Car Wars Internet Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 4
June 01, 2048

Web Posted June 18, 1998
Updated September 02, 2001


Hello once again autoduelists. This issue of CWIN is loaded with a myriad of ammunition types. The big news is that the publishing of the Web Site for the 2047-2048 World Duel has been finished, containing regulations and an Autoduel Question and Answer List. Robert Deis of TRAACS is responsible for this valuable resource. SWAT has also assisted in this project with reproduction of some articles. Another prominent force in the AADA, Garth Anderson, a World Dueling Championship combatant, has written a technical analysis of last year's AADA World Dueling Championship. You may remember that Michael Garrity wrote such an article last issue.

Martin Poteralski has heard my request for AADA RASG entries and has provided CWIN with the first entry for the Road Atlas. Take a look how the Miami, Florida area has evolved -- in many ways for the worse with his discussion of New Kendall, Florida. While Martin fulfilled my request for RASG entries, Allan Dudding of the newly-formed Iowa Underground, has written the first NewsWatch for CWIN, with the History of the IU.

This issue's Autoduelist Tool Kit contains a collection of Web Addresses for gaming stores on the Internet. The long hours of using search engines to create this list was performed by Philip A. White. The Arena Watch, yet again written by the Arena Design Master, Michael Drennon. presents the Hillclimb Dueltrack, a venue that is a should instill fear in off-road and racetrack duelists.

The regular features are present, with Andras Otto Schneider presenting the best vehicle to fight Godilla (who has returned to the movie theater this summer). If you are going to fight a monster, then you should drive a monster truck on anabolic steroids.

Before we begin with this newsletter I would like to thank you for your support of the Vehicle Design Competitions. I have received many innovative designs and I look forward to future ideas. I am reviewing the Div40 Forest Fighter Tricycle submissions and I will present the results of that contest in a week or two.

See you on June 1st!

Michael P. Owen
Seattle Washington Autodueling Team (SWAT) President/Webmaster
Car Wars Internet Newsletter (CWIN) Editor



Introduction / Regulations for Duels and Races

Dueling Tournament Regulations

Racing Tournament Regulations

Autoduel Question and Answer: World Duel Tournament-Specific Discussions

Robert Deis of TRAACS has finished a Web Site discussing the 2047-2048 AADA World Duel. Regulations for the event, graphics of the arenas to be used and an ADQ&A listing are present. If you are interested in information about the 2047-2048 AADA World Race jump to the NOVA Web Site, the Car Wars Group hosting that event.


Greets Michael :-)

In the last CWIN you included a reference to Michael Garrity's analysis of the 2046-2047 AADA World Dueling Championship.

I (and others) thought it was a little incomplete, so I wrote my own version of the same thing.  My version, response and counterpoint is posted at the Web Address listed above. I'd be happy to have it mentioned in the next CWIN.

Garth Anderson
Nevada Autodueling Association Las Vegas Division



Martin Poteralski
Virginia Autodueling Association Richmond Division


The following letter is a reply to last issue's Arena Manager's Office.

Dear Kevin "Krash MacAlister" Regier:

Well, I'm new to CWIN myself, but I'm a long-time duelist. And an opinionated one at that -- so I guess I have some responses to your article.  Feedback you ask for, feedback you get.  :)

As long as you've got players knowledgable of the arena as they're designing cars, there's always going to be a certain level of optimization going on. Let's face it, certain arenas lend themselves to certain equipment. Got a relatively small arena with lots of obstacles to maneuver around? Then you're probably going to stock up on rockets and anti-tank guns and the like; why bother with high-accuracy weapons when most of your shots are going to be at point-blank range? Is the arena large with lots of open space? Then a good ramcar is probably the way to go. Designing a car to take advantage of an arena -- or cope with the challenge it represents -- is one of the fun parts of car design to me, and not something I'd advocate doing away with entirely. (Heck, one of my favorite arenas -- a home-brewed one -- pretty much demands that all the combatants design fast, maneuverable vehicles, resulting in some fast 'n' furious fighting.  Which is just the way I like it. :) )

That having been said, I think I see your point. Is it the cars that make good use of the arena that you object to, or is it the cars that are absolutely prepared for a specific situation that bothers you? I've seen those cars -- I think everybody who plays this game long enough has.  I've seen cars that would be helpless in a wide variety of situations, but wind up winning the duel because they're so tightly tweaked for that particular fight. Wall huggers, one-shot wonders entering a two-person duel . . . yeah. Those do get darn annoying.

Concealing the identity of the arena until the fight begins is one way to handle it, but only works if you're willing to be an impartial non-combatant -- which I for one am willing to do every once in a while, but if I'm setting aside a night for Car Wars, I wanna trade some fire with my buddies. And if you're going to be one of the duelists, knowing the layout ahead of time creates (at the very least) the appearance that you have an unfair advantage. One way of handling this is to give yourself a lesser budget as a handicap, but you're liable to wind up with players who want to take a similar hit to their budget to get a peek at the map ahead of time -- and they're almost sure to take the attitude that they just paid that money for the right to overkill their cars. So rather than correct the problem, this only perpetuates it.

When I'm organizing a game where people are going to be bringing in their own vehicles, I feel that sportsmanship demands I make the arena and the nature of the event clear ahead of time. So, what do I do to try and limit the amount of over-specialization?

The most extreme solution is to provide a set of pre-generated cars for everybody ahead of time. It takes some work, but this is an excellent solution when you're bringing some new players, or are playing at a game convention. This really doesn't address the problem so much as it sidesteps it, but is effective.

One idea would be to set up a bunch of events/arenas that you might be doing ahead of time, and then determine which one you're actually going to use via actual dice roll. This combines uncertainty with sportsmanship, but may encourage "speculation" -- a driver or two who still build cars optimized for a specific arena, and hope their number comes up when the dice are rolled. If they get lucky, you've got the same problem you did before. And if they don't, then one of your "combatants" is a sacrificial lamb, which disrupts game balance and results in one of your players not having too much fun.

Another idea (one I haven't actually tried, but have been meaning to :) ) is to run a circuit of events. Set up a schedule of events, reveal them to everybody, then inform everybody that the car they design will be the car they use for each event.  Set up a point scale for the circuit (i.e. five points for winning an event, three for finishing second, etc.), do one event a night, and then declare the winner only after all the events have been run. (You may wish to give the circuit winner a more of a prize than just bragging rights, since this is going to be more involved -- i.e., the reigning champion doesn't have to pay for his/her share of the pizza until dethroned, or something like that.)  The key here would be to make sure that the arenas/events are unique, and that a car dedicated to one event will do very, very poorly in all the others. The three published arenas that come with Arena Book 2038 -- New Boston, Double Drum, and Hammer Downs -- are good for this, since they all present such distinct challenges.

The approach I take, however, is to try and come up with events that discourage heavy specialization, and simply let evolution run its course.  For instance, I tend to run a lot of events in the Akron Rubberway from Arena Book 2039: L'Outrance Circuit, a fairly simple arena which consists of two central platforms with a pair of small bridges connecting them. (I run a lot of events there because I have a 3-D Hot Wheels Scale version of the arena, but that's another letter.) The duels I run there are point-based -- two points for a kill, one for a partial, and one for being the last man standing. To prevent those boring wall huggers from making an appearance, you get one point for driving across each bridge. To prevent somebody from winning the event by driving back and forth across those bridges all day long (Boring!), you can only collect the point once per bridge.  And to prevent some jerk from sealing off a bridge with an minedropper set on automatic, you lose one point for each spike/mine you drop on a bridge. (Dropping spikes and mines just before the bridges is still quite legal; no sense protecting all the natural chokepoints. Also, there's no penalty for for flaming oil or flame clouds, since they go away on their own soon enough. And there's no penalty for oil or ice, since driving over them is merely hazardous, not fatal.) The event is over when only one vehicle is still "live."

So, what effect does this have? Well, this is still a dueling event. You're going to get the lion's share of your points slagging your foes, so you'll definitely want a combat vehicle. You get a point for being the last survivor, but just one -- so living through the ordeal is good, but armoring yourself like a tank and then hiding won't get you into the winner's circle. And those two tasty points for crossing the bridges do a lovely job of drawing combatants up onto the platforms. But, you can only score two points up there -- so if you've got an unarmed speedster, those two points may be the only ones you get.

 So the way this event stands, ability to harm foe is the most important thing, while good maneuverability and armor definitely help too. Is it possible to get a hideously unbalanced car optimized for these conditions? Possibly, but I haven't seen it. And if I do, I'll change the rules of the fight for the next event so that design is screwed.

If Darwin's been nipping at your tail and you've got bizarre, over-specialized vehicles winning all your fights, secrecy is just one of the tricks you can pull out of your hat to correct the problem.

Pete Butler
Iowa Underground Cedar Rapids Division

Editor's Notes: In many Formula De Leagues, the following point values are used to award finish positions. This scale might be useful to you when running a Car Wars Circuit Campaign mentioned above.

New maps will make autoduelists work harder for their prestige and monetary awards. Internet arenas such as those from Arena Book 2048: FlashFire Circuit, a Web Book from High Velocity Dueling, will make for more exciting games than if the same maps from Arena Book 2038, Arena Book 2039 and issues of ADQ are used regularly.



Off-Road duelists think they are tough because they "rough it" when they duel, enduring handling hazard after handling hazard and taking it in stride. Racetrack drivers think they are masters of the automobile, able to hold their car to the ground at 200 mph while performing 90-degree bends.

Ocean Shores in Washington State with its many sand dunes is the location of an arena also with challenging off-road terrain. The Hillclimb Dueltrack will humble both of these types of combatants very quickly. Combining the variable terrain of off-road arenas, the high-speed action of dueltrack events and the jumps of sand racing.

Jumps? There are jumps in this race? The race officials must have forgot to tell the constestants . . . Well, at least you can send a heavy rocket into the roof of your opponent . . . before you vault and flip end over end after taking that jump.

Michael Drennon
CWIN Arena Watch Editor
Illinois Autodueling Association Evanston Division



Dear Michael:

Here is a list of used gaming catalogs I ran across. I'm not sure if you want to include them or not but here they are . . .

Sleeping Dragon Hobbies
A few ADQs and Car Wars items

The Barony (Oak Ridge, TN)
A few Car Wars items

Atlantis Games
Some Car Wars items, Autoduel items, ADQs and Pyramids

Black and Read
A few Car Wars items and older ADQs

P&E Consulting
Good selection of Car Wars items and ADQs

Discount Games
A couple of Car Wars items

A good variety of Car Wars items, Autoduel items and ADQs

D&J Hobby (Campbell, CA)
Variety of Car Wars items

Spirit Games (United Kingdom)

Mondo Burger: An old Interstate 1976 message board. Last entry 09/1997.

An old article talking about how a company VictoMaxx was working with SJG to create a Virtual Reality game of Car Wars for the PC, a game on-line, and a CD-ROM. Dated Oct 19, 1995

Rrelated to this is the homepage of a software engineer for this project:

A page with a links list to various game designers including Aaron Allston and Steve Jackson: <>.

And last but not least . . . The documents for the old computer game Autoduel: <>.

A long night's work as I'm sure you recognize.

Philip A. White
Seattle Washington Autodueling Team (SWAT)



The energy contained in gasoline is whittled away until a mere 13.6 percent reaches the drive wheels.

Emerging Technologies for the Supercar
Dan McCosh
Popular Science Magazine
June 1994


Senior citizens buzzing around neighborhood streets in gold carts are more threatening than they look, government regulators suggest.

Washington wants to see the speedier models fitted with safety features such as seat belts and windshields.

Here's the bottom line for golfers:

Those tooling around in vehicles that can't go faster than 15 mph would be riding in "golf carts," and excluded from new regulations being proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Faster models that can go between 15 mph and 25 mph would be considered "golf cars" -- required to have headlights, turn signals, tail lights, reflectors, mirrors, parking brakes, windshields and seat belts. They also would have to have a sticker that says "WARNING: This vehicle must not be operated on the public roads at a speed more than 25 mph."

Not all golf enthusiasts are enthusiastic.

"The price of the vehicles are all going to go up," laments Forrest McCoy, editor of Golf Car News.

The NHTSA decided to take on golf carts because more and more of them are being driven on public roads. Communities in Oregon, California, Florida and Arizona, among others, now allow golf carts to travel on streets, often in special lanes.

Paul and Jacklyn Schlagheck of Lady Lake, FL, don't see what all the fuss is about.

"The use of golf carts has been safe, with residents very responsible about where and when they use them," the couple said in comments to the agency. "It goes without saying that people don't take their golf carts out busy roads with speeds posted at 50 mph."

But Fred Somers, general counsel for the National Golf Cars Manufacturers Association, doesn't mind Washington getting involved. Some communities already require as much, he noted.

In Palm Desert, CA, residents who use their carts to run to the drugstore or the course already must be protected by safety features.

"For years, cart owners here in Palm Desert Country Club have shared the streets with automobiles and trucks, and I have not heard of any reports of accidents," said resident Marilyn McLaughlin.

Associated Press. Seattle-Times Newspaper. March 16, 1997.



Do you want the power of intimidation in oversized vehicles but you want the maneuverability of a standard car? Andras Otto Schneider and C. David Dent answer your wish with this issue's Daemon Mechanic. Take Andy's and David's Monster Trucks for test drives and experience the power of an armed version of the monster truck Bigfoot.

Andras O. Schneider and C. David Dent
Maryland Autodueling Association Calvert Division



Dueling fans, The Death Racing Association of Washington (DRAW) will be the hosting American Auto Dueling Association (AADA) chapter for the Northwest Regionals at RadCon in Pasco, Washington, beginning on Friday, Feb. 12, and running through Sunday, Feb. 14, 1999. Three preliminary events will be run with the top four positions making the final round. Seeding to the Final Round will be available for Chapter Champions. The tournament will adhere to the latest Car Wars rules as well as the AADA tournament guidelines. Two referees will run each event (Phil Bedard and Bill Stevenson) and the Final Division 20 event. The Final Event will utilize 1/24th scale models that will be destroyed as the game progresses to simulate battle damage. Every player making the final round will be provided a model and may keep them (or what's left of them) at the end of the game as a reminder of their achievement in making it to the final event. Some players have already asked if they could bring their own models to use and are more than welcome to customize a vehicle based on their car design, favorite stock car or anything their heart might desire. Be warned that bringing a model does not guarantee a position in the Final! You must place in a Preliminary Event or be seeded. The scoring system to be used during the events can be found on the DRAW home page under House Rules: Combat, at the following URL:

Pictures of last year's final, vehicle designs, arena maps and more can all be found at the Web Site. Some variants will not be used but the final decisions have yet to be made and will be posted at least six months prior to the convention in August of 1998. All questions about the tournament can be directed towards either Phil or Bill. Designs can be sent in a variety of methods for pre-approval via the Interet. All questions pertaining to the Web Site and how the GIFs were made should be addressed to Phil as he has done all the work. For convention questions, such as where is it, how to get there, how to pre-register, you can find a link to the RadCon Site on the DRAW page. There is also a page dedicated to information on the NW Regionals under the title of RadCon 2C, which can be found at the following URL: The Division, arenas and days the events will be run are already posted. All events except the final are using the 150% scale of Micro Machines in 3D arenas (including Midville). Thank you for your interest in Car Wars and DRAW and we hope to see everyone at the convention. DRAW hopes to provide fair and exciting gaming for duelists from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Remember to Drive Offensively!

Bill Stevenson
Death Racing Association of Washington State (DRAW) President

Phil Bedard
Death Racing Association of Washington State (DRAW) Webmaster


The famous/infamous Edgar Lincoln of the former Associated Autoduelists of the Inland Empire (AAIE) and his wife Norma have presented three of their arena designs that are the nighmares of duelists. The Thorn, the Armored Slug and the King County Duel Dome (formerally called the Kingdome) are waiting for new victims . . . I mean duelists . . . to enter.

The DRAW Arena Contractors have not been on vacation while the AAIE have been designing maps. DRAW has published yet another arena, the Figure Eight, with extremely treacherous corners. Make sure your Gold Cross bill is current before you enter this venue.


There are several cartoons displaying the odd side of autodueling throughout the DRAW Web Site.


The DRAW Web Site now has a "Player Aids" Section. Inside you will discover counters for DRAW's Micro Machine Car Wars Scale: 1.50x. Counters to place the miniatures on with firing arcs on the counters, oil, spikes, mines, HD counters, debris, obstacles and DSPs are available. Where is the smoke? Simply place cotton on the oil counters and you now have those laser-blocking clouds. Ice counters are also available as well as Official DRAW Turning Keys.


Rules for fuel tanks, body styles, personal equipment and pre-duel descriptions are now available. Conforming movement and to-hit modifiers have also been installed.



Tied to a pier, the Mark V isn't much to look at. But let this boat off of its leash, and it rockets a 16-man platoon of Navy SEAL special-operations forces in and out of a combat zone at top speeds exceeding 50 knots, a lot faster than the old Vietnam-era river patrol boats it replaces.

The Mark V's rapid-transit power comes from two off-the-shelf V12 turbocharged diesel engines, whose combine 5,200 horsepower drives two water jets. This one-two propulsion punch delivers an average cruising speed of 45 knots with 50-plus-knot bursts of speed. The Mark V can also stop on a watery dime or run 'round it in tight circles.

Speed and maneuverability are essential to getting the SEALs in and out of the Mark V via the sloping rear deck. Clambering aboard the inflatable rubber rafts, the SEALs slide into the water to disembark. Upon their return, they drive the rafts straight up onto the deck. Covering fire comes from five gun stations mounted in the stern. The gun mounts are interchangeable so each one can be fitted with a 0.50-caliber machine gun, a 40mm grenade launcher, a 25mm chain gun, or a 7.62mm Gatling gun. A stash of paratrooper-modified M16 rifles are below deck.

A jaunt on the Mark V proves it is built for speed and not comfort. The crew of five and their passengers fit snugly into adjustable safety seats. Sitting is permitted, but most SEALS stand so their legs can absorb the shock of the boat hitting the water during what can often be long, jarring, high-speed rides -- the Mark V has a 500-mile range. A GPS navigation system, backed up by a hand-held military model, keeps the boat on course; sophisticated voice and data communications are below deck for emergencies or changes in orders. What the Mark V doesn't have is a galley or head. A cooler suffices for cold drinks or anything else that needs freezing; Call it the Tough-Love Boat.

The Navy's fleet of eight Mark Vs (four on each coast) can be deployed in pairs abouve C-5 Galaxy transport planes. Each aircraft also carries two Humvees and support trucks packed with maintenance gear, spare parts and ammunition, as well as mechanics and technicians. The bottom line: A two-boat detachment of Mark Vs can be sent anywhere in the world within 48 hours; they're fully operational within 24 hours of arrival-in-country, and self-sustaining for 90 days.

Photograph 1: Four pintle mounts on deck (2 right-back, 2 left back)
Photograph 2: Special safety seats allow Navy SEALs to sit or stand during punishing, high-speed maneuvers.
Photograph 3: Forget about a wheel: The Mark V is controlled by either of two joysticks.
Photograph 4: The Mark V's angled stern allows SEALS to be deployed easily.

Carol Hoidra
Popular Science Magazine
January 1998


Crane, IN -- The last light of day is fading as the camouflaged shooter centers the scope on his target nearly a mile away. His quarry is more important than a field commander. It is the launch-control box on a surface-to-air missile.

Here at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, the Naval Special Projects Division is testing a new family of antimateriel sniper rifles. Capable of firing armor-piercing incendiary explosive rounds with extreme accuracy, they will be used to neutralize surface-to-air missile launchers, mines and other weapons.

Requirements for the new generation of sniper rifles include being fit for airdrops and scuba-team missions. As a result, insiders told Popular Mechanics that the Navy may finally select several rifles for specific mission requirements.

When fielded early in the next century, the Heavy Sniper Rifle will replace the current Special Applications Sniper Rifle.

Photograph 1: The Barrertt 0.50-cal. can fire a variety of materiel-killing rounds.

Popular Mechanics Magazine. March 1997. p.28


Livermore, CA -- During the Cold War, the Department of Energy had a simple way to make sure its H-bombs would actually explode over Kiev or Moscow. From time to time it would remove one from the stockpile, bring it to its Nevada test site and set it off. Last fall, this familiar way of doing business -- the United States has exploded 1,030 nuclear weapons -- came to an end when President Clinton signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. From now on, quality-control checks on the nation's remaining 10,000 or so nuclear weapons will be performed in a more roundabout way that will require building the world's most powerful laser.

"The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a cornerstone of nuclear-stockpile stewardship," William J. Hogan, the project's senior scientist, told Popular Mechanics during our recent visit to NIF's proposed home at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. NIF will accomplish its mission by using inertial laser fusion, a technology that Livermore helped to perfect, to produce temperatures approximating those of nuclear detonations.

More specifically, a bank of 192 extremely poweful ultraviolet "beamlets" housed in a building the size of a football stadium will focus on a BB-sized capsule containing deuterium and tritium. This will compress and heat the two heavy isotopes of hydrogen to the point where they ignite, causing a brief self-sustaining fusion reaction that releases about 10 times the amount of energy that the lasers pumped in. From these experiments, weapons scientists will gain the type of information they say they need to build the mathematical models that will determine the reliability of aging warheads.

NIF will cost more than $1.1 billion U.S. to build. It is scheduled for completion in 2002, and it will cost $60 million a year and require a staff of 270 scientists, engineers and technicians to operate.

Critics say the cost is too high. But Hogan points out that NIF will also give physicists a new research tool, allowing them to glimpse into the equivalent of the center of the Sun. "The laboratory will have far-reaching implications for the future of national security, fusion energy, industrial competitiveness, and a host of scientific and technological fields," he says.

Popular Mechanics Magazine. February 1997. p.19


Eglin AFB, FL -- The Air Force has acknowledged testing a 5 1/4-inch long missile that could kill satellites or ballistic missiles.

The cannon-launched weapon, which is formally known as a barrel-launched adaptive munition, had been rumored to exist, but it was not officially acknowledged by the Air Force. However, at a recent technical conference in San Diego, Air Force researchers revealed that it had been successfully wind-tunnel tested and range fired at the Aeroballistics Research Facility of Eglin Air Force Base.

A memorandum issued by the Wright Laboratory Armament Directorate said wind tunnel tests conducted at Mach 3.26 demonstrated that "deflections, force and moments (of force) could be accurately manipulated." It also suggested the micromissile could replace many missile systems and function as an effective antisatellite or ballistic missile defense weapons system.

Photograph 1: The minimissile uses "smart" materials technology developed at Auburn University.

Popular Mechanics Magazine
December 1997



Not too long ago, I encountered a newcomer to Interstate 1976 (I-1976) and to Nitro as I motored around the roads of the Southwest in Net-Play mode. Being the talkative sort myself (which has more than once resulted in my death as I typed lengthy messages to others), I welcomed the "newbie" and asked him how he liked the game. "I like it so far," he replied. "There's just so much I hafta learn. How long you been playing, Jolt?"

"Close to a year now," I said.

"Dang!" he said. "That's a long time! You must really like this game a lot!"

"Ah, I love it," I replied. "Sometimes it seems I can't get enough of it. It's great, man, just like Car Wars!"

"Just like what?" he asked.

"Car Wars," I said. "Ever heard of it?"

"Nope," he said. "Should I have?"

That got me thinking about all of you out there who really don't know what Car Wars is and what I-1976 owes to it beyond mere casual mention. Car Wars has a storyline so rich in possibilities for I-1976 players that it would be a waste to just dismiss it as "some board game" that has nothing to do with I-1976. The fact  is, Car Wars has more to do with I-1976 than most people realize. For example, when Bob Bitchin made his very first draft of the AVA price list, he based those costs on the prices of Car Wars items like tires, suspensions and similar weaponry.

So, as I sit here on my graveyard shift with nothing better to do than write and listen to my Nitro CD, I've decided to compose a little discussion of Car Wars and its relationship to I-1976 for the benefit of those of you who might not even be aware of its existence, or perhaps have heard of it only partially. For all you do, these notes are for you.

Back in 1981, when everyone was still high off of "The Road Warrior" movie and the new, post-apocalyptic vehicle-oriented genre of science fiction that it brought with it, Steve Jackson Games (SJG) released Car Wars. When it came out, there really wasn't anything else like it. It was no card game. It wasn't a "board game" like Monopoly or Risk -- the "board" was actually a playing surface marked off in quarter-inch grid squares, most likely made of lined paper, and the "counters" were inch-long cardboard cutouts with nice pictures of cars and motorcycles on them. It was very close to being a "driving simulation" if certain elements of realism had not been "modified" for the sake of better (and faster) game play. The only category Car Wars really fit into was that of the role-playing game (RPG), which it shared with the immensely popular Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and only a handful of other RPGs with a science-fiction theme as opposed to D&D's fantasy theme. A unique, car-oriented RPG, Car Wars was easily in a league of its own, and any competitors could only be imitators. A large following for Car Wars soon rallied behind it, and I joined them.

People my age who play RPGs today usually remember their first-ever RPG as being D&D, since it was the biggest of its breed at the time. That wasn't the case for me -- I'd heard of D&D, but my interests just weren't there. "The Road Warrior" had sparked my imagination like nothing else ever would, so that was the direction I was naturally drawn towards, and when I found a copy of Car Wars in a mall game store, I was lucky that I only had to convince my mom to part with five measly bucks so I could take it home.

But when I got home and started reading the rulebook, I found out that I had in my hands much, much more than a simple "Road Warrior" game. It was set in the future, yes, and society had turned barbaric, true, but technological advances had been maintained -- these cars had electric motors, on-board computers, lightweight plastic armor and high-powered lasers along with the obligatory machine-guns, smoke-screens and oil slicks. My imagination had found a paradise in this montage of senseless violence, sci-fi technology and muscle cars, and part of me has been there ever since.

Sadly, there isn't much more to my personal history with Car Wars than this. I spent a lot of my time making cars for the game, but by the time I was old enough to grasp the game mechanics and actually play, none of my friends had any interest in playing Car Wars with me. Likewise, I had no interest in playing D&D with them, so until Champions came along and fired my imagination in a whole new direction, it was just me, my mind, and Car Wars. I'm sure a lot of people were really worried when I turned 16, got my driver's license, and started envisioning the rest of the world as "opponents" to be met and vanquished on the highways (but since cars had no armament in the real world, I had to settle for merely passing people as quickly as I could), but that's a story all unto itself.

Fact is, though, the influence Car Wars had on me and my fantasies has stayed with me for the past seventeen years, and I've spent nearly the entire time waiting for a decent video game that would let these impulses of vehicular combat and car creation find release. Origin's "Autoduel" game for my Commodore 64 was faithful to Car Wars, but the graphics were so bad they looked like they had come off an Atari 2600. Even worse, I beat the game in just a few days' time (no one cared so much about "re-play value" back then). The action- craving part of my Car Wars desire could find release in the "Spy Hunter" and "Road Blasters" arcade games, but, alas, I couldn't design my own car and even if I could, I still couldn't get to the arcade often enough. Activision  put out "DeathTrack" for the PC, and I snatched it up immediately (I even still have the original box for it). It was good -- cars with lasers, missiles, "terminator" drones (cruise-missiles that skimmed the road surface en route to their target), armor, caltrops, mines, machine guns and more -- but once your car had the best of everything, which was only a matter of money and had nothing to do with your car's space or weight restrictions, the game's challenge was over.

Driving simulators came and went -- "Test Drive" 1, 2 and 3, "Vette" and "Stunts" come to mind -- "Stunts" had an awesome and simple track editor, but other than that it was like the rest : just a race. No guns, no armor, just ordinary cars. The "Hard Drivin'" arcade game took driving simulators to a new level, but Atari let me down by not making a version that had weapons on the car as well (the helicopter-based "Steel Talons", which was based on what looked like the same game engine, had the weapons but lacked a car to put them in). I had to wait seventeen years for someone to finally get it down right.

Salvation came from an unexpected source. I had bought Activision's "Mechwarrior 2" (MW2) and figured on being satisfied with heavily-armed 'Mechs for the rest of my life (not to mention saving me the $10 per game it cost me before then to do the same thing in a "virtual reality" Battletech Center that was a three-hour drive away, and the games only lasted about fifteen minutes at the most before your time ran out). Hell, I could even play MW2 against other people over the Internet if I wanted. It wasn't really what I desired, but I was comfortable with it and figured I wouldn't get anything better if I hadn't by now.

That all changed when I saw the promo for "Interstate '76" on the "Ghost Bear" CD. I've since found out that the MW2 engine was as equally suited to cars as to 'Mechs, but until I actually had I-1976, I never would have accepted such a simple act of logic from a software company after a decade and a half of disappointment, and simply prayed that I-1976 didn't suck as did all the driving-combat sims that came before.

Someone heard my prayers -- I-1976 damn near had it all. From guns to missiles, from armor to high-powered engines, from nitrous oxide to napalm hoses, it was all there, with cars that had limits as to what they could mount based on their size. Of course, it wasn't really Car Wars  -- these cars had gas engines (not electric), metal armor (not plastic), there were no lasers to be found, and the setting wasn't the future but the past with all its 1970s funk.

But I didn't even have time to notice before someone directed me to Bob Bitchin's first AVA page, where I found that a second prayer had been answered before I had even uttered it -- Bob had assigned price values to all the car bodies, weapons and parts, and he had based them all on the prices of genuine Car Wars components. I've later mused that if Bob hadn't done it, I probably would have done this myself -- but, thank God, Bob was quicker about it and did a much better job than I would have.

At last, everything had come together. The I-1976 cars now had prices, and could be grouped into cost Divisions just like in Car Wars. Major Car Wars car body sizes -- compact, sub-compact, mid-sized, luxury, van, etc. -- were well-represented. No electric motors? Big deal (I-1976 cars have no fuel gauges anyway, and gas engines were indeed present in later versions of Car Wars). No plastic armor? Who cares (I-1976's armor being measured in pounds was pretty much equal to Car Wars armor being counted in points, and later versions of Car Wars also contained rules for metal armor). Set in the 1970s? So what -- I-1976 was as much 1970s funk as it was anything else, giving it a life and character all its own. About all I had left was a lack of lasers in I-1976, but after I saw what mortars could do, I was left with a sense of relief that no one saw fit to include any (not that a laser would have been a viable weapon in 1976 anyway).

And it has been a year of bliss, to say the least. My friends wonder if I will ever get tired of the game. The answer was already "no" when the Nitro Pack came out . . . after that it was more like "hell no!" The gangs, the friends, the battles and the fun - I need not go into that here. Suffice it to say that my Car Wars desires have, at long last, been fulfilled.

But that doesn't mean ol' Car Wars itself should be tossed aside and forgotten like an old wooden toy. Far from it -- Car Wars still offers I-1976 players a wealth of "future history" source material usable for scenarios, the I-1976 RPG, gang themes, or anything else it might inspire you towards. It is, in fact, easier and much more pleasing to the senses to visualize the classic muscle cars of I76 driving boldly into the Car Wars future instead of trying to imagine the cookie-cutter, used-bar-of-soap-looking, Honda- wannabe cars of today trying to do the same thing.

So, what of the Car Wars future? What's it all about? I hereby submit, for your enjoyment, the Car Wars Chronology, as written in the Car Wars rulebook I bought in 1990. Please note that I've made some clarifications to the material I'm presenting here, and added a few notes as well. Car Wars is set in the United States (though I would expect Europeans who bought the game set it in their home countries instead), exactly 50 years ahead of the present year, so by that standard it would now be 2048 in the Car Wars world. Take special note of the "Free Oil States" and other locations which are conveniently located ("somewhere") in the Southwest, and the role that road gangs play in the domination of everything not located within a city's walls. Curiously enough, everything hits the fan in the year 2000, less than two years from the now of 1998 . . .

2000-2035 -- See NewsWatch: World Development (the timeline in CWC2 and CCW).

2036 -- Gas-powered racing and dueling events begin to grow in popularity (gas still costs about $50 per gallon, if you can find any at all, leaving it only in the hands of purists yearning for a return to the "Golden Age" of cars. Everyone else drives cars with cheaper, safer, smaller and less-powerful electric motors.)

So there you have it. I don't think it's necessary to go into the directions Car Wars took after this point (helicopters were OK, but the boats, hovercraft, tanks, planes and blimps were rather silly in my opinion), but if you find yourself still interested, feel free to check out the latest version of the Car Wars Compendium Second Edition (Steve Jackson Games, probably around $20). I,  however, recommend that folks just looking for the basics of the game should first look at the smaller "Classic Car Wars" boxed set (around $15) before tackling the Compendium. If you have just a quick and easy question about what I've presented here, I might be able to answer it myself.

Two different games with some story similarities -- conflicts over oil, important events taking place in the Southwest -- and the same theme of vehicular combat. Even the phrase "Drive Offensively" was first coined by SJG  for Car Wars back in 1981 before becoming the "entrance slogan" for Nitro. Maybe that "joke post" about SJ Games suing Activision over copyright infringement wasn't so far-fetched after all . . .

Badlands Interstate 1976 Web Magazine
April, 1998


Note from the CWIN Editor: This commentary refers to Daemon Mechanic articles in earlier issues of CWIN.

Date: Sat, 02 May 1998 03:36:29 -0400
To: CWIN <>
From: Scott David Orr <>
Subject: CWIN 01.03. The Firing Range: Laser Guidance Links

Okay, you knew this was coming . . .

I continue to be baffled at how hard the LGL rules seem to be to understand. I never thought they were so complex, but they obviously need
to be written more clearly.

Nonetheless, despite being written poorly (partly because they're spread across a few different places) the rules are pretty cut-and-dry -- there
really aren't any ambiguities.

Well after reading several articles, I must admit to being a bit puzzled by all the confusion over Laser Guidance (I know . . . Not again!). But
not to fear, my take on the situation is quite simple and is how my friends and I have played them for the last 10-12 years (Egads!  Has it
eally been that long?)

Tuning a laser -- $500. Not necessary for a Targeting Laser

Although it seems peculiar, yes, a TL does require tuning -- it doesn't say it doesn't, and so it does. I would imagine the reason for this is just
that it's easier, for the sake of consistency, to force tuning of all lasers (especially since the LGL rules were published before the TL rules).

Laser Guidance per Rocket --  $200

Yes, this is right.

Linking the laser to each "Rocket Weapon" $200  (The actual Laser Guidance Link)

Nope, you don't need this, because (as is stated in the LGL description) the rockets are treated as unaimed weapons. Indeed, there could be an argument for allowing an LG rocket launcher to be cheaper than a normal one, since it doesn't require the normal targeting equipment (though in actuality, a launcher carryhing LG rockets is still capable of firing the normal ones, which means it must still have all the normal targeting

What you do need is a normal, $50 link, one for each weapon or set of weapons that you want to fire at once with the laser. The reason you don't need a special link is because, like a link between an MG and an MD, only one of the weapons in the link is aimed.

The guided rocket weapons should only need a smart link if the rockets being guided, are of the same type and you're doing the typical
"turret-and-front-mounted-weapons" thing.  This follows the standard Smart Link rules. Why the heck do you need a Smart Link between the Laser and the rocket weapon? Isn't that the job of the Laser Guidance Link?

No, you never need a Smart Link with laser guidance -- unless you're firing lasers in two different positions. Smart Links are required for aimed
weapons only.

Period. That's it. What's the big deal?  Yes, Laser guiding individual rockets gets very expensive very fast. To me and those I've played with,
it's game balance.  Okay, show of hands, who wants a lightweight, cheap, three dice weapon, with a to-hit of 6 pointed at their backs?  Okay those of you who would be doing the shooting, put down your hands now . . . :-)

Seriously though, it's actually very easy and from what I can tell, the people that want to change it are trying to bend it to their wishes, not
their interpretation.  Either they want to abuse it or they hate it and want to "rules lawyer" it out of existence.

Personally, I think the rules are fine the way they are and are perfectly clear.

I hope I've done my part to muddy the waters further . . . ;-)

Well, apparently they aren't so clear . . . :) I suggest going back and reading the LGL and Smart Link descriptions, very carefully, as well as the
description of regular Links. The key things to note are (1) the references to "unaimed" weapons, and also (2) the fact that nowhere does it say that you have to pay money to modify the launcher itself in addition to the rockets.

I like your interpretation about the LGL. Note that I presented the rules of the LGL found in CWC2 and in UACFH in a less ambiguous format than those two publications. You can check for the accuracy of my comments with the ADQ&A Collection of LGLs I have placed on the SWAT Web Site (containing all of the questions about LGLs presented in ADQ and in Pyramid).

You will note that someone (nice person however) started to make comments on the LGL how it is interpreted in Official/AADA Car Wars
Events. You will note that CWIN almost always presents material for home autoduels only.

This is duly noted. However, I think I should mention that most of the suggestions/interpretations I've seen here end up increasing the cost of
LGL's. While home rules are home rules, they also should be balanced, and I don't think there's any evidence that LGL's require higher costs to be balanced.

You will note that I did not state a LGL needs to use a smart link. Another person suggested that I did. What I specifically said is the links connecting the TLs and the rocket weapon systems do not need to be smart links. The links connecting rocket weapons to each other, separate from the LGL may or may not need to be smart. The LGL is the technology from which the smart link is based and the LGL was around (introduced in the winter of 1984 in ADQ 2/4) a long time before smart links (introduced in the spring of 1988 in ADQ 6/1).

With all due respect, the LGL pretty clearly uses the term "unaimed", which is a key term with the link rules. I don't recall if a Smart Link has ever been used in an LGL design, but remember that the LGL rules were changed at some point, so original designs may be a moot point.

Another comment about smart links I would like to make is that I prefer trikes to connect their lateral weaponry and their front weapons (back for reversed trikes) with standard links and not smart links. Trikes have used standard links for several years before smart links were
developed. I will suggest that a turret connected to the frame weapons on a trike will require smart links but I feel that trikes not having to
use smart links in some situations will give them an advantage. These vehicles are lighter than cars and only have three wheels (one of those destroyed immediately immobilizes the trike) so the rule is a good trade-off like subcompacts gaining +1 HC, no space loss from
streamlining or sloping, and not having to follow the third spaces rule (the second and third rules are my own design, presented in HVD 2).

Yes, you're absolutely right that trikes can link weapons on the two sides with a normal link -- it's in the description of trikes themselves, and the references to aimed fire make it pretty clear that it's referring to a normal link, not a Smart Link, making it the only exception to the Smart Link rules (it was basically grandfathered in, I guess).

I am happy to say that NOVA (with a little help from SWAT) is working on a project to catalog all of the errata and ambiguities in Car Wars,
including LGLs. This document should once and for all eliminate all of the problems with LGLs. If you think that gadget is confusing or
overused, try using the old rules of the LGL and the TL (located on the ADQ&A LGL Web Page).

There's actually also an effort to do this for the 2048 World Championships . . . you might want to talk to Rob Deis <> about

Scott D. Orr
Ohio Autodueling Association Columbus Division


Dear CWIN:

This turned out to be almost of "article" quality, so call it a submission to CWIN.  Reply with and changes or comments you wish to make as the CWIN editor.

I've become somewhat concerned about the use of the term "Duelmaster" describing events recently. To me the term is uncomfortably like "Game Master," who is someone that is a god for all intents and purposes, and well above the rules of the game. After some research (and some suggestions from others) I found the origin of the term in the following reference:

I read that article, and I learned a few things. The Duelmaster has a very important role in the world of Car Wars, but it must be noted that this role is very different than the role of a Referee. Each have their place, and few things will hurt players more than having a Duelmaster where a Referee belongs or vice versa.

There are two factors that go in to enjoying a game:  Fun and Fair.

For roleplaying, and even non-roleplaying home games with a regular group of people, Fun is paramount. A good Duelmaster will bend or contradict rules as he or she feels in necessary to keep the scenerio moving along and Fun for his players. That article contains excellent advice and suggestions for Duelmasters of this type of game. Note also that the vast majority of SJ Games products are roleplaying systems. They've even gone to a great deal of trouble to try and build a roleplaying system around Car Wars. This article is very consistant with that way of doing things, and as I said, great advice for people running those sorts of games.  Everyone is there "for Fun," and winning or losing is not the point.

For Tournament Dueling, Fair is paramount. The fun of these types of games comes from clean, Fair, hard-fought competition. This is the domain of the Referee, not the Duelmaster. A referee does not have the power to bend or disregard rules. He or she has a responsibility to the players to uphold all the rules, as written, to the letter. Anything else would not be Fair, and when Fair leaves this kind of game, the competition in no longer clean and tough, so the fun departs soon after.

House rules are fine, provided everyone has practise with them and agrees to them ahead of time. In any case, these added or changed rules need to be written down somewhere for reference during the game. In larger matches where players come from many different groups that use many different sets of house rules, it is more fair to stick with the rules printed in SJ Games products and avoid all house rules so no group has an inherent advantage over any other.

Summarizing: In a game that's "Just for Fun," it is the Duelmaster's responsibility to make it fun, and if doing so means bending or disregarding rules, then so be it.  However, in a Tournament Duel, the Referee's responsibility is to make the game Fair, and if he or she does so, then Fun will take care of itself through the good, clean competition between the players.

This attitude is reflected in the 2048 World Championship Q&A page. Rules questions there are answered with quotations from the printed word whenever possible, and in some cases we've gone back as far as ADQ Volume Three to get those answers.  Where no clear answer can be found in the rules, the Tournament Committee discusses the matter thoroughly to make a ruling that is as consistant as possible with the spirit of the written rule while maintaining good game balance.  These rulings are then written down for all to see on the Web Site, and several copies will be available in print at the tournament.

Robert Deis
The Regional Autoduel Association of Colorado Springs (TRAACS)


Once again Jean-Jacques Enser, Webmaster of Formula De Internet Headquarters, has provided CWIN with the latest Formula De news. His Web Site also contains a summary of the French Language Formula De Magazine (visit the News Section for details). Thank you JJ. :-)

As of May 15, 1998 the Watkins Glen/Silverstone race tracks are shipping! Your favorite retail store should have them by now or will receive them soon.

Two leagues are born: One is named "Pole Position," located around Arras, in the north of France, and the other is found in Ames, Iowa.

Roberto Corbelli's site has been polished and now offers four original race tracks in multiple formats (Corel Draw and Adobe Acrobat). Go pay him a visit!

Thierry Pillet, from Switzerland, has designed some 12 beautiful Formula De miniatures, perfect reproductions of Formula One teams, including the sponsors and driver's helmet . . . Superb! Unfortunately, you cannot order these cute cars, since Thierry is too busy to produce more of them. Photographs of these cars are located at Formula De Internet Headquarters

Jean-Jacques Enser
Formula De Internet Headquarters Webmaster

Roberto Corbelli
Formula De Variant Track Designer



James Barton has finally returned to the HVD Play Aids Web Site to add new tools for duelists. In addition to the Official HVD Turning Keys, you will also find a protractor and the Official HVD Hovercraft Acceleration Template. Thanks James!


The CWOF has been updated again and now Car Wars can be considered an Illuminati Group! There is at least one autoduelist in every continent in the world (except Antarctica). Now Car Wars players only needs to teach penguins how to play to have a Car Wars player on every continent. :-)

The Japan Autoduel Association is the first group of autoduelists in Asia and there is one combatant in South America. At present count there are over 150 duelists on the registry. If you have not yet signed on please do so. It is a great way to find players in your area.



Allan Dudding
Iowa Underground Ames/Nora Springs Division



This Web Site is likely the best Carmageddon Web Site on the Internet. News about the game is presented in a timely fashion. In the File Area you can find programs to help you conquer the game easier (including a patch that will permit you to have any car and play on any track in the original game and in the Splat Pack expansion). The Message Board is also a great resource to go if you are having difficulty installing a Carmageddon game or want to discuss the game. Yes, CWIN has advertised the Car Wars to the Carmageddon Drivers and has discussed that the Tampa Wrecking Crew plays a Car Wars Campaign similar to Carmageddon. :-)


The gaming store Castle Perilous apparently has sponsored a new Car Wars Group calling itself BLADES. There was supposedly a meeting in the beginning of April however news about BLADES activities has not been displayed on the Castle Perilous Web Site. The CP Gaming Activities Web Site has been removed from the Internet, which contained the notice about the BLADES meeting. CWIN has contacted CP for further information on BLADES but there has not yet been any response.


Car Wars has another magazine! CBQ looks like to be a great publication. This issue features a history of the game, displaying color scans of Car Wars products. Please support this magazine by offering to write articles for CBQ. Of course, do not forget that your old friends CWIN and HVD also need submissions. :-)


This PBEM League is new but is undergoing a change of location on the Internet. The custodian of the Web Site has told CWIN that the League will be in service again within a month or two. Before the site disappeared there was a listing of players in the league but that was the extent of Car Wars data on the site.


The revolution for autoduelists in Iowa has begun! The Iowa Underground is the core of the movement to bring vehicular combat rights to the Amana State. The IU Web Site contains a Jump Page, a Vehicle Databse, Profiles of Members, Descriptions of Events, a Gadget Catalog and an Introduction to Car Wars Discussion. This Web Site is under construction and will not likely be updated until August because the designer of the site, Allan Dudding, will not have access to the Iowa State University Web Servers that contain the IU Web Site until August.


Mad Maximus is a Play-By-Web car race. The rules are very simple and the game is quite abstracted, but very violent. To get the right flavour, think of a cross between the film Mad Max 2, Steve Jackson's Car Wars, Games Workshop's Dark Future and that wonderful chariot racing board game by Avalon Hill, Circvs Maximvs (Circus Maximus)


This Web Site is under construction and does not yet have any Car Wars resources but it is nice to see autodueling may be returning to France, the land of the Maginot Line.


A beta-test version of a computer-controlled Play-By-Elmay Car Wars League is on this Web Site, featuring a graphic of the very large urban-combat Prosperity Arena.


Web-Based gaming magazine including reviews of Car Wars and Ogre.


This Web Site contains a myriad of vehicles for GURPS including two Autoduel designs, the Jackhammer and the classic Hotshot 2031. This list should keep you supplied with vehicles for many campaigns.



SWAT has created a Message Board and Chat Room on the Delphi Network called Dueling Debate. Car Wars, GURPS DarkFutureTech, Formula De and other vehicular combat issues are the topics of discussion. The only guideline for postings on Dueling Debate is that messages must be about Car Wars and vehicular combat otherwise anything is acceptible to talk about. You will need to register with the Delphi Network to gain access to Dueling Debate however Delphi membership is free.




I am quite impressed with the interest in the CWIN VDCs. I have received a large number of designs and they clearly show a lot of time and thought was placed into them. Please continue to participate and remember that HVD needs to have its VDCs supported.

This issue of CWIN presents two types of vehicle contests to challenge you.  In addition revisions are being made to the contests already in effect and you now have a longer amount of time for all of these contests.

First, design a Div60 Speedboat for Coast Guards of various organization. This speedboat will be fast response unit that can perform anti-drug assaults, sea rescues, storm tracking, coastal defense (likely to repel raiders of coastal areas), limited marine research and other relevant activities.

Because these boats should respect the environment this boat cannot have weapons loaded with paint, oil or flaming oil ammunition. Except for this limitation you may use any weapon or gadget available and you are encouraged to use Internet material. Regarding the Internet you must construct your speedboat with the statistics for that boat type from the following location on the WWW:

Car Wars Plus Pro II Gold

6. Boat Costs

Right now, it's $16k to get a totally unloaded speedboat with hydrofoils. This is a little foolish. If you add a CA frame, it transcends the ridiculous. Also, it means the boat is a very high percentage of the cost of the boat, which severely reduces variability in boat designs where cost is an issue. How about just giving boats chassis options, like cars, and halving their price. (Yes, we realize that chassis strength is not the limiting factor in a boat . . . say that the chassis modifiers strengthen key points, allowing the boat to have a more efficient shape). Then the table would be as such:

Boat / Cost / Weight / Max Load
Speedboat -- $2,000 / 2,700 lbs. / 7,000 lbs.

Now they're cheaper, and they can hold a little more if you boost their chassis, but they're much more reasonable, and they're able to compete with hovercraft in a reasonable manner.

The following gadgets may be useful to you in constructing your speedboats but they are not necessary. They are from the following source.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Matthew Feigin. Autoduel Quarterly 09.03. AADA Press. 2041. p.21

Scientific Sonar -- $5,000, 200 lbs., 1 space. For boats only. Must be mounted like a weapon facing underbody. Destroyed when the PP is destroyed. The operator may do nothing else. This item functions as a normal depth finder and also gathers detailed information about the sea floor. Each turn it is used roll 2d6, add the operator's SonarOp Skill, and deduct one per full 50 mph of the sensing vehicle's speed. The result will determine an "accuracy value" embodying the area scanned and the detail. No scans will produce any data until the sensing vehicle has moved from any previous sensing position a number of inches equal to the accuracy there (you're just investigating the same sea floor again).

2d6 Roll        Accuracy
4 or less        0
5-7                 1
8-10               2
11-12             3
13+                4

Sonar Jammer -- $3,000, 150 lbs., 1 space. Destroyed with PP. This device interferes with nearby scientific sonars. Its operator can do nothing else. When it is used, roll 1d6, add the operators SonarOp Skill, and divide by three (round up). This number, less one per 10" of distance, is subtracted from the 2d6 rolls of all scientific rolls.

Scientific sonars are used in scenarios where a player has to search a specific region of water. If the player rolls the Accuracy Value on 2d6 or less that player wins the scenario (of course if all opponents leave the field, surrender or are destroyed victory also results).

The scoring system used will be the same as the HVD contests.

Coast Guard Capacilities = 25 Points
Defensive Capability = 15 Points
Offensive Capability = 20 Points
Driving Pleasure = 15 Points
Cost = 5 Points
Analysis/Background = 20 Points

Remember that designing vehicles is only the first part of this contest. The second and perhaps most difficult is an "analysis" or "background" of the vehicles. Description of duels it has entered would be a great way to start this section.

Second, design one subcompact or compact without a car trailer that has a cost equal to or less than $100,000. Military equipment is acceptible as well as non-AADA-Sanctioned items but military weapons are not permitted. The third-spaces rule can be ignored for subcompacts as I feel they are like cycles ("They need all the help they can get" -- AutoDuel Quarterly Editors). Armor Sloping and Streamlining cost the same but do not take up space (this should only apply to subcompacts and perhaps cycles and sidecars too).

Third, you have $50,000 to design one mini-bus. It can be a pointguard vehicle, an anti-aircraft/anti-personnel vehicle, a rearguard ("Tail-End Charlie") vehicle, or a cargo carrier. This mini-bus will be used for a convoy when the drivers perform several well-paying cargo runs to upgrade their vehicles from standard ones to oversized ones. Car trailers are permitted.

Fourth, you have $100,000 to design four vehicles (all four must total equal to or under $100,000; each vehicle cannot be each worth $100,000). You have to design a pointguard, an anti-personnel/anti-aircraft vehicle, a cargo carrier and a rearguard. Only standard cars, cycles, sidecars, trikes and racing cars can be used. Sand Rails (dune buggies) from ADQ 10/3 can be used as well as the Racing Cycle from Backfire in ADQ 10/2. Car-trailers are also acceptible.

You now have until August 0, 1998 to design any of the above vehicles. Is the above clear? Are these guidelines acceptible? If I have still confused you (very likely) please tell me. These Vehicle Design Contests were not meant to be stressful. Instead, they were to be a challenge and to allow you to practice design skills and to explore rules of Car Wars that you might not use on a regular basis such as boats and oversized vehicles. In addition, the contests are a great source of vehicle designs for CWIN and HVD. :-)

If you have an idea for a VDC please send your suggestions to CWIN.




Vehicular Shotgun:                 Ugh. Tell me I didn't pay money to see this.
0.50-Caliber Machine Gun:    Not good, but coulda been much worse.
Vulcan Machine Gun:            All right. Not too bad.
Autocannon:                           Yeah. Definitely worth seeing.
Blast Cannon:                          VERY good. See it soon.
75mm Tank Gun:                      Get PSYCHED, baby! An instant legend.

WARNING -- This review may contain spoilers.  I'll try not to give away anything too important, but if you want to make sure no plot points get spoiled, you may wish to skip this. (But hey -- if you're that concerned about plot, you probably won't be that interested in the movies I review here in the first place.)

Hello, and welcome to the first installment of the Road Rage Movie Review, a look at what's in theaters with an eye towards vehicular violence.  My qualifications for doing this are that I'm an opinionated Car Wars player who occasionally gets himself out to see a movie, so feedback is welcome and invited. Hopefully, this will be the first of several articles.

Anyway, I'll kick this off with a recent autodueling release, Black Dog. I admit, this review is a little late in coming out -- if you want to see this one, you'll probably have to catch it at your local discount theater. Or just wait a month or two for it to be out on video; as it turns out, this movie doesn't have quite the staying power of, say, Titanic.

As you can probably guess if you remember the previews, Black Dog is awfully short on plot. Granted, this is hardly a fatal flaw; give me a movie chock-full of semis playing bumper cars, and I'm there. Trouble is, the movie has a hell of a time doing  anything interesting when uber-trucker Patrick Swayze isn't knocking heads with his 18-wheeler. At its best, the underlying plot is uninspired; and at its worst, it's contrived and tedious. If you must know, Swayze is an ex-con who lost his trucking license permanently, but is driving a load of weapons from Georgia to Jersey in order to get his family out of debt and make a better life for his daughter. Whee. It's really just a very thin excuse to show ass-stompin' trucks smashin' into each other.

But, enough about the slow bits -- how's the movie once the ass-stompin' trucks start smashin' into each other?  Simply put, it works. There's nothing here to make you forget The Road Warrior or Duel, but you still get treated to some well-done automotive mayhem as the baddies try to stop Patrick and the Truck of Doom -- and the "plot" even provides a reason why the cops don't show up looking for blood after the first truck gets run off the road. Truck vs. dirt bike, truck vs. car, truck vs. other trucks . . . yeah. The action part of  this action flick gets it done.

Unfortunately, it doesn't get it done near as well as it probably should have. Black Dog suffers from the lack of a good villain. Meatloaf just isn't my idea of "sinister," and none of his lackeys seem the least bit competent. I've always felt that a good action movie should push the hero to the limit of his skills -- if not beyond. And Swayze just never appears to be threatened enough to really get me involved. His character is obviously an order of magnitude more skilled than the flunkies being sent to take him out, even if his attackers are all well-armed. (For the level of competition he has to overcome, think Star Wars with just the Stormtroopers and without Boba Fett, Darth Vadar, or the Emperor, and you're on the right track.) His crew seems to be put to a much greater test (one guy in the cab with him, two guys in an escort vehicle), but it's not enough; they're obviously just minor characters.

More problematic, however, is the big finale. Call me picky, but if all the interesting parts of your movie consist of big trucks whomping on each other, then shouldn't your climactic final scene also have some big truck whomping? Actually, shouldn't it have a lot of big truck whomping?  At the very least, more than NO big truck whomping?  Alas, the creative forces behind this movie had different ideas.  The Big Confrontation is nothing more than your typical Hollywood Waterfront Warehouse Scene (TM). Yawn. It's badly out of keeping with the rest of the movie, and only barely interesting. (And don't even try to tell me that the final duel with Meatloaf is really the Grand Finale. That thing is tacked-on as hell.)

So, what's the verdict? Black Dog isn't nearly as bad as it could have been; but "doesn't embarass itself" is still a far cry from "good." This one is watchable, but not by much. Unless you're desperate for a "fix," or find this one in the cheapie bin at your local video store, I'd recommend passing and just renting The Road Warrior instead.

I'm giving this one a .30-cal machine gun. Ah, what the heck -- with high-density loads.

Until the next time, me droogies.

Pete Butler
CWIN Road Rage Movie Review Editor
Iowa Underground Cedar Rapids Division



Vehicular Shotgun:                 Ugh. Tell me I didn't pay money to see this.
0.50-Caliber Machine Gun:    Not good, but coulda been much worse.
Vulcan Machine Gun:            All right. Not too bad.
Autocannon:                           Yeah. Definitely worth seeing.
Blast Cannon:                          VERY good. See it soon.
75mm Tank Gun:                      Get PSYCHED, baby! An instant legend.

WARNING -- This review may contain spoilers.  I'll try not to give away anything too important, but if you want to make sure no plot points get spoiled, you may wish to skip this. (But hey -- if you're that concerned about plot, you probably won't be that interested in the movies I review here in the first place.)

Surprised? "Hey!" I bet you're saying, "This is a Car Wars newsletter, buddy! What the heck are you doing sneaking a Godzilla review in here?" Well, if you are saying that, stop it. For one, I can't hear you, and yelling at your computer just makes you look silly.

Ya see, the version of Godzilla the creators of ID4 have created for us is chock full of -- you ready for this? -- chase scenes. Godzilla? Chase scenes? Makes about as much sense as sticking nitrous tanks on a bus, right? Well, this ain't your father's Godzilla. The slow, lumbering behemoth is gone -- and his place has been taken by a fast, agile behemoth. And he rocks.

Go ahead -- b**** about the paper-thin plot. Or the decision-making behind giving Ferris Bueller the lead in an action movie. Or the "acting ability" of his love interest. Or the way everybody keeps calling Godzilla a "he" even after Ferris figures out Godzilla's pregnant. Or the way this movie "borrows" from Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Aliens, that really cheesy Aliens rip-off HBO made starring Rutger Hauer (Split Second?), and just about every other sci-fi flick on God's Green Earth. I don't care. This movie rocks. (And yes, I know his real name is Mathew Broderick, and he has done a great many movies since Ferris Bueller's Day Off. None of which have lessened his Ferris-ness in my eyes. Including this one.)

Godzilla's received a full-bore makeover, going from the good ol' "Rubber-Suit-Mation" to slick modern computer-generated effects -- and the big fella's never looked better. The scenes where Godzillagets to interact with the individual cast members look great -- how's that for a Godzilla first? But the real advantage of the new effects isn't the eye candy -- it's all the possibilities a speedy mega-monster opens up. The sequence where Godzilla's being chased (yes, very actively chased) by helicopter gunships is a real treat; who'da think you'd ever see Godzilla playing cat 'n' mouse? There's also a great scene involving Godzilla vs. a group of attack subs, where we learn that Big Green is one hell of a swimmer. (Oh, and add The Hunt for Red October to the list of "borrowed" movies above.)

But the big scene, the massive honkin' finale that you know must have taken months to film all by its lonesome, is Godzilla chasing a cab (containing Our Heroes) all over New York City.  Now this is a treat, this is something we haven't seen before, and this is why I'm reviewing the movie in a Car Wars newsletter. Yes, it strains credibility here and there, but my recommendation is to slide your brain into neutral and enjoy the ride.

Godzilla . . . chasing . . .  a cab. It is a wonderous thing to behold, sure to fire the imaginations of evil Car Wars gamemasters across the country.

The final verdict?  This Godzilla flick takes itself more seriously than it's predecessors . . . but not by a lot.  It knows what it is; big dumb fun. A bit too dumb here and there, but come on -- you're not going into this one expecting Shakespeare. The willingness to steal plot devices from anywhere and everywhere was a bit disturbing, but there was also a very classy tip-o'-the-hat to the original Godzillamixed in there, too.  This one's pretty much an adrenaline fest, and a damn fun one at that.

We'll give this one an autocannon, standard loads. Maybe not as good as it coulda been, but still a keeper.

Until the next time, me droogies.

Pete Butler
CWIN Road Rage Movie Review Editor
Iowa Underground Cedar Rapids Division



Dear Michael:

I am currently working on a massive update to the site with new content and a newer look. As for the HVD Car Wars Mailing List Archive on the DOA Web Site, I will be updating that as well.

The DOA . . . well, due to time constraints of its members, the DOA hasn't been meeting since January but that is about to change. We have a short game (CW of course) set up for this coming weekend and I hope to have some info up for then. Won't be much . . . Probably just stock vehicles on Spin City (I have a 3-D "model" of it built out of wood with 1/4" graph paper glued to the top so we can use Micro Machines on it.)

Sean Peterson
Duelists of Alberta (DOA)

P.S. The DOA Web Site has a new Web Address. Use the new URL above.



To all who receive this message:

Please forward this message to anyone who might be interested including listservs and Car Wars newsgroups. I'm a simple guy who loved Car Wars. When I was a kid, I bought every thing Car Wars I could get my hands on.Well, I'm moving to New York City in a month. And I can't take it with me. So, everything is for sale! I would prefer to sell the stuff as one lot. I will take bids for everything or for pieces until June 10th, 2048 (that's 1998 for the non Car Wars afficionados). Here's what I have:

Autoduel Quarterly. All of these are in really good condition.

Uncle Albert's Auto Shop & Gunnery Shop Game Supplements CAR WARS Deluxe Edition Rule Book Hundreds of playing pieces in a tackle box (which you can have also) and some road strips.

None of this stuff is in "perfect" condition, but it is all very useable. Please send bids or requests for information to the elmay address below. Shipping will be in addition to your bid, please. I have tried to "target" people interested in either having this stuff or who know someone who is interested.  I won't E-Mail any of you again without you requesting me to. Thank You.

John Asendorf
5810 Tetherwood
Toledo, OH 43613
(419) 475-5707


I live in Michigan and am looking for some players to help fill out my meager game group. If you live in or around the smaller Big Rapids area, let me know. I have friends in Grand Rapids also, and they would be more than happy to pick up anybody and give them a ride to the game house.

Jason Platt
Championship Autodueling Association (CADC)


I would like to purchase a copy of UACFH. Thank you  in advance.

Martin Poteralski
Virginia Autodueling Association Richmond Division