The Roulette Runner Challenge
Calling all gearheads! Are you ready to have fun and go a little nuts? Want to do it all on a tight budget? Come on down and join the Roulette Runners! Push it, drag it, pull it, whatever you need to do to get it home and fixed up for a special event.
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 challenge is loosely based on the Gambler 500 event that is gaining popularity in the US. Basically, you buy a car for roughly (doesn’t have to be exactly) $500 USD, get it running, and take it on an off-road navigational rally that is 500 miles and 2 days in length, typically on BLM/DNR land and/or remote Forest Service roads. It’s about precision and navigating, not speed, so these don’t have to be full blown WRC cars by any stretch of the imagination. The only thing that is limiting IS your sense of imagination. Run what you brung, as it was. Everything from Geo Metros to a Pinzgauer have been in this, and of course all in between as well.
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
Body style: Whatever your little heart desires. Must have at least 2 seats, though. Uber tiny trunks will have a difficulty penalty applied dune to inability to carry proper food/camping supplies/emergency tools/etc.
Engine: V12 and Flatplane V8 engines will be limited to exotics and luxury cars only. No race intakes. Other than that, no restrictions.
Tires: Off-road, hard long-life, or medium only. Keep slider at 0, I will adjust yours later on based on what year your car is (simulating putting new, modern tires on your rig before you run it). Note: Medium tires will suffer a reliability penalty due to the hazards on the course.
Aero tab: Off-road skidplates only allowed on trucks and utes (reflecting their general OEM availability)
Suspension: Off-road swaybars only allowed on trucks and utes (reflecting their aftermarket availability)
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: No more than 3 negative points, overall no more than 4 positive points
1990’s: No more than 3 negative points, overall no more than 7 positive points (1 of which MUST be applied to the interior tab)
1980’s: No more than 5 negative points, overall no more than 9 positive points (1 of which must be applied to interior, 1 of which must be applied to transmission)
1970’s: No more than 5 negative points, overall no more than 10 positive points (no restriction on placement)
Pre-1970: No more than 5 negative points, overall no more than 13 positive points (no restriction on placement)
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 due to fatigue and crankiness.
Trail condition: This is somewhat random, and affects ALL teams equally. This will be things like weather changes, intrusive brush, hazards, etc. There will also be several microclimates that the teams will have to deal with over the 500 mile span.
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.
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.)
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!)
During the competition, I will secretly be keeping an “Accuracy” tally for all teams still running. This is a positive/negative number. The team closest to 0 wins.
I will also give out three awards, the “Ballsy” award for the, well, ballsiest entry, and 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.
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.
Have fun and be creative/silly!
Deadline: 4/1/2017 at 9am PDT, or 20 teams, whichever comes first.
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)
Edit: Oh yeah, almost forgot. Mods. Only the high quality essentials pack, please.
Edit 2: Naming convention and submission. Naming: Car Model and Engine Family name should be “Roulette - (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)
Competitors approved so far:
@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy