3XCW3X Car Wars Page

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What is This ?

    3X Car Wars is a set of rules and modeling suggestions for playing the superb Steve Jackson game of Car Wars with toy cars, such as the ones created by Hot Wheels, Matchbox, etc. It's a simple enough process, and it doesn't cost very much. Included here is are tips on adding the wonder of three dimensions to your autoduelling.

    This page originally included information exclusively for just one modeling scale (3X), since that was the scale that I had always played with. But much of the Car Wars community plays at a smaller 1.5X scale, and there are even some "Size DoesMatter" advocates who play at 16X scale. After some remodeling, the 3XCW pages have been updated to cover all three of these scales (but I'm keeping the site name the same):

    1.5X, or "Micro Machines" scale
    A great scale if you're short of space, since the arenas and counters are only 50% larger than the original size. Widely available Micro Machines models just fit on counters of this size.

    3X, or "Matchbox" scale
    You'll need a bit more room for a decent sized arena, but the plentiful supply of auto models in this scale make it very attractive. Matchbox cars fit on counters that are three times the standard size.

    16X, or "Tonka" scale
    The ultimate scale for grabbing the attention of passers-by. Tonka trucks and action figure vehicles usually fit on counters that are a whopping sixteen times the standard. A wide variety of vehicles are plentiful in this scale, as are very fashionable pedestrian models! You'll need a whole lot of room to play 16X though.

    Rules Modifications: What you have to do to make Car Wars work at larger scales. There really isn't much to it -- you don't even have to know how to multiply (but it would help).

    Modeling Tips: The whole point of this is to allow players to play with and adore little shiny toy cars, just like kids do. This section has tips on modeling from both myself and the ever-helpful autoduellist community.

    Also included in this section are some 3X scale roadway templates which were submitted by an avid duellist. You can print them out and use them as a starting point for a on-the-road event.

    Photo Gallery: A collection of model and event pictorals, including some great 3X and 16X vehicles.

    Legal: The usual disclaimers.


    This is not a complete game; just a few suggestions on how to adapt Car Wars to a larger scale. In order to use this stuff, you must have the complete Car Wars rules:

CAR WARS Compendium, 2nd ed.
This is the main rule book for Car Wars shooting, maneuvering, and crashing, and it also contains car, cycle, car trailer, truck, boat, hovercraft, helicopter, and racing car design rules. This, or some other source of the rules is needed, along with the suggestions here, to play 3X Car Wars.

Uncle Al's Catalog From Hell.
This supplement includes all of the design rules above, and also introduces lots of new weapons and accessories for your vehicle, new design rules for jets and tanks, and detailed rules for jumping cars off of ramps. The regular rules of play are not included here, however. If you've never played Car Wars before, you should consider this text optional -- it just has a lot of extras. But if you play often, or you ever play in an actual tournament, consider it mandatory: your opponents will.
  • Steve Jackson Games makes Car Wars, GURPS, and any other game that uses one-second turns. You'll find a lot of Car Wars information here, as well as some links to other fan pages, AADA chapters, etc.
  • Michael Owen of SWAT maintains the most comprehensive set of Car Wars links I have ever seen, and publishes an electronic newsletter devoted to the game. Check here for, well, just about everything.
Michael Owen of SWAT

  • Hot Wheels and Matchbox are the two most popular suppliers of 3X-scale models. You can check out their most recent releases on their web sites. There's even a neat interactive truck design feature at the Matchbox site, but I couldn't find the options that would let me select weaponry ....
  • These folks use 1.5X-scale miniatures for Car Wars. And there's a bunch of good scenery ideas here too, including some great billboards.
These folks

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Copyright 1998 by Doug Maltais, all rights reserved.

bang! bang!shots fired on the 3XCW page (and still no armor breach!)

The 3XCW pages were last updated on June 1, 1998.

Posted by Doug Maltais, 1998.
Reprinted by the Seattle Washington Autoduel Team, January 25, 2011.

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