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Old 11-25-2019, 01:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Oklahoma
Default Car Wars Tourney

I've accidentally talked myself into running a Car Wars tourney at a nearby Convention. I've played since the early '80's. I've even ran a short term league. I have no idea how to run a tourney. I'm asking for some help here? My initial thoughts are 1 round of intro (class 5), a round of elimination. Finally, a Class 10 Final. All the cars will be pre-made and a random blind draw. Thoughts please.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:14 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: London, UK
Default Re: Car Wars Tourney

Make round two Division 7.5 - Div 5 duels can be tedious without experienced players . Newbie's tend to miss a lot , panic , miss some more & then resort to ramming . $7,500 budget gives you slightly bigger vehicles/targets , SWCs & more ammo .
Avoid Flame & Volatile weaponry , complicated drop weapons , 1 Hit Kill Vehicles and above all dedicated Ram Vehicles - ESPECIALLY those with a Damage Modifier of less than DM1 !
Metal Armour slows things down , but can be fun if used in right way . Avoid Tyre Shooting or frown upon it if possible - nothing is more jarring than a teen having a meltdown 'coz their lovely car' crashes upsidedown on Turn 2 due an extremely unlikely Tireshot ! ( She'd waited ages to play & never got to fire or maneuver ... )

Stick to old 'Speed Change' at the beginning of a turn rather that separate actions but still use 5 Phase Chart . Newer players often forget if they've accelerated or braked between phase 1 & phase 5 .
Offer a small prizes for 'Biggest Bang' or 'Most Spectacular Death' . Depending on age of competitors , old Matchbox Cars please older players & decorated cup cakes for younger teenagers I found is excellent .
Fudge rules in favour of fun , logic , fairness & time as necessary .

Hope any of these from an old hand could help you ?
Five Gauss Guns on a Camper !!!
The Resident Brit .

Last edited by Racer; 11-26-2019 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:00 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Default Re: Car Wars Tourney

My recommendation would be to not run a multi-round tournament. Run independent sessions instead and award prizes in each if you want. That way your players won't have to commit so much time to one game at a convention, which is a pretty big hurdle. (They can still play multiple times if they want, though!)
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:15 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CA
Default Re: Car Wars Tourney

This is exactly right

Agree with Racer Div 5 can be tedious unless you go full Amateur Night and go with flimsy $4000 Killer Kart type vehicles (which could totally work). Check AMs Combat Garage stock car list and just hit print

Originally Posted by Parody View Post
My recommendation would be to not run a multi-round tournament. Run independent sessions instead and award prizes in each if you want. That way your players won't have to commit so much time to one game at a convention, which is a pretty big hurdle. (They can still play multiple times if they want, though!)
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:07 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Default Re: Car Wars Tourney

Contact user Magesmiley of this Discussion Forum for guidance on running Car Wars tournaments. Magesmiley runs the Annual Car Wars Tournaments at OrcaCon and Dragonflight in the Seattle, Washington State area.

Magesmiley brilliantly runs one-day tournaments using Car Wars Fourth Edition rules with 3X Car Wars Scale playing materials and 3-D arenas.
Michael P. Owen
Seattle Washington Autoduel Team
Twitter: Car Combat Central
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:58 AM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Car Wars Tourney

Choose simple designs without fancy doodads to reduce the reading requirement (car wars worked best before loads of complicated component rules started to contradict each other)

We ran a good fight with subcompacts with little armour, armed with a single front mounted Vehicular Shotgun (VSG). As the VSG always does 2 points damage, that is one less dice roll (and you can gauge better if you are close to a breach).

The cars had only 10 points of armour on the most armoured side (and the sides only had 4 points) so two - five hits would breach (reducing the tedium of endless slug fests). With only a front mounted gun there was an emphasis on manoeuvring (and with low armour you were constantly turning to protect your weak side). A to hit of 6 means that if you can get the angle you stand a decent chance of hitting at sensible ranges

With no Dropped Weapons there is less clutter to keep track of (and less rules to learn).

With so little armour ramming at speed is risky and so the speed tends to stay low. Because of this you can have a much smaller arena (we even used an arena 8" x 11" arena using 15ft = 1" scale). This means you can easily scale to hot wheels 3" and remain in a small footprint. Subcompacts with the best suspension have a good enough HC that even starter characters with low driver skill (and inexperienced people) can throw them all over the place to get a firing angle.

You don't need loads of space and complex rules to have a good game.

Last edited by swordtart; 12-01-2019 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:22 AM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: London, UK
Default Re: Car Wars Tourney

Not sure on the single VSG but rest does sound good .
Five Gauss Guns on a Camper !!!
The Resident Brit .
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:58 AM   #8
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Default Re: Car Wars Tourney

This is the design I usually use for intro games at conventions:

Compact, Heavy chassis, Heavy suspension, Large power plant, 4
Steelbelted Puncture-Resistant Radial tires, Driver w/TC and BA and
PFE, Light Laser in Turret, Recoilless Rifle Front w/10 shots HEAT,
Plastic Armor: F22, L17, R17, B17, T16, U4, Gear Allocation: [72 lbs.
@ Accel 5/Top Speed 117.5], Acceleration 10, Top Speed 120, HC 4,
3998 lbs., $14834

Everyone gets the same car.

Acceleration 10 cuts down on needing to explain half moves early. TC and compact cancel each other out... one less modifier to worry about. No dropped weapons to reduce clutter and rules explanations. The turreted laser ensures that they can always shoot at something. The RR front gives them some tactical choices and teaches about lining up cars for shot. The armor is about enough to sustain two shots from the main gun (with the front being a bit heavier). Tires are tough enough to make side shots generally a better option. PFE in case of fires - another choice... to fire or get rid of the fire.

Minimal extra gear to need to know rules for (nothing really - most are static). A heavier car would simplify collisions, BUT I found that it made collisions way too effective the time I tried it.

Get or make some tokens for players to track firing actions and speed changes (this helps a LOT at conventions). Business card size or even notecards work pretty well.

Start with a really short background to the game: I usually start with something like: "Car Wars is a game of the roads of the future, where the right of way goes to the biggest guns." One of the most popular forms of entertainment is drivers matching their skills in arena combat. You are those drivers. Your objective: Eliminate the other players before they eliminate you."

In the convention games I run (which are timeboxed to about 2 hours), I set the victory condition as the survivor with the most kills, and a tiebreaker being the player with the earliest kill.

Next I talk turn structure: turns and phases. Then explain the phase structure in order and how to perform them.

First is speed changes (optional, once per TURN). Use those markers/tokens I mentioned to track this - have them discard it to the table so you know who has and hasn't changed speed.

Second I do movement (mandatory) and introduce the movement chart. Introduce the turn key. Show how to move a car, adjust handling, determine if they're in control (skip the crash tables until someone loses control). Bends and drifts is usually adequate (skip the others for an intro game). Explain that D is difficulty and anytime you say D something, reduce their handling by that much.
I usually have people move simultaneously unless they are close enough to each other that order is important. Order then by highest speed.

Third is firing (optional once per TURN). Explain the car diagram. How to apply damage. How to fire weapons. Again... those tokens. Have them discard them when they fire. Be prepared with targeting modifiers. Know them. As a referee this is a big time savers. Explain hazards with weapons fire.

Use the unwound speed modifiers so people can understand them (this gets the same result as the normal table, but is generally easier to grasp):

Speed*" Firer is in Target's*
Firing Arc" "Front/Back
Firing Arc"

0-27.5 0 0
30 - 37.5 -1 0
40 - 47.5 -2 0
50 - 57.5 -3 0
60 - 67.5 -4 -1
70 - 77.5 -5 -1
80 - 97.5 -6 -2
100 - 117.5 -6 -3
120 - 137.5 -6 -4
140 - 157.5 -6 -5
160+ -6 -6
* If moving the same direction (Firer and Target are completely in each other's opposite firing arcs, i.e. Left and Right or Front and Back), reduce the Target's Speed by the Firer's Speed.

** If firer is in multiple arcs, use the penalty for Left/Right

Explain end-of-turn cleanup steps:
1. Check for fire
2. Fire extinguishers
3. Explosions (doesn't apply to these cars)
4. Recover handling
5. Recover actions (Pick those tokens back up.)

Explain the reflex roll and have people make it, doing roll off tiebreakers as needed. Write this order down. Explain this is the tiebreaker for same speed movement, allowing the person with higher reflex roll to choose who moves first.

Start everyone out at 40 mph. Get rolling.

Explain multiple moves and half moves when someone changes speed to where these apply.
Introduce debris and obstacles when they occur.
Introduce the crash tables when they occur.
Introduce the collision damage on the table when people get close.

The above usually works pretty well.
Dynamax Designs, Designing quality since 2035.

Watch your handling and remember to Drive Offensively!
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