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Old 04-06-2018, 12:00 PM   #11
Blue Ghost
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Spinward Marches
Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

Racer; I think some of your issues may be with the fact that there's an element of metagaming when designing a car. As a player-designer you want the most bang for your buck, so if you choose a Vulcan or a 50cal, then you're going to choose that special ammo option for it, and try to eek out every advantage you can out of your build budget.

I thin what you're really lamenting is the idea that there isn't a simulation element to pit you into the world of CW where you work a 9 to 5 job, have to brave the roads everyday, and only have so much cash on hand to modify your ride. In other words, there's little in the way of setting you up as Joe sixpack in the CW verse, or to create the conditions where you have to have regular equipment.

I think that's okay because in the real world hardly anybody buys regular tires for their car. Oh sure, once in a blue moon you see a car fitted with them, but nearly everyone had radials of some type these days. Unless you were dirt poor you buy radials. I can't think of any dealer that sells a car mounted with standard tires. Ditto with HD ammo or whatever in the CW verse. You try to get the most advantage at the lowest cost.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. I'm thinking if there were more adventure modules (other than Convoy) for CW, you might see NPCs with low end or regular "stock" cars.
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

Quote:
Originally Posted by juris View Post
Yeah, you need custom road sections. Roads through ruined cities, vehicle graveyards, forests, badlands... allow bandits from off-road to attack from the side and you solve your front-back only problem.
Not really -- the guys on the side of the road are dealing with full speed targeting-mods; and if the convoy is anything like the ones I was familiar with: They're doing at least 60, and ain't stopping for love or money. So the guys on the side of the road get maybe one shot; unless they're using "Katyushas"[1], aiming for tires, and are *very* lucky, there's no way they're going to be able to stop anyone in one shot. The defenders can defeat this with basic smokescreens side-mounted, and maybe some turreted guns for suppressive fire[2].

[1: Heavy Cycle, four HRs forward -- remember: Cycles don't fall under 1/3-spaces; Heavy Sidecar, three HRs forward; rockets linked or smart-linked, depending on which edition rules one is using.]

[2: For my convoys, Universal Turrets, for dealing with airborne or other high-mounted threats.]
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:44 PM   #13
swordtart
 
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Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

You don't always get the benefit of being able to travel 60. Properly set up bandits will ensure you are at a pinch point and need to be slower. Simple debris covered roads can nibble away the HS of your escorts faster than it can be recovered if you insist on travelling at high speed. Solids make you immune to the damage, it doesn't eliminate the hazard. Use obstacles if you want to have the same effect on oversized vehicles.

The trouble with side mounted smoke is that you are always driving out of it and the front 1/2" of your vehicle is never in it. If a stationary ped pops smoke in front of him, you are unlikely to get LOS around it (and remember his grenade smoke counter is 1" x 1" but your SS counter is probably only 1/2" x 1").

If you approach from side roads, it doesn't mean you have to attack the side arc, you can easily turn in parallel and then you are side arc to side arc and their speed mods vanish. That's why so many early designs had side weapons (especially as the arc is wider than a front/rear weapon). The point of a side road approach is that they don't see you until you pop out. If you have off-road capability you can even drive parallel for extended periods and they may not be able to effectively side-swipe you (one of the more dangerous attack forms from rigs).

With a rig the tire shot isn't such a tough shot. Put 20 properly spaced peds in a ditch armed with ARs and you can often get surprisingly low to hit rolls (often you will be within 1" of them, they are stationary and braced, all their points are in handgunner... even accounting for the negative for high speed puts you in the 50/50 bracket). You can retaliate but each shot is against just one ped in chest high cover (-5), and you are unlikely to be able to get sustained fire. You will probably kill a lot of them, but they may well be able to take out a front wheel and then you are in serious trouble. If you are foolish and don't believe in wheel guards, even shotguns are a serious threat.

Clearly there are things you can do (plasticores for example), but then you are moving out of the "usual optimal designs", which was the point of the suggestion.

Last edited by swordtart; 04-07-2018 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:17 PM   #14
Blue Ghost
 
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Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

I'd like to add to my previous post.

One of the really incredible things about the 1980s (more specifically from 1977 up through the early 90s) was that science fiction was resurging, albeit awkwardly at times, but at times, like the release of films like Terminator, 2010, Empire Strikes Back, War Games ... a host of others, and there was a real electricity in the air in comics, movies, novels, and especially games.

It's my personal opinion that Steve Jackson Games was really riding that tidal wave with Car Wars and their other games. But, it's not the 80s anymore, and I also think that a lot of the conventional really "cool gadgets" for cars have mostly been thought up. Not all, but most of them, or at least most that could probably be codified for the rules (perhaps tanks not withstanding, depending on your feelings for the tank rules).

I don't want to wax too much about CW in the 80s, but it really was a time for discovery for games, technology, science and just the whole 1980's version of Geekdom.

But to stay on topic, if CW had developed its RPG a bit more, instead of deferring to GURPS, we might still have some innovation going on for designs and new gear. But even if we still had ADQs coming hot off the press, the limiting factor is that CW has a certain level of "granularity". There's really only so much you can do if every PC is 3HPs away from death, in a game where weapons deliver 2d6 damage.

An interesting exercise might be to run a game that limits what weapons you can use. I think the old Task Force Games "Turbofire" was essentially a Can Am autoduel circuit that only allowed LMGs and HMGs as weapons. Something like that might help spark some innovative car design.

Last edited by Blue Ghost; 04-07-2018 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:32 PM   #15
Racer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: London, UK
Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

Sorry not been able to get online & thanks for the advice guys :-)

We do have lists , charts & tables for random encounters . For example : Town Traffic - Rush Hour : 1) Commuter Cycle or Trike , 2) Combat Cycle or Trike , 3) Everyday Compact or Mid , 4) Duellist's Compact or Generalist Mid , 5) Armed Passenger/Cargo Mid or Sedan , 6) Everyday Lux or St. Wagon , 7) Combat Lux or Wagon , 8) Random Pickup , Camper , Van ( either Low End , Everyday , Combat or Duellist determined via another table ) , 9) City Bus or 10 Wheel Truck , 10) Special etc .
Special could be anything - undercover Cop , Smuggler with stolen goods , Expensive Custom Vehicle , stolen vehicle with someone not skilled to drive it at the wheel , ancient deathtrap with worn tires thin metal Armour Gas Engine & armed with a Pintle mounted MG ...
We use various modified AADA vehicles , a selection from Combat Garage now & various own designs we've used before . In town Passenger Compacts & Sedans are very popular 'innocent bystanders' if we want a general Street scene set up .
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:58 AM   #16
josephrey
 
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Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

The above list is cool, but if they’re still appearing on just straight road sections then we’re back to square one. HOW are those enemies engaging you? Perhaps an additional list can be generated that would simulate engagement scenarios by a Ref (or swordtart) to keep things new and fresh(er).

Also, is the 6e design thinking about a possible RPG expansion? Or something to make peds a little stronger than 3hp?

Last edited by josephrey; 04-08-2018 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

Roads: I have a scenario set in the "early days of autoduelling" (for ex.: The most-powerful unit in it is a box-stock _Joseph Special_...) which occurs on the open road. For generating road sections, I used the following table:

T1: 1: Sharp Left [T2]; 2: Shallow Left [T2]; 3: Straight [T1]; 4: Straight [T1]; 5: Shallow Right [T3]; 6: Sharp Right [T3]

T2: 1: Sharp Right [T1]; 2: Sharp Right [T1]; 3: Shallow Right [T1]; 4: Shallow Right [T1]; 5: Straight [T2]; 6: Straight [T2]

T3: 1: Sharp Left [T1]; 2: Sharp Left [T1]; 3: Shallow Left [T1]; 4: Shallow Left [T1]; 5: Straight [T3]; 6: Straight [T3]

The result tells one what road section to lay down next; the bracketed bit says which table to roll on when the next road section is generated. One can add another die roll if one wishes to vary between "clean" and "debris-covered".

I recall there being an _ADQ_ scenario setting a road-combat in "rush hour traffic"; don't recall which issue, tho'. It covered both car types, and how the driver of a given car reacted -- anything from "panic braking" to "homicidal rage".

CW RPG: Way back when (preceding my time in Omaha), we found ourselves frequently needing stuff which didn't exist in-game, but did exist in Reality; our usual method was "find the outdoor-store pull-out ads from the newspaper, and use those to generate prices and performance data" (keeping in minds: Advertisers are usually optimistic about Performance, if you follow me :) ).

Tech: Sad to say, but: It's appalling to look at "CW Tech" and see just how much of it is flat-out Wrong -- for ex.: Electric-powered cars in CW have lousy acceleration compared to gas-powered cars, but higher top speeds; in Reality, the reverse is true (electrics have all their torque Right Now). Then there's car weights -- pretty-much-everything is 2x as heavy as it ought to be. And someone out there is figuring out how to make gasoline (or oil) using algae; if that works, well, you figure it out.

As to the PC Problem: There was an old crack in the '90s about "in CW's early days, 3d6 was considered 'powerful', 30 points was 'a lot of armor', and PCs had 3DP; now batteries of 8d6 are commonplace, 70 points is 'almost enough' armor... and PCs have 3DP". That's just the reality of life -- to quote George Carlin: "Evolution is slow; smallpox is fast". Humans haven't improved much in damage-absorption capacity in 10,000 years; an arrow will kill a modern man just as fast as it would kill a Stone Age man. Infections, and diseases, may be less of a problem; but that's only if one is within range of a hospital or medikit.... So there's not really a lot which can be done to make humans less fragile on a "modern" battlefield.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:28 AM   #18
Blue Ghost
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

Well, it is a game, and material science back in the 70s and early 80s isn't what it is today. I mean I acknowledge some aspects that don't reflect early 21st century weapons and armor technology as we know it, but we weren't at the same tech level then as when the game was written as we are now.

But hey, maybe classic CW could get a facelift with what we know now? Weapons could be lighter, new rules could describe penetration aspects based on caliber or type of ammo, acceleration could be tweaked and so forth. I think the one thing the classic rules got right is that electric battery fuel cell cars tend to catch fire more often than their gasoline counterparts. Here locally in the Bay Area some guy died in last few days on one of the major arteries in a Tesla that caught fire. I'm not sure if it was the impact of the initial crash or the fire that got him, but the report stated that electric cars tended to catch fire and stay combustible. Not always, but there's your "6" result on the crash table.

I don't know. Just some ideas.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
But hey, maybe classic CW could get a facelift with what we know now? Weapons could be lighter, new rules could describe penetration aspects based on caliber or type of ammo, acceleration could be tweaked and so forth.
I suspect there may be some of that, if in fact CW6 even bothers going into that level of detail.

Speaking of "if we knew then what we know now": Discussions with some of my More-Interesting Associates on Actual Convoy Tactics These Days is... enlightening. For ex.: One of the annoyances Locals have expressed is "getting run over by US Army convoys", and having to have it explained to them why it is the convoy does not stop for any reason (hint: "Sitting Ducks").
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:32 PM   #20
Blue Ghost
 
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Default Re: Stagnation in Road Combat Designs .

From what little I understand about version 6, it's that it's going to be a different game altogether. Which I think is cool, because classic CW will still be around, which means the classic fan community like us can finagle the game some.

I mean, how much does an actual 50cal Browning weigh? How much does it's articulation mechanism weigh and cost? And how do you tweak plastic armor to reflect that it gets eaten away by big guns like the Browning, but is resilient to small arms or even LMG / minigun fire? That kind of thing.

I think that kind of wiggle room my reinvent car design for the classic game, as per the OP's post. I'm just tossing out idears here :)
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