Squads are the fundamental way of carrying out any kind of wilderness activity. A squad is owned by a specific player, but other players (who have the password) can join the squad and add their vehicles and characters to it too.
Scouting and 'Gates Of' encounters
One of the things a squad can do is to go 'scouting outside town'. This is initiated via the squads page on the website. After a short period (anything from 1 to 5 minutes) your squad will be matched up against either an NPC gang (who may be pirates or a trade convoy) or against another player squad who is also scouting outside the same town. It's also possible to ambush player squads who are embarking on or arriving from a journey. These encounters all happen outside the town gates, and are referred to as 'Gates Of' encounters (Gates of Somerset, Gates of Elmsfield, etc.) They are not as dangerous as 'pure wilderness' battles since you can always escape into the town itself, and even if you do lose the combat, any surviving characters are sure to make it back to town alive.
Psychology has a huge bearing on wilderness combats: scaring your enemy may be nearly as effective as actually killing them, in fact possibly more effective since they might surrender a relatively undamaged vehicle to you. When a character resigns in an in-town event, they exit the event with their vehicle intact. However, in the wilderness, surrendering means that your character is willing to give up his/her hardware in order to survive. Please note - and this is important! - it is not until all remaining vehicles on one side have surrendered that the combat ends and the result is decided: up until that point, anyone announcing their intention to surrender has not yet actually done so. They may still escape, may still end up on the winning side, and may still be shot at and killed.
When a vehicle gets within the town gates, it can safely escape the combat without needing to surrender. The same thing applies when a vehicle is more than 350 metres away from its nearest opponent. When a vehicle is more than 500 metres away, and is moving away from all enemy vehicles, then it must escape from the combat, and be removed from play.
Following a wilderness combat, the looting phase begins. A multi-player drag-drop interface is used to allow the players from the winning squad to take it in turns grabbing a vehicle or other piece of cargo or hardware from the losing squad. Players can also re-arrange items and characters within their cars in order to manage the cargo space they have available. Only vehicles that have a working engine and at least one conscious character in can be driven away by the victors.
Travel and 'Pure Wilderness' encounters|
The travel orders for a squad are made by the squad's owner, using the game Map. When the squad starts on its journey, it may be involved in an immediate 'Gates Of' encounter. After that, any 'Pure Wilderness' encounters may be played at any time the squad owner chooses (it may be a good idea to make sure any other players involved in the squad are ready to play them too). Pure wilderness encounters happen on the road, well away from civilisation and safety. Any characters left with no car at the end of these combats are quite likely to die of starvation or be eaten by wild animals/mutants, etc. Even if they survive and make their way back to town, they may well decide to leave your service (if you have a gang with high fame this is less likely). Travel typically takes 10 or more hours (real world time)- the only gameplay impact of this is that you're not allowed to arrive until the time has elapsed. When you are ready to arrive, use the button on the squads page on the website: but please be ready for a possible 'Gates Of' encounter with NPCs or other players as you arrive!
The roles of First Aid and Mechanic specialists
Evan is a big place|
We currently have 8 major towns, numerous player-owned camps, and over 60 different wilderness maps, racetracks and combat arenas. There's a lot to explore and many different envionments to practice your skills in.