CWIN Vol. 1, No. 7
Arena Watch
Treasure Island Autoduel-Aquaduel Complex
Las Vegas, Nevada

Written by Michael Drennon

Rules for submarines and diving equipment by Francis Greenaway

Web Posted September 03, 1998
Updated August 05, 2000

Got some prize money left over and burning a hole in your pocket? Do you simply thirst for a new twist to arena battles? Do you just feel lucky . . . punk? If you have the greenbacks and the ability to bypass the Badlands of Nevada, then we have the place for you. No, your senses do not deceive you. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you Treasure Island . . . the premiere Las Vegas casino and vehicular combat attraction! No matter if the surrounding countryside is plagued by outlaws and is generally considered Badland status, Las Vegas lives once again. Each resort casino in Vegas now resembles a miniature fortress city. Cruising the Vegas strip has a new definition in 2048 . . . dangerous!  Sure, you can feel free to roam around the city, just make sure you are back at your hotel before dark, and that you do not lose your security pass. The only way to enter into a resort after dark is via helicopter . . . and even those are scrutinized closely by security on their way in.

The Treasure Island Casino and Resort Hotel has been rebuilt in the center of an artificial lake, and can only be accessed by helicopter or escorted ferry, ensuring the riff-raff of the general populace cannot interfere with your gaming pleasure. Recreational boating facilities are available, and the lake is heavily patrolled to discourage outlaws from attempting to cross the lake and enter the casino. Recreational boat duels and grudge matches are allowed outside the arena with prior clearance from resort security, however there will be strong incentives to enter into a scheduled arena bout rather than risk damage to other patrons and their boats. Some racing events may take place in the surrounding lake as well.

Dueling enthusiasts may view duels twenty-four hours a day from a variety of locations. A room with an enclosed and armored balcony overlooking the arena can provide and excellent view, however prior reservations are recommended, as the management cannot guarantee such a room to "walk-ins." For those preferring the aquatic action, there are rooms below the lake surface with armored windows that allow a breathtaking view of the underwater world. Each room is specially soundproofed for those patrons who actually want to sleep at some point.  For those who prefer anonymity, we have private viewing boxes both above and below the waterline. These are heavily-armored in case of a stray shot from the arena and Treasure Island security personnel are stationed discreetly outside the boxes to minimize interruptions. For those who cannot go without the smell of cordite, the flash of burning powder or the feel of the concussion waves from multiple rocket detonations, there are of course sheltered bleachers surrounding the arena. How does that old movie line go?  "I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like . . .  victory."

In any location there is a computer allowing for wagers on any aspect of the ensuing duel. Simply insert your room card, punch in your access code, and you are free to gamble to your heart's content (or your account is empty, let's be realistic here). There are stunt shows, special events, AADA Divisional Dueling, and aquatic dueling. Heck, grab your steady girl and go see the submarine duels! (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more). The duels and races involving the underwater craft are shown above the arena on wide-band holo-sets. Where else are you going to see an arena car sporting torpedoes or blue-green lasers and boats dueling in the desert? One thing is for sure, a place like this could only be found in Las Vegas.

Arena Notes

This open-air arena provides a unique setting for dueling enthusiasts who come to visit. The concept behind the design was to promote fair dueling between water and land vehicles at the same time. Since boats have a lower firepower potential in comparison to similarly-sized and priced cars, the concrete areas of the arena are very tight and narrow with several jumps that must be made if a vehicle wishes to cross the water at some points on the floor. In addition, the boats may cut a close turn to the concrete, washing water over sections of the arena floor, increasing the handling hazard in that area. This encourages auto designers to spend more money on handling, suspension, and accessories to keep their cars out of the drink. Boats subsequently do not need to fear being outclassed by a car's higher firepower potential.

Outer Walls. The walls surrounding the arena are mainly to keep stray rockets and shells from leaving the arena. The walls are relatively thin at 25 DP, but can be readily patched or blocked with spare sheets of armor should a breach occur. Any vehicle breaching the wall falls into the lake outside.

Arena Gates. Watercraft may enter through one of eight gates surrounding the arena. The gates are closed upon entry so any stray munitions do not threaten any boats out on the lake. Outside the arena is a world-class marina with dry dock facilities, a charging station, fuel depot, Uncle Al's outlet, security station, and plenty of berths (armored and unarmored) to dock almost any size boat. Marine recovery specialists are also on hand to assist in removal of sunken wrecks and beached watercraft. Land-lovers must enter through a gate in the southern portion of the arena. Pit facilities for land vehicles are provided underneath the resort itself. Eight land vehicles or teams start one to an island (excluding the center island), facing any direction and at speed zero while eight watercraft or teams enter at 20 mph thorough their assigned gates.

Ramps. The yellow ramps are sloped 30 degrees and are for the land vehicles. The green ramps are specifically designed for aquatic vehicles.  While it is not necessary for boats to use them (they are there for the stunt shows), the crowd does love a show, and a winner's prestige may suffer if he was too chicken to try a jump or two. The boat ramps are sloped at 30 degrees as well, and have pumps to sluice water down the front of the ramp. This makes the speed reduction for boats and aquabikes only 10 mph instead of 15 mph. This design was incorporated to allow the water-skiers to jump farther during the stunt shows. The green ramps are sloped at thirty degrees as well. Anything larger than a speedboat will not be able to jump using these ramps. Treat the offending vehicle as if it has run aground.

Bridges. There are four bridges connecting various islands. Each bridge is rounded to prevent cars from taking flight when traversing them.  Each bridge is 1" above the surface of the water, and can take 25(3) DP before collapsing. Intentional targeting is not recommended, as it takes a few days to reconstruct each destroyed bridge. Offenders are usually asked nicely (once) to leave the resort. Any problems and the offender will be bodily ejected (Can you swim?).

Water. The water in the arena is 45' (3") deep so there are no problems with any boats hitting shallow water. Boats may run aground on the concrete through a mishap or loss of control. Such "beached whales" are toast unless they surrender quickly. Running aground can occur anywhere in the arena, unless the initial point of contact with land is a yellow ramp or under a bridge. If that is the case, treat the incident as if the vehicle struck a wall. If a boat wants to wash the concrete with water, it is dangerous, but the effects last quite a while. The boat must approach within one square for aquabikes, rowboats and dinghies, or two squares for speedboats. The boat must then make a bend or swerve away from the concrete sending their wake spraying onto the concrete. The danger comes from being that close to where land vehicles can strike, and loss of control while attempting this maneuver. If the boat should fishtail, it risks taking damage from the concrete and possibly running aground. To figure how much water fans out onto the surface, take the D-value of the maneuver used and multiply by two for speedboats while multiplying by one for anything smaller. This is the amount of grid squares fanning from the closest point that are now covered with water. This only adds +D1 to hazards and maneuvers by land vehicles that cross this patch of wet concrete, but is a good tactic to use in the northeastern and southwestern corners of the arena, as these two areas are very tight for land vehicles. If a land vehicle should fall, slide or roll into the water, they are considered out of the competition. The only exception is if that vehicle is waterproofed, has the ability to crawl underwater (no gas engines), has viable underwater weaponry, and lands right side up on the bottom (1 in 6 chance). Granted once this occurs, the vehicle is at the bottom for the duration of the duel and is highly vulnerable to the boats whose environment this is. For land vehicles, entering the water does have one benefit . . . If the vehicle is on fire; the fire will most likely be put out when it hits the water. Of course now you are sinking and wishing you had taken swimming lessons when you were a kid, but you will not burn to death. Isn't that comforting?

Arena Defenses. While aquadueling has long been considered a gentleman's sport, this arena hosts much more than watercraft events. Due to the addition of land vehicles and aquabikes to the agenda, the arena officials decided to beef up the defenses some. High-powered cruisers and specially-imported Coast Guard Stonefish submarines patrol the lake. At least one cruiser and a submarine (that drops below the surface as soon as enemy craft are identified) escort each ferry from the Vegas strip. There are two cruisers that are stationed outside the arena, one cruiser for the north and one for the south gates. These cruisers are actually part of the resort's marine security and may be called upon for routine patrols of the lake. If needed in the arena, they will enter and begin firing on any vehicle identified by the arena officials. This is mainly to coddle the misguided wealthy who believe land duelists and aquabikers cannot duel with honor. However there have been assassination attempts made at high level officials viewing from the private underwater boxes. Terrorists masquerading as professional duelists launched a brace of torpedoes at the armorglass attempting to eliminate a visiting dignitary, so the cruisers are kept on to discourage such attempts. If the cruisers do enter the arena, they will certainly swamp all concrete surfaces with the wake from their boats, and all surfaces are treated accordingly throughout the rest of the duel. Note these cruisers will not be able to pass under any bridges within the arena.

Arena Events

While this arena does host a number of stunt and action shows, dueling is its main attraction. Both the American Autoduel Association and the American Aquaduel Association sponsor events here. Since there is a 24-hour format to the dueling schedule, many more events may be run here than at other arenas. In a pinch, auto wrecks are simply pushed or dragged into the water to clear the field for the next duel, to be recovered later by the marine recovery unit's heavily modified submarines or surface fleet. Some events are strictly marine in nature, while others are strictly vehicular. The biggest draw to this arena, the one for which it is known world wide, is the mixed teams events. Following a close second are the Aqua Versus Auto events.

Mixed Teams. These events started as exhibition matches run by corporate sponsors for advertising and promotional purposes. Independent operators began fielding their own teams, and suddenly there was fierce competition instead of the bland, choreographed maneuvers of the corporate promos. A mixed team consists of four land vehicles and four aquatic vehicles. All vehicles start from the appropriate location (outside for boats, on an island for vehicles), but one side will occupy the northern potion of the arena while the other holds the southern portion. IFF sensors and receivers are not allowed, so be careful of how many homing torpedoes you decide to unleash in the water. Laser, radar, or wire guidance appear to be the way to go in this arena due to the confined space and close proximity of friendly boats. The number of vehicles allows for interesting specialization within the team structures. This event is an elimination event. The side that gains the upper hand will most often call for surrender instead of totally annihilating the opposing team. Exceptions come during grudge matches between rival sponsors.  Last year's championship duel between the "Miss Bud" team and the "Silver Bullets" was a duel to remember, with each side gaining the upper hand twice only to be beaten back in the face of determined and outgunned opposition. Budgeting and divisional considerations fall into two categories. In the "overall" Divisions, a price is set for all vehicles, and the grand total cost of all vehicles and pilot gear are figured into Divisional limitations. The "bracketed" Division is similar to standard AADA Divisions. Each separate vehicle on a team must be at or below the bracket's monetary allowance. For example, in the Division 5 bracket, each land vehicle and each boat in the team cannot exceed a cost of $5,000 individually. On the other hand, a Division 40 overall team would have $40,000 to design a team of eight vehicles (four water, four land).

Land-Water Crossovers. These events are run in three different formats. There are "overall" competitions where the competitors have a set limit for designing the team (land vehicles, or watercraft) as a whole. There are "bracketed" competitions where each vehicle in each team may not exceed bracket limitations, and then there are the free-for-all events. In a free-for-all, there are no teams. This is run like standard elimination duels aside from the fact that half of the vehicles are boats and the other half are cars. Monetary restrictions are for individual vehicles, not teams of vehicles. In this competition, it is every duelist for himself/herself.

Submarine Competitions. At present, the only dueling a submarine may compete in involves other submarines. Their inherent nature provides too much of a tactical advantage to fairly engage land vehicles and sometimes even boats. Since this arena is very simple (technically just a big "O") as far as submarines go, referees and duelmasters may want to throw in some obstacles to block LOS, or allow for points for laps, etc. The boat ramp edges could even extend into the water for another game scale inch, allowing the sub pilots to attempt jumping their subs! Turn it into a points arena for the subs! The fans are fickle, and new thrills have to arise with every duel. Vehicular weapons are limited with the submarine designs, so perhaps the events could be run in a race format. (Submarine races! He he he he. Who would've thought they would ever actually come to pass?)

Sample Vehicles
Seal Pup Racing Submarine. The Seal Pup is used both as a Division 25 racer and as a recreational vehicle for those wealthy enough to afford the accompanying escort subs. Great for training the kids, and comes with a surge protector to keep the electronics from being destroyed when junior forgets to give right of way on his first solo. Anyone attempting to take this vehicle into uncharted or non-patrolled waters should have their head examined. The only defense this vehicle has is its speed and maneuverability; it can even outrun most high-velocity torpedoes.

Seal Pup -- Streamlined mini-sub, std. hull, medium marine plant (with PlatCats, SuperCons, jet drive and surge protector), boat pilot with armored scuba set, depth finder, computer navigator. Plastic armor: F18, L18, R18, B21, T18, U18 (111 points). Acceleration 15, Top speed 135, Cruise speed 80, DM 2/3, HC 4; 3,795 lbs., $24,476.

Squid Dueling Submarine. The Squid is simply the dueling version of the Seal Pup, and is excellent for training or for use in low Division sub dueling, similar to the Killer Kart of wheeled Amateur Night fame. While it lacks substantial armor like the Pup, the squid does have a nasty bite provided by its explosive-tipped heavy spears. The smoke dischargers are there to provide some protection against lasers as the pilot tries to evade the deadly light beams. A downgrade of personal equipment or removal of links is usually performed to bring the cost of the Squid into Division 25 cost limitations.

Squid -- Mini-sub, std. hull, medium marine PP (with PlatCats, SuperCons, two medium propellers and surge protector), boat pilot with armored wetsuit (no air tank), heavy speargun (with explosive bolts and extra 5-shot explosive bolt magazine) back, 10 SkDs (1F, 2R, 2L, 1B, 2T, 2U), link (front SkD, right SkD, left SkD, top SkD, under SkD), link (right SkD, left SkD, back SkD, top SkD, under SkD), link (heavy speargun and first SkD set above), link (heavy speargun and second SkD set above), HRSWC (boat pilot and heavy speargun), depth finder, computer navigator. Plastic armor: F17, R17, L17, B21, T17, U17 (106 points). Acceleration 10, Top speed 102.5, Cruise speed 60, DM 2/3, HC 4; 3,799 lbs., $25,098.

Stonefish Coast Guard Submarine. The Stonefish is a low profile attack sub used by the Coast Guard. Whether waiting for smugglers or escorting cruise yachts, this vehicle's best defense is its speed, maneuverability and a near invisibility to sonar detection. Lacking a communications pole, the submarine will cruise just under the surface to allow for radio contact between itself and other surface units. The Stonefish will then dive once enemy targets are sighted, in order to attack them from underneath with torpedoes first to be followed by the turreted blue-green pulse laser. When used in sting or guardian roles, the Stonefish will simply wait at the bottom for intruders or target vessels to come into range, launching its devastating one-two uppercut. The low cost enables these to be fielded in teams of two to three.  If you think you see one, chances are good there are more nearby. While the armor is thin, homing torpedoes have difficulty locking onto the sonarproof surface, and its speed allows it to run from the fastest guided torpedoes. The bilge pump and component armor coupled with the pilot's scuba gear allow this vehicle to operate even if the armor is breached! This is one difficult vehicle to immobilize. The only major threat to this vehicle is another submarine. One has to find it before you can shoot at it!

Stonefish -- Two-man sub, std. hull, medium marine PP (with PlatCats, SuperCons, jet drive and surge protector), boat pilot with armored scuba set, BG pulse laser in universal 2-space turret top, 2 linked HVWGAP torpedoes front, HRSWC (laser), bilge pump, depth finder, sonar, computer navigator, marine radio. Sonarproof plastic armor: F19, R19, L19, B18, T20, U15 (110 points), 10-pts. 2-space standard plastic CA around boat pilot. Acceleration 15, Top speed 90, Cruise speed 52.5, DM 1, HC 3; 5,747 lbs., $55,850.

Joseph Special Treasure Island. Yes folks, the Joseph Special rears its ugly head one more time. This time it is packing improved firepower for its main gun, heavy suspension to boost the handling, a surprise package installed exclusively for the Treasure Island arena, and beefed up driver and wheel protection. Frame armor remains the same, and some may fret over the lack of a targeting computer, but this remains a vehicle to contend with in the arena. All this and slimmed down to Division 10 arena status! Within the confines of the Treasure Island Arena, the ATG serves up double doses of fear on the narrow bridges and ledges. A spikedropper gives tailgaters something to think about, while an underbody-mounted homing torpedo will put paid to that little dinghy that has been chasing you all night. He closes in to nail your weakest side as you are jumping the channel, and you thumb the release. "That ought to keep him busy for a while," you think to yourself as the homing torpedo catches him broadside. The weakest point on this vehicle is still the tires, and the best way to eliminate it is to get in front (if you dare) and use dropped weapons or grenades to take out the rubber. If there are restrictions on tire shots, trade in the wheel protection and HD tires for PR tires. Now the driver has some breathing room when it comes to Crash Table results.

Joseph Special Treasure Island -- Mid-size, std. chassis, large PP, hvy. suspension, 4 HD tires, driver, ATG (with 5 HEAT rounds and 5 HESH rounds; ammo types in alternating order), SD back, homing torpedo under, link (ATG and SD). Plastic armor: F30, R20, L20, B25, T10, U10 (115 points), two 10-pt. plastic AWHs front, two 10-pt. plastic WGs back, 10-pts. 2-space plastic CA around driver. Acceleration 5, Top speed 102.5, Cruise speed 60, DM 1, HC 3; 4,765 lbs., $9,990.

Man O' War Patrol Cruiser. The Man o' War was constructed specifically for the Treasure Island Casino and Resort Marine Security. These vehicles patrol the borders of the lake, provide escort to the ferry from the strip, and enforce rules within the arena confines when needed. The cargo hold can carry rescue equipment needed after a dispute has been settled out on the lake, or it can hold a four-member strike team for boarding suspect vessels. Arm and armor the team similar to the normal crew, but give them grenades as well for "sweeping" a boat during boarding operations. Bristling with rocket launchers, this vehicle can engage multiple attackers (aquabiker gangs trying to sneak into the resort, harass the ferry, or raid recreational boaters). The high speed ensures quick response times, and the period costume cut to the gunners' body armor gives the tourists that high-seas adventurer image without making them feel they are within an armed compound. (They are, but we don't tell them that; it would spoil their fun and bruise their egos).

Man O' War -- Cruiser with half top and plastic hydrofoil, x-hvy. chassis, super marine PP (with PlatCats, SuperCons and two super propellers), boat pilot, 3 gunners, RL and LTS on 2-space pintle mount (with 10-pt. plastic gunshield) right, RL and LTS on 2-space pintle mount (with 10-pt. plastic gunshield) left, RL and LTS on 2-space pintle mount (with 10-pt. plastic gunshield) back, RL (with AP rockets) in universal 2-space turret top, 2 linked RLs (each with AP rockets; 1R, 1L), 2 linked HVWG torpedoes (1R, 1L), two foxers back, smart link (turret RL, right frame RL, left frame RL), depth finder, sonar, IFE, bilge pump, HRTC (boat pilot), marine radio, personal equipment (see below). Cargo capacity: 6 spaces, 900 lbs. FP plastic armor:  F30, R30, L30, B25, T28, U30 (173 points). Acceleration 10, Top speed 80 (100 with hydrofoils), Cruise speed 47.5 (60 with hydrofoils), HC 1 (2 with hydrofoils); 18,000 lbs., $72,945.

Man O' War Personal Equipment -- Boat pilot is equipped with BA, ABV, SMG, extra SMG ammo clip, IR binoculars and hand-held flare launcher. Each pintle gunner is equipped with BA, ABV, assault rifle, extra AR ammo clip and hand-held flare launcher.