Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

The Guy Who Loves Car Wars Even More Than Me

I called the editor of CWIN the other day. And I thought I was a Car Wars addict– this guy is obsessed with violent vehicle material in all of its manifestations…. It amazes me every time I talk to him.  It’s crazy talking to someone that knows about every single supplement… and remembers every single letter to Backfire….

One thing he mentioned… there do exist original Australian versions of Mad Max and Mad Max II. It always bothered me that they dubbed over Mel Gibson lines, but it never crossed my mind that I could get the real thing…. We both agreed that Tanks was ultimately disappointing even though it was the first thing we wanted in 1984. We both lamented the drop off in role-playing content that occurred with the departure of Scott Haring. The increased focus on arena dueling hurt the game– and the dilution of the Uncle Alberts catalogues with boat equipment was a real bad move. The move to making the Vehicle Guides just a bunch of designs instead of a representative selection of what you could expect to find on the roads was a real downer. The Road Atlases were incredible, though. But Autoduel Champions poisoned the game with some pointlessly silly equipment that became “official” and spawned more stupidity. I always loved the choice of granularity in the rules, but the game’s inability to handle “Chassis and Crossbow” well was a problem. Messing with the simplicity of the game is tricky, though: at some point you just might as well get some real military miniatures rules and go at it if that’s what you want.

As it stands, the game is great for adventuring through a deadly future inhabited by many demented folks that are ready to engage in random acts of violence. While our tongues were never far from our cheeks, we were still serious about our fun. There’s only so much “realism” or silliness that you can add to the game, though….

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2 responses to “The Guy Who Loves Car Wars Even More Than Me

  1. Earlburt October 30, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    The disparity between the chassis & crossbow model of the Car Wars universe and the high-tech model always kind of bugged me. I really like that middle zone in the history– right where society starts to get back on its feet, the cycle gangs no longer own every inch between the fortress towns, but before all the souped upped gadgets become available. In other words the ~very brief~ period where a simple machine gun was a weapon that was actually worth something.

    Were I to change any one aspect of how CW publications developed I’d broaden the ability to play games set in that in-between stage by creating more detailed source material dealing with the recovery period. Basically, I’d start around 2020 rather than 2033, in terms of putting out in-depth supporting material.

  2. Earlburt November 7, 2007 at 9:44 am

    I just picked up a collection of early John Varley short fiction called The Persistence of Vision. The first story, “The Phantom of Kansas”, deals with cloning in a way that looks a lot like the Gold Cross model. Varley explores some of the psychological and sociological aspects of this model of cloning. He also deals with identity in a way that reminded me very much of that ADQ story with the double clones (Nighthawk? Nightshade?).

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