Once More (Unto the Breach) [FINAL RESULTS]

Once More (Unto the Breach, Dear Friends!)

Again we gather, gearhead friends! This time, in the UE4 engine. Welcome to the “Once More” crap-car 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.

(Explanation/Rules follow)

This is a twist on the Roulette Runner, Kinda Grand Tour, Go West Death Trap Tour, and One Last Hurrah tours that I ran a long time ago in the old Kee engine. These were, in turn, somewhat inspired by the real-world Gambler 500 series.

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, set in the year 2019. 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 (1000-2000 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.


The organizers of this event have a car theme this time around: Fun-day toy. While you’re going to be driving beaters, they’d like to see people show up in what they consider a toy. Will it be a little track day car? An older luxury cruiser? An offroader or a roadster? (This is tied in to an award down below)

Body/Trim Year: No newer than 2005.
Bodies: No exotics or supercars
Suspension: Odd mismatches to the car type may be assessed a reliability penalty, simulating a homebrew swap situation.
Tires: No Semi-slicks (R-compound tires are NOT DOT legal). Be mindful of weather; while this occurs in summer, it also crosses through many climate regions!
Aero: Offroad skid plates allowed. Non-truck/ute bodies may be assessed a reliability penalty, simulating a homebrew creation.

Engine/Variant Year: Does not necessarily have to match the body (Simulating a swap), but can’t be newer than 2007.
Types: No V8 flatplane or V12 this time around.
Fuel: No RON98 or 100, due to availability on the course. Leaded fuels ARE allowed (lead substitute additives are readily available in parts stores)
Other: No race intakes/exhausts.

Sliders: Leave tires at 0 as I will manually adjust this to simulate brand new, modern tires later on. Otherwise, set the sliders how you would have created this car FROM THE FACTORY WHEN NEW.


Team factors: Your team will have THREE basic stats. Cargo Loading Factor, and Aggressiveness Factor are the first two. These will all be assigned values from 1-6. The final stat is team size (number of vehicle occupants). This will be between 2 and 4, and cannot exceed the number of seats.

Cargo Loading Factor: This is the amount of trunk space divided between food/comfort items and mechanical items. 1 is maximum food/comfort/shelter, minimum spares (defined as tool kit, one spare tire, one 2.5 gallon emergency gas can), 6 is the other end of the spectrum. This is determined by YOU at the time of submission, and cannot be changed once the event starts. NEW THIS TIME AROUND: If your Cargo Loading Factor is below 6, you will have the ability (if desired) to pick out what spare parts you are carrying, besides the defined minimum. If you want to do this, let me know with your submission. When I process your car, I’ll let you know roughly how much space you have left. Send back a list of parts for approval, and I’ll go over it. Otherwise, I will more-or-less randomize what spares you are carrying. See notes below about Fatigue and how Cargo Loading Factor affects this before you make a decision.

Aggressiveness Factor: This is a measure of how aggressive/quickly your team will attempt to run the tour. 1 is going to be just below the speed limit, attempting to save the car at all times. 6 will be pushing your luck above the speed limit, and not attempting to preserve the car. Being more aggressive increases your chance of an accident and/or interference from law enforcement. This is determined by YOU at the time of submission, and may be changed up to 4 times (via PM) during the course of the event.

Team Size: You may have between 2 and 4 team members in the vehicle. Having more than 2 team members will slightly decrease your fatigue rate (simulating driver changes), but also decreases the amount of cargo space available due to increased luggage requirements. Having extra unfilled seats (like in a sedan) will slightly extend your cargo capacity (you can fill the rear footwells, but no more than that, for safety’s sake).

Edit: CLF and AF are INTEGERS, please… :stuck_out_tongue:

Other things that can get you

Road condition: This is variable, and will be determined by historically accurate weather conditions at the time and location I run each leg. This time around, the run will be in Summer, but with crossing such a wide area, there’s a chance of some severe weather at points.

Vehicle condition: This is more granular than last time, and each vehicle will be tracked for the overall health of nine different systems, ranging from the engine to HVAC/comfort. 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. Every team will have one system “Concern” that they are aware of at the start, but this may or may not be the worst part of your car! What you know may range from an annoyance to a major flaw, but it is neither guaranteed to crop up nor be what could potentially cripple your car. However, because this is a budget crap-car challenge, certain vehicles are just going to be more prone to issues, based on their age, original expense, etc. There will be a condition penalty (cumulative) for any car that qualifies as one or more of the following: Premium/Luxury, Sports, newer than 2005, older than 1984.

Fuel Management: Your vehicle may not be running in top condition. While all teams are considered as carrying a 2.5 gallon spare canister, you can theoretically run out of fuel if there’s a long section with no towns. Be mindful! You can always call for an early stop via PM if you’re not feeling confident about your car. This is also more granular than before, and now individual vehicles will be assigned different (realistic) sized fuel tanks at the start, ranging from 10 to 25 gallons. All cars in a given size class will have the same size tank, and I will do my best to tell you what size yours is before the start.

Fatigue: Even the most comfortable of cars will wear you out after hours at the wheel. You can mitigate this with taking POI breaks or stopping at a restaurant for a meal. If you get too tired, you dramatically increase your chance of an accident. Sleeping at a hotel reduces fatigue faster than camping, though the rate may vary, and can cause morale problems (simulating a shitty hotel). NEW THIS TIME AROUND: Having more than 2 team members will slightly slow the rate of fatigue advancement. Also, Cargo Loading Factor now affects your choices for fatigue relief. Teams with a CLF value of 6 MUST use restaurants and hotels to eat and sleep (no camping gear!), which will likely require more time off the road. Teams with a CLF value of 1 are considered to be carrying full camping gear, including a large cooler, and can stop essentially wherever/whenever to sleep, and can effectively eat on the road. Comfort and cargo space can play hugely into this.

Morale: Your team members can get pissy if things aren’t going well. This can also lead to issues that will slow you down or stop you. Keep 'em happy with waypoints, POI, good food, etc.


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: As it’s been over 18 months since my last run, you’ll need to reintroduce your teams/team members.

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 Basic Stats, Road Condition, Vehicle Condition, Fatigue, and Morale. Legs consist of 2 hour time segments. 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 PM notification (PM me before you get to where you want to stop). 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.

Oh look, WINNING!

Winning can be done one of three ways:

  1. Be the first one to cross the finish line
  2. Be the closest to the AVERAGE finish time
  3. Stop at the most optional POI of historical or scientific interest.

I’ll also be handing out a few awards:

  1. “Ballsy” for the, well ballsiest entry.
  2. “Hard Luck” for the participant that doesn’t make it that either really should have, or put up the most valiant effort.
  3. “RP” - Roleplaying. Make your team fun and complex! Interact with others!
  4. “Zen” - Best balance of everything; car, RP, and pace
  5. “WWVB” - What Would Vic Buy? Which of your cars would he have bought, personally, for a fun ride to play around with? (Hint: I may be American, but I don’t like barges or pretense)

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. The last couple times have been hilarious.

Have fun and be creative/silly! (and if you’re unaware of the series or haven’t participated in one, go back and look through the old ones I named above to get a sense of how they work and how absolutely sideways they can go)

Entry Deadline: Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 3:00pm PDT (UTC-8), but will be limited to 25 teams max. If I receive 25 valid entries before the entry deadline, they will be closed.

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”.

As usual, please post an intro of your car and team.

Naming convention and submission.

Naming: Car Model and Engine Family name should be “OM - (username)”. Trim names should be the names of the cars/engines themselves (for flavor).

PM me the .car 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) in the initial PM, as well as the number of people who will be crammed in your car. If your Cargo Loading Factor is less than 6, please let me know if you want to specify spare parts yourself, or have me assign them.

Competitors approved so far:


1st: I AM HYPED!
2nd: does a car frequently used by Demo-Derby drivers count as a toy?

Sure it does!

immediately applies wear penalty to body :stuck_out_tongue:

this is not meant to say that the car has actually been used in a demo-derby

just that it would be a viable choice…


snek pek of me recycling the same design for the 5287745636547116,5th time

how will roof racks be handled?


I’ll consider roof racks. If I “allow” them, there will be handling, economy, and wear penalties to make up for the added space.

1 Like

switches to more sturdy rear suspension to accomodate the added weight


Trying my best lol.

I think I go with a 90s-00s muscle car…or maybe not.


The typo in the above statement appears to contradict the following calculation:

If I am not mistaken, it should read: “Teams with a CLF of 6 (lots of spares, minimal food/shelter)… require more time off the road” followed by “Teams with a CLF value of 1 (lots of food/shelter, minimal spares)… can stop essentially whenever/wherever to sleep and eat on the road”.

At any rate, it’s nice to see a challenge like this make a comeback for the UE4 build of Automation after more than a year on hiatus.

Will it be fine if I go for a faux diesel entry?

so do cars have to be kind of crap in some way? how are you deciding that it seems like something that would be $500

stern look from Gran

Ladies don’t go camping, dear!


OH YES! the previous challenges we great, let’s get building !

1 Like

Are vans allowed?

Are trucks allowed?

@Arvok1 @SyberRacer if it ain’t there, it’s allowed

Yup. That’s what I get for typing this crap up at 4 am. lol… I’ll go fix it in a sec.

If you want to roleplay it that way, I suppose…

It’s “crap” because it’s an older and/or very high mileage car. Every car starts out with varying amounts of wear on all 9 systems (I roll to determine how much when I process your entry). If you go back and read the previous threads, you’ll get an idea of what makes them crap… like, having sat in a field for years without being started… or being an former municipal car or taxi, etc… you can make up whatever story you want about the car and its occupants. This is a pretty RP-heavy challenge.


Alright… I think I’ve got the basic rules set up. With that, I will open up for submissions. I’ll throw out my car/team intro here so those of you who haven’t participated before can see how one might write the backstory.

I’m still considering the ramifications of roof racks, I haven’t made a decision one way or another on that.

Team Greasy Lightning

The team -
Rick - A software engineer who just celebrated his 30th birthday. He has been on two of these journeys before, though was not able to attend the last time his teammates went due to work. He is the financial force behind the group.
Jen - Personal trainer, fitness instructor, and wife of Rick. She’s the kind who eats mountains for breakfast (figuratively… there’s a little too much dirt and rocks to actually do it). Coffee is life. And to her, these runs are super fun, despite her brother. This will be her fourth time around.
“Fuzz” - Jen’s “little” 26 year old brother Ted, a young officer on the local police force. Energetic to the point of stupidity sometimes, with his past it was pure irony that he ended up in his current profession. Also has a history of eating disgusting things, like a vegemite-granola bar sandwich. This will also be his fourth time around.

The Car
Jen wasn’t ready to give up Teal Terror, The Great Glitterstorm after the One Last Hurrah tour. In fact, she kept it around to drive to work now and then, and take to “classic” (HA!) car shows. Thusly, the folks from Greasy Lightning once again had to look for a ride.

This time around they decided to hit up an insurance auction to see if they could snag a runner. After being outbid on a dozen cars, they finally landed one.

It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t too bad either. A cushy 1984 Keystone Senator M37 that had seen better days. It had a dent in the left-rear door and quarter panel, a shattered tail light, and a flat tire. Obviously a sideswipe accident, but it didn’t look fatal (despite what the insurance company’s pocketbook said).

Sure enough, as advertised and expected by the damage description, it did run and drive, though it turns out the tire wasn’t the only thing bad back there. They had to replace the control arms on that corner, and both rear shocks. For legality, they also swapped out the tail light, but left the rest of the body damage. The fuel filler cap (more or less) opened and closed, and they didn’t care that the door wouldn’t open, since they still had 3 good ones.

Oh, and the interior. Yikes. Well, a used driver’s seat was obtained that only has slightly ripped leather and functional power controls, and doesn’t smell like a whale threw it up. The carpeting has been thoroughly bleached to kill whatever was growing on it, and the sunroof has been caulked shut.

But hey, they got it from the auction for only $250. Not bad for an executive sports sedan with only 229,000 miles, right?


Are teams allowed to sell cars (which are not the same as the car entered by the seller’s team) to different teams?

Team 49

Team 49 are two friends with a shared interest in really obscure and quirky cars. They don’t really know what it is they are doing, but a many mile long “race” in a shitty car seemed like a lot of fun.

They are:

Juno Marks - 24 - A recently Graduated University Student in Chemical Engineering, Juno has found himself with some spare time before he starts work at a new job in the coming year. He’s into driving, doing the odd track-day in his Module Corp UR-92.

Lucina Valentine - 24 - Recently Completed Training as a Mechanic, Lucina is ready to explore some strange Adventures with her good friend Juno. She’s into Driving, but not so much racing, driving her own Silver-York Sovereign.

Team 49's Car

The Car they decided on took a while. Careful deliberation and trawling of international car sales sites, and then it came to them, suddenly, and within their budget. The Ultimate in Quirky cars, a 1996 Strig Mirae Sport Package.

The Mirae Sport Package was exactly the same internally as the regular Mirae, but it looked faster, which is all that mattered. The Mirae hasn’t shown up yet, still in transit from France, and probably not legal to drive, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ it’s a risk they’re willing to take.

Juno is Confident, Lucina isn’t. They’re probably going to pack a spare Turbo… or two.


Team “Buy Skyrim”

$500 can buy a lot of fancy things. Like a new smartphone. Or some designer bags. Or maybe exactly 8 copies of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim when it was launched with some money to spare. But honestly, that money could actually get you a car too. If you don’t mind the issues, of course.

In the 1910s you can actually use that $500 on a fancy brand new car. But thanks to inflation, the actual value of $500 is getting worse, meaning that buying things with that much money have gone a bit…too hard. Yes, you still can buy your smartphones or designer bags if you want, but if you really need that desperate for a car, what will you get in 2019 is some beater with mileage comparable to taxis and really need that much care for it to even make it work.

I mean, not everyone is wiling to do it, but what if you could do this once in your lifetime? Could it be anything you could expect, or it could actually change your life? It’s your fate, you decide.

bxDroid, 2019, written this for no reason


The Team

Vincent “Vinny” Holbert - A 22-year old, San Antonio-born college student studying Finance and Business Administration in Harvard Business School. He’s the son of famous real estate tycoon Joseph Holbert, and also a part-time singer/songwriter. Also a big fan of Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls series. He’s quiet, calm, confident and artsy, and also a genius in financial matters. Currently he owns a 2018 Ursula F3 300T (because rich parents) and also a 1996 Mazda Miata turbo as his weekend driver.

Naomi Orwell - 2 years younger than his boyfriend, she’s currently studying Computer Engineering in MIT. Born in the Big Apple with an interest in engineering and computers, she knows Vincent when she was in high school, and eventually became together each other. Like Vincent, she’s also a big fan of The Elder Scrolls series, and she is a cheerful, fun-loving person but with a pessimistic mind. She currently don’t own any vehicles despite knowing how to drive.

Nathan “Big Nate” W. Prescott - He’s a 45-year old ex-Iraqi War veteran, and also Naomi’s uncle. He was originally part of the Navy Seals until an ambush in 2006 led him badly wounded and he subsequently left the force. After that he returned to his birthplace at Salt Lake City and opened a pawn shop there. He the became rich after the pawn shop became successful. Despite being a mad alcoholic, he’s a kind, friendly and humourous person, and he was the favorite uncle of Naomi. Unlike her strict parents tho, he’s open-minded and supportive of their relationship, and of course, he’s also a fan of The Elder Scrolls series like his niece and her boyfriend too. Currently he owns a 1998 Ursula F5 300T, which was just bought this year.

The Vehicle

For some reason, the Hessenburg F1800E Kombi from 2000 is just, really, looks like a normal German compact wagon. But wait. No. What they said is a fun-day toy, not some random boring shitbox!

Actually, rather than the 120 hp TV301 4-pot on the original model, the car had instead is a tuned version of the turbocharged TV303 1.8, which was used on the 2004-2006 F1800Ti. So that means, with 195 hp, it’s much more powerful than the standard, giving it a massive boost compared to the original. But wait, it’s tuned. To 210 hp, which is enough to match a 2-liter TV308 on the F2000GTi.

And it’s $480 on purchase plus 303,211 miles recorded in the odo, it does mean one thing: It’s a bit of a lemon. The radio is broken, the seats are crappy, the air conditioner doesn’t seem to work quite well, and the worst of all, the suspension is broken, meaning that it’s handling will be worse than the real kind. But despite the car being on New York in its whole life, the car barely had any rust for some reason. Maybe because the steel panels were treated.

Luckily, Nathan, who just got a 1998 Ursula F5 300T to replace his trusty 2000 Hessenburg F2000T estate, has this covered. He fixed the car’s suspension, brakes and A/C unit, replaced the cassette radio with a more modern CD head unit, replaced the seats, changed the wheels to much better-looking ones, and of course, took the F2000T’s LSD and installed on the car. It’s certainly much, much workable, but only the trip would tell anything would work or not.

So, the team was named like that due to one reason: they are just big fans of Bethesda’s famous fantasy RPG series. Neither of them are knowledgeable of the event, and it was only happened because Vincent lost a bet with his friend. Yeah. Quite a story, somehow. But with them willing to take action, will anything interesting could happen? Maybe Todd Howard would come out from nowhere?