Badass Dragons of the Wasteland - Round Nine Results

I couldn’t watch… and I couldn’t look away.

As the putative prizes for this bloody competition, Marion and I were hoisted by a length of aircraft cable in the very center of the Thunderdome sphere. I was seated on the plastic SHITGO throne inside Marion, and they’d removed her half-melted door to afford me an unobstructed view of the proceedings. My mother would never have allowed it if she weren’t semi-comatose.

At least I was seated in the right place if I ended up shitting myself in terror. Marion could only benefit if I ended up feeling the urge to “download a brown load,” as we said in those days.

Since Hugh Mungous had dropped his microphone when he grabbed a steering wheel and he hadn’t yet trained an understudy emcee, the contest began with surprisingly little fanfare. The eight vehicles drove into the sphere, the hatch was quickly welded shut, a ceremonial cannon was fired off, and then it was all fast driving and shooting and screaming and chaos.

De’Ath leaped at Toecutter, who was only too happy to return the exchange. First blood went to the scrappy Iso Grifo, which riddled Toecutter’s old Dodge with bullets to the tune of 8HP. But Toecutter didn’t come by his name in his podiatry college fraternity days. Titanium sickle-shaped blades sprang outward from his wheel hubs, and he sideswiped the Iso’s passenger side for 10HP damage. Their next pass at each other resulted in misses, but in a suicidal door-to-door blast down the equator of the dome in excess of 120mph, Toecutter resorted to handheld shotgunnery which missed altogether due to the uneven welds inside the Dome, but De’Ath jerked the wheel a very precise amount to the left and rose up on two wheels in a trick he’d perfected during the long drive from La Jolla back in Round One, slamming down on Toecutter’s right front fender and causing a spin perilously high up the side of the sphere, nicking nine more HP of damage from the Dodge before their trajectories separated them.

First round results:
De’Ath: 58HP remaining
Toecutter: 46HP remaining.

Channing Hunter initially aimed straight for Toecutter, having quite a grudge to settle, but Wez got to her first. Looked to be a pretty competitive match-up between two of the highest-firepowered contestants in the Thunderdome, and the slugfest between the Hilux and the conjoined-twin Caddy lit up the bottom of the bowl with sparks, flame, and flak. Both parties missed twice, Wez trying to employ a straightforward melee attack with the sharpened cowcatcher blades on the front of the Caddy, but Channing’s nimble Hilux eluded him. Possessing a significant advantage in both SP and MV, she shot up his lower body panels for 9HP damage.

First round results:
Channing: 83HP remaining
Wez: 81HP remaining

Roadster Warfare ensued between the topless Cobra of Desmond Balthar and the nimble Mazda Miata piloted by “pragmatist” (or “turncloak” depending on one’s loyalties) Bruce Washington. Their speed and maneuverability had them racing up one side of the Dome and down the other, weaving in between the slower trucks near the bottom. Balthar, no stranger to pitched combat at speed, gave nearly as good as he got, but the trained gyrocopter pilot Bruce initially showed an advantage in 3-dimensional combat tactics, dropping a couple of mini-grenades on the Cobra from above, dealing 8HP damage compared to the 6HP received.

First round results:
Balthar: 31HP remaining
Bruce: 54HP remaining

Much circling and sizing-up took place between Major Joseph Talleyrand-LaRoche and his surprisingly cautious opponent, Hugh Mungous. The Major began to see how Hugh had prevailed in his fourteen previous Thunderdome engagements: the big man looked like a wild-ass maniac but thought like a master tactician, patient and watchful, constantly feinting and probing for weaknesses, but never striking beyond his reach. When they separated in search of other, easier targets, neither had suffered a scratch. Yet.

First round results:
Major: 33HP remaining
Hugh: 25HP remaining

A piercingly loud steam whistle that sounded like Satan’s own teakettle signaled a brief pause after Round One, and the competitors were finally permitted to activate their freshly-purchased upgrades. Chainsaws were gassed up, lances were screwed on, and the vehicles faced off a second time.

As the cannon fired to signal the second round, De’Ath found himself staring directly at the blades of Fleetwood’s Cadillac, with Wez grinning behind the wheel. Sitting considerably higher than Toecutter’s old Dodge truck, the Caddy loomed high above the low-slung Iso Grifo, and required a different strategy as De’Ath’s first hail of bullets sailed directly underneath their target, perforating several popcorn boxes (and a couple of unprotected larynxes) over in the cheap seats. De’Ath mashed the pedal to the floor to scoot underneath the Caddy, but Wez anticipated that maneuver, and the high-torque Cadillac got out of its own way just enough to roll over the Iso’s boot lid, causing 10HP damage. Enraged, De’Ath took a few shots at the Caddy’s relatively unprotected undercarriage, returning the 10HP damage. Wez reversed, hoping to squash the Iso underneath his front tires (or tyres), but the Iso squirted free, tearing loose most of the Caddy’s exhaust system for another 10HP damage.

Second round results:
De’Ath: 48HP remaining
Wez: 61HP remaining

Channing circled around in search of Toecutter, the fat target she’d had in her sights for days now, but that nincompoop traitor Bruce got in her way. Typical. The look on his face was typical, too. Smug and cocky and clueless.

His car was fast, but his reactions were not. Channing just drove up onto his hood.

Yeah. That was satisfying. 11HP damage resulted to the Mazda. Unfortunately, Bruce still had a grenade or two, and the Hilux suddenly found itself with a broken front propeller shaft. Rear-wheel-drive only from now on, and 10HP damage to the Toyota. Channing snarled and just drove the rest of the way over the Mazda, breaking the windshield and scuffing Bruce’s favorite pilot’s helmet. 10 more HP damage to Bruce.

Second round results:
Channing: 73HP remaining
Bruce: 33HP remaining

More open-cab mayhem ensued as Desmond Balthar faced off against Hugh Mungous in the second round. Balthar could see that he was woefully outgunned and faced a serious speed and maneuverability deficit as well, so he relied on his massively superior armor, luck, and engineering to see him through this sortie. The Cobra was famously fast, but not nearly as viper-quick as Hugh’s purpose-built Thunderdome buggy, and the two circled each other seemingly endlessly, each waiting for the other to make a mistake, preferably a fatal one. Balthar’s car blinked first as a left-rear tire lost traction and spun in some spilled fluid from Channing’s transfer case, allowing Hugh to take the first shot. It was a powerful, yet glancing, blow that might have eliminated a less thoroughly armored vehicle immediately, but the Cobra absorbed the 7HP of damage, and returned it with an additional HP of interest as the surprised Hugh found himself staring down the wrong end of the Cobra’s fangs. They separated with a newfound respect for each other’s skills and weaponry.

Second round results:
Desmond Balthar: 24HP remaining
Hugh Mungous: 17HP remaining

The Major knew he had his work cut out for him as Toecutter’s '47 Dodge hove into his sights. He had a 10HP deficit, and the Dodge had more than twice the armor than the sleek Perky could offer. Plus that Jag engine meant a noticeable 28-point engineering deficit, but it couldn’t be helped at this point, could it? Speed and maneuverability were where the Knobbly dominated, and an 8-point firepower advantage was not to be sneezed at. The first quick shot missed, as did Toecutter’s flamethrown reply. Damn, that Knobbly is quick. Always quick on the draw, the Major took a snapshot that punched a hole right through the Dodge’s grille, and perforated her radiator for 8HP of damage. “Ha!” quoth the Major.

And then Toecutter spun the wheel. The massive tires on the Dodge screamed on the steel cage, and the tailgate of the Dodge dropped to face the Knobbly’s front end. And the rear-mounted flamethrowers blasted the heat of the sun directly into Perky’s face.

So much for Perky’s eye-catching paint, windshield glass, and the Major’s facial hair. 27HP of integrity lost in a hot instant. Clencing his fists against the pain, the Major squeezed off a hasty shot and, constitutionally unable to miss under such horrifying circumstances, blew a hole through the Dodge’s cab, Toecutter’s right ear, the firewall, and the number-four sparkplug underneath the Dodge’s hood, causing a dreadful ignition misfire and a further 7HP damage.

Second round results:
Major: 9HP remaining
Toecutter: 31HP remaining

Work in progress… this takes more time than I’d anticipated. Which oughta be my mission statement.

The Battle Continues after a brief nap for the commentator. Perhaps talk amongst yourselves for a bitsy…?

Edit 12:55 PM PDT 10/17: removed extraneous and non-applicable combat numbers at the bottom of Iteration Six for each round of combat. They never did apply, and weren’t supposed to be there. Now the charts more accurately show how each player has six “moves” (three for player, three for opponent) per round of combat.



Don’t mind if I do. Anyone else need an open bottle?



Ahem. @peregrinus_bis - a word in your shell-like?

It’s looking a tad dicey out there. You might want to use this brief respite to fit some rapid upgrades. The oil slick?


The Major did get a little bit of help:

(also note that all upgrades came into effect only after the initial round, after you all had a chance to feel out the 'Dome and your opponents a bit)


Desmond rolled out of his convertible. The Cobra had seen better days. But the 427 still rumbled and getting around was half the damn battle. He thought for a moment and cocked his head, shouting across the wire sphere.

“Bruce! Hey, Bruce! Hey, we had some good times, didn’t we? Pallin’ around the 405, shooting us up some zombies, good times, eh, Bruce? Speaking of good times, did I ever tell you about that time that I banged your mom and then never called her back? Boy, she’s a wild one, just trust me on that.”

“And Wes! Hey, Weeees! I like to say that I thoroughly enjoy your fashion sense. That mohawk reminds me of Bruce’s mom. Especially the way you wear your eyeliner. It’s just a classy look. Like 1970’s classy, when those leather chaps of yours were in. In the Village People, that is.”

“Hugh, I’d like to say that I don’t have much to say about you. You’re an honorable competitor and I respect how much of an absolute dolt you are. For a mongoloid with an inability to operate simple machinery like doorknobs you’re doing all right out there, and when your mom comes to pick you and your green participation ribbon up at the end of the day, you tell her all about how you made yourself a friend.”

“Finally, Toecutter. I don’t think we’ve ever seen eye to eye, and I think that’s because you’re so goddamned short. Seriously, Napoleon said the same thing about you. I mean, you’ve got a big truck and all, but I understand you’re compensating for a few other things you’re short of. And, I’m not sure I ever told you this, but you reek. Just out and out stink, of pickled pig feces. I’m not sure if it’s your breath or the fact that you’ve been overly concerned with a portajohn for an overly long time, but I find it a true testament to your leadership capabilities that you’ve been able to hold all these people in your thrall while they fight so strongly to vomit uncontrollably.”

“I mean, I think your loyalty and honor are top rate. Real nice work you did back there with Fleetwood when he wasn’t looking. Just burned his face right off. I expect you’ve promised the fellows around you a cut of the action, like you did with Fleetwood, right? Oh, wait, you were working for him, weren’t you? Well, I think it’s wonderful that you treat your underlings so well then. Given them no need, no urge, no quiet thought in the night about stabbing you in the back as well and moving on up the food chain. It’s not like one of the guys over there didn’t have to literally scrape a burned Fleetwood who was killed by you off the front seat before getting in to prove how much he respects you, eh?”

At this point he got a little louder, speaking to the entire crowd. “What’s that saying, honor among thieves? You guys all implicitly trust each other to stop shooting at the end of this and not kill each other off. That rule about one man leaves is totally not in effect right now, so you guys should all be just fine if you win. Juust fine. Lots of honor. Respect. Admiration. Welp, I’m going to just going to get a glass of water. Good talk lads.”


Aha! An oil slick! Was thinking I might simply rub a cloth on Toecutter’s face for one of those!

Might be sensible to have one handy though. Might be well past time though.

And Perky is very unlikely to develop a leak. Jaguar Lister, eh??! She might list a little at 165 through the chicanes, but leak? Ha! Not a Jaguar Bloody Leaker, eh??!

Leaker - haha what a name for a car! Brilliant, terrific!

Toecutter - what a silly name, eh!?! ‘Soulthief’, ‘Shredheart’, ‘Jorjbush’ - those are frightening! But Toecutter? What a mince pie of a moniker! Brother called Bandaid, eh?!?


Toecutter! I say, Toecutter! Can you hear me??? Did you hear me??

Hahahahahaaaa what a great horses’s arse you are!

Thanks for saving me the bother of a shave! Always terrific to come out of a scrap with a benefit!

Perky wanted to say something -

Ha! Good on you Perky! God Bless You!


“Pssst, Kid!” Channing whispers, “Yeah you, up top, on your perch with the open door!”

“See that -20AR meatbag?”

Hit him! I know you’ve got great aim, Kid. Throw it when it counts!



Yeah, I know, I know. My excuses du jour:

  1. I’m still at work, with a cost report due in a couple hours.

  2. Chris and I had to figure out a 2v1 combat dynamic after (spoiler alert) somebody died in the Thunderdome . Turned out to take more thought and fiddling than full-time employment usually permits. :wink:



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The Thunderdome found itself with a new house band. When Lemmy’s Army swept in and cleaned house at Fleetwood’s Desert HQ, Fleetwood’s staff of henchmen, guards, and enforcers was decimated, and some of the invading rockers decided they wanted to stay and hang out a bit.

In particular, these guys here decided to make themselves at home.

Some of them had a bit of a Mechanical background and thought maybe they could put themselves to use in the pit crews.

Who knew? There might be a future in this postapocalyptic road-gang business. They began to daydream about what the future might hold in the power vacuum sure to result from this particular edition of the Thunderdome.

Lars knew he could always find a career in sound reinforcement and public-address systems, particularly if most of this crowd survived (the Thunderdome seemed particularly hard on audience members this time around).

Kirk knew he’d never go hungry taking up the undertaker’s trade.

And James… hell, James was born to be an enforcer. Or a Sparkletts delivery guy. Naw, enforcer. He liked rules, and he liked dealing with those who dared to break them.

But for now, their services were called upon for a bit of Intermission music. Some loud folks in the cheap seats had asked for a reprise of a recent anthem that really got the blood pumping. One section in particular was dedicated to Channing Hunter, who was really on a tear.

“Danger, danger, the Queen’s about to kill…”

The cannon fired a third time, and Sir Gonville De’Ath headed straight for the secondhand Miata piloted by Bruce, jousting spikes aimed squarely for the driver’s side of the windscreen. Miatas aren’t widely known for their heavily-armored roofs, and though this particular example may well have been the most heavily-armored Miata in the history of Mazdas, it was still a soft-top roadster, and Bruce didn’t like his chances after one of the lances punched through his windshield an inch from his right earlobe. De’Ath added injury to insult by lobbing a pair of sledgehammers through the Mazda’s soft top for a total of 18HP of damage and Bruce didn’t wait for more. He stabbed the throttle and wove to the side, and the Mazda and the Iso Grifo danced graceful circles around each other, forming binary orbits over the entire inner surface of the Thunderdome’s sphere. The two cars took several shots at each other that were near misses, until finally Bruce’s superior luck came through and a hastily-drawn and carelessly-aimed shot hit home only because the Iso hit that same old puddle of transmission fluid at the bottom of the cage and slid right into the path of Bruce’s lucky shot. Ten more HP of damage to the Iso as the passenger door fell open, its latch mechanism mortally wounded by the stray shot, and Bruce’s momentum carried his Mazda right up against the Iso, tearing the lamed door completely off.

Third round results:
De’Ath: 38HP remaining
Bruce: 15HP remaining

Not much got under Desmond Balthar’s skin anymore. He’d seen too much inhumanity, both in the postapocalyptic Wasteland where nominal humans contentedly snacked on each other rather than the radioactive three-headed six-foot lizards who tried to snack on them, and in the “civilized” corridors of official power back during his younger days as an instrument of that power. But this Toecutter guy gave him the creeps. Balthar turned his machine guns on the offending would-be tyrant, but caught nothing but air. The old Dodge was faster than it looked, nearly as fast as the Cobra itself. Toecutter turned as if to run, but braked suddenly. Balthar stopped short, then reversed as quickly as he could, so Toecutter’s rear-mounted flame attack only singed the Cobra for 8HP of damage. Balthar had always been keen to learn from the mistakes of others before he could make those same mistakes himself. He knew Toecutter’s flame fuel was not infinite, so when the fires sputtered and died, he was ready to charge, shoving that jousting spike right up where no sun shined on that Dodge. 6HP damage to Toecutter’s tailpipe resulted, but the spike stayed jammed into the Dodge’s exhaust, so Toecutter threw it into Reverse and attempted to shove the Cobra into the side of Humungous’ dunebuggy. Balthar broke free at the last second, and squeezed past the Dodge, his wheel spikes tearing another 10HP of damage into the side of the old truck. Toecutter and Balthar separated at last, now within 1HP of each other, and running out of breathing room.

Third round results:
Desmond Balthar: 16HP remaining
Toecutter: 15HP remaining

Gambling was a time-honored tradition at the Thunderdome as at any gladiatorial arena going back through the millennia. Plenty of bottlecaps, license plates, and promised favors both practical and obscenely biological changed hands over the course of the afternoon. But only one person made any money off of one particular encounter, since absolutely nobody expected it to end as it did. Perky, the Jag-powered Knobbly driven by Major Joseph Talleyrand-LaRoche, was facing down some fierce opposition. Wez possessed a slight firepower advantage, but well over twice the armor rating and over twice the torque and nearly twice the engineering of the sexy British racer. More crucially, the big Caddy had nearly seven times the hit points. The young Lamplighter kid MacCready bet heavily on his sentimental favorite, but many people were reluctant to take the damnfool kid’s money. Not all were so high-minded, however.

The Major remained unflappable. His Perky had speed, she had maneuverability, she’d always brought him luck, and as long as they had each other, he knew all was right in the Empire. Plus the axle grease made her extra-slippery, not unlike this one bird we met down in Bangkok…

Wez revved his engine. Irritated at having such a pleasant reverie interrupted, the Major squeezed off a shot. 7HP from Wez. The Caddy lunged at Perky, but she nimbly squeaked away. The Major spun round for a quick dive underneath the Caddy, but couldn’t get a shot off at the underbelly in time before the Caddy tried to run over him. Perky dodged again. Another calm shot from the Major. 7 more HP from Wez as the shot creased his scalp and detonated one of his nitrous tanks. Now Wez was pissed.

Frustrated, he lunged again at the little Knobbly to squash it into the grates, but the Knobbly accelerated up the side of the sphere where the huge Caddy couldn’t follow.

It was a Thunderdome miracle: the Major was untouched. MacCready was set up for life… if he could get out of the bleachers alive.

Third round results:
The Major: 9HP remaining
Wez: 47HP remaining

Channing Hunter was not given to bravado or swagger. She knew she had a substantial HP advantage over Hugh Mungous though he held a slight advantage in firepower and more than double her Toyota’s speed and maneuverability, but she wasn’t about to proceed without caution. Lightweight as his ride was, he’d survived fourteen trips into the Thunderdome, and that meant at least fourteen heavily-armed and -armored vehicles had fallen beneath his wheels. Her first attack, an attempt at a close-quarters ram, failed utterly as his speedy dune buggy leaped away.

He shot forward and straight up the side of the sphere. “Where’s he going?” Channing wondered for a second, until his intention became alarmingly clear. Shortly past the sphere’s equator, Hugh braked precisely, and his vehicle began to fall, flipping lazily in the air. Channing floored it, and the Hilux nearly got out from under the falling dune buggy, which flattened the sides of her bed and tore off her tailgate for 8HP of damage. The dune buggy stuck to the rear of Channing’s bed, and her Hilux’s engine screamed as she tried desperately to drag or ram Hugh’s ride into a passing vehicle, but to no avail. Eventually the buggy broke free and both vehicles spun apart and came to rest facing each other. Hugh’s engine sputtered and died due to hydrolocked cylinders after his inverted fall. Channing’s eyes narrowed and she floored the Toyota’s gas pedal again. Hugh Mungous released the ignition switch and calmly raised his favorite hand weapon.

Channing snarled and raised her own.

The collision was loud, metallic, and a little bit wet. When this hit the floor:

…the crowd grew silent. And then a deafening cheer broke out.

The tide had turned at last.

Third round results:
Channing Hunter: 65HP remaining
Hugh Mungous: DEAD

Oh, yes, there’s more to come…


“Well Kid, choose another target. Maybe that Miata with the flimsy hardtop, or distract Wez for the Major before his luck runs out. It’s power play time, and Toecutter and I have unfinished business. Hmm, and don’t you know it, there’s plenty of fuel left for the chainsaw too.”

OOC: Did Channing roll that without upgrades?


Can you clarify the question

OOC: Stats from spreadsheet screenshot don’t have the chainsaw/tire upgrades. Not a big deal, just noticed.