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 > Car Wars Old Editions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-07-2022, 07:44 PM   #1
sazzlefrats
 
sazzlefrats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Default Old CW vs New CW

Which is edition is more fun? I can't answer I didn't give the new edition a chance. I was in a bad head space when I got my kickstarter and basically gave it away.
sazzlefrats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2022, 07:54 PM   #2
Turhan's Bey Company
Aluminated
 
Turhan's Bey Company's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: East of the moon, west of the stars, close to buses and shopping
Default Re: Old CW vs New CW

They're different kinds of fun. Old CW came to be a fine-tuner's dream. Highly detailed, vast realms of accessories and systems. Tends to demand a lot of time, but if that's the kind of thing you enjoy doing, then you want to be spending the time on it.

New CW comes in hot and sometimes ends before you know what's going on. It's low-fi zoom-and-boom, the X-Wing of vehicular combat.

Of the two, the latter is the one I've got the time and patience for these days. That doesn't make the former not-fun, just not the particular flavor of fun I'm looking for these days.
__________________
I've been making pointlessly shiny things, and I've got some gaming-related stuff as well as 3d printing designs.

Buy my Warehouse 23 stuff, dammit!
Turhan's Bey Company is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2022, 04:42 PM   #3
43Supporter
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Old CW vs New CW

Quote:
Originally Posted by sazzlefrats View Post
Which is edition is more fun? I can't answer I didn't give the new edition a chance. I was in a bad head space when I got my kickstarter and basically gave it away.
OG CW Player here.

Turhan makes some cogent points. However: OG CW is only as time-consuming as one chooses to make it -- while _Catalog From Hell_ is 200+ pages, 98% of what's in it can be ignored for basic "[n] men enter, one man leaves" arena matches. (I can show you some of my designs from back-when; practically nothing on them is not either required to make the vehicle go, inflict damage on a foe, or protect one's self from foes.) CW6, OTOH, is exclusively for arena-type events, and tournaments particularly; it might make for a good "pickup game" at a con, but the novelty wears off fast.
__________________
"Dale *who*?"

The Jeremy Clarkson Debate Course:
1) I'm Right. 2) You're Wrong. 3) The End.
43Supporter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 12:08 AM   #4
HeatDeath
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Old CW vs New CW

Despite sharing a frenetic, wildly chaotic theme - vehicle combat by armed and armored automobiles - the two games are utterly different in style of play - particularly in terms of what I like to call "Zoom" and "Boom".

"Zoom" and "Boom" are characteristics, not of the action being simulated by the ruleset, but of the physical actions taken by the players themselves. These measures are among the key differences that differentiate the "modern" game design aesthetic from the "old school" of design. Modern designers care at least as much about the pace and type of the physical actions the players execute - the choreography, so to speak - as they do about the dynamics of the physical system being simulated.

"Zoom" refers to how far the player moves their token everytime they touch it. In 6e, the token is typically moved 3-5 token lengths, 9-12 inches, everytime the player's occasion to move - "turn" - comes around. In 4e, by contrast, the player's token is typically moved 1 token-length - 1 inch, and is frequently not moved at all in any given phase, before the primary action passes to the next phase.

"Boom" here refers to how often the player is given an opportunity to damage the other player, and what physical actions they take to do so. In 6e, the player gets two shots on the vast majority of their turns, and each shot involves rolling a handful of colorful dice, with overwhelmingly positive odds of doing at least /some/ damage to the other player. Contrast to 4e, where the player gets typically one firing opportunity every 5-10 phases, rolling at most twice per shot, with typically only 2-3 dice per roll. With highly significant odds of doing no damage at all, and having to wait through a very significant number of their own "turns" [actually phases] before they have another firing opportunity.

4e, as a game, has a radically different /feel/. It's almost contemplative, even stately, by comparison, compared to 6e. [And that's before you contrast the complexity of the build systems.] This is not a bad thing, per se [Some of the most popular games in history are contemplative and stately in this sense - Go comes particularly to mind], but it is very, very different. It's actually remarkable how different they are, and how they demonstrate how different two games with identical themes can feel.

Last edited by HeatDeath; 11-11-2022 at 09:40 AM.
HeatDeath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 07:30 AM   #5
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Old CW vs New CW

Thank you Heat Death. I hadn't looked at it in those terms, but I suspect that is why it appeals to new gamers as it often takes a while to get invested in games that take the more contemplative approach.

I would imagine also that as Pre-5th edition your design decisions could effectively scupper any chance at a win and it took so long to determine who won (min 10 minutes per second of combat), you might spend months before you were even competitive.

I enjoy CW as an RPG rather than a purely tactical game, but since that largely had to be bolted on anyway, I am not sure it favours any version of the game. As games like Necromunda and Gorka-Morka added a campaign element that was arguably less crunchy than CW I don't see it as an issue. You could easily allow the addition of specific equipment cards as a function of some mission without too much effort.

My only gripe is that you don't seem to be able to buy just the rules pack on this side of the pond. I'd stump up 20-25 quid for the rules, dice counters and play mats etc, but I am not that interested in buying a starter set for 60 just to add obtain some plastic models that don't really fit with my view of CW (I already have plenty of modified hot wheels from playing 5th edition). Mine are cars with guns, the included models seem more like weapons with wheels added. I also like a road based game (with Rigs and cycles) and that isn't part of new CW (yet).

Last edited by swordtart; 11-11-2022 at 07:41 AM.
swordtart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 11:10 AM   #6
HeatDeath
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Old CW vs New CW

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
I would imagine also that as Pre-5th edition your design decisions could effectively scupper any chance at a win and it took so long to determine who won (min 10 minutes per second of combat), you might spend months before you were even competitive.
This.

It was absolutely possible to "lose during the build phase" in 4e [and a lot of people seem to have really liked it that way]. The simplest recipe for doing so was to not take a fire extinguisher to cover your rocket or ATG ammo. Another was to deemphasize or misallocate your armor. In 4e, car construction is, in itself, a well-put-together rational-backpack optimizing problem, which also requires avoiding some very real [and, I strongly suspect, intentionally-placed] pitfalls in the build system. It's an interesting, if slightly thin, solitaire game in and of itself.

In 6e, by contrast, the build system is constructed on an exceptionally well-balanced mathematical foundation. Building a car is not so much solving a rational backpack optimization problem, as it is choosing which mechanically distinct but mathematically balanced attack modalities sound the most fun to you in any given game [setting fires, sniping from a distance, ramming, etc].

While there are synergies to be found between different weapons systems (i.e. packing laser and flamethrower combos), it is almost impossible to win or lose during the construction phase - a randomly generated car in the hands of an experienced player will probably beat a carefully designed killing machine in the hands of a newbie. The build phase isn't a game in itself the way it is in 4e - that cognitive load has been transferred to the tactical maneuvering battle in the game itself.
HeatDeath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 08:47 PM   #7
Overload
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Default Re: Old CW vs New CW

Back in the day, I played in a Corporate Car Wars Campaign. My company's motto was, "Olympic Motors: our cars are good, our drivers aren't." It was in reference to my poor dice rolling luck in games.
Car Wars, like Champions, Battletech and others, were old games with a rich 'meta game' of intricate design systems where a spreadsheet was needed to eke out a great design.
With CCGs that meta game came back huge. The best part (to me) of many CCGs is the deck building. Two of my favorites are the Battletech CCG, where there were many strategies to use and defend against; and Maple Story (and Transformers a bit), where each card had two separate uses and finding a balance between a good top and a good bottom of your cards are the key to winning.
Overload is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2022, 08:03 AM   #8
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: Old CW vs New CW

One possibility for why gaming taste has shifted: we have the Internet now. Lots of 1980s-1990s games have soloable mini-game extensions for example Car Wars and Battletech unit design, GURPS Vehicles (and arguably character design), Magic deck construction and I think that's in part because it was a way you could play the game (or at least things related to the game) when your buddies weren't around. Now there are practically infinite opportunities for talking about the game with other people who get it.

I'm not saying it's a complete shift - there are still people who build Magic decks (though testing them doesn't take as long as playing CW). But for a game meant to appeal to the mass market, it's an inevitable change to make.
RogerBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2022, 03:36 PM   #9
43Supporter
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Old CW vs New CW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overload View Post
Car Wars, like Champions, Battletech and others, were old games with a rich 'meta game' of intricate design systems where a spreadsheet was needed to eke out a great design.
Except back-when, we didn't *have* spreadsheets -- vehicle design was by hand, or *maybe* a calculator; and 99.8% of the stuff being published never actually saw the arena floor.

My go-to Div. 15 design was a Mid with XH chassis, Heavy suspension, Large plant, 4 PR tires [NOVA banned aimed tire shots, for practical reasons], a driver, two linked RRs, two linked SDs, and 257 points of armor, with maybe HESH and HEAT for the RRs, and Explosive ammo for the SDs -- and That Was It. You want to talk about "cutting the game down to 'zoom', and 'boom'", well, there it sits. Our "meta" was "How fast can I punch through 60-odd points of armor?". (The answer was "about three volleys". :) )

The main reason games took all afternoon was, to be blunt, "Hurry up, Eric" -- players overthinking moves and attacks.
__________________
"Dale *who*?"

The Jeremy Clarkson Debate Course:
1) I'm Right. 2) You're Wrong. 3) The End.
43Supporter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2022, 01:17 AM   #10
HeatDeath
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Old CW vs New CW

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
One possibility for why gaming taste has shifted: we have the Internet now. Lots of 1980s-1990s games have soloable mini-game extensions for example Car Wars and Battletech unit design, GURPS Vehicles (and arguably character design), Magic deck construction and I think that's in part because it was a way you could play the game (or at least things related to the game) when your buddies weren't around. Now there are practically infinite opportunities for talking about the game with other people who get it.

I'm not saying it's a complete shift - there are still people who build Magic decks (though testing them doesn't take as long as playing CW). But for a game meant to appeal to the mass market, it's an inevitable change to make.
My working theory is that back in the day, it was sufficient for a boardgame to offer the sheer novelty of executing a complex simulation by hand. Almost any simulation. Game design as we know it now - tension management, balance, OODA loops, that was all secondary. A boardgame could be a more complex, more realistic simulation than any plausible home computer, and boardgames targeted an audience, many of whom were mostly interested in the joy of just experiencing simulations. There was an article in an early Space Gamer that speculated whether home computers would ever be able to execute games even as complex as the more complex simulation hobby games of the early 80's. They were pessisimistic, and this was a commonly held opinion.

People who wanted detailed simulations put up with executing the crunch by hand, because 8-bit 64k computers simply couldn't do it. These people wanted detailed simulations, and hobby games were the only technology that could deliver that, so that's what they bought.

Then computers got better at crunchy simulations than TT games could ever aspire to be. People moved on to, among other things, Empire, Civ and the 4x genre. All those people are playing DCS and ARMA now. Anyone can now experience a better simulation on their phone than any playable boardgame back in the day could offer. So boardgames now don't try to compete with computers. They play to their remaining strengths, i.e. the social experience, the kinesthetic experience of the components and mechanics, the deeper access to game-state information, lengthened OODA loops, and the intractability of human opponents.
HeatDeath 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 01:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.