Go West Deathtrap Tour
Again we gather, gearhead friends! This time, we have a new special event: The Go West Deathtrap Tour. Time to roll up your sleeves, get your wrenches, and prepare to hit the road.
What do you have to do? That’s easy. Just grab a junker, get it running, throw some tires on it… pile a couple buddies, snacks, and maps in the car and go with us! Survival is tough, winning? Well… that’s even harder.
This is a twist on the Roulette Runner and Kinda Grand Tour that I ran months ago. Basically, you buy a car for roughly (doesn’t have to be exactly) $500 USD, get it running, and take it on an extended road trip lasting several days. This version is entirely on public, paved highways. While it may seem easy, this presents its own set of challenges. Old junker cars don’t always do good on sustained highway runs, and the significant length (2000+ miles) and short timespan (~72 hours) means that pace is important, but so is maintaining the needs of your team. As with the previous challenge, your imagination is the only limit for your car. But remember, it has to be reasonably purchased for about $500 USD today.
This may seem a bit nebulous and vague. That’s on purpose; these actual events are kept vague, and the creativity of the participants combined with the challenge of crap hardware and a limited budget being pushed to their absolute limits.
Build rules are as follows:
Model/Trim year: No later than 2005
Engine year does NOT necessarily have to be the same as the model/trim (simulating engine swaps). The greater the age difference between body and engine, the larger the difficulty penalty will be applied (simulating the time/cost/technical knowledge to perform the swap)
Body style: Whatever your little heart desires. Must have at least 2 seats, though. Uber tiny trunks don’t have quite the same penalty as last time; there are plenty of food and lodging facilities. However, also remember that your cargo space and your cargo loading factor will determine whether or not you have any given spare part on board should something break.
Engine: V12 and Flatplane V8 engines will be limited to exotics and luxury cars only. No race intakes. Due to fuel availability at the stops along the way, 98 and 100 RON are not allowed. Leaded fuels ARE allowed; lead substitute additives are readily available at auto parts stores.
Tires: No semi-slicks (R compound tires are not DOT legal). DO NOT touch the quality slider! This will be manually adjusted by me before the start, simulating newer, modern tires being mounted.
Aero tab: Off-road skidplates only allowed on trucks and utes (reflecting their general OEM availability)
Suspension: No restrictions, though “unusual” combinations for the body type may get a reliability penalty, simulating a home-brew refit solution.
Costs: Not restricted, but age and type of vehicle will be considered for bonuses/penalties for the run, because this has to be “purchased” in the year 2017 for $500. (Ex: a 2005 4WD pickup will have significant drivability and reliability penalties, simulating high mileage, accidents, and/or mechanical failures that brought the price down that far, where as a basic 1980’s vehicle might just have high mileage, but been maintained impeccably)
Sliders: As mentioned, Tires tab must remain at 0. Number of slider points allowed is based on decade of the vehicle.
2000-2005: Max of 3 negative and 4 positive (counted separately)
1990’s: Max of 4 negative and 7 positive points (counted separately)
1980’s: Max of 5 negative and 9 positive points (counted separately)
1970’s: Max 5 negative and 10 positive points (counted separately)
Pre-1970: Max 6 negative and 13 positive points (counted separately)
Mods: No Barth or CaptainDoom. I have Pyrlix’s high quality essentials and a couple little bits here and there installed. If your car crashes my game, let me know what mods you’ve put on it so I can download them, or I’ll allow you to redesign with different fixtures.
Your car build is only part of how this whole thing will go down. You never know what will happen on the course. In fact, as each team has its own strengths and weaknesses, and things they may not know about the car, there is a HUGE margin for error and randomness. What does that mean?
Team factor: Your team will have two basic stats, Mechanical Ability and Trail Experience. Both of these are randomized, as well as based on a parabolic curve determined by your car’s year. (In essence, if your car is extremely new or extremely old, your team is likely to have a higher mechanical ability. Trail experience is inverse – if your team has low mechanical skill, it’s more likely to be run by someone very cautious on the actual trail, who is more likely to keep the car intact). The value for both of these will be between 1 and 6.
Mechanical condition: Also randomized along a bell curve, and accounting for your team’s Mechanical Ability. This is how well your car runs at the start of the event. It’s subject to degradation based on trail conditions and the Trail Experience of your team.
Team condition: Your MA and TE scores can fluctuate during the event based on how much fun their having and how cramped they are/how much in the way of supplies they are carrying. Cars with 4 or more seats can have 2-4 team members (specify how many team members when you submit, otherwise you will be assumed to have 2). More team members increases the amount of supplies you need to carry, but decreases the chance of negative buffs and even forced rest stops due to fatigue and crankiness.
Road condition: This is variable, and will be determined by actual weather conditions at the time I run each leg.
Defect: Every car in the competition will have something either that you couldn’t address before the start of the event, or overlooked during mechanical inspection. Everyone will know at least one fault with their car at the start… but you won’t know if this is the Defect or not! This defect will be limited to one system, but even if you know what it is, you won’t know the exact severity of it. Could be a minor annoyance, could be a fatal flaw, and it’s not guaranteed to show up. That depends on most of the above factors.
Aggressiveness Factor: This is how aggressive you want your team to push yourselves, whether it be speed, rest, food stops, etc. With your entry, you will specify an Aggressiveness factor from 1-6 (1 being most conservative and 6 being most aggressive). This will be your AF from the start. You are allowed to change this up to 4 times throughout the competition by PMing me. After I receive your PM, your AF will be the new value starting with the next leg I process.
Cargo Loading Factor: This is the mix of cargo that you choose to carry. All teams will, be considered as having basic tools and a 2.5 gallon spare fuel canister. The rest is split between food/comfort items and spare parts. It is a scale from 1-6, with 1 being maximum food/comfort and minimal parts, and 6 being the other way around. This can affect you out on the road; having better and more food/comfort means that rest stops can be fewer and shorter, and can mitigate fatigue, while having more parts makes it more likely you can stay on the road if you have a failure, or spend less time repairing an issue instead of hunting down a junkyard/parts store. This number CANNOT be changed during the challenge.
Negative points if you DON’T post an intro of your car/team, giving a brief background of them, the car (where you got it, how much, what condition it was in, etc.)
Note to those who participated in my previous challenges: You may run with the same team as last time or a new team. You MUST specify at time of entry (same team gets the same MA and TE scores, new team rerolls them)
If your rig makes it to the end without a fatal failure, you’re in contention for the big prize. Which is a couple pistons welded to a flywheel, skull and crossbones style. (WOO!)
Scoring will be done by rolling a randomizer and factoring the Trail Experience, Team Condition, Mechanical Condition, Road Condition, and Aggressiveness Factor. This time around, “legs” are back-to-back (no official start/stop points) and each one lasts 2 hours. Your success will be measured in where you actually are along the road.
That said, there are going to be many POI along the way for teams to get out, stretch for a few minutes, and take in the scenery.
POI stops are done through RP. You will have a brief time penalty applied to your next leg, but you can remove negative buffs and get positive buffs from doing these. It is also not required for those RPing to do a POI on every leg (and actually might be detrimental to do so). Furthermore, POI don’t have to be specific types of landmarks; you can stop at any one in the area that fits YOUR team’s interest. While this may sound confusing right now, I will let you in on this; you will be able to find them on Google. The course will go through actual, real places on Earth.
I will also give out four awards. First, the “Ballsy” award for the, well, ballsiest entry, and second is the “Hard Luck” award for the participant that doesn’t make it that either gives the most valiant effort, or dammit, really should have made it. The third is the “RP” award for the person who roleplays their team/interactions the best during the thread, including introduction of their entry/team. Fourth, introduced at Kinda Grand Tour, is the “Zen” award, for the best balance of everything; car, RP, and pace.
That said, I encourage ALL people who enter to chime in with blurbs about what their peeps are doing/thinking/saying after each stage, in response to what I post for the section and how it turned out. I will try to be “detailed but vague” so you guys can build your own story throughout all of this. Inter-team RP is always encouraged. Last time around it was so hilarious it hurt.
Have fun and be creative/silly!
Deadline: 12/1/2017 at 10am PDT, or 25 teams, whichever comes first.
Also, I will be entering my own vehicle again this time. While it’s possible for me to “win”, the actual winner(s) will be selected from the contestants. I’m mostly here for “flavor” or “color commentary”.
I will create a car/team and post it later as an example of how I’d like to see introductions done. Any questions? (You may start work and submit teams, but please hold off posting your intro until I’ve posted mine later today)
Naming convention and submission.
Naming: Car Model and Engine Family name should be “GW - (username)”. Trim names should be the names of the cars/engines themselves (for flavor).
PM me the .zip export file, and state how many people are in your team (and if you are colluding with any other board members on this)
Also remember to include your Aggressiveness Factor (can be changed up to 4 times after the start) and Cargo Loading Factor (cannot be changed after submission)
Competitors approved so far: