Recap, Page Four: Dodging Bombs, Ducking Carnivorous Plants, dueling with mutant cows.

The lead elements of the race were now passing the Wabash School of Agriculture substation (the WHITE farm).  The Agriculture School is in something of a competition with the Medical School, and the countryside hereabouts demonstrates some of the spectacular results of experimental agriculture.  The Medical College looks down their noses at the "Farm College", but did THEY ever make six foot cabbages? 

The racers encountered, in short order: Anarchist Nannies (they tossed bombs but were ineffectual as always), the Jingal team in the hayloft, "Audrey" the giant carnivorous rutabaga, and "The Kaiser's Insurance Policy" in case a non-German got the lead too soon.

Greenmantle surges!

Colonel Greenmantle, pictured above, caught some shrapnel from an ambuscade, plus a light wound.  He had to stop to fix.  The Steam Pony, piloted by Chief Pantagruel, finally makes up some ground:

Pantagruel in a moment of introspection

The Arapaho Steam Pony was badly designed... and had to pass  a Bad Engineering check every third turn.  It never presented a problem.  Meanwhile, the GatorBus, piloted by the Devil May-Care Irishman, Seamus O'Toole, managed to slide into the Wabash at some point.  I rolled that they stayed afloat.

Beggorah!  I didnt know this thing was amphibious!

Sedora Thomas, one of the Racers that got off to a very bad start with her steam-powered hoeing machine, can be seen in the top of the picture above.  Sedora broke her conveyance three times-- all as a result of a Bad Things Check.

Rule Citation: "When a Racer STRESSES a mechanical conveyance (steam, galvanic, clockwork) more than one turn sequentially, or REDLINES a mechanical conveyance voluntarily, that conveyance must take a BAD THINGS CHECK (BTC).  A BTC is resolved as a standard saving throw, with modifiers per the referees' discretion and judgement.   Only when the Racer FAILS that critical BTC, must they then roll on the BAD THINGS TABLE, in the column that most closely is associated with the type of conveyance the Racer is piloting." -- LE GRAND CIRQUE rulebook.

Unfortunately, Sedora failed TWO BTCs in a row.  The first time was not so bad-- the standard "Glaubner Traction failure, throw a wheel or tread" result.  The second one, however, was heinous: "Boiler cracks, sending live superheated steam into the driver's compartment.  Take 2 HWs, Conveyance takes 2 DA (damage)" .  Half blinded, and partially cooked, Sedora wrenched on her balking conveyance.  When she got it started again, she was heading the wrong way and subject to a Cad Check.   Unfortunately, her conveyance blew up as she drove up to the finish line and tried to reverse over it, claiming a victory for the Sandusky Ladies' Gardening Club team.   Such parts of Sedora that could be retrieved were later buried with solemn ceremony.

Rule Citation:  "When a Conveyance takes damage from a Ram, Crash or External attack, the Referee places a red bead on top of the conveyance per every DA point (Damage Point) accrued from the damage table results.  Damage is cumulative.  Repairing a vehicle is  represented by removing a red bead.  When DA occurs to a conveyance, the conveyance either coasts to a stop or stops immediately, depending on DA results.  Removing a DA bead is the ONLY action a Racer may take the next turn, unless he has a Repair Kit extra (editor's note: extras were not in this race to avoid more confusion), in which case the bead is removed immediately and the Racer may continue immediately, as if accelerating from a dead stop.  No OTHER beneficial result may occur when the Racer is removing DA beads (e.g., the results of "resting" or "stoking" for a turn, as the Racer is doing neither action)". -- LE GRAND CIRQUE rulebook.

As you can see in the photo below, Colonel Greenmantle has take a DA point to his conveyance from either gunfire or a Ram.   He coasts to a stop, removes the bead (as his turn action) and resumes.

In general, if your coat is red, this is a bad place to stop to fix your machine

The Giant Cabbages hid two evil SPOILERS: The Kaiser's Insurance Policy and Audrey, the Carnivores Rutabaga (not pictured).  Audrey's favorite tactic is to leave her vines in dormant mode and wait until some meat source moves within six feet of her.  Then she lashes out with amazing speed and tries to pull in the hapless victim to her dissolving maw.  Now you know why the cows were penned!

Amazingly, almost everyone tried the shortcut through the (relatively innocuous looking) cows.  BUT THESE WERE NO ORDINARY COWS, NOSSIR!   Unfortunately, they had been conditioned to attack in a mad, lowing rush whenever they see the color red (which was in abundance on the race course that day).  The attacks weren't very serious to either man or machine, but they did succeed in knocking almost everyone over at least once that ventured through their pasture, causing the cows to Low and Grin in almost Wagnerian fashion.

NEXT: Madcap Machinations at the 11th hour