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Combat Zone Vehicle Rules Beta Test

by Audrey Jaeger on Mar 01, 2024

Combat Zone Vehicle Rules Beta Test

Combat Zone Vehicle Rules Beta Test

By Mack Martin

Salutations Vroom-Vroom Chooms!

Today begins our Combat Zone Vehicle Rules Beta Test! I’m very excited to show you all what we’ve been working on and to get my elbows deep into the machinery of our game. Today’s blog is going to touch on two broad topics: my intentions and the playtest process.

So, let’s start with my goals for vehicles in Cyberpunk RED: Combat Zone. Firstly, here are all the things I’m hoping to avoid. I don’t want vehicles to feel required in a list, but I want them to feel like a welcome addition. The [RE]action system does a lot of things very well, and one of those is making a skirmish tactically engaging. Vehicles can’t disrupt that gameplay by being moving defensive locations. This was, admittedly, my first thought. Make the vehicles move slow so that character/gonk models were faster and more maneuverable. But that made vehicles too dominant in the meta, oddly enough, and it just didn’t feel Cyberpunk.

That’s when I pivoted. I asked myself what I wanted my boga preem Leader to do on a cycle or behind the wheel. I went back through the years and drew inspiration from some of the great car games I’ve enjoyed, like Steve Jackson’s Car Wars or Jean du Poël’s Pitchcar. And that brought me to steering. The real fantasy of having a cycle, SUV, or panel van, is that it’s a transport for a cool character, and that character drives it.

My goals, therefore, are threefold. First, vehicles need to be fast, ‘cus there ain’t a lot of speed limits in the Combat Zone. Second, the vehicles require a driver to take actions. These cars don’t drive themselves. And third, they have to feel more restricted than pedestrian models. Cars don’t just spin around on the spot like a person can.

And that brings us to today’s playtest release. You’ll notice that this is V-1 of our test. It’s right on the Rules PDF cover! There will be future updates as the test goes on. This initial release focuses on motorcycles and cars. Ground transport, if you will. The vehicle stat cards are generic representations of common vehicles in the setting. I’m not attempting to finalize designs for specific jalopies but to establish a baseline from which we can design. So, if you don’t see your favorite ride, don’t lose hope; there is more to come. Like that aerodyne, John likes to show off at conventions!

If you’d like to put some models on the table and help us test, we’ve found that 1/43 scale vehicles are a close enough approximation of a vehicle’s eventual size. It’s not exact, but I haven’t found the [RE]action system to be too fiddly about millimeter measurements. You might also have cycle models from other game lines. Some of those have pillbox bases, and some have square. Our cycles are currently slated to include pillbox bases. I’ve been testing with 30mm x 70mm ovals, so if your test cycles are anywhere close to that (even if it's square), you’ve got a green light!

And that testing is gonna lead to feedback. Despite my obvious S-tier intellect, some of you will insist on finding holes and corner cases. Some of you might even find a typo or two! So please, come to our discord and post your thoughts in our beta test channel. Discuss these rules with the other players and me, and you can even give me that sweet, sweet nerd rage. I need your feedback to make this game the powerhouse we all know it can be. Plus, as a professional game designer, your anger sustains me.

You can find all the DLC for the Beta testing HERE. 

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