Combat Biker

Combat Biker

History

Combat Biker came along in 2013. It was thought up by a chummer named Vemon Prudhomme in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Prudhomme needed a publicity gimmick to pump up his ailing speedway. He hired a down-and-out bunch of motorcycle "daredevils" and staged a game involving motorcycles, stunt riding, padded clubs, and "paintball" guns. He wrapped it in a lot of tinsel, and hyped it over the TV and radio. The thing caught on, and Prudhomme started joking about starting a "Combat Cyclists League."

A major sportsnet show did a five-minute filler on Combat Biker, and it caught a lot of attention. Maybe too much. The next Saturday, a go-gang called the Maulers showed up, said they were a Combat Biker team, and beat the snot out of Prudhomme's stunt riders. Their bossman, Charles "Mangier" Patterson, let Prudhomme know that for a modest payment the Maulers would stay away, so he could get on with business as usual.

Prudhomme ignored their offer, hiring his own go-gang to take the place of his battered daredevils. He dressed them in uniforms, named them the Red Devils, unpadded the weapons, and replaced the paint guns with riot weapons firing plastic
ammo. When the Maulers showed up, the Red Devils smeared them into a thin paste. The funny thing is, the event actually stayed within the rules (more or less) for almost an hour before things got a little out of control.

The story made bigtime ratings on the national feeds. While most of the anchors and talkers got off on the way Prudhomme put one over on the Maulers, one newsie ran a deadpan sportsnet segment on the game before it turned into a rumble.

Prudhomme got a call from a consortium of money men, and within ayear six teams were competing nationally. Combat Biker games started showing up regularly on the tube. By 2026, the game was a going concern, with a league organization, established rules, and major media coverage.

The World Combat Cyclists League

The World Combat Cyclists League is the pro Combat Biker organization. Despite the name, it's a North American operation.

A Combat Biker franchise is an expensive proposition. While bike manufacturers sell machines to teams at cost in return for the publicity they get, one game can eat up a lot of iron. Add in cyber for players, the arena, medical costs, and incidentals like weapons, armor, and so on, and costs add up fast. Combat Biker is incredibly popular on the nets, and commands impressive prices for commercials, pay-per-view on ultra-close-up coverage, resale rights for sims and trid, and replays over cable and the Matrix.

The WCCL is divided into two conferences. The top four teams in each conference meet in a series of playoffs, and conference champions slam it out for the world championship in the Biker Bowl.

Franchises

City Team
Eastern Conference
Atlanta Rebels
Baton Rouge Red Devils
Chicago Lightning
Cleveland Commandos
DeeCee Shuriken
New York Marauders
Western Conference
Los Angeles Sabers
New Orleans Buzzsaws
Houston Mustangs
Seattle (Novatech) Hogs
Seattle Timberwolves
Texas Rattlers

The Arena

Combat Biker is an arena game. Played on a football-sized field, about 150 meters long by 50 meters wide, the arena is designed as a maze divided into lanes. Some lanes are wide enough to let three or four bikes ride side by side. Others are barely wide enough for one cycle to squeak through. A track called a "skyway" runs over the middle of the field. It is about a story high, no safety railing. Some folks call it the "launch pad." At each end of the field Is a two-meter goal circle.

Within limits, each Combat Biker franchise can design its own arena layout and can change it during the off-season. The WCCL has final approval on all designs.

The Bikers

A Combat Biker team fields the following nine positions, with eight team members on bikes, one on foot.

  • Lineblkers: The hand-to-hand boys. Mounted on fast, unarmored cycles, armed with maces and riot guns. Each linebiker gets his choice of an additional weapon: flail, net, whip, or bola. A team has four linebikers.
  • Lancebikers: Lancebikers are mounted on heavy machines, big on power, low on maneuverability. Each carries a two-meter lance, a mace, and a riot gun. Each team fields four lancers.
  • Thunderbiker: Armed with a fixed-mount grenade launcher on a light cycle and an assortment of boom-boom. He also carries a mace. One thunderbiker rides for each side.
  • Goalie: Armored like a tank and moving on foot, the goalie carries an autoshot riot carbine, a mace, and a little thing called a tetsubo. That's a heavy Japanese quarterstaff, shaped like a sawed-off lamppost and covered with big studs. When a goalie lays a tetsubo shot across the middle of a biker moving at full speed, the audience usually get to see how much guts the biker really has. A team fields one goalie, and his playing position is in the goal zone, natch.

The Weapons

While weapon weights and configurations for Combat Biker have gotten nastier over the years, they are all still technically non-lethal. Fatalities average eight per season from direct weapon strikes, as opposed to the much higher figure for deaths from cycle wipeouts. All deaths are hyped as "regrettable accidents" by League flacks, natch.

  • Flail: A 50-centimeter haft with a 30-centimeter cable at one end. A flail has a 500-gram densiplast mace head mounted on the end of the cable.
  • Lance: Two meters long and 5 centimeters thick with a blunt "point," this magic wand can be used as a staff or like an old-time knight's lance (at up to 100 kph right down a playing lane).
  • Mace: A seventy-centimeter high-impact plastic shaft with a 750- gram densiplast head ball. Every biker on the team carries one of these suckers.
  • Net: A two-meter-square net made of 2-centimeter-thick polycarb cable, weighted at the rim and equipped with a one meter cable. It can snag a biker and wrap him up like the catch of the day. No real damage, but try control ling a chopper at 100 kph in a two-meter-wide lane with one of these suckers wrapped around your head.
  • Tetsubo: The goalie's weapon. Two meters long, tapering from about 8 centimeters thick at the head to 3 centimeters at the butt. Set with metal or densiplast bosses and a 750-gram striking head.
  • Whip: A two-meter bullwhip of reinforced polycarb filament, breaking strain about 1,500 kg. Besides using it as a long distance entangling weapon, a lot of linebikers are fond of a move called the Siamese Swoop, or the Gemini: Two bikers each grab an end of the whip and barrel down a lane, clothes lining anyone in their way.

In addition to weapons attacks, any kind of unarmed attack is legal, including a "flying block"—a body block thrown at a mounted player, whether the attacker starts out on a bike or on foot.

Besides hand-to-hand weapons, bikers carry one of several firearms, all firing stun rounds.

  • Autoshot Riot Carbine: An autofire-capable riot gun, this is the goalie's answer when the fans start yelling for "dee-FENSE"! The goalie has a twenty round clip of stun ammo at the start of each play. Smartgun links are standard for big-league goalies.
  • Grenade Launchers: The thunderbiker mounts this on his cycle, and gets three concussion grenades each play.
  • Riot Guns: Carried by lancers and linebikers. Short-barreled pieces, Roomsweepers, or a similar configuration. Players get a fresh three-round clip of stun ammo at the start of each play. Each player can choose to carry his weapon free or mount it on his cycle. Smart weapons are allowed, and in the major leagues, pretty much everyone has them.

The Armor

Goalies wear tough armor (Ballistic 6, Impact 5). Everyone else wears lighter stuff (Ballistic 3, Impact 2). Everyone also wears helmets (Ballistic +1, Impact +1). Armor is manufactured in "home" and "away" colors, and helmets have a distinctive team-logo look. For example, the Baton Rouge Red Devils have their helmets done up like classic "devil" heads: horns, fangs, the whole bit.

The Bikes

Linebikers ride Yamaha Rapiers or an equivalent. Lancebikers ride Harley Scorpions or an equivalent. Neither mounts weapons. The thunderbiker rides a Rapier-class bike, modified to handle the grenade-launcher mount.

Cycles may be modified to accept a vehicle control rig, and rigged players and cycles are the rule rather than the exception in the major leagues

Other Equipment

All players are equipped with two-way radios, either headsets built into their helmets or cyberware. Each uniform is equipped with an emergency biotech patch under a rip-away shield. Pulling off the shield automatically activates a Trauma Patch (3).

The Game

Combat Biker uses a flag. An actual flag on a lightweight pole 180 centimeters long. The flagpole has a weighted, hemispherical base, and if dropped, will always roll into an upright position.

The object of the game is to do a flagsnag, and then get the flag into the opposing side's goal zone.

Flagsnag is like the kickoff in football. The flag starts in the center of the middle lane on the field, mounted on a high-speed bogey, a little drone on wheels that whizzes around like crazy. The linebiker's job is to snag the flag. Until one team gets possession and goes on offense, the lancers and thunderbiker have to stay out of play and in their starting positions. Once the flag is snagged, almost anything goes.

A play in Combat Biker ends when a goal is scored, or when the clock runs out. On each play, a random timer is set and runs for thirty to sixty seconds. Every play runs for thirty seconds minimum, leaving anywhere up to thirty more seconds on the dock. The random time part of the play is called jittertime, because the clock can run out anytime and thus affect the score. There are ten minutes of playing time to a quarter. The clock stops between plays for reloading, sending in replacements, replacing cycles, and so on.

Scoring

Actually scoring a goal—plan ting the flagin the opposition's goal—counts for three points. Only a mounted player can score a goal. A dismounted player can carry the flag, but if the dismounted player plants it in the goal zone, it does not count as a goal.

If, when the clock runs out on a play, the offensive team (the team in possession of the flag) is in the defense's territory, they score one point. If the offensive team is in its own territory, the defense scores one point. This counts whether the flag carrier is mounted or not.

If the bogey carries the flag into one team's territory during flagsnag, and for some reason the flag is still not snagged when time runs out, the opposing team scores a point.

If the flag is not in either team's possession when the clock runs out, the point is given to the last team to take possession. So if a Seattle player carrying the flag gets blown away deep in Timber Wolves territory, the Wolves are going to scramble to get that flag into the opposing team's half of the track. The opposition may try to get the flag and press for a goal, or may simply fight to keep Seattle from getting it, since they'll score if the flag is still in the Timber Wolves territory when the clock runs out

Fouls

There aren't many. Players tagged for a foul are called out of play and must pull into one of a number of shelters built into the barriers that form the playing lanes. Cutout circuits mounted in the cycle engines let the officials kill any bike on the field, which is the standard response when a player doesn't obey an order to get off the lanes.

Three fouls by one side in a single play ends the play, and gives the opposing side one point.

A player can be kicked out of the game for a really outrageous foul. When a player is kicked out, the play ends and the opposing team scores a point. A replacement is sent in on the next play.

Combat Biker fouls include the following.

  • Deliberate Release of Flag: Dropping the flag on purpose is a foul. The player who does it is kicked out of the game and the opposing team scores one point.
  • Ramming Dismounted Player: That is, deliberate ramming of a dismounted player. Awful lot of accidental sideswiping goes on out there ("Well, I tried to miss him!"). This does not extend to the goalie, by the way, who is fair game for ramming.
  • Riding over Unconscious/Disabled Player The way this gets enforced, maybe the rules should add"… more than once." Or maybe "Backing up and doing it again."
  • Use of Unauthorized Weapon. A player cannot use any weapons but the ones authorized for his position. Picking up authorized weapons dropped or discarded by another player is allowed, including riot guns after a player has fired his three rounds for the play.
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