CWIN Vol. 1, No. 3
Arena Watch
Trench Warfare Historical Museum and Dueling Arena
Arlington, Virginia

Written by Michael Drennon
KidEgo999 AT

Boat and aquabike chassis modifications by Car Wars Plus Pro II Gold

Web Posted May 01, 1998
Updated August 05, 2000

Break Grampa out of his fortified nursing home, blow the dust off of his favorite CDs and laser discs, and pull the cover off of his old Fnord! It's Classic's Night at the Trench Warfare Historical Museum and Dueling Arena! This museum was originally dedicated to the history of warfare, but with the insurgence and popularity of autodueling, no one seemed to care. The founders of the museum along with a few select investors decided to expand their collection to include the legendary men and women of the sport of autodueling. This investment paid off big after the Pacific War of 2042.
In 2045, a whole new wing was added to the museum to honor  the sacrifices of the many AADA and EDSEL members who fought and patrolled in the war against Japan. Notable exhibits include the original Letter of Marque issued by the U.S. Government during the conflict, warfare exhibits, equipment dating back to WWI and even "Crazy Joe's" Chevy Caprice has a place of honor in our museum. To pay for this new wing, the founders created the arena. Security is tight but if you don't mind feeling naked without that new gyroslugger you got for your birthday, Grampa and the kiddies will be amazed at the sights we have for you!

Arena Notes

Outer Walls.
These structures have 40 DP and are 30' tall.

TV Bunkers.
These buildings, 75 (10) DP and 30' tall (blocks LOS between levels of arena but provides for great close-ups!), contain bolt holes for fleeing pedestrians and are armed with two linked
HVMGs (each weapon containing three extra magazines and protected by 25 points metal armor) for arena defense.

Upper Levels.
Both ends of this arena are elevated 20' from the main level, and are accessed by three ramps on each end. These ramps are rounded to prevent vehicles from becoming airborne after driving up or down them.  Vehicles gain or lose 10 mph of acceleration and 10 mph of current speed on ramps.

Main Levels.
There is nothing special here aside from the bunkers which provide choke points for dropped weapons when the Center Trench is filled.

Center Trench.
Only 30' wide and sunk into the floor of the arena approximately 15', the Center Trench is accessed by six 30-degree ramps (three from each side) and bypassed (in the air) by four 30-degree ramps (two each side). Yes, this means that if a duelist wishes to enter the trench at 60 mph, he will certainly become airborne on his way in and will most likely collide with the ramp or wall on the other side. The safest way to cross at moderately-high speed is to take one of the four "air route" ramps and jump the Trench completely (this can be done at 40 mph with minimal hassles). The Center Trench may be flooded with water for special events or additional hazards.

There are six gates, all 30 DP. Gates 1 and 3 are generally considered advantageous, therefore gate selection is usually decided randomly before each duel.

Arena Events

AADA Divisional Dueling.
These Survivor Events do not have checkpoints nor targets and standard scoring rules apply. If a vehicle winds up in the drink, it is out of competition. House computers will not fire upon swimmers escaping sinking vehicles.

Classic's Night.
A "retro night" of sorts. Vehicles run in regularly scheduled events, but designs are throwbacks to the "good ole days" of autodueling (vehicle designs are limited to what is available in Pocket Box Car Wars). Show little Timmy what a machine-gun looks like in combat, not just sitting in a museum! Body styles are the good old classics: Fnords, Josephs, etc. (no sedans).

AADA/R Racing and Dueltrack Events.
The TWDA is not a nationally-known track by far, but there are quite a few short track events run here. Racers race along the outside perimeter of track in a counter-clockwise direction. The S/F line is located in front of Gate 1. Fire may be freely exchanged (when allowed) at all points of the circuit.

An interesting note about this track is that it takes the idea of a chicane to a higher level. The quickest way to bypass the trench is of course to jump it, but duelists must watch their speed otherwise they will wind up doing a "header" (head-on  collision) into a TV Bunker. A gutsy tactic often used here involves ramming the vehicle in front just as it hits the ramp to jump the Trench. When it works, the victim is out of control and going too fast when they land . . . and make an impression on the TV crews (literally). The ramming vehicle's excessive speed is hopefully scrubbed off by the collision, and may clear the Trench normally (taking all hazards into account of course). Failure is usually disastrous, but spectacular . . . go for those style points if you are too far behind!

Unless the trench is flooded, a heavily-damaged vehicle may opt to go down the ramp into the trench and up and out the other side (a much slower lap time, however greatly reduces the chances of a DNF (Does Not Finish) if the duelist is trying to hang on for points). Standard AADA/R Dueltrack/Racing  rules and restrictions apply. No firing is allowed until vehicle completes one lap. Typical events are three five-lap heats, a last-chance qualifier, and a ten-lap main event. Top three finishers from each heat advance to the main race. There are 12 vehicles in each heat.  The last chance qualifier is open to all vehicles which haven't qualified for the main and still want to (this can be one crowded race), top three go on to main event. Duelmasters must exercise judgment in amount of damage that can be repaired to a vehicle between heats. There are no pit stops as these are sprints.

Auto Football.
Regional Auto Football matches are held here as well. This event is truly hairy when Charon is present with his minions in force!  The arena walls are reinforced to 70 DP and extended to 40' tall when Charon is present for this event (typically Charon gets an equal budget to "purchase" more minions or upgrade his weapon platform . . . This means a lot of firepower will be flying around the arena). Scoring is accomplished when the "quarterback" vehicle drives into the opposite side gate (either gate one or gate two depending where he started from)  Dropped weapons are forbidden on the upper levels for this event (but not on the ramps!). Security in the pit areas is very tight, often with corporations bringing in their own security teams to augment the museums already considerable forces. Industrial espionage is rampant, as many teams are often testing equipment for the Corps R&D labs. If you get a pit pass, make sure your clone is updated before trying to sneak into a dressing room for autographs! Otherwise stay with the polite and well-armed tour guides. Charon's Revenge. Why flood the trench? To put boats in the arena. (Duh!) Charon's Revenge pits the duelists with an additional challenge . .  speedboats and possibly aquabikes piloted by the house computer that patrol the water-filled trench. This event ups the ante on your typical AADA and AADA/R Divisionals. Prestige and winnings are increased for this event. Evidently the Ferryman is piqued that everyone seems to bypass him without paying the usual fee, so the remotely-piloted vehicles will fire on any vehicle jumping the trench. See details below for the stats on Charon and his Minions.
Firing on Charon and his minions is legal (they are usually remotely-piloted drones, but not always!), however doing so may earn the offending duelist the enmity of the house computer.  When fired upon, roll 1d:
1-2: Standard Combat. Play continues as normal.

3-5: Proximity Fight. The next 2d6 turns of fire are directed only at offender when jumping or within 4" of trench then play returns to normal. The victim does not know how long the computer will fire at him.

6: Whoops! The computer turns nasty and will only fire on the offending duelist, whenever it has a viable shot, until the duelist is destroyed, Charon is sunk, disarmed or out of ammunition.
This event should be run with a referee to control the movement of the waterborne vehicles. The computer will not target specific areas of a vehicle (i.e. turret, tires, etc.) but has software options to enable greater accuracy and boat handling as the Divisional levels. The referee may decide what bonuses the computer gets to it's marksmanship and piloting skills. There have been occasions where the wrong software gets loaded and . . . well . . . It was going to be a short duel anyway. The weaponry that Charon and his Minions mount may vary according to Divisional level as well at referee's discretion and good (or bad) taste. More Minions may be added for large events with greater numbers of  participants.

Sample Vehicles

The VFRPs are frequently used due to the flexibility of their deployment.  For example, in a Division 5 event only one rocket would be fired from each VFRP at a time. More rockets could be fired per attack in higher Divisions, with a full 12-rocket salvo something to fear at close range even though these are not laser-guided. Armor is thin in comparison, due to a lack of underbody-mounted weapons on most wheeled vehicles, and the presence of other duelists looking to sucker punch an already-engaged foe. If Charon runs out of ammunition, there is a gate in the south end of the trench through which he can pass to be re-armed, a process that will take approximately 15 seconds. (Charon has a professional pit crew!)
Charon -- Speedboat, x-hvy. chassis, large marine PP with 2 medium propellers, RCGS receiver, FT (with HT fuel) in 2-space turret, 2 linked VFRPs (1R, 1L), PDG top, FE, plastic spoiler. Cargo capacity: (+3) spaces, 420 lbs. Plastic armor: F20, R20, L20, B20, T20, U10 (110 points). Acceleration 10, Top speed 90, Cruise speed 52.5, DM 1 (DM 2 with 21 lbs.+ cargo). HC 0 (1 at 60 mph +); 7,980 lbs., $37,200.
Charon's Minions. Yes, these are the cannon fodder of the event. Dangerous in pairs or groups, the weapon links permit varying levels of strike strength in different Divisional levels (a Div5 car would not be facing two Minions firing 24 rockets each causing 1d6 damage as it approaches a ramp!). It may face six rockets, maybe 12 if that particular vehicle has fired upon the waterborne vehicles, but not 24 at once. That kind of Zentraedi attack is reserved for the higher Divisions, with greater numbers of Minions to supply those rockets (insert evil grin here). The Minions also are identical in appearance, so when one has fired all its rockets, the computer will try to lose it within the other Minions so the duelists do not know which ones are still armed. For longer or higher Division events, the Minions may be re-armed as Charon, however only two at a time may be serviced.
Charon Minion -- Heavy aquabike with plastic cycle windshell, x-hvy. chassis, mini marine PP with PlatCats and SuperCons, RCGS receiver, 2 linked MFRPs front, 4 linked LtRs back, HRTC. Cargo capacity: 0 spaces, 155 lbs. Plastic armor: F12, B10, U3 (25 points), 5 points plastic cycle windshell armor. Acceleration 10, Top speed 100, Cruise speed 60, HC -1 (0 at 60 mph +); 925 lbs., $9,725.

Arena Schedule

Sunday -- Closed for repairs and upkeep
Monday -- Practice night / Private Party night
Tuesday  -- AADA/R qualifying / main event racing
Wednesday -- Amateur Night: Dueltrack, Racing, Dueling
Thursday -- Dueltrack Qualifying and AADA/R Divisional Dueltrack Races
Friday  -- Auto Football
Saturday -- AADA Divisional Dueling

Note that "Classic's Night" and "Charon's Revenge" are simply variations which add a little spice to the different events. These may be run in conjunction with each other as well. Auto Football is the only event run here that doesn't participate in the Classic's Night due to the large amount of corporate sponsorship that is on the line. Both teams want the best tech their budget will allow, which means cutting edge custom designs and equipment.