Strap in, it’s going to be a dense, chart-heavy ride. Steve Jackson’s Car Wars is heavy on near-future apocalyptic flavor, and equally heavy on complex movement and combat rules. It’s a battle of cars, bikes, trucks, trikes, trars, trike-trucks, truck-trikes, and for some reason, helicopters on this 80s-charged episode.
Let us know what you thought of Car Wars in the comments! Have a book you’d us to cover? Let us know about that too.
Editor’s correction: Upon research, we have determined that Steve Jackson does not look like a Bruce Vilanche type, but rather like the sort of guy that designs beige pebble-plastic 80s computers that can run Oregon Trail. We remain convinced that he is a cool dude, however.
Hi guys! Got quite a few laughs from the podcast. Much of the satire and mockery was spot on. In many places, however, you mocked rules that you got completely wrong, which certainly makes them easier to make fun of. Not interested in a point-by-point rehash, busy on a new edition of the game. Drive Offensively!
That’s totally fair, and we’ll make a note of getting a bunch of stuff wrong in our next episode. We’d never take on a game creator in a point by point debate (and have been wrong before, as pointed out by Lee Garvin, author of Tales from the Floating Vagabond). We’re just happy to have them stop by! I know speaking for myself I definitely got a few things wrong on rereading. Our cycle of reading a book and getting these things out every two weeks always makes that a possibility, so our general motto is “happy to be proven wrong.”
Looking forward to the new edition, and in spite of all the mockery, let it be known that we’re proud to have a copy of Car Wars on the shelf now. Me especially (this is Jef speaking), since I count a copy of Empires of the Sands as one of my favorite personal bits of 2nd edition D&D stuff.
Speaking of cars, I think so much of the appeal of this show for me is very much in line with why I love Car Talk on NPR. I enjoy listening to you guys laugh at your own jokes.
Dude, thanks! Jon’s never heard of them, but Car Talk is like my favorite show. I love those guys.
Looking at the way this is played, I can see why it would work well as a video game. All the table rolling and the minutae of the car making is done for you!
Actually the granularity works with CW. Remember, people have to play this game on a normal sized table. If turns were a second long you wouldn’t have enough room to play with. Shrinking the round down to a tenth of a second make moving cars travelling very fast more like moving warriors around a battle mat in a normal RPG.
CW does have turbochargers, superchargers and nitrous oxide for gas burning engines. I once combined them all on a motorcycle and died.
Which edition is this? I never had a problem hitting other vehicles. Whatever.
Autoduel for the PC was great. Where Car Wars truly tanked was in trying to come up with rules for everything that moves. Otherwise my friends and I had lots of fun playing CW back in the day. I’ll vouch for it. The plastic box editions at the very least.
The counter for fighting off a helicopter was buying a simple modification to a turret (I think it just cost 1000 and no weight or space) which made the turret a universal (ball) turret that could fire at any angle up to vertical. A large part of the fun of the game was the various gizmos and weapons you could get (from expansions and not) which ranged from lethal to ludicrous.
When you mentioned pedestrians, I thought for sure you were going to mention that running over a pedestrian does not affect speed. It’s a drily terrifying rule.
HEY! Someone has to cater to the poor, poor people like me need pizza too, dont be bagging on little ceasers for that, you can only bag on them for how bad the pizza quality is not how cheap it is to buy
I lived on little ceasars $5 pizza in college, now im a repsonsible adult i eat cheaper frozen pizza but sometimes you want someone else to have made your food and us poor are a valid market to cater to
With dominos slowly pricing us out we need someone to make us shitty cheap pizza