Car Wars Internet Newsletter
Vol. 8, No. 1
January 09, 2055

Web Posted April 02, 2006
Updated March 17, 2007


Happy New Year, high-octane gasoline addicts. I managed to have the past ten days as vacation, therefore I have had time to give SWAT HQ a badly-needed tune-up. The CWIN Archive now has all of the issues published and most of the dead links on SWAT HQ have been deleted.

Blasts from the Past

This year is going to be filled with the history of autodueling returning to the Car Wars community.  Tim Gould has started this trend by announcing the return of his combat-racing WADA chapter, the Championship Autodueling Circuit, to Car Wars gaming this year.

Several large projects by SWAT that involve the past of Car Wars will be completed this year. SWAT will also be publishing several smaller resources that are relaated to car-combat history. Two of these "Blasts from the Past" available now are the DeathTrack and Death Rally Driver's Survival Guides, resources that should be useful in arena circuit campaigns. Weapon engineers will particularly enjoy reading about DeathTrack's Terminators.

SWAT DeathTrack Driver's Survival Guide

SWAT Death Rally Driver's Survival Guide

Following this theme, this issue's Blast from the Past column has Web addresses of many important figures in the history of Car Wars. Seeing these names should bring back many Car Wars memories.

The Crash of KRASH

Cell Entertainment, the Swedish gaming company that produced the auto-combat collectible miniatures game KRASH, has gone out of business. If you ever wanted to try KRASH, purchase sets of the game as soon as you find them before they head to Highway One.

Fighting Outside of the Arena

One New Year's resolution I would like to accomplish is to provide more support for alternative auto-combat board games. I am especially interested in receiving game reports and articles about the games below.

* Dark Future by Games Workshop
* KRASH by Cell Entertainment
* Road Kill Rally by August Games
* Redline d20 by Fantasy Flight Games
* Overdrive Arena by Testors

Hyperlinks to official and player Web sites for these games can be found on SWAT HQ.

Alternative Auto-Combat Tabletop Games

This issue is being sent out only nine days late, and the newsletter is starting its eighth year of publication. Thanks for reading the magazine and even more thanks for those of you who contribute.

Drive offensively,

Lab Rat



Industry gives a look at a future with little or no gas power

By Greg Schneider
The Washington Post and MSNBC News
Updated: 6:45 a.m. ET Jan. 9, 2005

WASHINGTON - The brakes are controlled by a computer, so the car can stop a full length shorter than most. Each rear wheel has its own motor and can turn by itself, which not only improves traction but also makes parallel parking a snap. And the only thing this car emits is water vapor.

But for all the exotic gizmos on the Sequel, an experimental hydrogen-powered car to be shown today by General Motors Corp., the biggest breakthrough is that it is designed to drive as far and accelerate as quickly as the cars in most driveways.

The Sequel uses fuel-cell technology that until now has not matched the overall performance of gasoline engines. GM is introducing the car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit as rival companies make similar announcements.

Passengers at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport will soon ride on buses with hydrogen-powered engines, Ford Motor Co. chief executive William Clay Ford Jr. is to announce today. Ford also is to announce plans to create three gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles for retail sale, and to rush the hybrid Mercury Mariner sport-utility vehicle to showrooms later this year -- a year ahead of schedule to capitalize on consumer interest in hybrids.

Honda is showing off a new-generation hydrogen-fuel-cell car called the FCX for the first time this week. While the car is not intended for retail sale, it will show up in municipal fleets in New York, California and elsewhere in the coming year.

'It's a frenzy'

After a century of dependence on oil-based fuel, the auto industry is finally giving consumers a serious look at a future with little or no gasoline power. The products showing up this week in Detroit have far more corporate support than recent electricity-powered vehicles, and are advanced beyond the demonstration vehicles shown by car companies over the last few years. The fleet of fuel-cell minivans that GM maintains in Washington, for example, has limited range and must be operated by company employees.

By contrast, Honda lets almost anyone drive its FCX. In a recent feature on the automotive research online site, a reviewer described picking up the FCX from a valet-parking attendant.

Hydrogen is still years away from reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil. No one has yet figured out how to generate large amounts of hydrogen without causing as much pollution as internal-combustion engines now create, or how to pay for a nationwide distribution network. And the vehicles are prohibitively expensive; if GM's Sequel were for sale, it would cost as much as a warehouse full of Corvettes.

Still, auto industry executives say their business is on the verge of a fundamental change.

"It's a frenzy" to get out front with new technology, said Mary Ann Wright, director of such efforts at Ford. "What you're seeing is a groundswell, not really of industry pushing as much as everybody demanding that we really get serious about these solutions . . . The market's telling us something -- they're ready for this kind of stuff. The public is aware that we can't continue to consume oil like we do."

Hybrids grow in popularity

People have sent that message in the way car companies understand best: by buying products such as the Toyota Prius, the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Ford Escape Hybrid. Rising fuel prices, instability in the Middle East and concerns about global warming have helped sustain the hybrid phenomenon, and U.S. car buyers have even turned away from the biggest SUVs in favor of smaller models.

Most automakers consider hybrids to be a step toward the ultimate solution -- hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen to create heat and electricity, with water the only byproduct. Though many people associate hydrogen with disasters -- the hydrogen bomb, or the Hindenburg zeppelin explosion in 1937 -- scientists say the gas is in many ways safer than gasoline. Hydrogen is the lightest element, so leaks dissipate quickly and are difficult to concentrate enough to ignite. Hydrogen is stable, so it will not explode just from an impact.

But those same properties make it challenging to store hydrogen in a large-enough quantity to power a vehicle. The Bush administration has pledged $1.2 billion over five years to sustain a government-industry research partnership on hydrogen power, with many auto and energy companies cooperating to develop the technology.

One thing, though, seems to have changed the tenor of the otherwise polite hydrogen effort: Toyota's success with the Prius.

That car's unexpected popularity helped influence public policy, with the federal government offering tax breaks to hybrid buyers and state governments offering express-lane exemptions. The Prius gave Toyota a "halo" of technological virtue, said Lindsay Brooke of the auto consulting firm CSM Worldwide Inc. Now other companies want a piece of the action.

GM, which has been slow to roll out hybrid products, is using the Sequel to try to win some of the attention for hydrogen, Brooke said.

"We're reaching out to show that this is truly doable," GM technology chief Lawrence D. Burns said. "We're talking about a real car. It's not affordable yet, but I can assure you it's doable."

In 2002, GM showed a fuel-cell concept car called the Hy-Wire that consisted of an 11-inch thick "skateboard" chassis that contained all the working parts -- one-tenth as many as in a conventional car -- with a body simply bolted on top. But the Hy-Wire was rickety to drive and could never have met federal highway standards, let alone satisfied demanding buyers.

The Sequel's biggest single advance, Burns said, is a compressed-hydrogen storage tank that can hold enough fuel to give the car a range of 300 miles. That is twice as far as the range of older versions of fuel-cell cars, and is considered the threshold distance to be marketable. With liquid hydrogen, the range could extend to 450 miles, Burns said.

The Sequel also has a more powerful stack of fuel cells than previously possible, cutting 0-to-60 mph acceleration time to fewer than 10 seconds, comparable to most conventional cars.

GM is also working on the technology to produce and assemble the Sequel, hoping to be able to build 1 million a year by 2010, Burns said.

Not many in the industry agree with such a close date. "The goal is to make it a practical technology, and it's going to be after 2010," said Ben Knight, vice president for research and development at Honda USA. His company's fuel-cell car has a range of about 190 miles, and is the only such vehicle certified by U.S. regulators for public use.

But while they disagree on specifics, virtually all automakers are pushing to get more attention for hydrogen so that society, the government and other industries will get ready for the eventual change, Brooke said. "They're starting to force the public to look at it and now the fuel industry needs to step up and develop the infrastructure and develop the means to produce the hydrogen," he said.


By Lance Gay
Scripps Howard News Service and Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Saturday, January 8, 2005

The federal government wants to change its current rules to permit convicted arsonists to get special licenses so they can drive gasoline tankers and trucks loaded with explosives and hazardous materials.

But murderers and convicted racketeers will no longer be permitted to drive hazardous materials on the nation's interstates.

"Arson is not always an act of terrorism," the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) declared in proposing the new regulations, which would permit the agency to review on a case-by-case basis whether convicted arsonists should get the special licenses allowing them to drive gasoline trucks, or other vehicles carrying hazardous materials.

Under the PATRIOT Act, the TSA was directed to issue special federal certifications to the commercial licenses held by truck drivers who haul hazardous chemicals, gasoline tankers and explosives.

The government plans to begin issuing the new licenses Jan. 31. It estimates that it will receive more than 2 million applications.

Last May, the agency issued regulations that would have prohibited anyone convicted of arson from driving hazardous-material trucks. But on Nov. 24, the TSA announced in the Federal Register that officials had changed their minds and no longer regarded arson as being among the most serious crimes warranting lifetime disqualification.

Amy von Walter, a TSA spokeswoman, said the agency considered arson to cover a broad category of crimes. "We wanted to ensure that we allowed for flexibility as we reviewed an individual's case," she said. The licenses will given only to drivers who have been out of prison for seven years.

The agency said it was adding murder and racketeering convictions to the list of crimes. "Murder is one of the most violent crimes on the list of disqualifiers and indicates a disregard for human life," it said.

The Owner-Operators Independent Truckers Association, the nation's largest association of independent truckers, is irate at one of the changes in the new rule -- one that would relax rules preventing non-citizens from receiving permits.

The TSA wants to allow citizens of Mexico and Canada, along with people who have entered the United States under asylum visas or as refugees, to obtain the special driving permits.

Paul Cullen, a lawyer representing the independent truckers, said there is no way that the TSA can check the backgrounds of these immigrants to determine if they are a threat or not. "It is grossly unfair to U.S. citizen drivers to allow persons whose backgrounds cannot be effectively checked to have the same rights and privileges as U.S. citizen drivers," he said.

TSA officials contend that those admitted to the United States under asylum procedures are given FBI background checks, which the TSA uses in its procedures to ensure that potential terrorists aren't certified to drive hazardous materials.

"Our job is to ensure that those who handle hazardous material are properly vetted," von Walter said.

Cullen said truck drivers are alarmed over the public nature of the licensing procedure. He said denial of a "hazmat" license would result in drivers being blackballed from hauling other materials, even if there were a bureaucratic mistake.

The industry is skeptical that the government can implement the new regulations in such a short time, and protests that the procedures are too costly. Truck drivers will be required to obtain clearances on the basis of their fingerprints, and fees for the hazmat certifications are estimated to cost about $100 each.



The names below are individuals who had major roles in the evolution of Car Wars. I cannot find the whereabouts for several contributors. If you can help locate these drivers and gunners, please contact the editor.

* John M. Ford, Author
* Chad Irby, Car Wars Co-Creator
* Michael Montgomery, River City Autoduel Association
* Tim Ray, River City Autoduel Association
* David N. Searle, ADQ Editor

I will try to add more names to this list as the year progresses. If you know of someone who should be listed here, please drop me a note.

If there is interest, I can expand this list into a formal Web page for SWAT HQ and make semi-regular updates to the file.

-- MPO

Aaron Allston

Stephen Beeman,23380

Andrew Buttery,2763

Christopher J. Burke

Chuck "Chuckles" Busche

Ben D. Ellinger

Robert J. Garitta

Richard "Lord British" Garriott

Jim Gould

Scott D. Haring

David Ladyman

Creede Lambard

Denis Loubet

Kyle Miller

John Nowak

Charles A. Oines

David L. Pulver

Philip J. Reed

Ramona Richards

S. John Ross

Craig Sheeley

Allen Varney

George "Speed" Webber



Posted by Jonah, August 30, 2002, 8:14 AM PST

I'm the world champion and you're not. Don't worry though, NOVA members may seem to be high and mighty, but donít be fooled; each of us is human and have our faults. Want to host a tournament? Better learn how to run one. Maybe you'll want to host one at Paradise Racetrack where the recent addition of split levels and spiral curves has the local racing crowd abuzz with joyful anticipation.

Is this a Sports Filter post about auto racing? No, it's an eerie look into the world of a Car Wars chapter. (Ever walk into somewhere that you wish you could run out of, but you just can't stop exploring?)

Posted by yesster, 8:43 AM PST

(It is) nice how they call the pillars, "indestructible," the description made famous by the Titanic.

Posted by risenc, 8:46 AM PST

I'm not sure I understand all this, never being a gamer myself, but this quote made me chuckle.

"We had our craziness at times, including the infamous transforming vehicles, mock ARF attacks, the Maniacs adventures and others. You canít just expect us to fight in the arena or highway each week. At Gen Con we ran a Godzilla/Monster event the last few years and its a blast. Destroying cities, tanks, aircraft, and helicopters is such fun. No average car can take down a tank in one shot, but Godzilla can."

Man, those were the days . . .

Posted by thanotopsis, 8:52 AM PST

Car Wars . . . fantastic game. (I am) trying to do a simple conversion of existing code to make an Autoduel game myself. Right now, my friends and I are all into MegaMek for our 80s gaming nostalgia.

Posted by tweebiscuit, 9:33 AM PST

I managed to be an avid Steve Jackson Games fan for years without ever playing a single session of one of their games, even though I owned hundreds of dollars worth of their products. Plus, SJ Games had a daily weblog in 1994,  before the Pyra kids were even out of college.


Posted by shawnndan, April 18, 2001

Place Death Row inmates in highly flammable cars and let the games begin!

The game is played like this: Take six death row inmates, put them in unsafe cars like, say '79 Pintos, drench the cars in gasoline, and require them to ram one another at high speeds. Last one left alive and not burned beyond recognition gets to return next week to defend his "title." Televise it on CBS.

Posted by redpony

Why only six?

Posted by st3f

Would this be before or after appeal?

Posted by Aristotle

Car Wars

A gladiatorial car combat game that comes complete with ramming, petrol cars (in a expansion) and flamethrowers.

Posted by shawnndan

I've heard of the Angola (Louisiana) prison rodeo, but here's the thing: Those prisoners aren't slated for death, nor are any of them ever killed. And those who participate in the rodeo and win are allowed to win money. In my concept, their only prize is to be allowed to live to compete again. This of course would take place after their appeals process has run out. The reason I said six is because using more than that would deplete the death row inmate population pretty quick, and the show would quickly run out of contestants. Actually four would be even better.

Posted by centauri

"Running Man" much?

Posted by DrBob

Thanks for the reminder Aristotle. I haven't had Car Wars out of the cupboard for a long time. I feel a weekend of motorised mayhem coming on.



From: Francis Greenaway
To: Michael P. Owen <>
Subject: Dark Future CWIN Favour
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 11:11:34 -0000

Hi Rat of the U.S. (ROUS),

Can I ask you a favour please?

I'm thinking about setting up a Yahoo! Groups for the Dark Future game (I've had a couple of people ask me for something like this now), and I was wondering if you would be able to ask the people on the CWIN whether or not there would be any interest for it.

If a few people say yes, then I'll go ahead, but if not, then I shall not bother. Thanks a lot!

Francis Greenaway
Webmaster, Painted Target
fesg AT

Memo: Four pounds of C-4 may be a bit . . . excessive.



12-29-2004, 09:47 AM

What eventually became of him? Find inner peace, or paid the toll to Road Warrior Nirvana? Those were great stories.

John Nowak
Location: Puteaux France (US Expat)
12-30-2004, 01:44 AM

Thanks very much!

The last story was going to have him and Mary get together. They end up being drawn into defending Mary's home town from a biker gang. Justin 2 realizes they're in over their heads, and calls for help from his "older brother." Justin 1 shows up with Nightsword. Justin 1 is married to Julia and they have a kid, who is naturally left back home.

Much violence; Mary gets killed, cycle gang is destroyed. Julia decides to stay with Justin 2, and have Justin 1 activate Julia 2.

A really weird ending, I think.

12-30-2004, 10:49 AM

Kickass! Please write this and publish it somewhere.

12-30-2004, 10:55 AM

Justin Bailey? The Metroid-code kid?

John Nowak
12-31-2004, 12:51 AM

I don't know (write and publish). There isn't a venue, the original stories were written 20 years ago, the "dark hero" archetype is considerably less interesting now.

12-31-2004, 12:52 AM
John Nowak

Nah -- no connection at all (to Metroid). Justin Bialy was named for a talking rat and the guy I carpooled with.


From: Allan
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2003 19:50:15 +0100
Local: Sat, Jun 14 2003 11:50 am
Subject: Car Wars

Anyone remember a little tabletop game from the 80s/90s called Car Wars by Steve Jackson Games? Not a video game but a paper map with cardboard car counters and a movement and combat system.

GTA keeps reminding me of this, especially when I see pictures of the top-down view of the early GTAs. The real inspiration for GTA do you think?

It even had tanks, just like ours!

From: Pahsons - Somnolent
Date: 14 Jun 2003 23:22:27 GMT
Local: Sat, Jun 14 2003 4:22 pm

Falling asleep through Allan's post . . .

Without looking at the links, couldn't you outfit a car to turn into a copter in this? I think I remember that . . .

From: Robert
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2003 15:12:47 -0400
Local: Sat, Jun 14 2003 12:12 pm

Oh yeah. That was definitely cool. There was an attempt, if I recall, to make a licensed video game; dunno what happened to that.

Hhhm. Nah, not a whole lot (inspiration for GTA); Car Wars was sci-fi -- probably more an inspiration for Route 76.

From: Matt "Mattrik" Loughran
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 13:42:09 +0100
Local: Sun, Jun 15 2003 5:42 am

It (a licensed video game) happened. I had a copy for the Spectrum, more years ago than I care to remember.

As I recall, it wasn't at all bad (by the standards of the day). The best part being the ability to design your own car, right from the chassis up,
and including whatever passive (oil slick or spikes) or active (machine guns, flamethrowers etc.) weapons you wanted, and race it.

With my brother I designed a car which was light, fast, and lightly armoured except for the rear (the logic was that with the speed of it, no one would get to shoot at any other part) and armed only with twin rear facing flamethowers (as it was difficult to aim anything, especially at the rear). We called it "Arsefire" which at that age we found highly amusing.

From: JabberSmith
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 21:23:14 -0500
Local: Sun, Jun 15 2003 7:23 pm

Yup! That was called a "Grasshopper", though the copter plants used up so much space you really didnt get much of a copter or much of a car.

I got all that stuff sitting here in my basement. Dueltrack, arenas, the 3-D Arena, Sunday Drivers, East Midville (with the MONDOs) and little card markers up the behind. There was a cool Excel-based vehicle generator floating around the 'Net for a while, too.

It was a fun time trying out all the new stuff from Uncle Albert's in each issue of ADQ.

(Of) course, now I have grown up and only wish I had the time to unload the stuff on eBay.



Forum: Autoduelist's Haven <>
From:  Andrew Kolb
Date:  Wed Aug 18, 2004  8:11 pm
Subject:  More Spells for Carwars Magic!

Morgan's Magnificent Malfunction
To-Hit 7
Cost: 10 points

Target driver must make a D4 hazard check immediately. This works like any other hazard check.

Ammo Blamo!
To-Hit 10
Cost: 6 points

The next time target vehicle fires a weapon it misfires and causes 1d-3 points (minimum 1 point) of damage to the weapon. The shot is lost. If two or more linked weapons are fired then all weapons misfire.

Digital Shadow
To-Hit 7
Cost: 7 points

The target vehicle, if equipped with a targeting computer, fires all weapons at -2 for two turns and the benefit from the targeting computer is negated.

Mystic Trucker Sage
Cost: 4 points

This spell summons a ghostly trucker who advises the driver, improving his Handling Class by 2. This spell lasts for two turns. The ghostly trucker will not advise a cyclist.

Kitty of Destruction
To-Hit 7
Cost 8: points

This spell summons a large house cat into the target driver's car. The cat immediately begins running amok giving the target driver a -2 on his Handling Class. This spell lasts for 1d6 turns.



C in C Soft Metal Casting Discussion Forum

Posted by MaksimSmelchak
October 21, 2003

I helped create a new group a few months ago to discuss 6mm miniatures including 6mm microarmor miniatures such as the wonderful ones made by C&C Pfc.

The site has an incredible database, files, and links section. Some of the links areas cover rarer genres of 6mm miniatures gaming such as monster (Godzilla) gaming, 6mm autodueling (Car Wars), microarmor (W.W.I, W.W.II and Moderns) and nearly every major genre of 6mm historical (Ancients to ACW and beyond) wargaming.

Everyone interested is invited to join.

Purpose: This group has been established to support 6mm minatures gamers of all genres.

Membership So Far: As of 3 October 2003, the majority of the posts' contents have revolved around 6mm WWII, Moderns, and Sci-fi miniatures and games , but all 6mm gamers are welcome to join and post. We'd welcome a larger and greater 6mm Napoleonic, 6mm ACW, 6mm ECW, and/or 6mm Ancients community.

6mm Air Gamers' Note: So far the 6mm air gamers community here is small. We recommend heading to the Air Pirates or Blue Skies Web sites for better coverage of 6mm air gaming (and related scales).

Allowed Posts: As long as the posts have a strong relation to 6mm minatures and 6mm gaming, they will be allowed at the moderators' discretion. You are welcome to write posts about trades, battle reports, miniature questions, mini assembly, mini painting, game background chat, or just about anything else related to 6mm miniature gaming.

I added links to the C&C Pfc site and other microarmor manufacturers at the E-group.

Best regards to all,












Playtests have already begun for new streamlined rules based on Formula Dé and Car Wars. New rules should be posted within a few more months (after more playtesting). Let us know if you are interested in helping with the playtesting.


* Prestige Classes: Highway Hero, Brewer, Law Man
* Redline Character Sheet


Car Wars Programs: Sean Peterson's Excel 95 Workbook