A year and a half ago I came upon some Youtube videos about a little game called Gaslands, a miniatures game of apocalyptic racing and car combat. I was quickly enamored with the idea of modifying cheap Hot Wheels cars and racing them Mad Max style. I bought a bunch of cars and supplies and…did nothing.
It wasn’t until over a year later when Gaslands seemingly exploded in popularity, received a new hardcover version, and I found Stuart Kelly’s Mario Kart variant in one of the Gaslands Facebook groups that I became determined to actually play.
Over the last few months, I’ve been putting together the materials needed to do the Mario Kart version. I have also changed Stuart’s rules–alterations and additions– to match my personal tastes. I’ll go over all the materials and where I got them from and go over the rules changes I have made. I’ve also make all the printouts available on the Downloads page.
But first, some pictures!
The mat is the “Highlands in War” game mat from Gamemat.eu. The material is kind of like a thin mousepad and lays out flat even after being rolled up for months. I would have no hesitation buying more of their products.
The Race Track
The race track is made from Ferti Games’ Pitchcar and Pitchcar Mini. I won’t lie to you–this stuff is expensive. Contrary to popular belief, Pitchcar is not out of production, it’s just always pricey. You can always find it at Eagle-Gryphon Games, but it is full retail there. There is always Amazon and eBay.
There is now a paved roads set from Stratagem that looks great. You’ll lose some track layout options, but it is way cheaper and easier to store. I will probably pick some sets up.
The Big Mushrooms and Question Cubes
These two items are metal tins full of hard candies. I bought a box of each off eBay. The candy itself is pretty mediocre, except the sour apple (green mushrooms).
The green pipes are actually meant to be Amiibo display stands from the Etsy seller Marbled Works. They have two shades of green–be sure to get the darker green as the other green is way too light. These are 3D printed, look nice, and the price is right.
I also use these to designate the Gates.
The Boost Launchers
The Boosts are from The Phalanx Consortium, a Friends of Gaslands seller. They are actually meant to be barriers that sit upright, but I just lay them flat. I may eventually get to painting these. They are made of MDF.
The Small Question Item Boxes
These are simply blank yellow dice with indented sides for sticker placement. I printed the question marks on Neato Clear Label sheets, cut them out, and placed them on the dice using some tweezers. I really dreaded that process, but turns out it didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would. Both items can be bought at Amazon. The question mark page template was originally posted by Mario Fragezeichen in the Files section of the Gaslands Facebook Group (Mario Fragezeichen Transfers.docx) . In my Downloads section, you can find my version that just takes his and rearranges the graphics to make them easier to cut out. If you decide to make your own, .5″x.5″ works great for the graphic size.
The Maneuver Templates and Dice
The templates are from a couple different sources. The shooting templates are from Litko and the maneuver templates are from Thomas Wynn. The Skid and combat dice are from MR Laser. I bought Scatter Dice that are meant for Warhammer 40k.
I bought the Hot Wheels versions of the Mario Karts. You have several avenues you can take on this as there are different brands available: Tomy/Takara have some, some called “Tape Racers,” some just simple “cake toppers” and even the karts from Mario Kart Monopoly could be used. Just keep in mind, the sizes are all slightly different, so you will want to choose one type and stick with it. I chose Hot Wheels in the hopes there will eventually be a second series, though I will have 12 karts once Rosalina comes out–how many do I actually need? (Answer: all of them!)
Rules and Printed Materials
First off, go buy the Gaslands: Refueled book. My rules changes won’t make any sense without this. Plus, it’s a great game! Secondly, download Stuart Kelly’s Gaslands Mario Kart Variant ( mkgl gaslands mario kart 2.1.pdf ), which is really the genesis of this whole project.
I did what I could on the dashboards considering I am not a graphic artist, But it has all the information you need: Name, Weight Class, Max Gear, Handling, and a new attribute I added, the Special Item. All the dashboards for the currently available Hot Wheels Mario Karts are in the Downloads section.
In Stuart Kelly’s Mario Kart variant, there isn’t a difference between two characters that drive the same weight class kart. I wanted to add something unique to each character to differentiate them. Each character now has a Special Item (mostly) unique to them. This item is a one-use ability per race and cannot be activated until the kart is through the first Gate. They fall into roughly three categories: Attack abilities, Defense, abilities, and Power Up abilities. For example, Mario can shoot fireballs, Wario farts and karts around him have to make a Forced maneuver away from him while Princess Peach has a Pink Heart that provides shields against attacks.
There is a Special Items descriptive list in the Downloads section. I have also listed abilities to karts that do not exist yet (I am hopeful they will someday.). And keep in mind these are works in progress. Every game I play I learn that the powers need tweaked or the descriptions written more clearly or precisely. The documents will likely be updated from time to time as issues and clarifications arise. Alternatively, create your own list and description of what the item does.
The Question Box Item Cards
The Item Cards drawn after getting a question box are much the same as outlined in Kelly’s rules. I’ve changed up the wording a bit to match my particular rules, however. I have also replaced the Golden Mushroom with a 10x Coin card. The Golden Mushroom is now the Special Item for Toad.
All of these cards are on the Downloads page, 9 cards per 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper. The card backs were designed by Nesahdo Shunatona–I just altered the page to remove the space between the cards so you can just use an exacto knife to quickly cut them out.
There is only one 10x Coin card in the deck. One of the reasons I created it was because I imagine a Circuit tournament consisting of multiple races. Individual coins could be placed on the race course for karts to collect. Every 10 coins provides the upgrade described on this card. So even a player that just has some bad luck and is way behind in a race could collect some coins (worth tournament points) and eventually upgrade their kart. Of course, pulling this card is even sweeter.
I’ll probably work on some Circuit/tournament rules in the near future.
Various Markers & Chits
You’ll find these in the Downloads section ready to print. These cover any items that may be dropped onto the race course.
This is available in the Downloads section. You will of course need the Gaslands book to understand everything, but I tried to make this reference sheet and the Special Items descriptions page they only two things you need to reference during a game.
This reference page also shows what I have changed from Kelly’s Mario Kart version. I have removed the D3 Hazard tokens from Shooting Attacks and tried to mirror the Gaslands rules more closely. On Collisions, since Hull Damage is now taken in Hazard tokens, I have removed the automatic +2 Hazard tokens. I found it was just too devastating to all karts involved. Instead, every kart involved in a Collision has to take at least 1 Hazard token.
So, for example, if Wario (Heavyweight) Smash attacks (T-Bones) Mario (Middleweight), and Wario is in gear 4 and Mario is in Gear 3, here’s what happens:
Because the Smash attack is a T-Bone, Wario gets his current Gear in Attack dice (4). Plus, he is 1 Weightclass heavier than Mario, granting +1 Attack dice (Now a total of 5 Attack dice). Mario already has some Hazard tokens, so he decides to Evade. Wario rolls his Attack and gets 3 successes. Mario rolls his Evade and manages to get 1 success, cancelling out 1 of the hits. Mario takes 2 Hazard tokens. Wario has to take just 1 Hazard token for being in a Collision.
In the old way of resolving this Attack, Mario would take 4 Hazard tokens and Wario would take 2 because of the automatic +2 Hazard tokens for karts involved in a Collision. Smash Attacks are one of the strengths of Heavyweight karts, but because of their poor Handling, they cannot easily remove Hazard tokens. Reducing the guaranteed Hazards for Collisions makes these Attacks more appealing.
I realize I kind of blitzed through this description of the game, so if you have any comments, questions, or concerns, post them in the comments below.