Monday, 17 October 2016

Favstvs Fvrivs... Chariot Racing in the age of steam...

I recently got hold of the Faustus Furius Chariot racing rules, written by Nicholas Wright and published by Ganesha Games. These are a simple set of racing rules, that include all the things one would expect of chariot racing, such as mobs on the track, attacking other chariots, crashes and more.

Using a spin on the tried and tested dice mechanism, well known from Song of Blades and Heroes, the game is relatively fast and certainly furious. On their turn a player will roll between 1 and 3 dice (player choice), with each success gaining them an Action, and multiple failures causing potentially negative effects. A player might choose to play it safe, and roll only 1 die, or may push their luck and roll 2 or all 3. One of the neat spins in this version of that dice system is the idea of Normal dice and Fatigue dice. Normal dice succeed on a roll of 3+, while Fatigue dice succeed on a 4+, as the race wears on Normal dice are replaced by Fatigue dice, and the risk of having some sort of negative consequence from rolling multiple failures becomes more significant.

Spending the Actions a player gets from their dice allows them to do things, such as move further, turn, attack fellow Charioteers, and more, with complex actions like Sharp Turns and Inciting the Crowd, costing more Actions to perform. All of this is important, as a player will always have to move their Chariot a compulsory forward move before they take any actions - this move is always straight ahead, and it can be easy to move too far, or leave a turn too late, which could result in a collision on the following turn when you make your compulsory move.

While relatively simple, Faustus Furius is an engaging and fun game. While the dice system is straight forward, the negative consequences for rolling multiple dice vary depending on the number of failures and the number of dice rolled can lead to a little chart referencing during the game - but this will fade as players become more familiar with the system.

I bought a bunch of 15mm Chariots from Magister Millitum to use, but the game works equally well with Pod-Racers, Hot Wheels cars or whatever you happen to have, or whatever tickles your fancy.

All in all Faustus Furius is a great little racing game, and certainly worth the cheap price point. Like all of their games, you can get it from the Ganesha Games website as a PDF.

I managed to get in a learning game the other evening with my lad. We used two 'chariots' each, and rather than chariots (which I haven't assembled all of yet), we used small tanks from Spartan Games line of Dystopian Wars models. I was rather tickled by the idea of these gargantuan machines of war turned into racers. For the sake of the game we made all of them 'archer chariots', and my son seemed just as content spending his actions shooting at my guys as focusing on little things like turning... It was a lot of fun.

Everybody... start your sturginium-infused-coal-powered engines!

After getting shot Alphonse veers into the stadium wall. A mob of walking robots invades the track...

Another lucky shot flips Snake Boy...

The race for the finish line is on!

Snake Boy, eyeing off the finish line...

Alphonse, spun about by a collision, may well be out of the race...

Our racers (Initiative is via card draw)... the green line indicates the model marked by a green micro-dice.


  1. Replies
    1. It is. The negative consequences took a little bit of referencing, more so than a usual game as all the 'chariots' could shoot. But we got familiar with the table pretty quickly.