Rules and Regulations for AADA-Sanctioned Tournament Combat
by Kenneth Scott

These guidelines should be used to define the parameters of sanctioned AADA tournaments. Areas covered by these rules include vehicles acceptable and prohibited in the arena, number and quality of crewmen, acceptable types of arenas, and scoring of the arenas. These regulations will be used for all events related to the AADA World Championships, and the AADA World Racing Championships; specifically all club and regional championships, as well as all qualifying and final rounds of the Championships themselves.

These regulations are the official tournament policy of the American Autoduel Association and Steve Jackson Games.


All AADA-­sanctioned competitions will be run using the rules found in the Car Wars Compendium, Second Edition (including the errata sheet), and any official rule changes or errata published in ADQ or the AADA Newsletter.

Rules and equipment unique to Car Wars Tanks, Aeroduel and similar Car Wars supplements, and not found in the Car Wars Compendium, Second Edition are not suitable for the arena and will not be used. Rules published to Autoduel Quarterly articles are considered optional, unless specifically identified as official rules. Optional rules will not be used in the arena.

Vehicles and Equipment

AADA­-sanctioned events should be limited to those vehicle types found in the chapters on "Cars," "Cycles and Trikes" and "Racing Bodies" in the Car Wars Compendium, Second Edition. For most duelling (as opposed to racing) arenas body types should be limited to Cycles, Trikes, and all body types found in the chapter on Cars. In general, vehicles should be of a standard non­-oversized, wheeled vehicle type without the capability for extended self­-propelled flight, or the ability to operate on water. Unless otherwise specified vehicles shall be limited to electric power plants. If the arena is to be open to gasoline­-powered vehicles this must be specified.

All vehicles shall have a range of at least 150 miles at cruising speed, as per Vehicle Range in the Car Wars Compendium, Second Edition.

The total amount of money that each competitor may spend building and equipping his vehicle (division) should be specified before the event, with enough lead time for each competitor to build and outfit an acceptable vehicle. The acceptable Divisions, and the amount of money that each competitor will he allowed to spend in each, for AADA-­sanctioned events shall be: Division 5 ($5,000), Division 10 ($10,000), Division 15 ($15,000), Division 20 ($20,000), Division 25 ($25,000), and Division 30 ($30,000). It is suggested that, in a multiple­-round tournament setting, earlier or preliminary rounds be of a lower Division than the later rounds. Each Competitor should be limited to one vehicle of an acceptable type, according to the restrictions included here, any specific equipment restrictions of the arena, and the division restriction of the arena.

Additional prohibitions may be made for specific arenas at the discretion of the tournament officials, provided that the competitors are given adequate notice of the prohibitions. It is suggested that Racing Events prohibit or severely limit the use of dropped weapons of any type, as these tend to destroy the expensive track surface. Also, any regular duelling event which has critical check points that vehicles must cross, either because of arena design, or to satisfy victory conditions, should consider restricting the use or availability of dropped weapons.

Arena­-Illegal Accessories

Not every item that's useful on the road will be acceptable in tournament competition. In the interest of fair play and sportsmanship, the AADA has declared several devices illegal in the arena.

The following devices and accessories from Car Wars Compendium, Second Edition are prohibited from use in official AADA-­sanctioned competition, or have their use restricted in some way. Page numbers and reason for the prohibition or restriction are cited for each item.

Armored Beer Refrigerator (ABR) (p. 85), Armored Minifridge (AMF) (p. 85), Cargo Safe (p. 85), Mini­-Safe (p. 86), Bulk Ammo Boxes (p. 88) -- These items represent "damage sinks." That is, their sole purpose in a duelling vehicle would be to soak up damage that would otherwise destroy more necessary systems. Any item which possesses DP and is not directly useful in an arena combat (spare tires, searchlights in an illuminated arena weapons or accessories carried as cargo, etc) will be considered illegal in AADA­-sanctioned events.

Component Armor (CA) (p. 85) ­ -- Component armor may used normally, as specified in Car Wars Compendium, Second Edition unless it is used as a damage sink (see above). Armoring an empty cargo space, or a cargo space containing another damage sink, is not allowable.

Automatic Targeting and Acquisition Device (ATAD) (p. 87), Bollix (p. 87), Computer Gunner/Autopilot Software (p. 88), Computer Gunner (p. 88), Computer Navigator (p. 88), Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) (p. 89), Remote Control Guidance System (p. 91). The American Autoduel Association promotes and glorifies the skill, cunning, daring and resourcefulness of its drivers and gunners in the arena, not the skill of their team programmers. Therefore, these items are prohibited from use in AADA­-sanctioned competition.

Plastique (p. 47), Kamibombs (p. 89) ­ -- These items are prohibited from use in AADA­-sanctioned events because of the potential for abuse.

Gas Tanks (p. 52) ­ -- No more than one gas tank may be installed in a gas­-powered vehicle. Using more than one gas tank would create a damage sink situation as described above. Electrically­-powered vehicles may not mount gas tanks, for the same reason, A gas tank may, however, be component armored normally.


Vehicle crews for AADA-­sanctioned events will be limited to a maximum of two crew members per vehicle. No vehicle in a sanctioned event may carry passengers. Therefore, vehicles in a sanctioned event will be either driver only, or driver and gunner. All equipment supplied to crewmen will count toward the Division limit, and against the weight limit of the vehicle, as per the alternate encumbrance rules in the Car Wars Compendium, Second Edition.

The number of skill points available to each crewman, as per "Continuing Characters," Car Wars Compendium, Second Edition, shall be specified before the event. It is suggested that no crewman in any event be allowed more than 50 skill points, with no more than 30 skill points to be spent on any one skill. Skill points for each crewman must be allotted and recorded on the vehicle record sheet before the beginning of the event. It is also suggested that Reflex Rolls be fixed at 4 for each driver. This is to reduce the possibility of some drivers being irreparably advantaged or disadvantaged in an event by a single random die roll.


Arenas in sanctioned events will fall into one of two general categories, Duelling or Racing. Duelling arenas are the most common and can be further divided into two subdivisions, Survivor and Points arenas.

Survivor arenas are those where the last operational vehicle wins. The physical layout of these arenas should be kept simple. Armadillo (if there are a large number of competitors), and Double Drum (or even half of the Drum if there are a small number of competitors) are examples of arenas which are good for such events. In general, arenas for survivor events should be kept on the small side for the number of competitors involved, with few, if any, obstacles, to encourage participants to engage in combat and limit the ability of drivers to avoid combat and thereby survive through inaction.

Points arenas are those where points are scored by each vehicle for completing specific objectives (driving specific circuits, making jumps, shooting targets, crossing checkpoints, mobility and/or firepower killing opponents, etc.). These arenas may be larger, especially if there are checkpoints which drivers must cross to score points, as this will tend to draw vehicles together, and be more complex, since the complexity will provide the officials with more challenges to put the competitors through and award points for. Hammer Downs and New Boston are good arenas for points events. Duelling events should be limited to the standard body types, with racing body types being prohibited.

Racing Events can also be broken down into two general categories, Simple Races and Dueltracks. Simple races are somewhat equivalent to the survivor events, above, in that the first one to cross the finish line wins. Racetracks should, however, be complex, providing the competitors with driving challenges. Weapons should be prohibited in simple races.

Dueltracks are those races where, though the object of the race is still to cross the finish line first, there is also combat involved. Dueltracks should be simpler in layout, since the attrition due to weapon fire should make up for the attrition due to loss of control found in simple races. Dropped weapons should be heavily restricted in any dueltrack, and it is suggested that intentional tire shots be prohibited entirely. Body type may be limited to Racing Bodies only, or left open to all body types allowed in other AADA­-Sanctioned events. All restrictions shall be announced to competitors before the beginning of the event, with sufficient lead time to allow competitors to design an appropriate, legal vehicle.

Any of the events above may be fought off­-road. If an event is to be fought off road, this must he announced to competitors before the beginning of the event with sufficient lead time.

All restrictions on any event, above and beyond those required by these guidelines, must be announced to competitors before the beginning of the event. The type of event should be announced (survivor, points, race or dueltrack) and which arena or track (if a previously published arena is to be used).


Scoring, awarding points or determining kills, is necessarily largely at the discretion of the referee. These regulations will define how points should be awarded or kills determined to a large degree, but situations will arise which must be adjudicated by the referee.

In points arenas the specific tasks and the number of points to be awarded for the completion of each task must be specified and announced before the beginning of the arena, but may be announced after vehicles have been designed and approved. Awarding points for completion of these tasks should, in most cases, be self evident and not require adjudication by the referee. Points gained through completion of these tasks should not be great enough to discourage competitors from trying to gain vehicular kills (i.e., vehicular kills should be worth enough points to encourage combat).

Points should be awarded separately for mobility and firepower kills. A vehicle is declared a mobility kill when it has lost the ability to move or maneuver under its own power -- ­ a vehicle on its roof is a mobility kill. A vehicle on its roof with unfired rocket boosters with sufficient thrust to slide it along the arena floor is still a mobility kill, since that vehicle cannot maneuver.

Firepower kills are more at the discretion of the referee. Any vehicle which cannot significantly effect the outcome of an arena with its weaponry, or a vehicle which has no weapons, shall be declared a firepower kill. A mobility­-killed vehicle with its weapons against a wall or other obstacle is a firepower kill, even though its weapons may still be functional. A vehicle which has been mobility-killed, and has no direct fire weapons (ram car, vehicle with dropped weapons only, etc.) will usually be a firepower kill. An abandoned vehicle is both a mobility and firepower kill.

There should always be a point penalty for having your own vehicle killed, either mobility or firepower, and the penalty should be great enough to discourage competitors from killing their own vehicles to gain points.

Under no circumstances are points to be awarded specifically for killing the crew of other vehicles. If a driver dies, and thus becomes a mobility and firepower kill (assuming a driver­-only vehicle), those are the fortunes of an autoduellist. However, no points above and beyond those given for the vehicular kill will be awarded for casualties in my sanctioned event. Surviving crew of a vehicle that has been firepower­ and mobility-­killed are not to be fired upon, and shall take no action against my vehicle still active in the arena. Once a crew has abandoned the vehicle, that vehicle is considered killed, and the crew may not remount their vehicle and resume combat, even if the vehicle is still operational.

Points for kills scored after the vehicle has been eliminated (for example, a mobility kill scored by a mine dropped by the eliminated vehicle) should be awarded to that vehicle.

Awarding points for kills is entirely at the discretion of the referee. Normally, it should be clear who the points should be awarded to -- ­ the car that shot the tire off, the car that laid the mine, the car that rammed. In some cases, however, the determination may be unclear ­ -- two vehicles fire simultaneously at the same vehicle and that vehicle loses control and rolls. In such cases awarding points is at the referee's discretion. In the specific case above, points should be split between each attacker.


The referee is the final and only arbiter of any dispute that arises at a sanctioned event. Excessive arguing of any rules point, especially after the Referee has made his ruling, is grounds for disqualification.

These regulations are intended to bring some parity to the AADA events held at cons and by clubs across the country. The use of these regulations will allow participants be able to know what to expect when they show up at a con or a Regional Championship, or the World Championships. These Rules and Regulations are official AADA policy unless altered or amended in Autoduel Quarterly or The AADA Newsletter.

ADQ 9/1 on Warehouse 23

Car Wars*Steve
          Jackson Games*ADQ Index

Rules and Regulations for AADA-Sanctioned Tournament Combat. Kenneth Scott. Autoduel Quarterly: The Journal of the American Autoduel Association. Volume 9, Number 1. Spring 2041 (1991). Steve Jackson Games. pp. 8-10.

Web posted by Steve Jackson Games, February 1998.
Reprinted by the Seattle Washington Autoduel Team, March 29, 2015.
Original URL: