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Old 10-24-2004, 02:10 PM   #1
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Default I need your help

I have decided that I am building an arena for Car Wars. It's not going to be anything fancy- just a figure eight with an overpass.

It will be in Matchbox scale (3"x1") and will probably be around 6 feet long.

I am also going to customize a slew of Matchbox cars with guns, missles, turrets, et cetera.

What I am going to need are vehicle designs.

My expectation is to take this setup to a con here in the next six months. I would like to have designs ready for players, so we don't have to sweat all the design elements.

Here is the event I have in mind:

Division undecided
+10 points for each figure 8 completed
+2 points per point of damage given to other cars
-1 point per point of damage sustained by your car

How does that sound?
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:36 PM   #2
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1 Point per damage seems a bit high. A hit from a MG can score more points then a completed lap. It would make lap scoring a waste of time. Perhaps 2 points per die of damage inflicted.
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Old 10-24-2004, 08:14 PM   #3
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Salient point.

Rather than dice (cause we don't want to restrict weapons) what about +2 points per each 5 of weapons fire?
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Old 10-24-2004, 10:10 PM   #4
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You'll need to playtest, but try for round numbers (like +2 points for each 10 damage) so you'll be doing easy math while facing the normal distractions of a the convention and unfamiliar players.

How many points will each car be worth if totally destroyed? How many laps can a car reasonably complete before it takes enough damage to immobilize it? You might consider a progressive bonus for each lap completed. [ lap 1 - 10 pts, lap 2 - 20 pts, lap 3- 40 pts, and double each time ] By setting the point values, you can dictate, to some extent, what strategies your players are going to try. Will they be starting from a standstill, in which case they may just charge each other like a regular arena? Maybe you start them spread around the track, each moving in the same direction at 60 mph. That would enourage them to at least try to complete some laps.

Good luck! It sounds like fun.

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Old 10-24-2004, 10:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: I need your help

What division are you going to run?
If you're going to score based on damage, you need to know how much damage cars could be dishing out. Then you can pick a damage/laps ratio that encourages what you want players to concentrate on doing.
Since it includes a race element, will you be restricting dropped weapons? If so, in what way(s)?
More important for designs than scoring, but an important decision to make early on. Dropped weapons score kills for less damage than shooting through heavily armored sides, so vehicles using them will potentially score less points than the direct damage cars in your proposed scoring system.
We have some cars on the SPARK site, and I have a bunch to put up if I ever get the updates ready. (Busy in RL. :(
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:46 AM   #6
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Guys- thanks for all the questions! I am at the very early formative stages, and it's exciting to see the help you are offering!

I was thinking Div20-25- or my fav, 30.

I am not in love with any of them, just kicking numbers around.

I played in a Battletech tourney where points were given based on damage done, and mitigated by damage taken, and it was great fun. I want to emulate this with my game.

But most of all- I want it to

1) Look great. I want every CW player to look over and say, I want to play that!
2) Be quick and fun. I am thinkiong going with pregenerated vees is the way to help that out.
3) Have actual scoring as opposed to a last man standing event.
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Old 10-25-2004, 10:28 AM   #7
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My thoughts:

Pre-generated vehicles

Great in that they allow the game to start right away and you don't have to check out designs from other players. However, you have to balance the vehicles well or be prepared for complaints (i.e. "that's not what I would have done" or "I would have won if I would have had Car X instead of this Car Y")


This is my personal bias, but I don't care for racing. To me, Car Wars is about combat. Also, what is the time frame for your event? I've played a four hour slot at a con and only finished six or seven turns. How far will your vehicles go if this is the case?


This is the way to go if you are doing a race. Last man standing works well in a strictly combat game but not a race. Similarly, simply being first to cross the line eliminates much of the combat element (see Racing comment above).

I agree with other posters about the points structure. If you go with your original scheme, I'm not even going to worry about finishing a lap - I'm out for blood. If you are concentrating on the race aspect, then the points for racing should outweigh the combat points.


If I was running this (and this is based more upon my preferences than as a critique of what you have stated), I would have two teams of four vehicles. Teams eliminate any "unsanctioned collusion" which is basically just team play anyways. Although each vehicle would not be identical, the vehicles on each team would be (eliminates any criticism of unfairness).

Each team would get points for laps completed and for damage done. I would make each lap completed worth about the same number of points as you get for 50 points of damage inflicted. You could even give bonus points as well (ex. 5 points to the team attaining the highest speed).

I would have one car on the team designed primarily for speed - high acc, top speed, and handling with minimal weaponry and armor. Probably two cars middle of the road - good but not great acc, top speed, handling, armor, weaponry. The last car a killer - slow, heavily armed and armored. Its job is to inflict punishment. This way, you get a variety of game play and can satisfy both the racers and the duellists.

Because it is team play, each person will have to use their vehicle in the best way to help the team. Cooperation will be the key to success.


You may want to consider foregoing the overpass so that you have a good intersection where collisions occur.

You could also restrict the racing cars to travel in only one direction but allow the others to go the opposite way (think head on collisions). As an alternate, have one team go one direction and the other team the opposite direction. (think major head on collisions)

You may want to consider a ban on dropped weapons to enhance the racing aspect. (or not!)
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Old 10-25-2004, 12:04 PM   #8
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As far as vehicles, I have used pre-gens before, and we simply randomized who used which to make it random, chaotic, and equal.

I want to have a true dueling race- meaning you can try to win by racing, or you can try to win by dueling, but note that neither is assured of victory! ;) Racing isn't my favorite either- but racing with weaponry? Gets a whole lot more interesting.

The team conbcept is interesting... I think I'll shy away from using specific poisitional designs- I think that would be a little restrictive for what I want to do... If I am at a con, and haven't played CW in 15 years, I don't wanna have to be the tail end charlie, IMO.

As far as dropped weapons: What kind of race would it be without dropped goodies??? :)
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Old 10-25-2004, 11:04 PM   #9
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Which version of Car Wars are you going to play, and where is the con you're going to run it at???? ha ha ha

Most of the time when scoring events I use kills - either a mobility kill (driver alive and weapons still work, but maybe plant destroyed, tires shot out, stuck on its side, etc) or a firepower kill (no more car, driver, etc ha ha)
and then use your laps or checkpoints as points as well. adding up damage is just to much bookkeeping, and car wars is heavy in that already.

if you decide not to make a overpass, it's simple to say that line of sight can only be traced along the track. to encourage speed, consider banked turns at the ends of the '8'. other terrain features to break up the LOS and force maneauvers ought to be easy to make - barricades, bunkers, etc.

sounds like fun though, are you in california by any chance?
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Old 10-26-2004, 12:48 PM   #10
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I don't know which convention I will be at yet. If it goes well, I may hit multiple ones, including the biggies.

I plan on using the most recent version of the compendium.

As far as bookkeeping, I am opposed to counting only mobility/firepower kills, as that can be too subjective. I am sure someone who is a crafty guy may find a loophole or two in my scoring, but c'est la vie.

As far as me, I am in Texas.
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