Copyright 2003 by Mike Fischer
The birdlike race we call the Fixers have no known home world. Their huge motherships never enter a solar system; they send smaller ships when they want to make contact with another race. Such contact always takes the same form: they pick up broken and damaged machinery, fix it so it works, and sell it to the highest bidder. Among their favorite kinds of machinery are battle-damaged vehicles.
Some refer to the Fixers as "Stormcrows" because of their knack for showing up just before a battle breaks out, offering second-hand war machines for sale to both sides. Others call them "Buzzards" because they scarcely wait for the shooting to stop before they begin making off with the debris of battle. Several races have reportedly fired on Fixer ships to keep them from grabbing a tank that wasn't damaged that badly, or which still contained wounded soldiers. But most races tolerate the Fixers, since they pose no threat to anyone and they perform a useful service.
The Fixers are not a StarMarines race. Rather, they are an optional set of rules to allow variety in vehicles. If either race uses no vehicles, or has no soldiers to drive them, you cannot use the Fixers in that battle.
Fixer rules come into play while the players are spending their build points to buy their armies. Roll two dice. This is the number of vehicles (or groups of vehicles) the Fixers have for sale. One player chooses odd or even, and rolls another die; this determines who gets to bid first.
For each vehicle, roll two dice and consult the Fixer Vehicle Table to find out what kind of vehicle they are offering. Some vehicles are more commonly found than others. The Fixers never deal in supertanks; such expensive weapons are almost always salvaged by their own armies. They don't sell many walkers, since the controls for a walker are usually very specific to the race that drives it. A few inexpensive vehicles are sold in pairs or three's. Then the auction begins.
The initial price is 1. The player who won the odd/even roll gets to bid first. If he doesn't want the vehicle, the other player can bid. If neither player bids, the vehicle goes unsold. If a vehicle gets only one bid, the Fixers won't sell it, unless that bid is at least 1/2 (round up) of the vehicle's normal cost. If both players want the vehicle, they take turns bidding higher and higher amounts, until one player drops out. The highest bidder gives up that many build points, and gets the vehicle for his army.
Experience has shown that using your enemy's equipment against him isn't worth it -- you'll get mistakenly shot in the back by your own forces long before you can do anything useful against the enemy. If a vehicle normally belongs to one of the races that will be fighting, the other race cannot buy it. The non-owning player can bid on such a vehicle, to keep the first guy from getting one of his own vehicles too cheaply. But this strategy can backfire; if the player who can buy the vehicle suddenly drops out of the auction, the other player wins and has to pay for it, even though he can't use it.
If you win an auction and can't or won't pay, the loser gets the vehicle for his own highest bid (if any), and you get fined for points equal to half that winning bid (round up).
All vehicles come fully functional, but without weapons. You must use your race's weapons to arm them, substituting the closest match if a particular weapon is called for. Weapons cost no more than they would on your own vehicles. Fixer vehicles work according to the normal rules for that vehicle, regardless of which race winds up using them. Such vehicles come with a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee for 30 days, 30,000 miles, or 0.3 seconds of combat, whichever comes first.
|Fixer Vehicle Table|
|Dice roll||Race||Vehicle||Dice roll||Race||Vehicle|
|1||1||Colonial||2 Kettenkrads||4||1||Norx||2 DeathTracks|
|2||Colonial||2 Whippets||2||Norx||2 DeathTracks|
|2||1||Dran||2 Cherry-Pickers||5||1||Pelgari||3 Light Platforms|
|2||Dran||2 BretHounds||2||Pelgari||3 Medium Platforms|
|4||Dran||2 KialHounds||4||StarMarine||2 Skimmerbikes|
|5||Dran||Enforcer||5||StarMarine||2 Weapons Skimmers|
|3||Ghoul||2 Weapons Sleds||3||Victor||Racer|
|6||Norx||2 Battle Trikes||6||Zrute||QuadSuit|