CWIN 3.10
The Daemon Mechanic
Covering Yourself

Written by Robert J. Garitta
Driving Tigers/Road Wolves

Web Posted October 18, 2000
Updated October 21, 2000

Combat in Car Wars deals mainly with chases and drive-by attacks, as you'd expect in a game about vehicle combat. This approach is exciting, but it penalizes the slow and sure crafty pedestrians. In real life infantry in a combat situation only live if they keep their heads down, but modifiers for cover are lacking in the game system. This variant addresses the effects of cover, another reason for your characters to get out of their cars!

Who has cover? Everyone wants some. It's best to have a referee judge such things. In general if an attacker can trace a line of sight to the entire facing of a target's counter, that target is in the open. If more than half of the counter's facing is blocked by another object, that target has cover. It may be possible to have one side of a vehicle be under cover and another not.

Example: A pedestrian might be in position to hit the front or right of a motorcycle. There is a car the right of the bike. Shots to the front of the cycle are clear. The right side is covered. The pedestrian might want to hold his fire until the cycle is clear of the car to hit the juicy cyclist.

Cover provides a negative modifier to hit. How big a modifier depends on how big the cover is and how big you are. Obviously a pedestrian hiding behind a car is in a good position while a car hiding behind a pedestrian will receive little benefit. To determine the cover modifier you have to know the to-hit modifiers for the cover and the target. Subtract the target's to hit modifier from the covering object's modifier. (Remember, when you subtract a negative number you add it.) Read the difference on the chart below to determine the to hit modifier.

Targeting Modifier Difference
Cover Modifier
Chance to Hit Cover
-3 to -2
-1 to 0
+1 to +2
+3 or more

Example 1: A pedestrian seeks shelter behind a streetlight. Streetlights are -6 to hit and pedestrians are -3 (-6 - [-3]) giving a difference of -3. Looking up the difference on the chart we find that our pedestrian has an additional -1 to be hit. If an intrepid autoduelist takes a shot at him and misses, there is a one-third chance (5-6 on 1d) of hitting the cover.

Example 2: A MONDO takes a shot at Black Jesse's cycle with a LAW. Black Jesse is driving behind a car but has is still exposed to fire. Cycles are -2 to be hit from the side, cars are 0 (0- [-2]) giving a difference of +2. Looking this up on the chart we find Black Jesse's cycle is at an additional -3 to be hit for a total of -5. If Jesse was off the cycle and hiding behind the car to trade shots, he would be at an additional -4 (0- [-3]) to be hit.

In order to use the chart, you must subtract the target's modifier from the cover object's modifier. This is the way I did it in both examples.

Cover objects with a DM of 3 or more than a target are considered to be large enough to allow pedestrians to pop up at slightly different spots when shooting or peeking and therefore derive a -4 DM. If a pedestrian is braced for a shot he should be considered stationary and receive a maximum -3 to be hit. This would apply to pedestrians operating tripod weapons or braced for a shot. The -1 modifier to be hit for stationary targets should only apply to pedestrians who are standing out in the open without cover. It's assumed a person behind any cover will be moving slightly to make full use of it.

Any shots that fail to hit the target may hit the cover. Roll the number indicated on 1 die to determine if the cover is struck. Note that for armored targets like vehicles the referee may rule that an additional normal to hit roll is required. Vehicles are well armored and shooting around them to hit another target will produce glancing shots more likely to be deflected harmlessly.

Obviously cover is just not going to work against some weapons. Explosions are not going to be affected unless the covering object is has a modifier three more than the target and is a vehicle or building. Any cover that is not airtight is worthless against a flamethrower. Shots by a flamethrower that hit a target's cover still do half damage to the target.

Optional Rule: Clear Shots

Hostage taking and other vile tactics are possible with these rules. For example, while robbing a burger joint, Jones the anarchist is confronted by the police. The coward grabs the cashier and uses her for a human shield. Jones and the cashier both are -3 to be hit. This gives Jones a total -5 to be hit. If a shot misses Jones, it has a 4-6 chance of hitting the innocent girl. Remember, cover is your friend.

A character can always state they are trying to avoid hitting the cover. This vital when the cover is valuable, alive or both. This gives the target an additional-2 to be hit. If the shot misses the target it will hit the cover only on a roll of 6. In the example above Jones would have a -7 to be hit by the police if they tried to avoid hitting the girl.