Battleshed Diaries

Thursday 10 December 2015

Faustus Furius

Over the last couple of weeks I've had four teams of ancient charioteers going through their paces play-testing Faustus Furius, new Ancient chariot racing rules in development from Nic Wright over at Irregular Wars. And what devilishly good fun its been!

I recently introduced Faustus Furius with the arrival of my first batch of 1/72 (20mm) chariots from Caesar Miniatures. These have proved to be just the job and with a rough track pencilled onto a 3'x3' board - a very inspiring square - the testing started in earnest.

So what's it all about? Well, Faustus Furius is based upon the Ganesha games system, so many with be familiar with its core concept. Its designed to be a fast, light hearted and accessible Ancient chariot racing game, so don't expect too much historical accuracy!

All that's required are some D6 dice, measuring sticks and of course, chariots. Four to eight is recommended, as you can easily control two or more. Designed for 2 - 8 players, you can recruit charioteers from any ancient culture or period. Which means you can include teams to fit the various charioteer classes, including Scythed and Archer teams. Yes, you can see where this is going!
The play-test track: A very basic rough sketch on a 3'x3' board with enough straights, narrows and tight corners to push the charioteers!

In fact, it soon became apparent from my first play test with the Teenager that having an Archer loosing off arrows at my teams before they'd even started is quite expected by the Mob. By the time my first chariot had finally reached the first bend (chariots are activated randomly), the Teenager already had a team trundling slowly ahead with one of the crew, with a mischievous grin, pointing a spear in my chariots direction.

There are no points for sporting conduct, the Mob expects entertainment. And that's what you get in spades with Faustus Furius!

The Mob: A custom token I made to help with the play-test. Inciting the Mob will be a key part of the race experience!

Chariot scaling? There is no limit to the scaling or any particular range of models, so this is just the excuse to grab those nifty 6mm or 28mm chariots (and anything in between) that you've always fancied. A measurement conversion table will be included. I opted for 20mm chariots, mainly because they are easier on my old eyes to paint!

Crash! Rear-ended by a chariot!
The current version of the rules include everything you need to play and are rounded off by an optional World Championship linked race campaign where charioteers accrue race points which may be spent on all sorts of shenanigans before the next race, such as a bucket of caltrops or hiring a witch to curse your competitors. All great stuff and immense fun.
Dirty Deeds: a bucket of caltrops on the track is just the trick!

The play-testing, (shout out for my fellow testers, Sam Pate and Jamie Mitchell), is still in progress although I can confidently say from my experience so far the rules work fine already - its mostly tweaking, refining and clarifying now. 

Just to prove my confidence in these rules, I've ordered up another batch of chariots from suppliers of both Caesar and HaT miniatures to cover all the various classes. In fact, I'm already contemplating a dedicated race board once Faustus Furiuss is published!

Whoooah! The race for the first corner!

I'll post up if there are any further developments to report as Faustus Furius progresses, although I do recommend visiting the Irregular Wars site. Right, I'm off...where did I park the chariot?

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