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Old 12-17-2018, 12:37 PM   #14
Chris Goodwin
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Default Re: Was GURPS Autoduel a big thing?

Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
No one I ever did CW with ever had the notion to do a GURPS Autoduel game. It was strictly CW.

A loose parallel is Champions / HERO. I bring that up because like Car Wars the Champion system is combat mechanic / dice heavy. And I'm guessing that's why my Car Wars' play groups never did GURPS Autoduel.

I guess another equivalent is historical wargaming. Unless it's D&D where PCs are involved in a battle, I rarely ever see Civil War or WW2 wargamers take characters into battle. Or, extend that experience into a RPG session.

And I'm thinking Car Wars suffers somewhat from that. A game designer said that dice heavy combat games for some reason don't seem to lend themselves to RPing. And even though GURPS Autoduel isn't dice heavy, it seems like there's nary a connection between CW RPing and GURPS Autoduel.

Sorry if this post seems kind of aimless, but this disconnect is something that's been on my mind for some years now.
The roleplaying group I played GURPS Autoduel with had all, as far as I know, played Car Wars, and the group did other games as well (board games, hex and chit wargames, etc., Battletech, among them) but roleplaying campaigns were the major activity. I'm pretty sure we played an arena duel or two of Car Wars proper, but the GURPS Autoduel campaign seemed a pretty obvious extension. (There was a non-Champions Autoduel Hero game that didn't get off the ground, using ADC and Espionage/Danger International, that I was interested in also, before GURPS Autoduel.)

Contrariwise, my Car Wars group from around the same time (consisting largely of myself, my two brothers, and a couple of friends from school we'd gotten into the game) sort of almost turned into a Car Wars roleplaying campaign. Characters with backstories and histories, and ongoing storylines that weren't gamed out so much as "Hey, it would be cool if Pierre and Francis did this thing..." Airwolf was part of it, as well.

To my mind, all a game needs in order to be considered a roleplaying game is rules that support pretending your "playing piece" is a person. Rudimentary though they may be, I assert that Car Wars, at least as far back as Sunday Drivers/Crash City if not further back, provides such support, and can in fact be considered a roleplaying game under my definition. The groundwork was laid for it in the "human element" and "continuing characters" portions of the original zip bag/Pocket Box game, but SD/CC explicitly said "Name your characters and give them motivations so they're not just playing pieces, and hey, you might consider having a referee to handle things that aren't made explicit..."

What's more, I don't think we'd still be talking about Car Wars without them; if they weren't there, we wouldn't have had Autoduel Quarterly, nor Autoduel Champions, nor GURPS Autoduel, nor Uncle Albert, nor the other pieces of support material, official and non, that sustained us this far.

I'll be honest, I can only play so many arena duels or road fights. Those alone wouldn't have sustained my interest, nor I'm sure that of most of us, for nigh 40 years.
Chris Goodwin

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Last edited by Chris Goodwin; 12-17-2018 at 12:43 PM.
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