Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Board and Card Games > Car Wars

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-03-2019, 05:21 PM   #1
owenmp
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Default Starting to Play Car Wars

After having several excellent conversations with new Car Wars player industrialchild, I thought starting this thread might be helpful.

If you are a new Car Wars player . . .

What aspects of the game are difficult for you?

What types of games do like to play most often (arenas, highway duels, mini-scenarios, adventures, multi-session campaigns, etc.)?

What types of play-aids do you need to understand the game better and make it easier to play?
__________________
Michael P. Owen
Seattle Washington Autoduel Team
https://www.seanet.com/~owenmp/swathome.html
Twitter: Car Combat Central
https://twitter.com/carcombat
owenmp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 05:44 PM   #2
industrialchild
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Default Re: Starting to Play Car Wars

I'm glad that my conversations with you have inspired you to make an awesome thread like this Michael! I am truly humbled.

I can tell you that a little over a month ago, I took a few days to study the rulebook for my copy of Car Wars Classic. My first game was with my mom and brother. We each had a Killer Kart stock car and played Amateur Night in an arena.

The first game was very enjoyable, but slow going and a struggle to get through. It's not that it was difficult to understand or play, it's just the fact that even in the rulebook for Car Wars Classic it seems that anything you can think of doing outside of standard combat is covered somewhere in the rulebook! I love this fact, but with so many modular options and rules for them at ones disposal, it is pretty overwhelming at first glance. The games are a lot smother now. It took a few games to get to that point though.

I could also tell you that one of the things that helped demonstrate how truly simple Car Wars could be to my family was introducing them to Mini Car Wars. That was a great and cheap investment. That served to provide some quick games and ease the process of learning the changes and additional rules available in Car Wars Classic.

What aspects of the game are difficult to me? That would be the detailed and modular rules for virtually anything that me or other players in my games can do at any moment. For example, my car is wreaked and I need to run like hell with my Submachine Gun and hope that I can escape. Can I do that? Yes and here's how. Oh crap, I need to take cover or die, can I do that? Why, yes! Here's how... :D It's a wonderful problem to have though and it never ceases to blow my mind!

What type of games do I like to play most often? Arenas when I have at least two other players and Highway Duels for some nice two player games. I'm looking forward to acquiring and utilizing City Blocks in the future and am very excited by that prospect! Convoy, was amazing as well and I can't wait for my family to be ready to give that another go!

What types of play aids do I need to understand the game better and make it easier to play? Well, I did make blown up photocopies of all the tables and weapon options (both hand and vehicle) in Car Wars Classic. Those are really helpful to me. I would say, probably a condensed page or two explaining all of the possible maneuvers and the difficulties of some of the more complex ones, like a Bootlegger Reverse would be helpful. Also, maybe a nice reference for all the possible targeting modifiers. I recently purchased a PDF of Car Wars Deluxe that had that wonderful Compendium inside and that's been extremely helpful in giving me a great reference to pull up in game!

Last edited by industrialchild; 02-03-2019 at 06:06 PM.
industrialchild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 12:22 PM   #3
juris
 
juris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CA
Default Re: Starting to Play Car Wars

IC: I think the pocket box kickstarter (Car Wars, Truck Stop, Crash City) is a great way to start - that's how most people here started.

If you want to graduate to the advanced course there's the 'green' rules compendium (called 2.5e because it's second edition 5th printing) and the Uncle Al Catalog From Hell.

Note that the latter two overrule some of the pocket box rules and add a bunch more stuff (and complexity - just look at the jump rules and laugh).

Final warning: everyone here had a boatload of house rules because it was an 80's game. Feel free to improvise - SJG even made fun of all their fiddly rules with a comedy feature called Uncle Schmalbert featuring items like the 'rules lawyer'.

That's why I think the pocket box is a good place to start - the rules aren't perfect but they're simple.


http://www.sjgames.com/car-wars/games/compendium/
juris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 12:58 PM   #4
owenmp
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Default Re: Starting to Play Car Wars

I agree Pocket Box Car Wars is a good way to start playing Car Wars.

A new autoduellist might consider using Pocket Box Car Wars and replacing the 10-Phase Movement Chart from the 5-Phase Movement Chart in the Car Wars Classic Rulebook, which is available as a no-cost download. The 5-Phase Movement Chart makes gameplay significantly faster.

Except for the change in Movement Charts, a new player should use only the rules in Pocket Box Car Wars for several games to make learning the game system easier.
__________________
Michael P. Owen
Seattle Washington Autoduel Team
https://www.seanet.com/~owenmp/swathome.html
Twitter: Car Combat Central
https://twitter.com/carcombat
owenmp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 12:59 PM   #5
Chris Goodwin
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Default Re: Starting to Play Car Wars

There's a thread here I started called "Targeting Modifiers" but which is really about a play aid I came up with. Forum user @Hawke made their own version of it, which can be had from here. Its purpose is to give a handy reference to each player so that they can see at a glance how fast they're going, how fast everyone else is going, keep track of their own handling status, and the crash table modifiers for the speed they're going. Basically, almost all of the information you'll need in order to move your car, at a glance, placed neatly on one small card.

(My version of it could have been bound; Hawke's version allows for a spiral binding. My version maybe suffered a little bit for not having been, but we kept them stacked up in order, and it worked just fine as we had it.)

Instructions for use for Hawke's file: print out in 4-up mode (four logical "pages" to a sheet) on letter size cardstock. Cut it up, arrange it in order (low speed to high) and get it spiral bound. The final page of the stack will be a little bit larger; you'll use a paper clip on this to mark your vehicle's current handling status, and the numbers at the bottoms of the other cards will show you what actually happens to your vehicle at that speed and handling. (Green means you're good; a number means you have to roll.)

If there's demand for mine, I'll dig the file out and make it available somewhere as well. It's very similar but not identical to Hawke's. (Photo of mine here with paper clip usage.)

Instructions for use in play: You'll have a referee at the table keeping track of the current phase. I used a six-sided die to track it, turning up the appropriate face to mark which one. I would say something like "It is phase one. Everyone make your movement for phase one." Everyone moves, maneuvering if they wish to, and keeping track of their handling status on their own. "Does anyone need to roll on the crash table?" Resolve all of that, then "Does anyone wish to shoot?" Resolve all of that. Then at the end of the phase: "Has everyone moved their movement and done all of the combat they wish to?" Resolve all of that if necessary, then. "Next phase. It is now phase two. Everyone make your movement," etc.

Each player is responsible for tracking their own speed, announcing acceleration and deceleration as applicable, performing their own movement, and tracking their own handling status.

As a veteran old school Car Wars player, with one other veteran and several new players at the table, I can tell you this: it sped up our game play ridiculously. I would swear that at least a quarter of our time-wasting table talk back in the day was taken up by "How fast is so-and-so going again?" This eliminates that. It was a little bit fiddly, but as I put it in the other thread, any fiddliness it added completely paid for itself in speeding up the game, reducing time wasting activities such as table lookups and reminding one another of how fast we're all going again.

I recommend it for everyone.
__________________
Chris Goodwin

I've started a subreddit for discussion of INWO and Illuminati. Check it out!

Last edited by Chris Goodwin; 02-04-2019 at 01:11 PM.
Chris Goodwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 01:03 PM   #6
Parody
 
Parody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Default Re: Starting to Play Car Wars

Note that Car Wars Classic is a newer version of the Pocket Box Car Wars product, so you're not really getting much there. Between that and the upcoming Car Wars Sixth Edition I'd stick with what you have.

Our group has some game aids and other useful files you might find helpful; they're available at the SPARK downloads page.

Have fun playing Car Wars!
__________________
Parody is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 01:05 PM   #7
owenmp
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Default Re: Starting to Play Car Wars

Chris Goodwin,

Thank you for the very helpful reply. When I duelmastered Car Wars games regularly, I also discovered having each player perform their own speed tracking, movement, and handling monitoring made gameplay go significantly faster. At the time, I did not have the beautiful, large, magnetic white board with a multi-colored Movement Chart Magesmiley uses for his 3X 3-D Car Wars events, a game-aid that works well.
__________________
Michael P. Owen
Seattle Washington Autoduel Team
https://www.seanet.com/~owenmp/swathome.html
Twitter: Car Combat Central
https://twitter.com/carcombat
owenmp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 01:07 PM   #8
Chris Goodwin
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Default Re: Starting to Play Car Wars

The first-printing Car Wars Classic rulebook is made available by Steve Jackson Games as a free download here.
__________________
Chris Goodwin

I've started a subreddit for discussion of INWO and Illuminati. Check it out!
Chris Goodwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 01:13 PM   #9
Chris Goodwin
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Default Re: Starting to Play Car Wars

Quote:
Originally Posted by owenmp View Post
Chris Goodwin,

Thank you for the very helpful reply. When I duelmastered Car Wars games regularly, I also discovered having each player perform their own speed tracking, movement, and handling monitoring made gameplay go significantly faster. At the time, I did not have the beautiful, large, magnetic white board with a multi-colored Movement Chart Magesmiley uses for his 3X 3-D Car Wars events, a game-aid that works well.
Thank you for the kind words, Michael. I wanted to use a magnetic whiteboard but didn't have one, and that led me to create my play aid.

I don't know how often Hawke is on the forums, but they made their play aid available at Dropbox and at boardgamegeek.com, so you might want to put a link to it somewhere if you haven't done so already. And if you want me to, I'll make mine available as well.
__________________
Chris Goodwin

I've started a subreddit for discussion of INWO and Illuminati. Check it out!
Chris Goodwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 01:26 PM   #10
owenmp
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Default Re: Starting to Play Car Wars

Chris Goodwin,

You are welcome. Thank you for mentioning BoardGameGeek has Hawke's play-aid. Please make your tool available as well. I want to post an updated Car Wars play-aids list to my Web site in a few months.
__________________
Michael P. Owen
Seattle Washington Autoduel Team
https://www.seanet.com/~owenmp/swathome.html
Twitter: Car Combat Central
https://twitter.com/carcombat
owenmp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.