CWIN Vol. 1, No. 4
The Daemon Mechanic
Advanced Monster Truck Rules

Written by Andras O. Schneider and C. David Dent

Andras O. Schneider

Web Posted June 01, 1998
Updated August 05, 2000

By 2040 there were a growing number of outdoor arenas that catered to the off-road autoduel enthusiasts. Several of these fans went overboard in their modifications, thus reintroducing the Monster Truck (MT) phenomenon. Usually hand-built, these MTs literally rolled over the competition.

These vehicles are prohibitively expensive and are almost always Division 100+ in competition. Because of the cost, no more than five MTs are owned by each off-road autoduel team. In competition, a draw is considered legal if both trucks are beat-up to a point where only the complete destruction of one or the other is possible. Generally speaking, if there is no decisive winner, the match is a draw.

Some arenas have implemented a "point" system where particularly hard to hit or sensitive areas are given point values that will determine a score. Like boxing, regardless of the points a vehicle has, if it is destroyed it loses. In these point competitions, a knock-down is considered a win. If one of the trucks rolls, then the fight is won. Monster Trucks are often used for strictly race-oriented competition. In some cases, "mock" combats with targeting lasers, and paint rounds are used.

Monster Truck fights are usually held after regular competition, and the wrecks of the previous competitors are left on the field.


Monster truck counters are 3/4" by 1 1/4".

Because of the massive suspension and tires fitted to a MT, they are capable of crossing obstacles that would stop "ordinary" vehicles. MTs can cross any obstacle that is equal to or less than 2/3 the size of the tires. For 66" tires that is 44", for 73" tires it is 48.66", and for 120" tires it is 80".

Collisions (moving or stationary) with obstacles that a MT can cross are a D3 hazard, and each tire takes 1d6-1 damage. If a MT can cross an obstacle, it will inevitably bounce and be launched. In all cases treat collisions with crossable obstacles the same as hitting a 45-degree ramp.   Hazards for landing after a jump are standard, but are modified by the suspension. Springs, shocks and airbags reduce the hazard of collisions and landings by D1 for each type the MT has (see construction).

For example, a pickup with shocks, springs, airbags, and 73'' tires that hits a 36'' tall car at 50 mph, takes 1d6-1 points to each tire, and is launched into the air for 140' (9.5" game scale). When it comes down, it takes a D3 hazard, but has a -D3 modifier for a net hazard of D0.

"Steamrollered" vehicles receive half collision damage and that damage is divided evenly between the side of collision and the roof of the car. In the above example, the car that was used as a ramp would take 5d6 damage, evenly distributed between the side that the monster truck hit, and its roof. The damage multiplier only applies when the truck strikes an oversized vehicle or a building.

Base Vehicle Heights

Vehicles smaller than sedans are always considered ramps while oversized vehicles will always cause collisions automatically.

Body Type
Front Height
Roof Height
Rear Height
Mid-Size or Smaller
3' (36")
4.5' (54")
3' (26")
3.5' (42")
5' (60")
3.5' (42")
4' (48")
6" (72")
4' (48")
Camper or Van
4' (48")
6' (72")
4' (48")
Oversized Vehicle

Usually, the MT will use the front and rear heights, even in a T-Bone, as the chassis has enough clearance between the wheels to miss the roof. If the collision is offset by more than half the counter however, then the roof height is used to determine if the truck can clear the vehicle.

Striking Obstacles

When a MT hits an obstacle that is too tall to cross, but not tall enough (or insufficient clearance to) hit the body, there is a chance of a Vault result.

The base chance of a Vault is 1 in 6 for every 10 mph greater than 30. The result of Vault is automatic at 90 mph or greater. If the result is negative, then the MT just stops and the front tires take 2d6 damage. If the result is positive, then the truck launches into the air, while spinning end over end.

If the MT lands on it's front or it's top, then it is "down for the count," otherwise it will land on or roll onto its tires.

When a MT strikes an uncrossable obstacle a base wheel-saving roll is required. For example, a 10-ton axle will always fail, a 20-ton axle will fail on a 1 or 2, and a 30-ton axle will fail only on a 1. An additional base wheel-saving roll is required if the MT lands directly on it's wheels after a Vault. In the unfortunate circumstance of losing one's wheels in a collision, the MT will turn 90 degrees and roll in the direction of travel. The obstacle struck, will take 3/4 normal collision damage, distributed evenly between the side struck and the top of the obstacle.

Entering water is only a D2 hazard for a MT. The truck takes an immediate 20 mph reduction in speed per level of the water (1/4" game scale per level), and a 10 MPH reduction in acceleration per level of water. The maximum depth of water that a MT may ford without "swimming" is 7 1/2 feet (1/2").

Trucks with NBC shielding are not bound by the depth restriction, but suffer the same penalties to movement and acceleration.

The enormous tires that a MT mounts may allow it to float in the water. MTs may "swim" using PR tires, provided that the lift of the tires is sufficient to hold the vehicle. The lift provided on the Monster Truck Tire Table is for all four tires combined. While swimming, the Monster Truck's acceleration is halved and top speed is quartered. NBC shielding is not required for swimming.

Monster Trucks are very tall and it is imperative that the clearances of overpasses are known prior to combat. The height of the truck should always be noted on the record sheet. If a MT collides with an overpass, the referee (or the players) decides if the damage is taken to the top (and any turrets there), the body (i.e. front armor), or the suspension (i.e. bottom armor). Using the base vehicle height table above, add 8" for each suspension modification after the first, plus half of the tire diameter, to find the height. Turrets add an additional 1'; universal turrets add an additional 2'. For example, a pickup with shocks, springs, airbags, and 66" tires would stand 72 + 8 + 8 + 33 = 121" or 10' 1". An extreme case would be a van with shocks, springs, airbags, tubular chassis, universal turret, and 120" tires would stand 72 + (8 x 3) + 24 + 60 = 180" or 15' 0".


In most respects, MT combat is the same as normal Car Wars combat. However, there are a few situations concerning MT that require mentioning.

Monster Trucks are so tall that they take half underbody damage from mines. Monster Truck tires, however, take full damage.

When a MT has a crash, the results of the Crash Table are altered because of the peculiar balance of MTs. Any result of a Major Skid or a Spinout is converted to Roll. This result cannot be avoided. In a Roll, MTs decelerate 10 mph per round, instead of 5 mph.

In a Roll, a Monster Truck's tires may come off. This chance is reflected in the Tire Saving Roll (see Axle Section).

On the first side of each revolution that a monster truck makes, the player rolls 1d6. If the result is greater than the tire save times the revolution, then the tires remain attached.

For example, if a truck with a tire save of 1 gets a roll result, then when it first tips on its side it rolls 1d6. If it gets anything but a 1, the tires remain attached. After one complete revolution, when it hits the same side that it rolled the last save, if it rolls anything but a 1 or 2 it retains it's tires. If the truck had a tire save of 2, then any result but a 1 or 2 on the first roll would have been safe and a 5 or 6 would have been the only safe rolls on the second save.

If any  wheel on a MT is destroyed, roll on Crash Table 1 immediately and at the beginning of every turn thereafter. If a MT loses a tire, it decelerates 15 mph (plus braking, if any) automatically every turn.

Normal vehicles have no penalty to target a Monster Truck's tires. Normal vehicles may also target the underside of a MT if within 6" with no penalty. Conversely, a MT may target the top armor of any normal (i.e. shorter) vehicle within 6" of it with no penalty.

Vehicle Construction

A Monster Truck starts off as an "ordinary" off-road vehicle, and it's construction follows normal procedure when considering body, frame, and chassis. However, if the body is sedan (Jeep) sized or larger, has an extra-heavy chassis, and an off-road suspension, it may be converted to a MT by adding any of the following modifications prior to armor and weapons.

A van or pickup with Monster Truck tires need not mount six wheels. Four wheels for a MT are more than adequate, however it can mount six 66" tires if desired, but the additional cost is $1,000, not $100.

Monster Truck Axles

Monster Trucks must have one of the following axles:

Axle Type
HC Mod
1,000 lbs.
2,000 lbs.

10-ton axles are the standard off-road axle available.
20-ton axles are heavy-duty axles usually used on military vehicles or trailers.
30-ton axles are designed for maximum stress and abuse, and originally were fitted to armored personnel vehicles.


Monster truck tires come in three sizes but limited styles of each size.
Tire Type
66" PR
2,000 lbs.
66" Solid
3,000 lbs.
66" Plasticore
6,000 lbs.
73" PR
3,000 lbs.
73" Solid
4,000 lbs.
120" PR
4,800 lbs.

* Cost, weight and lift is for a full set of four tires. Six-wheeled vehicles add +50% to cost, +50% to weight and +50% to lift factors.
** HC reduced by -1 after tire has 8 DP damaged.

Lift is the amount of weight the set of tires can "swim" across open water. If the maximum weight is less then lift then the truck floats.

The enormous tires that a Monster Truck mounts may allow it to float in the water. Monster Trucks may "swim" using PR tires, provided that the lift of the tires is sufficient to hold the vehicle. The lift provided on the Monster Truck Tire Table is for all four tires combined. While swimming, the Monster Truck's acceleration is halved and top speed is quartered.  NBC shielding is not required for swimming."

Monster Truck tires are automatically off-road (+1 HC off-road) and may be steelbelted or fireproofed at the normal modifications for cost and weight (except for the 66" plasticore tire).

Suspension Accessories

Monster Truck Suspensions may be modified with the following items. Each accessory, except the tubular underframe, gives  -D1 and -10 mph landing modifiers. All bonuses are cumulative.

Load Mod
MT Springs
300 lbs.
MT Shock Absorbers
200 lbs.
MT Airbags
100 lbs.
Tubular Underframe
10x Body

Monster Truck Springs (MTSp) are oversized springs taken from semi-trailers, and buses and fitted to smaller vehicles. Often they are inverted for maximum tension.

Monster Truck Shocks (MTSh) are no different than heavy-duty shocks, except in number. This modification means that as many as 16 shocks have been mounted on each tire.

Monster Truck Airbags (MTAb) are pad-like shocks that prevent the body from having its frame rammed through it. They function well only on the extended frames of Monster Trucks.

A Tubular Underframe (MTTU) is a maze of underbody tubing that is designed to flex and give under the unusual stresses of MT racing and to reinforce the normal chassis. This is not considered a part of the frame and must be purchased separately. It is included solely to allow the MT to haul around the very  heavy tires. (Note to rules lawyers: this can only be used with MT tires as a normal pickup with normal tires and a MTTU would topple over.)


Monster trucks are armored, and outfitted normally with the following exceptions:

Spoilers, Airdams, and Active Suspension have no effect on MT performance

Ramplates are too high from the ground to effect anything other than another MT or an oversized vehicle.

Monster truck counters should be played on the map centered on the eight squares normally occupied by a vehicle counter with 1/8" overhang on each side. A collision will occur when the counter overlaps another and not when alongside of one with a gap between.

They cannot use dropped solid or liquid weapons, but can use dropped gas normally. This counter should be placed overlapping the truck counter at the edge and aligned with the grid as the car struck.

Sample Vehicles: Zeus HR and Zeus XA

Zeus HR -- Short-bed pick-up, x-hvy. chassis, thundercat PP with overdrive, OR suspension, driver with HRTC, four 66" PR tires, 30-ton axles,  MT springs, MT shocks, MT airbags, MT tubular underframe, 2 incendiary HRs aimed back on 2-space rocket EWP in cargo bed, laser in 2-space turret, rollcage, HD brakes, tinted/no-paint windshields. FP plastic armor: (175 points). Acceleration 10 (5 with overdrive), Top speed 122.5 (142.5 with overdrive), HC 1 (2 off-road); 13,000 lbs., $95,350.

Zeus XA (Extra Armor) -- As above, but remove both incendiary HRs, rocket EWP and HRTC. Add HRSWC and 38 points FP plastic armor (213 points). Cost increases $1,178.