Just as my early-1980s adolescent brain was feasting on a steady diet of Dungeons & Dragons, comic books and all things Star Wars, Mad Max raced out of the Australian wastelands and into my world. I caught The Road Warrior at a local theater, only to realize there was an earlier film which I tracked down on video cassette. In the years to come, the Mad Max movies and their sequels tucked in nicely with my other adventure film mythologies. The Conan movies held the sword-and-sandals spot, Star Wars filled the sci-fi niche and Indiana Jones was the retro heroic adventure serial.
It was the the Mad Max films which brought the genres together in a barbaric, sci-fi tale led by a charismatic hero who always seemed to be losing right up until the final moments of the film when you realized he’d just won. The Mad Max movies also held a certain raw immediacy to me, especially in the final dangerous decade of the Cold War where a Road Warrior-esque post-apocalyptic future seemed like a possibility. Thirty years after the third film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, I (thankfully) am not surviving in a souped up car on a murderous desert highway, but I did get another new Mad Max film that thrilled my inner teenager while satisfying my now more adult brain with story and message.
I’m also thankful for being a part of Metropolitan Wargamers which is filled with passionate, creative gamers who put together stunning games like the Road Warrior miniatures event this past weekend at the club. The game was based largely on a modified set of rules available at the Third Point of Singularity website which have been popular during late night games at some conventions the past year or so. The basics of the rules were maintained with simple sticks for movement, and combat and damage results resolved with D20s and D6s cross-referencing tables. The tabletop itself used an extra large canvas desert mat, rocky outcroppings and some custom blacktop roads made from roofing material. Dust, smoke and fire markers all come in handy as the carnage builds rapidly. The pics below give a pretty good feel for what the game looks like as the cars race and battle across the table. The really wonderful aspect of the game is the cars, made for the most part from Hot Wheels and Matchbox toy vehicles. Cars are tricked-out using bits left over from other military models plus a lot of special 20mm parts and figures made specifically by Stan Johnson Miniatures for post-apocalyptic gamers. Each of the unique cars gets its own stats card and name, as shown in some of the examples below. With a couple dozen cars, trucks and vans, bunches of good guys and bad guys, and a raucously absurd game, there’s going to be a lot of Mad Max-style roadside carnage in the weeks to come in Brooklyn.