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Old 02-18-2018, 09:26 PM   #1
The_Phantom666
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

So a few nights ago a few friends and I decided to play Car Wars CE after I studied the rules and it went okayish?
We all did "Amateur Night" and the cars that did battle were:
HotShot
Joseph Special
Yellow Jacket (me)
And I had a few issues with the rules that maybe I can still work with to have fun.
MY issues are
  1. Acceleration Limit
  2. Targeting Modifiers
Acceleration Limit: It might have been because we could only accelerate up to 5 MPH per turn, because it felt like the game was going pretty slow because our cars were hardly in combat for half of the game.
Targeting Modifiers: Even with a To-Hit of 6 it still seems really difficult to hit anyone with weapons because of distance, speed, and side of vehicle, unless you are right up in their face.
Those are my major two issues. The game just felt.....Restrictive? And felt like it could go on forever considering the speed, targeting, and Armor of the vehicles (Except mine, one shot with an ATG in the back was enough to eat the armor AND my driver). The game ended in a draw because Both my friends drivers were Unconscious from battle and I didn't read anything about how long it takes till they wake up, haha!
So I guess I should ask: Is there any GOOD setups or tips to help flow of the game for beginners? I wanted to play this game for about 12 years so I want to do it right and have even more fun! (Which I feel half of it is in vehicle desgin)
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:00 PM   #2
Magesmiley
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Default Re: Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

Hi, and welcome to the forums!

Car Wars beckons back to the days of simulation games, and it does a pretty good job of that (most consider it the gold standard for car simulations).

One of the game's weaker points is the lack of a good introduction. This isn't helped by most of the stock cars being slower.

I run a tournament for the game at a couple of conventions in the Seattle area (OrcaCon and Dragonflight), and here are some bits of advice:

1. Use the same car initially without dropped weapons. It gives everyone an even start and not using dropped weapons allows you to skip over some rules initially. Here is the car that I used at OrcaCon for the qualifier games:

2068 OrcaCon Avenger -- Compact, Heavy chassis, Heavy suspension, Large power plant, 4 Solid 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., $16834

The only item here not in the Classic set (it's from the Compendium/UACFH) is HEAT ammo which does an extra 2 points of damage in a recoilless rifle (total of 2d+2).

I've been tweaking this design for several years and it works pretty well for intro games.

2. Make moves simultaneously. Per the rules, only one person takes a move at a time. This is only really important if the cars are close together. 90% of the time you can move simultaneously and save a lot of time.

3. Use a higher starting speed. At conventions I set starting speeds of all vehicles (before the 1st turn) to 40 mph. This gets the vehicles into contact with one another much quicker. Standing starts are kind of a sucky player experience unless you know what you're doing (typically because you've traded speed for something else).

4. Hitting stuff. This is one that you get better with the more experienced you are. There's an art to lining up shots in the game effectively.
The speed targeting penalties are kind of muddled. Hopefully you were able to understand how they work (and didn't just apply the penalty based only on the target's speed). If you didn't, I can post a link to a better reference.
Sustained fire is a help. Keep in mind that the way the bonus is worded is a bit wonky as to what a target is. The most common interpretation (which is how it was originally worded in the earlier edition of the rules) is that it means the same vehicle/pedestrian/building/etc. and not the specific side of a vehicle.
If everyone is still having trouble, give the cars a targeting computer to give them a more accurate shot.

5. Reference charts. Get the pdf version of the Classic rules and print out a blown up copy of the movement chart and the control table. You only really need the chart up to about 150 mph (and most games won't even get up to 100). This will save some time.

6. A pro tip to keep things moving: use some sort of marker (index cards work well) to keep track of whether or not you have changed speed and used firing actions (use two cards per player, write firing on one and speed change on the other). When you use perform the action, discard the card. At the end of the turn, pick the cards back up after you recover your handling. If you don't have a card of the right type in hand, you can't do that action.

6. Ties and whatnot. Yeah. Ties can happen. They're a bit rare, but they do happen. Unconscious characters are effectively out of the battle (it takes quite awhile to wake up). It's actually pretty rare to end up with two unconscious characters at the end of the game (everyone dead happens more often when the last two players collide).

Feel free to keep asking questions here - there's a lot of knowledgeable players willing to offer help.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:39 PM   #3
Chris Goodwin
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
Default Re: Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

Even better than having the movement chart... if you go to the Targeting Modifiers thread, and work your way down, you'll find a link to a file that will help greatly. It's a set of cards; you'll print out one set for each player. Each card in the set displays a single speed with all of that speed's relevant data, unambiguously and visibly to everyone at the table. Whoever is running the game tracks the current phase, and it's everyone's own responsibility to make sure they move when they are supposed to. It also tracks handling status and lets you know when you are and aren't safe, and if not what your control roll is. It makes the game run quite a lot faster and eliminates a lot of wasted time in players repeatedly asking one another how fast they're going.
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Old 02-19-2018, 02:45 PM   #4
43Supporter
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

Hitting the points you make:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Phantom666 View Post
[*]Acceleration Limit
This is why gas engines and High-Torque Motors appeared.

Also: Someone else mentioned "starting speeds" -- the speed at which one enters the arena. Back'n'th'day, usual starting speed was 30; if the map was particularly big, it could be higher. (Racing events usually started at 100!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Phantom666 View Post
[*]Targeting Modifiers
Targeting mods seem designed to encourage close-range combat -- which then puts one at risk of getting one's tires shredded by spikes, mines, or other dropped nastiness.

Question: What skill levels were being used? Our usual was 6-7, with no more than half being allowed in one skill (so a 7-level character could only have a max skill bonus of +2 [0, 1, 2])

Vehicle selection: The _Hotshot_ and _Joseph Special_ are Div. 15s; why were you using a Division 10 design?
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:58 PM   #5
The_Phantom666
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magesmiley View Post


4. Hitting stuff. This is one that you get better with the more experienced you are. There's an art to lining up shots in the game effectively.
The speed targeting penalties are kind of muddled. Hopefully you were able to understand how they work (and didn't just apply the penalty based only on the target's speed). If you didn't, I can post a link to a better reference.
Sustained fire is a help. Keep in mind that the way the bonus is worded is a bit wonky as to what a target is. The most common interpretation (which is how it was originally worded in the earlier edition of the rules) is that it means the same vehicle/pedestrian/building/etc. and not the specific side of a vehicle.
If everyone is still having trouble, give the cars a targeting computer to give them a more accurate shot.

Feel free to keep asking questions here - there's a lot of knowledgeable players willing to offer help.
Uh...Yeah haha about that ^^; I was doing based only on the targets speed, and reading it now I'm having a hard time understanding the arc positions, so some examples would be heavily appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Goodwin View Post
Even better than having the movement chart... if you go to the Targeting Modifiers thread, and work your way down, you'll find a link to a file that will help greatly. It's a set of cards; you'll print out one set for each player. Each card in the set displays a single speed with all of that speed's relevant data, unambiguously and visibly to everyone at the table. Whoever is running the game tracks the current phase, and it's everyone's own responsibility to make sure they move when they are supposed to. It also tracks handling status and lets you know when you are and aren't safe, and if not what your control roll is. It makes the game run quite a lot faster and eliminates a lot of wasted time in players repeatedly asking one another how fast they're going.
Thank you for the link!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 43Supporter View Post
Question: What skill levels were being used? Our usual was 6-7, with no more than half being allowed in one skill (so a 7-level character could only have a max skill bonus of +2 [0, 1, 2])

Vehicle selection: The _Hotshot_ and _Joseph Special_ are Div. 15s; why were you using a Division 10 design?
We didnt make characters so eeveryone had no bonuses or penalties. Also we just went with what sounded cool and didnt take much into consideration aha.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:23 AM   #6
Magesmiley
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Default Re: Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

The process for speed targeting modifiers is a pretty accurate simulation, but the process is kind of a mess. Fortunately, a clearer way to get the same results has been figured out.

Take a look at the first post in this thread.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:12 PM   #7
43Supporter
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Phantom666 View Post
We didnt make characters so eeveryone had no bonuses or penalties. Also we just went with what sounded cool and didnt take much into consideration aha.
[Jamie Hyneman] Well, *THERE'S* your problem. [/Jamie Hyneman] :)

Even against low-end Div. 15s, the _YJ_ is mismatched -- it flat-out doesn't carry enough armor; and relying on that -1 targeting mod only works so many times.

(In fact: I've been in this game since Pocket Box, and you're the first person I've ever heard admit to using the _YJ_.... :) )
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:36 PM   #8
kjamma4
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicagoland Area, Illinois
Default Re: Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Goodwin View Post
It's a set of cards; you'll print out one set for each player. Each card in the set displays a single speed with all of that speed's relevant data, unambiguously and visibly to everyone at the table.
A new spin on the old Car Wars Wheelie. I think the cards are more accessible however.
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:04 PM   #9
kjamma4
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicagoland Area, Illinois
Default Re: Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magesmiley View Post
The process for speed targeting modifiers is a pretty accurate simulation, but the process is kind of a mess. Fortunately, a clearer way to get the same results has been figured out.

Take a look at the first post in this thread.
My thought was that having cards with images would be the easiest:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/28390273#28390273
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:49 PM   #10
Magesmiley
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Snohomish, WA
Default Re: Car Wars Beginner Here! (Classic Edition)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjamma4 View Post
My thought was that having cards with images would be the easiest:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/28390273#28390273
I've tinkered with using images, but I've found that the unwound table in the link seems to be easier for people to understand, as it only requires two asterisks (reduce the speed if targeting from opposite side being shot at and use the worst if in multiple arcs) and a single lookup.
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