ammo.

AADA Advisory: All evidence shows that the town of Alexandria is a haven for cycle gangs and river pirates. Avoid travel through this area if possible. Trucks and boats are often hijacked in the area, and several victims have reported finding pieces of vehicles in Alexandrian parts stores. The local sheriff has investigated these rumors but has not yet uncovered any concrete evidence. (Naturally, other rumors say that he's in on the plot).

-- AADA Road Atlas and Survival Guide Volume Six: Free Oil States. Steve Jackson Games. 1989.

Asking directions for the third time in as many charging stations, you wonder if the VIP track-side tickets your buddy gave you are going to be worth this excursion into the Badlands. While you are paying for the recharge (out here you take on a full charge when you can find one), the old geezer trying to sell mismatched armored wheelhubs points you down several miles of dusty gravel road that eventually turns into several miles of dusty dirt road. Bumping and grinding across another set of dried up ruts (silently thanking yourself for upgrading the underbody armor last week), you almost run over your first sign. Confident you are now headed in the right direction, you motor along carefully. Shortly after the road sign, a gang of approximately ten bikers, their actual numbers obscured by the dust, passes you. Their presence did not surprise you as much as their request over the CB for permission to pass before swarming around you every which way. Their nimble, high-riding suspensions quickly leave you behind as you slowly navigate the rocky trail. Rounding the bend you see a strange sight. There are three bikes displaying the colors of the Dust Vultures parked next to a high-sprung, off-road pickup with whoopee lights ablaze and sporting the badge of the county sheriff's office on the driver's side door. Last month's RASG update ran a special report detailing the violent and unpredictable (yet unerringly effective) nature of this particular band of two-wheel enthusiasts. You only expected to see them under the wheels of the local law enforcement pickups, not sharing gate guard duty with the sheriff's deputies.

"Yep, this has got to be the place." You think to yourself. The bikes' owners see you and swagger over to inspect your ticket and parking pass.  The two deputies lean back and grin at you around their well-chewed toothpicks. "Rules are simple" says the shortest biker. "Once you enter, there is no exit until the races are over. If you do, there is no re-entry . . . until next month. Only hand weapons are allowed outside the parking lot. If you can lift it, tote it, and fire it in one hand, then it is a hand weapon . . . Yes, we check everyone entering the stands." The burly biker in the back grins at this statement, brandishing an infantry light machine-gun in a one-handed grip . . . You wonder how he fits on a bike, much less carry that thing.

"No fights in the stands or small or large arms fire directed at the track. The Dust Vultures are security this weekend, again, and any problems are to be brought to us. Chances are good we will let the interested parties fight it out behind the stands by the garbage dumpsters. Otherwise, what we say goes. Solving problems on your own is a bad idea. We get your pocket change and your ride. If you are nice, we will let Gold Cross in to read the body for your clone. Any questions? No? Good, enjoy the races."

The bikers step back and allow your entry into what appears to be a farmer's unused field. Another well-armed Vulture directs you toward the lines of vehicles slowly roasting in the sunny field, but pauses as he sees the VIP stamp on your entry ticket. He points over to the grove of trees separating the "parking" from the track. Along the tree line you notice several temporary armored shelters, undoubtedly absconded from the local National Guard Armory, that have been erected and are being used to house very expensive-looking duelcars and trucks. Evidently your VIP privileges allow for a sheltered enclave for you and your vehicle. Pulling into the cool shade of the armored bunker, your new "neighbor" waves to you as she offers up a cold can of algae beer and something unrecognizable, probably from the local wildlife, that is slowly grilling over coals.

"Yep, the next three days could be very interesting," you think to yourself as you pop the door release and climb out to stretch your weary bones . . . Your box seats are good for two people.

Arena Notes

The Double Cross Dueltrack is run in a strange collaboration between local law enforcement and neighboring cycle gangs. Since the track caters to cycle and trike enthusiasts, the gangs are expected to be on their best behavior at and in the vicinity of the monthly event. Otherwise, the track is closed and the bikers lose revenue from the track as well as several vehicles and personnel in the ensuing firefight with the authorities. In exchange, the bikers are allowed to coordinate events and run security. In case of problems that a rabid cycle gang cannot handle, the local police have three squads of SWAT troopers on hand and discreetly out of sight. Then there are the National Guard reservists who bivouac nearby (conveniently) on race weekend. In a move bordering on genius (for city council members anyway), the town decided to let the local gangs decide amongst themselves which gang would run the next month's events. Gang activity is at an all time high in the area, but most of  their time, energy, and resources are dedicated to fighting each other for dominance. Raids and convoy/courier harassment still occur, but are often interrupted by rival gangs trying to catch each other unprepared or otherwise preoccupied. Lately, deep cover agents have been deployed to ensure the gangs are at odds with each other, as things could get sticky if the gangs were to ever join forces against the townspeople.

Even though the track's humble beginning started with the cycle gangs racing a dirt course scratched into a farmer's field, such is not the case today. Nationally known racers and duelists fly themselves and their bikes in for the competitions, amateur and pro-am competitors brave the Badlands to compete here, as well as the . . . local talent (cycle gang members themselves . . . not to be taken lightly either!). There is even a field hospital run by National Guard reservists. There are two stripped-downAmbunaught 2031s (no weapons, light armor, huge engine, and lots o' strobes) with off-road suspension for bringing fallen riders back to the hospital. In severe cases, there is a military medivac chopper on sight that can be scrambled at a moment's notice.

Due to the strong celebrity presence plus a mix of talents, almost anything can happen out on the track, there is plenty of media coverage for the three days of this event. In fact, many first-time visitors are surprised by the media coverage in place here. There are several TV bunkers around the track, and the news choppers occasionally vie for airspace above the more prestigious events. This of course halts the event in progress while the pilots duke it out in the skies. (With some large- and small-caliber support from arena security ground forces trying to get the offending choppers away from the track before there is a smoking twisted lump of metal and plastic on the main backstretch that needs to be cleared off their expensive, paved surface).

Events are extremely diverse. The track does not have AADA or AADA/R Sanctioning, but there are races and duels that adhere strictly to those organizations' guidelines. Other races and duels may incorporate non-AADA Sanctioned designs and equipment, but this doesn't mean there are no rules or limitations on designs. Races and duels are run from dawn to late in the evening on the well-lit track, with several variations within both gasoline and electric events. The major impediment to AADA / AADA/R status for this track is the very narrow construction of the track. This severely limits the numbers and sizes of four wheel vehicles that may compete here, as even trikes are often pressed for track space.  Occasionally sprint chassis are raced here, as well as a few subs and compacts for exhibition racing and duels, but nothing larger than compact sized four-wheelers. Sorry, but this track belongs to the lightweights.

From the S/F line, racers drag into a bottleneck and Turn 1. Following the 90-degree turn is another bottleneck that narrows the track to a mere 15' wide. Turn 2 places the racers onto one of the three backstretches on this track. Turn 3 empties into the first criss-cross intersection. Immediately upon exiting the intersection, racers are funneled back to a 15"-wide track. Turn 4 sees a gradual expansion of the track width leading to the very wide Turn 5 hairpin. This is one of few places that passing, usually by out-braking your opponent, can be considered easy on the track. A short chute narrows the track again as the racers enter Turn 6. This turn empties onto the long and perilous main backstretch. About halfway down the stretch, racers re-enter the first criss-cross section. Thirty feet later the track is narrowed once again to 15' as racers enter the second criss-cross intersection. This part of the course is the most hazardous, as this intersection is only 15' by 15'.  There are not many near-misses in this second crossing . . . all or nothing is the order of the day here. Turn 7 is the fastest on the course, leading to a very tight hairpin in Turn 8. One of only two right-handed turns, Turn 9, takes the racers past the field hospital and into Turn 10, which directs the racers back into the treacherous second crossing. Turn 11 pours the racers onto the final backstretch. Turn 12 leads the racers into a small chicane. After the chicane racers push and shove into the final bottleneck leading to Turn 13, which leads them back to the S/F line. Access to pit row comes directly following Turn 13.

TV Bunkers. These structures have 10(2) DP.

Field Hospital. This building has 30(4) DP.

Pit Area. The guardrails and walls protecting the pit area are 30 DP. Multiple breaches will not collapse them, instead just make big holes in the wall. These rails and walls are three feet high. There are no guardrails on the rest of this track, and often the fun comes from seeing who can dodge the wreckage that just turned into a $15,000 torpedo!

Grandstands. Located south of the main straight, with the garage areas off to the west, while parking is off to the east of the track. To keep the spectators relatively safe, there is a three-foot retaining wall along the front stretch identical to the walls protecting the pit area. Topping this wall is a 15' tall retention fence with Spalltex (TM) armorglass plates attached to the fence. These plates will block 10 DP of vehicular fire per
occurrence. Vehicles vaulting into the fence can either be caught in it, or tossed back onto the track. Vehicles that leave the paved surface with racing slicks should suffer an additional D3 hazard from the slippery turf infield as well as losing any HC bonus from the slicks until the vehicle is once again back on the paved surface.

Track Regulations

While there are many different types of events held here from simple races to dueltrack racing, there is a specific set of guidelines for each separate event. The track itself has regulations that displace any others.

1. No dropped weapons, grenades or grenade launchers. Direct-fire weapons only, limited to those doing two dice or less damage in a single instance. Smoke and paint devices allowed if event permits their usage.

2. Pit row speed limit is 55 mph. No combat allowed in the pit area, no engagement of any sort allowed over yellow lines, or into or out of the pit
row area.

3. Cyclists/Drivers are required to wear a fireproof suit. Body armor, while optional, is highly recommended.

The dropped weapon ruling is pretty self-explanatory. This is a paved asphalt track out in the middle of the badlands. This is very expensive to try to get fixed . . . Imagine paying construction workers triple time for hazardous duty pay and you can see why the gangs do not want to destroy the track surface every month. Smoke and paint projectors are allowed because they do not damage the surface or create an undue hazard to other vehicles . . . They get the same effect trying to drive though the tire smoke of someone who has just spun in front of them.  Smoke and paint weapons are okay as long as the event rules allow for them. This does mean that smoke and paint grenades are allowed, but are also the only grenades allowed (no concussion, fragmentary, incendiary, etc.). The burst radius on these would eliminate the field rather quickly once 17 cyclists started sowing grenades all around. No one would make it through the first curve much less the rest of the course! No combat allowed inside the pit area, and no vehicle may engage or target another vehicle while one or both is within the pit area. Vehicles outside pit row may not engage or target vehicles on pit row.

Track Events

The following is included to try to help give referees ideas with creating their own events at this track.

Divisional Racing: AADA/R Class. Vehicles in these events must comply with current AADA/R rules and regulations for vehicle design and construction. Drivers may not carry weapons, and their vehicles may not mount any weapons either. This includes dischargers. Body blades and bumper spikes are allowed however ramplates are not. Victory is determined by first vehicle to complete the required number of laps. Vehicles competing in this event do mount some armor since they occasionally compete within other divisions that allow drivers to carry hand weapons. Besides, the extra armor is nice in case of a rollover situation.

Divisional Racing: Open Class. Vehicles in this class have no restrictions on motive power sources, save temporary speed boosters (i.e. rocket boosters, ISCs, and nitrous systems) and the carrying capacity of their frames. Motive power sources tend to be gasoline-powered, so class distinctions are based on monetary limits and the aspiration of the engines. Naturally aspirated engines and turbine (turbo or supercharged) engines will compete in separate events. Electric powered vehicles, while rare, are allowed to compete in either class. Electric vehicles tend to do better on courses favoring top end versus acceleration. Drivers may not carry weapons and their vehicles may not mount any weapons either.  This includes dischargers. Body blades and bumper spikes are allowed however ramplates are not. Victory is determined by first vehicle
to complete the required number of laps. Vehicles competing in this event do mount some armor since they occasionally compete within other divisions that allow drivers to carry hand weapons. Besides, the extra armor is nice in case of a rollover situation. The cycles listed below sport cycle blades in order to assist other racers in resisting the temptation to give a friendly little shove or bump at 150 mph. The blades also help when racers are trying to hold their position from a fast approaching rival.

Divisional Racing: Dueltrack Class. These rules allow racers to arm themselves and their vehicles. The focus is still on speed and handling, there are just some different options available should a racer want to pass or try to hold his position. Some events allow for hand weapons only, some vehicular weapons only, while others allow both. In most cases, the racers will have to complete a set number of  laps before being allowed to fire upon other racers. Victory goes to first racer to complete a set number of laps, or the last racer able to circle the course under his own power.  Burst effect weapons are allowed, but with a few restrictions. Burst effect weapons cannot be used to target the track surface
in hopes of hitting targets with the burst effect. This tactic damages the surface, disqualifies the rider and shortens his life span once he reaches the track officials' reception committee in the garage area. All burst effect weapons must be of the single-shot type if their burst effect is greater than 1" (i.e. MRs fired one at a time are okay, RLs are not, MMLs are okay, LAWs and gyrosluggers are okay as long as the rider carries no reloads, etc.)  No tripod or "man-portable" type hand weapons allowed. Racers using these burst weapons may reload them, but only on pit row. Multiple weapons may be purchased (i.e. 2 LAWs, 3 gyrosluggers, etc.) to reduce pit stop times (just have to stop, wait one second for crew to hand over new, loaded weapon, then go), but the total price of all weapons and ammunition counts toward the Divisional monetary limits. Since only one weapon can be carried at a time, only the weight of one weapon (and ammunition) needs to be factored into total            vehicle weight. Hand weapons without burst effects (pistols, rifles, shotguns, AVRs, etc. are not subject to this reloading restriction, and the rider may carry extra magazines if vehicle weight and monetary limits allow. Some events allow (or even require) passengers, and please keep in mind these are the only occupants of a vehicle allowed to use two-handed weapons. I would like to see how long a cyclist could stay on this track at 150 mph without holding onto the handlebars! Pilots must stick to one-handed weaponry only.