When it comes to miniature combat games. They usually have the same problem. You need to buy proprietary miniatures in order to play. These can get expensive. And in the case of games like Warhammer 40k, require a curtain degree of painting and modeling skill.

Gaslands breaks with this requirement. All you need are some six sided dice, a printer, and a handful of Matchbox or Hotwheels cars.
You can customize them with paint, weapons and armor plates for ascetics (and it’s pretty damn cool) but it’s not necessary to play.
You outfit your team and try to outlast everyone else.
So, what is it?

It’s an alternate history, post-apocalyptic racing game.
Basically, Mad Max mixed with Deathrace 2000.
The story is that after the manned missions to the moon. We moved on the Mars. And eventually colonized it. One thing led to another and war broke out between Earth and Mars. Earth lost. And now little more than a radiated ghetto.
Gaslands is a game show. Where contests compete in various races, demolition derbies, and other scenarios. And what is the prize everyone is willing to risk life and limb for? Why a one way ticket to Mars.


I glanced at the first edition, and I love Gaslands’ use of toy cars, but this focus on fabricated races and events within the setting kinda lost me. I wanted to run narrative campaigns much more like Mad Max, with battles over city streetscapes and control by competing factions.
I haven’t looked at the new edition to see about adapting the core mechanics to such a setting. Do you think it’s feasible or worth it? Or is the competition conceit really baked into the game?

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Every time we tried Gaslands we had 8-10 players show up. Honestly the game, especially learning/teaching games, was just a drag with so many players. We agreed we were stretching the design beyond what it was meant for. Everyone wants that Death Race but doesn’t want to read the rules themselves. It just fizzled out with me as I kind of got worn out running learning games constantly.

There is always Atomic Highway. I ran it and it does well for being able to emulate Mad Max.

I don’t see why you couldn’t do your own setting using the game’s rules.

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So do it. The skeleton of the game movement and combat system (No I have not seen it) are there. You can alter the setting as pleases you. The first thing I thought of was Mad Max when I learned of the game.

Car Wars started as an arena combat game as well. It quickly out-grew the rather limiting idea.

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