Following the original idea from this thread on the Cardboard Warriors forum (which made want to try a photo printing service) I decided to build my own reduced version of Outrider. What I did was simply reduce each page so that it fit in a 10x15 photo and it worked very well for the terrain tiles, cars and maneuver cards. The player dashboards and counters became too small, but I should have figured that even before printing. Anyway, here are the game pieces (some of them glued to 2mm thick cardstock):
The Interceptor wins the initiative. He tries a difficulty 7 maneuver and spends one skill point, obtaining a success (roll of 9 +1 handling, +1 lucky, +1 SP.) Since I still hadn't printed the proper tokens, I used coins for attack markers. He moves to the second card and makes an attack against the Gunslinger but doesn't land a single bullet (attack roll of 2 against a defense roll of 6.) He then moves to the last card and fires again, this time punching several holes on the other car.
The Interceptor wins the initiative again and renews one skill point. He attempts a difficulty 7 maneuver, trying to make a sharp turn and fire at the Muleskinner, but only gets a total of 6, resulting in an understeer. The Linebacker performs two easy left maneuvers. The Gunslinger turns slightly to the right (and spends one skill point) firing twice at the Linebacker using its secondary guns and causing some damage. The Muleskinner simply moves in a straight line, so the game after the second round looks like this:
Once more the Interceptor wins the initiative. It spends three skill points to attempt a difficulty 7 maneuver, making a turn to the right and shooting at the Muleskinner, causing one point of damage. The Linebacker slams on the brakes while firing at the Gunslinger but the bullets don't cause any real damage. The Gunslinger decides to ram the Linebacker in frontal collision while firing its weapons. The Muleskinner spends four skill points to move ahead, turn left and fire at the road block (a difficult 6 maneuver) causing two points of damage to it.
The Gunslinger wins the initiative and proceeds to fire three times against the Linebacker, while stopped. The point-blank barrage of the Gunslinger's weapons destroys the Linebacker. The Gunslinger then proceeds to turn left in reverse and stop, to go after the Interceptor. The Interceptor spends the last 5 skill points to perform a difficulty 8 maneuver, charging forward and firing three times at the Muleskinner. He barely makes it, managing to fire twice with its linked guns but causing no damage to the armored van. The Muleskinner also burns its remaining 6 skill points to fire at the road block and run through it. The maneuver is successful, thus leading to a victory to the team of outriders.
While this was a solo session meant to try the rules, Outrider felt like a fun and quick game to play. It is easy to learn, although the act of placing maneuver cards in a sequence without messing it up takes a bit to get used to. The game pieces are very nice but what I liked was to notice that the only mandatory components are the car bases, maneuver cards and a set of dice, thus a very compact set can be built to carry around.
From a tactics standpoint, this first game was not very balanced since I allocated some heavy armor to the Muleskinner but the ambushers didn't have very good weapons to pierce it. Also, having them chasing around instead of blocking the exit wasn't very smart. However, it provided for some good maneuvers that allowed me a better view of the game rules. [Note: this comment is regarding my choices of dice allocation for the cars, not the balance of the game itself.]
Something to try when I have some more free time is to print a set of blank bases and maneuver cars in the normal size, and get some diecast car miniatures to play the game as originally intended, possibly with improvised scenario to emulate the old Micro Machines games...