Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Making Car Wars Accessible– Without Crippling It!

Looking over the rules from the original pocket box, I noticed that Amateur Night wasn’t quite presented as it was in later Car Wars products.

In the first place, duelists are not restricted to driving identical cheapo “Killer Karts.”  The original rules suggest picking a car off the original stock vehicles list and allowing the players to choose from among any of the standard options.  This is great because you can get a lot of the variety that comes from letting everyone design their own cars– but without the overhead of actually having to make sure everyone got it right. 

Another thing about these rules is that they do not limit the price of the vehicles used in the event.  Conceivably, everyone could be entering the arena in a Hot Shot or Joseph Special Variant.  This means that the players have a much better chance of coming out of the arena with a fair amount of salvage.  (I think 5th edition just gave a simple cash prize to the winner, but I think the flavor provided from tallying up the salvage is worth the effort.  It gives an index from which to judge exactly how well the winner did in the event.) 

Another interesting wrinkle was that the winner was determined by whoever scored the most prestige.  A little creativity here can make for some interesting victory conditions.  It may be a good idea to customize the prestige scoring somewhat depending on the arena.

Going forward with this, I may play it that the initial duel for a series of Amateur night events might be played with Stingers.  People that have survived an event earn a chance to deul in more expensive cars.  The second duel might be run with Joseph Specials… and the third might be run with Hot Shots.  I think it would be a good idea to do a little homework and make sure there is an interesting set of contrasting options for each vehicle class. 

In the old days, I couldn’t imagine getting by with a fresh 30-point character that entered the world with whatever he could scrape together from 3 Amateur Night duels run with Killer Karts.  This new take on an old dueling tradition gives me a lot more hope for any additional continuing characters I might start on the rags to riches route.


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