-"Car Wars", "Autoduel Quarterly" (ADQ), "Midville" and
"Americain Autoduel Association" (AADA) are all registered trade
marks of Steve Jackson Games.
OK, I know I promised U.S.
1 part IV this issue, but the way
things have panned out - that isn't happening, so instead you are
getting the next installment of Taxi Driver, that's pt II. Once
again a huge thanks to Guiseppe for writing this. Thanks to everyone
who has sent stuff in (C.J. Burke, D. Myers & Guissepe) - I'll get it
in over the next few issues.
The earlier time-zoned countries
might notice this as a little
late, which it is - I've had a busy couple of days and tomorrow is my
day off - so it's a late night tonight. BTW - the CWML may become
automated soon (that's a definite maybe sitting there).
The next CWML won't be coming
out on 1-OCT, I'm playing
waterpolo away from my computer, more likely it will come out around
5-OCT, but we will see when the time comes.
All these links can be found
Any contributions, news or
questions can be sent to.
Not much has happened, HVD-7
is still postponed, it might make
it out on SEP-20, but don't hold your breath. Also the homepage for
this list might soon be moving - all in the next week or so.
They always seem to update their pages.
Last Mod: 08-SEP
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No new updates
The Dragon had been the machine we'd been travelling around in
the last 3 years, since we scored big on a gang that was particularly
well stocked up on KR. Turns out they'd hit a bank in one of the
smaller fortified towns in the Karoo (read wastelands) a few days
before we hit them, and it turns out the little banks of the
wastelands may just be worth a tad more than most people suspect. We
only figured this out three weeks later, and by then we'd spent half
the money already, securing passage for Lori, (although it took
another 3 years before they had the whole route to Europe back on
line). We decided we might as well go for broke and we spent the rest
too. We bought a small residence in the City in the better secured
area of Cape Town from which Lori could carry on with her degree in
Microbiology (she'd been doing it by correspondence at infrequent
intervals till then) and the rest we used to buy the Dragon.
Lori got a part time job and studied her backside off and we
continued doing what we did. It wasn't as altruistic as it might seem.
We all knew that only one of us would be able to afford the fees for
university, and we also knew that if Lori made it to Europe, she'd
soon be earning enough that before you knew it we could be on our way
to Europe too. Our bounty fees and salvage along with her waitering
kept all of us fed, Lori in school and books, and Alan and me in
power charges and ammo.
We'd opted for the electric engine cause although price wise
wasn't too different from a gas engine, it would allow a longer travel
range and was more likely to survive protracted combat, it was also
not as likely to blow up if someone spilled flame thrower shots on it
or something of the kind.
For the aficionados, the stats are given at the end of this article.
That car was a Venerable Old Dragon, our own design, and it had
swallowed up quite a few "knights" careless enough to ride their
steeds within sight of it. I suppose I'm still a little nostalgic for
it now and then. Back in '33 it was state of the art, and we'd had
some close shaves in that rolling tank. I'd guess that even today it
would be a serious contender in any contest, especially out on the
The sports power plant especially had been expensive and difficult
to get, being a prototype we'd heard about through a guy in the US
called Justin we knew a little through a mutual friend. They'd met
while our buddy was busy doing some Rekkie work in the US and Justin
had been kind enough to provide him with a prototype power plant for
us. We didn't ask what percentages each of them put on top of the
cost, but let's just say we could have had a home much closer to the
Ocean if we'd opted for a more reasonably priced engine.
Anyway, the Dragon was on the way out now, since we'd decided
become Taxi drivers, and that meant having passenger and luggage
We'd settled on two Galleria Taxis with some modifications, since
that was what our budget could stretch to. In this way we also had a
bit of change left over to keep us going for a bit until the taxis
began to pay off. Alan had organised everything in surprisingly
little time, and this gave me to wondering how long he'd been
planning this for. The Taxis were delivered in just three days. I
suspected he'd had this lined up for quite a while but thought it
best not to embarrass anyone by asking.
We'd spent the equivalent of some $30,000 on our two cars and
and I were down to identical personal equipment. It has been my own
contention that although a little less comfortable, it's always a
good idea to have a backpack with a Portable Fire Extinguisher in
it, but on this occasion we'd gone the extra leg, getting two PFE
with strap-on bindings, so we could use them at once when and if it
became necessary without taking up additional space in the already
cramped driver's booth. We both wore Body Armour under our Battle
Vests, sporting the unobtrusive but legible insignia of Bahamut the
Ancient One (a pale green and cream design with a stencilled Dragon
in it) and the stencilled words CREW under it. That was all the
‘colours' we needed or wanted. Apart from the fact that we both had
them (and the grenades) the knives and handguns were of different
makes though. Alan preferred the Ladyman Repeater, a good enough
pistol I suppose, and it does hold 10 rounds as opposed to the 8 so
many Colt .45 fanatics have, but I was partial to the Manhunter V
myself. They had the Mahunter VII out by then, but it was too pricey
for my pocket at the time, besides, I trust the .44 Magnum calibre,
it's a bit too fast for unprotected humans, but with all the body
armour worn in South Africa (we get into fights down here, not
shouting matches) it's perfect. Using Glaser or Hydro shock also
helps, and THV does work against cars if you shoot enough of it.
It only took us a few days to start showing a profit. Alan had
onto something here. Because there is a tendency to realise you're on
your own out here, people tend to be a lot more stoic, which is
probably why no one had realised there was a small fortune to be
made in secure, personal transportation. We charged $50 for a
cross-town ride and you'd be surprised how many ships captains
would be only too glad to have us ship their boys to and fro between
the ships and the various brothels, clubs and bars these characters
wanted to frequent. The Chileans, always gentlemanly about such things
even got round to having a ship's budget just for that. It kept their
casualties down since their boys could only get in trouble at the club
itself (which most sailors were smart enough not to do) since the way
back was by way of Dragon's Wing Taxi service, what we'd called our
Pretty soon a few other bozos cottoned onto our idea and before
knew it we had vans that could cart around 5 or 6 people at the time.
We couldn't compete with that, but we also knew that our Taxis, having
needed to forge a new road, were far better armoured and armed than
the two bit tin cans that were now doing the rounds as "Armoured
Transportation Services", so we expanded. We decided to do out of
town deliveries, which was unheard of back then since the roads were
anything but friendly. We drove in convoy, never one of us without
the other and we charged a flat rate for goods and another, much
higher rate for live cargo. The second week of us doing this, we made
$4000 and also saw one of the Van types (Speedy Safe Secure Taxis)
trying to do the same. Two Vans filled with Japanese businessmen on
their way to Durban got attacked by a well known, widespread and huge
biker gang called the Zulus. One of the Japs survived, he was found
three days later by a passing farmer, he'd been skinned alive and
blinded. It's a sorry state of affairs that such things happen, but
from a business point of view it was really good for us. We were
scoring two or three grand a trip above expenses and we'd had only a
couple of skirmishes so far. The worst so far had been a group of
five maladjusted Zulu bikers, and we'd taken a small measure of
revenge for the Japanese. I actually took the trouble to find that
survivor's name and I mailed him the five little spearheads these
crazies have glued to the side of their bikes for colours and a
postcard wishing him a speedy recovery.
The word spreads fast around here, and I'm sure that the fact
we were the ex-crew of the Dragon was not coincidental to our meeting
surprisingly little biker activity. I mean, we could drive through a
stretch an hour before another vehicle and they would get torn to
bits but we'd not have seen a thing. And twice, on our approaching an
ongoing combat the bikers fled on sight. We got to be popular with
the local truckers and farmers along the N1 and N2, our main travel
routes and where the big bucks, and risks, lay.
We'd heard rumours of a new firm starting a similar business
ours but we'd not seen anything of them, and rumours are two a penny
out here, so we thought nothing of it, and since we were saving
everything we could for trips to Europe, we didn't upgrade our
Just before Christmas, we got what seemed like the dream job.
wealthy American wanted some of his staff delivered to Durban for
eventual boarding of a Ship to Japan. We were to drive them from Cape
Town to Durban. Now that's some 1750 Km, with about 150 of them being
off any kind of highway. For the illiterate, that's about 1100 miles
and 100 miles respectively, give or take a few. But that's not the
worst of it, the last half of that was in hostile Zulu controlled
territory. Alan and I had scored quite a few kills against the Zulu
bikers even before the last five, and it was a given that they
probably knew who we were. This worried us enough that for this job
we took a new paint job in advance as part of the payment. We now
sported "Armed Patrol" Black and yellow insignia with an official
looking star on the doors. It meant nothing, but the fear of
officialdom is still deeply ingrained in the South African psyche,
and we aimed to make the best use possible of it.
Our fee, for transporting 3 people plus some luggage all the
Durban would have been the handsome amount of $200,000. This was a
lot of money back then, and it would have been enough for us to go
back to Europe in some style. One thing that bothered us a bit was
that they seemed reluctant to let much of it go in advance, but we
eventually got $35,000 from them for on the road expenses, since our
society is a little wary of trading in anything but hard currency. The
money was to be held by the passengers members, which we thought was
fair enough. Pick up was scheduled for that Friday morning, the
rationale being that since most people don't work on the week-end,
and hence stay home, the roads would be less filled with vultures of
the bipedal kind.
We hadn't met the passengers yet nor their luggage and Alan and
went to sleep late after having discussed our various strategies to
be used both against the people we would encounter on the road, and
the passengers, whom we expected to be the usual whiny Americans. Alan
made me laugh for the first time in a long while by telling me his
solution to the "What if they want to talk you to death" problem. He
knocked the air, signifying the reinforced glass window that separated
driver from passengers, pointed to his ears, and mouthed the words
"can't hear" without making any sound. It was probably impossible to
actually use, since it would be quite obvious the glass is not that
soundproof, but knowing Alan, if anyone could pull off such a
bold-faced move he could.
Friday morning we got to the offices of Global US at 9.00 am
as agreed. We met with one Taylor Larks (Alan and I made jokes about
his name in private) who gave us the old American one-two. Thanks for
coming, how are you, we hear you're real good, how many kills do you
have, why take the road? Well, I can't discuss that, but it's just
not safe for these three guys to fly if you get my drift. They're
moving to offices in Japan, and I can't give you any details but let's
just say that some of them slant eyed guys might not be so happy about
someone taking over what they see as jobs that should belong to them.
More coffee? Great then, it's all settled, the money for your trip
will be with Gary, he's the team leader of the three
And so it went. We left feeling pretty good and excited about
new paint job. By three in the afternoon we were ready to start on
our journey and we returned to their offices for the pickup.
The three Americans were not quite what we expected apart maybe
from Gary, who was your typical ‘take charge' executive.
As we pulled up to the offices we saw three heavily armoured
standing next to a waist high pile of luggage. The armour was of the
improved variety and despite the unmistakable executive cut, was the
real thing, not that blended stuff that's all the rage with yuppies
nowadays. This was the second surprise of a few we had that first day,
the first being that despite our being five minutes early they were
already organised and ready to go. It took me a while to register
that the three armours were the cargo and not the bodyguards.
The clean cut guy with blond hair and blue eyes came up to shake
our hand and introduced himself as Gary Switkoff. He had Global US
written above his left breast in neat red. It went well with the
Black and grey trim of his armour. As I shook his hand I felt his do
a little appraisal of his own and suddenly I was a little self
conscious of the weapons I had on me. Gary here had a Manhunter
VII with integral laser dot sighting system, the regulation frag
grenades, and his helmet, although it was sitting on the luggage
right now had built in LI goggles and gas mask. So much for the tear
gas piping system in our taxis if these guys suddenly took a dislike
to us. The cherry on the top though was his Uzi with laser dot and
the two spare clips he carried in his BV. THV ammo without a doubt.
Gary here was worth a good $7000 on equipment alone, and that's before
you got to the plastic in his wallet.
He introduced Arnold Banks, a somewhat shorter but still well
Black man I judged to be about 40 or so. Gary himself could have been
anywhere from 26 to 36, but I wagered on the higher end of that and a
lot of face creams and skin grafts. Arnold sported identical equipment
to Gary. I noticed they did not have knives on their armour and
wondered why, then I realised that for these guys, the idea of
actually running out of ammo or having to go hand to hand was probably
so remote as to actually not even exist. They certainly didn't look
like the kind that worried about the fact that each pull of the
trigger on their Uzi spat out some $150. The third armour had been
behind the luggage and facing away from us when we drove up, and I
was busy making smiles and the correct noises at Gary and Arnold, so
I was a little taken aback when the third member of the team was
introduced and I turned to look into the eyes of a woman. She was
maybe 5' 7", not tall compared to my 6' 1" and a bit anyway, but
there was something about the way she carried herself that made you
think she was taller. Her eyes locked. There was steel in there, I
remember thinking if it was because she had grey eyes, but no...
She had a hard edge. And she wasn't as pale as Gary. What you'd call
olive coloured skin I guess. And of course her name didn't register.
So I stood there for a second or two, showing nothing, then turned
towards Gary and while thinking focus in my mind said "Pardon me
I had a straight face on so no one laughed, but Gary looked confused
for about a second or so before like the good little exec he was he
recovered and repeated: "This is Tamara Long. Tammy will be with the
"Pleased to meet you" as I shook her hand and even tho' it was
through armour it felt as if I was putting my arm out to touch a high
tension cable. I was thinking Tammy doesn't look like a Tammy, a Julia
or a ... Jane maybe, but Tammy just didn't ... and oh yeah, of course.
I'm screwed. I'm off balance. She's doing this to me. I don't want
this job. Go away, go away... and then my mind shutting that part of
my brain deep down in a little unused corner of the giant
swamp-dungeon I'm sure I have in there.
As it turns out, the Americans have some kind of unwritten business
code that on working trips women are never to be alone with a male
counterpart, or at least that's what I think, so Tamara did indeed
get stuck with the luggage and before I could say anything about it
Alan had already started loading up the bags in my taxi. He did it on
purpose, I'm sure. I told you he has a soft heart and I guess he had
it figured it was time for me to find out if I still had something in
the area above my lungs. I guess I did. It felt like a hole. Just shut
down. Do the job. Walk to the car, open the door, shut it. Walk around
open the door. Get in...start engine...drive. Once on our way I was a
hundred percent better. The car was still new, but the seat was
already home. Nothing to get in the way. Just me and the road (and
whatever unlucky scum happened to cross my path). Simple. Just the
way I like it. It was just nerves I figured, haven't been with a woman
in... blank. I was counting in years here. I stopped. Depressing. Not
exactly romantic affairs if you catch my drift. Well neither was
this... what the hell am I thinking? I'm making a delivery for crying
out loud. That's all it is. A delivery. A damn delivery.
We'd got under way quickly and by four we were leaving the fortified
outer wall of Cape Town. We'd be driving through the night. There was
a plus to this in that most people can't afford IR systems out here,
but the down side of course is that we didn't have one either. And we
were fresh out of LI goggles, although the Global US boys and gal
were not. Which added to my discomfort. Made us look sloppy. Well
fine. Let someone tangle with us and we'll see just how sloppy we are.
Luckily for me I hardly ever realise when I drive myself into a frenzy
over nothing. Well, most times it's lucky of course. It's downright
disconcerting when you're busy doing that and a really throaty female
voice asks you if you've been out here long from the back seat.
Because of the way the cars were designed I rode behind Alan
trips, and in order to give some of you out there a better
appreciation of what happened, I included the specs of the Taxis at
the end of this section. As you can see we kept the Sports Power plant
when we sold the Dragon, which only made sense considering what we
paid for it.
At that time of year we loose light at about 8pm, and by 7 we'd
already covered some 200 miles, trying to cover as much ground as we
could before night fell, which in Africa it really seems to do as
opposed to the gradual change you get in the Northern Hemisphere.
I'd relaxed a bit. Tamara had been digging stuff out of me without
being obsessive about it or making it too painful. When she asked
about my family and I said my parents were both dead she kept quiet
a few seconds and then asked about my sister. The lady had tact. And
I didn't remember when was the last time I had spoken to someone that
had tact, never mind a lady.
She was a real mixture in every sense, her father had been from
Colombia, or what used to be Colombia anyway, I don't know what the
South Americans call it these days, and her mother was French. She
didn't want to talk about her work, which since she stayed away from
my past I made a point not to ask about. So I was busy enjoying female
company and I got careless of course, as I knew I would, as the little
whiner in the Swamp-dungeon-cell had tried to tell me, no SHOUT in my
When I next looked in the passenger view screen, I saw a little
movement just behind her pretty left ear. Her perfectly shaped and
tastefully adorned with subtle earring of a left ear. I froze in mid
sentence and took notice of the external view monitors, as I should
have been doing. Stupid. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. Capital S each time
and dumb too. Thinking of her left ear even as these three goon bikers
are zeroing in on me.
The first second of panic over I reassessed. Not too bad. Three
bikes, medium sized with plenty of front armour. Really PLENTY of
front armour from the looks of it and no visible weapon ports to
speak of, although maybe I'm missing something at this range...
They'd be crazy to attack. I radioed Alan. "Three bikers coming up.
Going about 80 or so, they're pretty close, 75 yards away and closing.
They've not asked for right of pass..." The sound of loud reports
from some kind of heavy rifle type weapon hit me a split second after
the crashing of what felt like two small cannon shots cracked some
plastic on my rear.
It had begun.
Instalment three will give you the blow by blow account of this
encounter. All e-mail is welcome and ignore Doc Death's statements
about rough e-mail. I can take it as good as I give it, besides
anyone that takes offence will be able to sort out their Yankee
distaste for good writing in the next arena PBM duel that I'll take
part in (probably after November as I'll be away for a couple of
months from September 20th.) Look out for Driver SOLO in Car ZERO!
A few other points, I write in English, not the Yankee version
it either, so for example, the word colour is spelt C-O-L-O-U-R, as
opposed to color, khulah, or however else you're doing it out there
now. The same goes for other words. The rest of the civilised world
uses the metric system, but given the nature of Car Wars, I've
decided to relent on that score and give values in Imperial
denomination. Similarly, cash values have been kept in $ as opposed
to Gold Kruggerands, in order to simplify conversions for those
interested in doing such things.
The events described here really did take place (at least on
table-top) so I've tried to write the account in such a way that
enthusiasts can keep some track of the actual mechanics of the
Let me all know what you think. The first two parts have been
relatively bloodless as I was busy setting the scene, but that's
about to change, also let me know if I can OCCASIONALLY use a
slightly more adult style of writing, as I feel it would only be
natural to scream out "F... DIE!!" As you empty your last two rounds
of VMG fire into that hard-wearing car running at you with a large
ram plate on it despite the fact it's on fire and leaving a spray of
parts all over the road for every yard it gains towards your now
tireless gun emplacement. Not that I feel compelled to use strong
themes or language, but given the nature of the Car Wars Universe it
seems it would add rather than detract from the flavour of the theme
if ..err.. tastefully done !
Only equipment given in Uncle Al's 2035, 2036 catalogs or Deluxe Car
Wars set + Sports Power Plants and the Damage and Strength skills
were used for this scenario. The AV rifles also have the Updated
stats (8+ to hit, 1d dmg).
And for those of you that are wondering...yes, it really was
out and it did all happen as told.
Keep in mind that the Dragon underwent several alterations and
modifications throughout its incredible life span of three years. The
power plant being the only piece of equipment that remained in it
throughout that time! The stats below are for the Dragon as it was
Dragon: Mid-Sized, Xhvy chassis, OR susp, Sports PP + SC, 4 OR Solids,
Active Susp, Driver, Gunner, No paint tinted windows, IR sighting
System, 2 Space Universal Turret, Radar, LD Radio, VMG in turret,
HRSWC, 3 Mini Rockets front w/bumper trigger & links (may fire them in
any combination as long as selected before impact, otherwise 1 missile
per collision), HD brakes, ABS, Overdrive. Armour: F 55 (with Ramplate
, L 23, R 23, B 39, T 18, U 18. Acc 10 (5 with OD), max 120mph (140
with OD), HC 3 (both on or off road) $45,286.
Galleria Taxi (std Version) was originally advertised in one of the
ADQs: Mid-Sized, Hvy Chassis, Hvy Suspension, Super Power Plant, 4
PR tires, driver, 2 passengers, RR front, SS with tear gas piped into
passenger compartment, anti-theft system wired into 10 AP grenades (1
F 1B, 2 every other side) Armour: F27, R30, L30, B26, T20, U15, 2 in
wall between passenger compartment and driver. Acc. 10, Top: 100mph,
HC 3, 4975 lbs. $11,800.
Galleria Taxi (Alan): Mid-Sized, X-Hvy Chassis, Hvy Suspension, Super
Power Plant + SC, 4 PR tires w/ 4 10 point wheel hubs, driver, 2
passengers, RR front, SS with tear gas piped into passenger
compartment, 8 AP grenades (1 F 1B, 2 every other side, none U) HD
Shocks. Armour: F55 (Ramplate), R35, L35, B30, T14, U20, 4 in wall
between passenger compartment and driver. Acc. 10, Top: 100mph, HC
3, 5719 lbs. $16,608.
Damage +1 (5DP), Running +1, Gunner +2, Handgunner +1, Driver,
Strap-on PFE, BA, BV, HP (10 shot variant) with AV, AP and STD ammo
clips, Bowie Knife, 2 Explosive grenades.
Galleria Taxi (Joe): Mid-Sized, X-Hvy Chassis, Hvy Suspension, Sport
Power Plant + SC, 4 PR tires w/ 4 10 point wheel hubs, driver, 2
passengers, RR front, SS with tear gas piped into passenger
compartment, SD w/ explosive spikes, link (SS to SD), Spoiler, 9 AP
grenades (1 F, 1B, 1U, 2 every other side) HD Shocks. Armour: F55,
R40, L40, B35, T20, U20, 6 in wall between passenger compartment and
driver. Acc. 10, Top: 120mph, HC 3, 5758 lbs. $12,856 [24,856
including cost of Sports Power Plant].
Damage (4 DP), Strength (1d-3 dmg in Hand to Hand), Driver +2,
Gunner, Handgunner +1, Martial Arts +1
Strap-on PFE, BA, BV, HP (10 shot variant) with AV, AP and STD ammo
clips, Tanto (Knife), 2 Explosive grenades.
Gary Switkoff : Handgunner +1, Executive +3, Pilot, Gunner.
Arnold Banks : Handgunner, Driver +1, Gunner, Executive +2,
Tamara Long : Handgunner, Paramedic +1, Executive +2, Martial Arts +2.
Wolven Raiders: Med Cycle, Hvy Suspension, 2 PR tires, Overdrive, Med
Cycle Power plant, Driver, Passenger, Armour: F50, B10. Acc: 10/5
Top: 100/120mph, HC 2, 1100 lbs. $4,678. Price includes BA for Driver
+ passenger and AV rifle + spare clip, HP + 8 shots (Driver), Bowie
Knife (Driver), 2 Grenades (1 driver, 1 passenger), 2 Gas Masks.
The 2 Bodyguards also have laser scopes for the AV rifles, an
AV clip (total of 3 x 10 shots), Battle vests (passengers) an extra
smoke grenade (passenger) and extra Bowie Knife (passenger) also, gas
masks are no paint (driver and passenger).
Leader has equipment as bodyguards, but wears IBA and his HP
10 shot version with AV, AV and AP ammo he also wears a BV and has a
Bowie, a smoke and explosive grenades (as does the passenger).
Wolven Raiders: drivers- Cyclist +1, Handgunner
passengers- Cyclist, Handgunner +1
Bodyguards: drivers- Cyclist +2, Handgunner
passengers- Cyclist, Handgunner +2
Leader: Cyclist +2, Handgunner +1, Gunner, Driver, Mechanic +1,
Martial Arts +1.
Leader's passenger- Cyclist +1, Handgunner +2, Gunner, Driver,
Mechanic, Martial Arts +1.
Enjoy either Taxi Driver
pt III, or U.S. 1 pt. IV next issue,
don't know which it will be and I'm not making any promises. Just
repeating Guissepe's email address if you want to send him something.
firstname.lastname@example.org, please note in CWML, 2-16 I left out the first
'r', sorry for any inconvenience this caused anyone.