Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

More Details on Michael P. Owen’s Car Wars Goodies…

This just in from the man himself…

Dear Jeff,

Wow. Thanks for posting a summary of our Car Wars session on your blog.  I have a few comments and clarifications that may be interesting to you and your readers.

Road Sections:  

I did not forget to bring road sections. I did not take road sections with me because I have at the moment misplaced them.  This reason is the same one why we used the standard Midville maps instead of East Midville for Brothers in Arms. (I am organizing my gaming files to find all of these items as I write this message.)

You did not see them but I did bring a set of uncut road sections from a used Car Wars Deluxe Edition box I purchased several years ago. I was too lazy to cut them out therefore I relied on your straight sections and used my MegaMat for curves.


 I have discovered Chessex still produces my MegaMat. I have printed below ordering information from the Chessex Web site.


Catalog Number: 97148
Description: Megamat (TM) with 1/4″ Squares and 1″ Marking Lines
Cost: $29.98 U.S.

I have found Vis-a-Vis Overhead Projector Pens compatible with my MegaMat. As suggested by Chessex, I wipe off all markings with a wet cloth or paper towel at the end of each gaming session.

The idea of using a MegaMat for Car Wars is not my idea. Veteran Car Wars player Howard Lalicker of Spokane, WA has used a MegaMat to play Car Wars for a long time. Howard held an arena duel featuring the Circle of Doom Arena from ADQ 10/2 using the MegaMat at a Spokane Game Faire in the mid-1990s.

Metal Turning Keys.

I obtained my metal Turning Keys from the Spokane Game Faire convention in the early 1990s. The convention is no longer held, regrettably.

I purchased two (from an individual whose name I have forgotten) at one convention. The cost was $10.00 U.S. for each Key.

When I met him at the following year’s Game Faire, the artist gave me several turning Keys at no cost. These Keys were the last of his inventory. The Keys turned out to be too expensive to produce.

The Keys were cut out of aluminum. The black text was silk-screened. I do not know if the blue color of the Keys was silk-screened as well.

I will post some photographs of the Keys being used in a duel later this year to my Web site.

Counter Containers:

The gray plastic organizer that holds my counters was obtained from a ShopKo store in Spokane, WA. I saw it being used by Warhammer 40K players at each Game Faire. Sadly, like the Spokane Game Faire, ShopKo has also gone the way of Highway One.

Equivalent models are readily available from Home Depot, Lowe’s, Fred Meyer, Target and other hardware/variety stores.

Grenades and Dice

I use my very small d6 for grenades because I usually play with 1X scale materials. When playing with 3X scale materials (Hot Wheels and Matchbox, the same scale of Car Wars Fifth Edition), 12mm d6
should work well.

I store these small d6 in a Starbucks Coffee Mints metal container I obtained several years ago. Containers from Altoids and other mints would work well for these dice, other dice and Car Wars counters.

If they do not already, duelists might want to ask their co-workers, friends and family to give them empty mint boxes that were going to be discarded (hopefully recycled!) so they can be used for game storage. The containers should be washed with a mild soap to remove mint residue and dried completemy before use.

The eight-sided Compass Die I mentioned to use for grenade scatter is produced by Koplow Games. (This company does not sell directly to the public.) I purchased mine individually from Gary’s Games and Hobbies in Seattle, WA.

Koplow Games

Catalog Number: 13281
Compass Eight-Sided Dice Bag of 10

Catalog Number: 11899
Compass Eight-Sided Dice Box of 100

Catalog Number: 11887
Compass Eight-Sided Dice Open Stock

Any other standard d8 would work as well, but the Compass Die is cool and has the potential for many other uses in Car Wars.

Dice and Phases

The large red d6 is from the Las Vegas International Airport. A family member was traveling through the airport 10 years ago.  During a layover the individual picked up the large d6 for me. I have seen this type of d6 at several gamestores in Seattle, WA.

Chessex also makes this size of d6 in some of their exotic styles of dice such as Air, Fire, Earth and Water.

Koplow Games makes 46mm Rubber Dice that would work well for tracking phases and die rolls during 8X (model car scale) and 16X (Tonka truck scale) duels, especially 8X and 16X games that occur outside.


The plastic cars I had for your opponents are called World’s Smallest Matchbox. I acquired several sets in the early 1990s. They have been out of print for many years, however they appear very infrequently on eBay. The cars were sold in packs of six vehicles and city playsets each with two cars. Like with the metal Turning Keys, I will work on getting photographs of these miniatures posted to my Web site this year.

Record Sheets

You do not need to apologize for wasting time when filling our your two record sheets. Brothers in Arms had approximately 20 vehicles for opponents. If I had to fill out these record sheets during the game, we would have not progressed past the first encounter.

You had your vehicle design completed, therefore you saved time. Many veteran Car Wars players know not having a vehicle design ready for use is one of the big enemies of time in the game. Generating a record sheet
only takes a few minutes. Setting up the game, which I was doing when you were filling our record sheets, takes much longer.

The next time we duel I will not be missing components. You deserve many thanks for having road sections with you. I appreciate your accommodation of my lack of preparedness.

When we meet again we need to run a Chassis and Crossbow highway battle with 3X customized miniatures. Gamers who are fans of Mad Max should like this type of Car Wars game, especially if simple, modified rules
are used.

Thanks for dueling with this old driver and for your excellent support of Car Wars with your blog.

Drive offensively,

Michael P. Owen
July 8, 2006


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