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Old 01-28-2021, 06:14 PM   #1
kazrak
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Default Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

My 16-year-old son and I have taken to Thursday night Car Wars games. As we've played more and more, we're now getting into fairly ludicrous ideas - last week was Division 50 hovers in Iron Mike's Ironman Challenge (from Arenas), and ended when his rocket-boosted hover with ramplate had a head-on with another at 200mph total speed, confetti-ing the victim while killing the rammer.

Tonight's game is 4 teams of 2 vehicles (2 teams each), doing the KEAR Coliseum tag-team from Arenas, smallest vehicle sizes (subcompacts, light trikes, one-man hovers, or any cycles with or without sidecar), Division Unlimited, military technology legal.

My son asked me a question on legality that I couldn't find spelled out anywhere: can the driver of a motorcycle/sidecar combo be in the sidecar? ADQ 1-4 says the power plant can't be in the sidecar, but I couldn't find anything specifically saying the driver can't be, checking Pocket Box/4th Ed/Deluxe/Compendium/UACfH/ADQ. (That said, I don't have all the ADQ issues available to me, just the first four years and a couple extra issues.)

My spur-of-the-moment ruling was "sure, -2HC penalty", which seems vaguely reasonable, but does anyone know of an official ruling on this?
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Old 01-29-2021, 07:38 AM   #2
kjamma4
 
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Location: Chicagoland Area, Illinois
Default Re: Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

Yes/No? From the Compendium:

Substitute Drivers
If a cycle’s driver is incapacitated, a sidecar passenger can steer the
cycle, but cannot use the brakes or accelerator. He can fire any weapon,
but not on any turn that he steers the cycle. He can, however, push the
incapacitated driver out of his seat and climb in to become the driver.
p.42

A medium or heavy cycle can also pull a sidecar – for one passenger, for
cargo hauling, or just to get some extra firepower.
p.74

So, I think by definition once a human gets into the sidecar, they are technically a passenger and not a driver. However, a passenger in a sidecar can operate the cycle/sidecar combination subject to the rules above.
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Old 01-29-2021, 11:42 AM   #3
juris
 
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Default Re: Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

Nice deep rules dive K :)

Extra driver controls: for $1000 and 50lbs I'd allow it in a sidecar - but you have to be a gunner not passenger

Of course I'd allow the sidecar passenger to attempt to 'steer' after being jettisoned...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjamma4 View Post
Yes/No? From the Compendium:

Substitute Drivers
If a cycle’s driver is incapacitated, a sidecar passenger can steer the
cycle, but cannot use the brakes or accelerator. He can fire any weapon,
but not on any turn that he steers the cycle. He can, however, push the
incapacitated driver out of his seat and climb in to become the driver.
p.42

[
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Old 01-29-2021, 01:29 PM   #4
kjamma4
 
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Default Re: Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

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Originally Posted by juris View Post
Extra driver controls: for $1000 and 50lbs I'd allow it in a sidecar - but you have to be a gunner not passenger
Up to this point, I guess I always assumed that, BY THE RULES, you could have a gunner in a sidecar. Of course, just as with other vehicles, a passenger takes up one space and a gunner takes up two spaces.

There is a lot of disconnect in how the terms are thrown about. Gunner, passenger, driver, cyclist, crewmember, occupant, vehicular position, seat, station, human.

It looks like you can be a driver of a cycle but will suffer a penalty unless you have the Cyclist skill. [note lowercase vs. capital letters]

A driver or passenger may jump from a moving vehicle. p. 60

Occupants may jump out at any time Result 11,12 on Crash Table 1 - p. 14

So a gunner in a "regular" moving vehicle is stuck but if you get result 11,12, have at it!?

FWIW, I would definitely allow someone to act as a gunner in a sidecar taking up the usual two spaces.
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Old 01-29-2021, 02:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

I realise realism isn't the point here, but: most cycle/sidecar frames are solid rather than hinged, so they don't lean, but it's still very important for the rider (and sidecar passenger, if any) to be able to shift their weight in the right direction to help with cornering. So I'd say that the rules kjamma4 found are if anything over-generous.
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Old 01-29-2021, 03:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

I'd allow a "pilot in sidecar" as a backup; he could not be the Primary.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

Since rider and gunners both take up the same 2 spaces in a cycle as in they do in a car (despite being classed as exposed) the extra driver controls should operate the same way.

The issue is that the early rules were less rigorous and the depiction of bikes didn't really fit the rules that covered them. With virtually no armour they were given great latitude to give them a fighting chance in combat. Often ADQ&A responded to how bikes should be rather than how they were.

If bikes are controlled like modern bikes then a driver cannot be in the sidecar (as several key controls are foot operated). But if that were the case cyclists shouldn't take up as much space as a car driver since cyclist sits outside/around the vehicle rather than inside it (which is recognised in the rules by making them exposed). Some people have even argued that a cycle gunner in the sidecar can't control weapons on the bike itself. To me it makes even less sense for a gunner to be on the bike, as it is hard to see how someone could have weapon controls sitting behind the rider.

This assumes that bikes look like bikes (as they do in the illustrations), but there is no reason why they have to. The former may seem more "realistic", but the latter is far easier to adjudicate as you could assume that unless it says otherwise any car accessories work the same way for a bike. If this seems impossible because of how you envisage the bike to look, assume instead that the rule is right, but that you assumption on what bikes look like is flawed (something the experts of the day in ADQ seemed unable to do).

This was also rather confused by an article in ADQ that showed us exactly what a bike "looked" like but failed to take into account all the rules that bikes used (and obviously couldn't take into account all the rules that they would later use). As a result some people use the "fluff" to decide how rules should be interpreted differently to how they are written rather than understand that a periodical looking for content might not be expecting "fun" articles to be used as evidence for a particular rules interpretation decades later.

So since it doesn't say that extra driver controls can't be put in a bike, and since extra driver controls simply convert a gunner position into a driver position, and since you can definitely have a gunner in a sidecar it is no less logical that you can put the driver in there to start with instead of on the bike frame.

Personally I have two classes of Bikes.
Classic bikes that are ridden like modern bikes (i.e. steered by leaning etc.) and have weapon on fixed mounts facing front or back only (and therefore have no need of a gunner at all). I allow cyclists on these to take up only 1 space, but their weapons cannot benefit from targeting computers and are locked down and can only fire straight ahead (or behind). When they have a side car "gunner" he is a passenger and uses a pintle mounted weapon and aims it by hand.
Hi-tech bikes look nothing like modern bikes (other than having two wheels), have all-wheel, digital steering controls (backed by gyro's etc.). Sidecars are rigidly mounted and the sidecar wheel can rotate as freely as a car wheel can. they just follow the rules as written and we make no assumptions on how they should work.

Bottom line, if it seems like a fun option, let it stand. You may be able to squeeze some small advantage out of it, but as design is just another combat decision that will impact how the game plays out.

Incidentally not allowing the plant in the side car also makes little sense as the powerplant only generates electricity, the motors are in the wheels and there is no reason you can't run power cables between the sidecar and the cycle (and you are having to do that anyway for the sidecars wheel motor).

Last edited by swordtart; 01-31-2021 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 02-01-2021, 07:46 AM   #8
kjamma4
 
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Default Re: Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Since rider and gunners both take up the same 2 spaces in a cycle

To me it makes even less sense for a gunner to be on the bike
Except by the rules, you cannot have a gunner on a cycle.

A single passenger can ride behind a cycle’s driver; he takes up no extra space but adds weight, and can use hand weapons only. p. 72


Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
and since you can definitely have a gunner in a sidecar
Per previous posts, by the rules you cannot have a gunner in a sidecar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Bottom line, if it seems like a fun option, let it stand. You may be able to squeeze some small advantage out of it, but as design is just another combat decision that will impact how the game plays out.
Agreed. If all the participants agree, why not? The rub is when you happen to be playing a "non-house" game where, unless previously agreed upon, you have to follow the rules as written.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
Incidentally not allowing the plant in the side car also makes little sense as the powerplant only generates electricity, the motors are in the wheels and there is no reason you can't run power cables between the sidecar and the cycle (and you are having to do that anyway for the sidecars wheel motor).
Agreed again. This rationale also should be used IF you allow gunners in the sidecar. Controlling a weapon mounted on the cycle itself should be controllable by a sidecar gunner. If you are firing vehicle mounted weapons, you are essentially playing a video game and where you sit is pretty much irrelevant as long as you have a connection (probably part of the power cable.)
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Old 02-01-2021, 01:05 PM   #9
juris
 
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Default Re: Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

A sidecar is treated as a tiny vehicle - 2.5e Compendium p 39 - yes it's in the 'sidecar targeting' section.

A sidecar (unlike a cycle) can have armor in all 6 locations. Heck, a sidecar can even have a turret.

Bottom line - don't think it's clear a sidecar can't have a gunner. A sidecar has a lot of things a cycle doesn't.


Why would anyone put a gunner in a sidecar? Same reason to put a gunner in a car - you can specialize.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjamma4 View Post



Per previous posts, by the rules you cannot have a gunner in a sidecar.

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Old 02-01-2021, 02:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ludicrous question of the day: drivers in sidecars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by juris View Post
Why would anyone put a gunner in a sidecar? Same reason to put a gunner in a car - you can specialize.
Just tossed these together:

_Maxi 2A_: Heavy Cycle; Hv. susp.; Medium Cycle power plant w/PC & SC; 2x PR tire; Driver. 2x RL [1 ea. F, B]. Armor: F, B: 8. $6,192; 1,296 lbs.

Heavy Sidecar; Lt. Susp.; PR tire; Gunner. SS [B]. Armor: F, R, U: 5; B: 6; 10-pt CWG. $1,205; 746 lbs.

Total: $7,397; 2,042 lbs. Acc.: 5, TS: 90; HC: 2.

_Maxi 2B_: Heavy Cycle, Hv. susp.; Large Cycle power plant; 2x HD tire; Driver. 2x MG (L) [F]; SS [B]. Armor: F: 8; B: 7; 2x 5-pt CWG. $6,630; 1,300 lbs.

Heavy Sidecar, Lt. Susp.; HD tire; Gunner. MG [B]; Link (Sidecar MG-SS). Armor: F, R: 1; B: 2; 3-pt CWG. $2,100; 750 lbs.

Total: $8,730; 2,050 lbs. Acc.: 5; TS: 100; HC 2.
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Last edited by 43Supporter; 02-01-2021 at 04:31 PM.
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