3087Game Report - Sept 4 - AUTOSCOOTER
- Sep 7, 2013
Game Report - Sept 4 - AUTOSCOOTER
With 7P around the table, I had pulled out 7 Wonders as a game for us all to play. I also had considered Home Stretch but was concerned that it stops at 6P and someone would need to team up with another player. As folks arrived and looked over the game shelf, I noticed a thin box on the top shelf – AUTOSCOOTER – which happens to play up to 8. As it has been some time since I last played this one, down it came as the suggestion for the evening. We started to set up as we waited for everyone to arrive.
AUTOSCOOTER is Günter Cornett’s game of competitive bumper cars. Played on a 38 hex (7x5) square grid, each player will program their car to move forward 1, 2, or 3 spaces. Movement is plotted simultaneously and then revealed in “priority” order to resolve the movement for each of the 11 turns. The one aspect I like about this game is the priority mechanism. As each game is exactly 11 turns long – each player’s “program” card has 11 slots on it. A player programs that turn’s move on any one of the unused slots. Players that have used a slot closer to the top move before those that have used a slot closer to the bottom. So in addition to plotting one’s move, one is also plotting (and thinking) when they would like to move in the turn – early or late. Of course as slots are used up, the options become fewer and fewer.
Like any good bumper car – points are scored for crashing into and colliding with other cars on the board. None of today’s safety conscious electric scooter rules that impel folks to drive in a circle and avoid collisions. The angle of the collision and the speed of the two cars involved will determine the points awarded. And with the rules explanation over, the cars were off!
With all 8 cars always on the board and a relatively small board, players were soon near each other and swirling around aiming for those crash points. Lawrence’s orange car seemed to be an early target as did Ben’s white car as Dave 2’s blue car and Kern’s green car swirled into the mix. Dave, Tim and Rich were just on the periphery on the other side. As the cars swirled around, there were the usual regrets of moves plotted that had a different result due to collisions pointing one’s car in a different direction. I think it would be interesting to take a series of time lapse photos of a game just to see how the cars move over the map – during the game comparisons were made to a swirling school of fish or to a swarm of gnats. When all 11 moves were over, the final scores were as follows. Each player starts with 10 so one can calculate the net (points given or taken) from this starting number:
Tim: 18 (+8 – Dave seemed to be his favorite target, but went after Dave 2 at the end)
Dave 2: 15 (+5 – Tim’s hit close to the end changed their scores)
Rich: 13 (+3 – losing 4 at the end due to an poor planning)
Dave: 9 (-1 – Paying to Tim, but taking from Rich)
Kern: 7 (-3 – down early, but recovered nicely)
Lawrence: 4 (-6 – Head on collisions to reduce speed to 0 slow one’s progress)
Ben: 0 (-10 – An early target)