I took Dave Schueler's "Thunder Boats" to the BV club last night for a bit of light hearted water based racing mayhem. A minor crisis meant I had to dip out at the start for nearly an hour, when I came back the chaps had read the rules and played through a short race with three boats. They picked it up with no problems but thought it would be more challenging - and fun - with more boats, so we each played two boats and put eight on the table.
This proved to be great fun, although we were perhaps a bit cautious in that not many "pushes" were attempted until lap 2, upon which more fun and incident occurred and things seemed rather more satisfying. We ended up with two dead boats at the end, both crippled by engine damage. Modesty prevents me from saying who won :)
There was an observation that the leading boat soon finds themselves with an advantage and it becomes hard to catch them, but I guess that's not entirely unrealistic and I guess it drives the following boats to push their engines to catch up - and hence the lad boat needs to push to stay in the lead. As it was I'd built up such a good lead by the start of the last lap that I didn't need to push at all (my second boat went from 4th to 6th as it was caught up in traffic, then suffered an engine blow out as I pushed to make up lost time).
Of course being wargamers the chaps wanted to blow stuff up and shoot things, which got us thinking about a variant with mines, flaming oil slicks, harpoon guns etc. And the system does seem to lend itself to a variety of racing games (pod racers, Mad Max), so watch this space.....