Preview: Hazards & Wipeouts

Leading up to the release of Gaslands, the tabletop game of post-apocalyptic ultra-violent petrol-powered death sports, we want to give you a taste of some of the most awesome parts of the game, to try to convince you to pick up a copy and give it a spin. If we do manage to persuade you, you can preorder the game, (plus some excellent accessories), in our store.

In Gaslands, the most important in-game currency (after the cans of gasoline that pass as liquid cash in the wastelands) is the Hazard Token.

Hazard Tokens are unavoidable. You have to pick them up them in order to accelerate. You are also likely to pick them up as you roll skid dice, or as you perform hazardous maneuvers. If you drive over rough or treacherous surfaces, you will pick up some hazard tokens. If an opponent shoots you with a rocket launcher or lobs a grenade at you, the explosions will give you hazard tokens. Most dangerously, if you are involved in a collision, even one you didn’t cause, you are going to receive two hazard tokens.

Hazard tokens represent strain, confusion, panic and stress building up as your driver struggles to keep their ramshackle vehicle under control at high speeds and under fire. The tokens are placed on your vehicle’s dashboard card as you receive them.

As hazard tokens build up on your vehicle, you need a way to manage and remove them, or you’re in trouble. If a vehicle has six or more hazard token at the end of anyone’s activation, that vehicle wipes out.

Wiping out is bad news. You drop all the way to gear one, which most likely means you lose the rest of your activations that turn, and then the opponent to the left of you gets to spin your vehicle to face whichever direction their rotten heart desires. However, wiping out does at least remove all your hazard tokens, setting you up to get back in the race next turn. However, this can be small consolation if you wipe out in one of the early gear phases and miss most of the turn.

The most important way to way to manage hazard tokens is with the skid dice. Every shift result you roll or which is generated by executing a trivial maneuver is an opportunity to discard a hazard token from your vehicle.

Of course, those are the same shift results that you need to change up or down gears, so choosing the right use for these shift results is a key tactical question.

Once you have four or five hazard tokens, you are in a tight spot. A deliberate collision by an aggressor, or a lucky attack with a weapon with the blast special rule (such as rockets or grenades) could push you over the edge to wiping out. You’re no longer in control of your situation and are open to a mean opponent taking advantage of the opportunity to knock you back. You’ll want to keep a close eye on your hazard tokens as they build up.

Taking advantage of spare shift results to clear your hazard tokens, and not driving too wildly when the moment doesn’t demand it, are critical to avoiding an awkwardly-timed wipeout.

Depending on the situation, a wipeout needn’t be the end of the world. It can badly put you out of position, and take the wind out of you, but there are ways to recover. One important rule to remember is that you discard all your hazard tokens when you wipe out, so you are in a decent position to put the pedal to the metal when you next get a chance to activate.

In particular, remember that you can shift up multiple times in a single activation if you roll enough shift results on your skid dice, so you always have a chance to get back in the race by accelerating hard.

To see how else you can take advantage of the skid dice and mitigate your hazard tokens, take a look at this awesome video from new player Tracy George:

You can pick up some lovely perspex Hazard Tokens as part of our token bundle, available to preorder along with our custom Skid Dice in our store.