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Death Racing Association of Washington (DRAW)
House Rules

DRAW: Official GMs of the AADA
          Northwest Regionals\

House Rules

This is a draft of the DRAW variants. The following rules have been adapted by DRAW mainly for three reasons: playability, speed of the game and balance. The variants were adopted with the idea of running events for 12 people at a time in a tournament at a convention.

Each mutation of the original rules has been heavily discussed and argued with the priority being on game logic and balance. The following rules have stood the test of time, endless arguments and numerous tournaments. The original rules are Car Wars published by Steve Jackson Games and written by Chad Irby and Steve Jackson.

These variants are for reference only and not to replace the original game rules.

"We put them up, so you know what to expect from us." -- Bill and Phil

News for 4-22-98: Official 1999 Northwest Regional Variants

With exception to Skill and Prestige for characters, the variants listed in the sections below are official variants for the 2049 AADA U.S. Northwest Regional Dueling Championships Tournament to be held at RadCon 2C.

As for the rules . . . I don't see why you guys can't do whatever you want. Your rules are time-tested, work for your group, and you inform everyone in advance what they're going to be. Go with them.

Scott D. Haring
Steve Jackson Games


Codes of Honor



Car Creation


DRAW Codes of Honor

Over the years, DRAW has changed it Codes of Honor as drivers have come and gone. All of the codes are voted on by the group, with both sides of the argument getting time to speak about their beliefs. Most of the codes are pretty obvious, some are to encourage dueling, rather than promote "racing to surrender" matches.

Fight on foot

Every driver and gunner is expected to exit the vehicle and fight on foot only after the car can no longer be driven. If the tires or engine are gone, or maybe just the guns are dead, that is when participants are expected to get out of the vehicle and fight on foot. A smart pedestrian can do wonders with the right selection of hand weapons.

No tire shots

A tire shot is probably the cheesiest way to take out a vehicle. Shooting your Vulcan MG or Recoilless Rifle at a tire tells the crowd you are a coward and afraid of a real fight. At DRAW, we say, "If you need to have tire shots, try a different chapter." What is the point of putting armor on a vehicle, if people don't shoot at it? Dropped weapons are the only honorable way to destroy a competitor's tires. Breaking this code in an arena means the culprit's car is worth triple points and everybody will be gunning for the coward.

Never fire on a vehicle that surrendered

Despite the true cowardice it takes to surrender, at DRAW we understand the utter fear a driver from another league (like SWARM) might have facing DRAW competitors. If a vehicle surrenders, it is completely unacceptable for another duelist to cause injury to the occupants or the vehicle itself. Granted, there is no penalty for disobeying the code, and drivers tend to ignore someone breaking the code when it takes place, but it is agreed that no one will harm a driver, gunner or vehicle that has surrendered. (Note: It is believed this will be voted out at the next convention by several DRAW members.)


DRAW Encumbrance Rules

These rules are optional, and a bit more complicated than the original grenade equivalents (GE) system or the alternate system of weight. DRAW uses a combination of the GE method of representing the space of the items to be used in conjunction with the weight system.

Maximum Encumbrance

A pedestrian can carry up to 200 lbs. of hand weaponry and other equipment. Several pedestrians can work together to carry heavier items (like tripod weapons) by dividing the weight among them. If you can get enough helpers, you can pull your car out of a ditch . . .


The amount of weight you carry counts against your vehicle's chassis limit (if you're in one), and affects your character's running speed: For the weight carried, the running speed penalty is 0-20 Ibs. = None, 21-40 lbs. = -1/5th move per turn (1 phase), 41-60 Ibs. = -2/5th move per turn (2 phases), 61-120 Ibs. = -3/5th move per turn (3 phases) and 121-200 lbs. = Must stop to rest every other turn

Item Space

In addition to weight, personal equipment is also classified as to how it's carried: no-handed (on a belt, clip, or otherwise attached to the wearer), one-handed (most weapons fall into this category) and two-handed large weapons and other bulky items). Each of these designations also denotes the space taken up of each item, representing the bulk of the equipment. The space is referred to as grenade equivalents (GE), as in a one-space item takes roughly the room of a grenade. A driver or gunner can carry up to eight grenade equivalents of weaponry and items while in the dueling arena.

Using Items

Any pedestrian can carry one two-handed weapon or two-handed accessory in his hands at any time, or two one-handed weapons. Any number of no-handed weapons may be carried at the same time. A weapon in a holster (any one GE weapon) is instantly ready, while a slung weapon (any two handed weapon) takes 2 turns to ready.


This is a character's status among other autoduelists and the millions of TV autoduel fans. For game mechanics, DRAW uses prestige as a way of determining placement of vehicles in duels and to help decide on tie breakers.

The player who has the character with the highest prestige is allowed to place their vehicle last during the seating at any regular season event. The player with the lowest places first, then the second lowest goes next and so on until the prestige leader is reached. The prestige leader is able to choose the best position from which to start from due to his popularity. Any player's vehicle can be moved by the next person's choice. In event of a tie, the player with the most season points will go first.

In case of a tie after calculating two player's points and kills, the next area to help make the determination is prestige. The officials will choose who they like and the popular duelist has the advantage.

Prestige also increases a character's possible arena winnings and decreases his expenditures for new cars, parts, repairs, etc. Each character starts with 0 prestige. Arena combat counts for prestige as does winning and kills. An ace is a character who has participated in five confirmed kills.

Prestige Scoring

Attacking with hand weapons while outside a vehicle
Becoming an ace without use of a clone
Becoming a double ace without use of a clone
Die a "heroic" death
Die an "ordinary combat" death
Die a "cowardly death"
Die by suicide
Entering combat
Getting the kill on a character with prestige of 15 - 20
Getting the kill on a character with prestige over 20
Kill, each one you score
Leaving your vehicle while it can both move and fire
Leaving the arena in a movable vehicle that can fire
Unusual tactic*
+1 to +3
Vehicle "killed" but you survive unhurt on foot
Vehicle "killed" but you survive on foot with injury
Winning an event
Winning an event in second place
Winning an event in third place

* A character may earn extra prestige points per game for excellent play, lucky shots, or survival against bad odds, but this must be suggested by another player or a spectator. These points are awarded by majority vote of the players and onlookers during that game. The referee breaks ties.


Many different skills are available for characters. Some of these skills (Driver, Gunner, Cyclist, and so on) are useful in any Car Wars game. Others skills such as Espionage, Fast-Talk, Streetwise and so on were important only in a campaign with a heavy roleplaying element and have been eliminated from use by DRAW. The only skills needed by DRAW members are the ones pertaining to an arena dueling circuit.

Earning Skill Points

Every time a character drives a vehicle into combat and survives, one skill point is earned toward increasing the ability for that vehicle -- Driver, Pilot, Cyclist, etc. (Combat is defined as an incident in which a vehicle exchanges fire with enemies.) The driver of a vehicle that scores a "kill" in combat gets an additional point toward that vehicle ability.

A "kill" is scored when a player destroys two out of three primary areas of an enemy vehicle. They are mobility, firepower and crew. The occupants of the vehicle do not have to die for a player to get a kill.
Killing a pedestrian does not count as a kill, but instead gains a player victory points during an event. Use of other skills, as per the skill descriptions. can earn points toward improving those skills. If no specific rules are given for a skill, the referee should simply award a point whenever it is used successfully in a combat or stress situation.

Skill Points Scoring

Destroying a vehicle's Firepower
Destroying a vehicle's Mobility
Receiving a "kill"
Surviving an arena event
Using an unusual tactic*
Winning an arena event
Winning an arena event in second place
Winning an arena event in third place

* Players and even spectators are welcome to offer suggestions on if bonus points should be awarded for a spectacular maneuver. The players will vote to see if the point is awarded. The referee's decision is final.

Skill Descriptions

Acrobatics -- Gives the character the ability to jump farther (an extra 1/4 of a car length per two levels of skill) and perform spectacular physical feats such as swinging from chandeliers, swinging from tree to tree or somersaulting over an oncoming car. A failed Acrobatics roll means the character simply failed to perform the stunt, and stays in the same place he was when he attempted the stunt. If he missed by 5 or more, he hurt himself and takes 1d-4 damage. Acrobatics makes a character harder to hit. When a character with Acrobatics is fired on, subtract half of his Acrobatics skill (round down) from the to-hit roll. When a character attempts to board a moving vehicle, his Acrobatics skill bonus is added to the die roll.

Blade -- This is the ability to use edged weapons in combat. Each plus gives a +1 to hit with the weapon. This skill covers everything from pocket knives to machetes and axes. Blade skill (and an appropriate blade) can be used to parry other blade attacks; the defender attempts his own skill roll, but subtracts the amount by which the attacker made his to hit roll. (A sword costs $75, weighs 3 Ibs. or 2 GEs, has a to hit of 7, and does 1d6-3 damage to pedestrians and tires.)

Body -- With this skill a character can increase his damage points and his lifting ability. At base level, the character gains the ability to carry an additional 25 pounds of equipment (for the alternate encumbrance system). At level +1 the character gets an extra 1 DP, and at +2 he gains 25 Ibs. of weight. This sequence is repeated for levels +3 to +5, and so on. A Bodybuilder +4 will weigh 175 Ibs., be able to lift up to 70 Ibs. without penalty and have 5 DP; a Bodybuilder +7 will weigh 200 Ibs., be able to lug 95 Ibs. without a penalty and have 6 DP.

Cyclist -- This is the ability to drive any size motorcycle or trike. Anyone without this skill is at -3 on the handling class of any cycle he tries to ride. The skill is otherwise like Driver (below).

Driver -- This is the ability to drive a standard car, pickup, van, etc. -- anything with four or six wheels -- or a reversed trike. Someone without this skill may attempt to drive such a vehicle, but always subtracts 2 from his handling class. At the base level, the character is an average driver. Each additional plus adds to his reflex roll. At the beginning of each combat, every driver makes a reflex roll: On a 5, the HC of the vehicle is raised by one for the duration of the combat; on a 6, the HC goes up by 2. A Driver +2, for example, would get to add 2 to the die roll. Each additional plus is also added to the base HC of a vehicle to determine how many points are recovered on the Vehicle Record Sheet at the beginning of each turn. A good driver is better at keeping his vehicle under control. Whenever a vehicle is forced to roll on a Crash Table, subtract the driver's Driver skill bonus from the roll.

Gunner -- This is the ability to use the targeting system common to all vehicles, and to fire any vehicular or tripod weapon. A character without this skill has a -3 to hit with any vehicular weapon, -2 with a tripod weapon. Each plus adds 1 to the gunner's to hit roll: a character with Gunner +3 adds 3 to any to hit rolls he makes.

Handgunner -- The ability to use hand weapons and grenades. Anyone without this ability has -2 to hit with all aimed hand weapons, but may throw grenades without penalty. Each plus gives a +1 to hit with all hand weapons and grenades.

Luck -- Each level of Luck adds 1 in favor of the catch-all "roll 2d6 and pray'' method for handling odd situations. Luck will not help if there is another skill that can do the job.

Martial Arts -- This is the ability to fight more effectively in hand to hand combat. Characters with the base skill may attack twice per turn hand-to-hand. At +1, they get +1 to their to hit roll; at +2, they also get an additional point of damage. The cycle repeats beyond that: at +3, the character gets an additional attack per turn; at +4, he gets an additional +1 on the to hit roll; at +5, he gets an additional damage point; and so on.

Running -- Everyone starts with this as a base skill. Each plus adds one pedestrian miniature base length of movement to the over all total. The base skill allows a driver to run a base length in all five phases (unless he is going to fire), but the driver with a Running Skill +2, he would run seven lengths in a turn. The first extra movement for a +1 is added to phase 1, the +2 is added to phase 3 and the +3 movement is added for phase 5. For a further levels the movement then begins on the even phases such as +4 is added to phase 2 and +5 is added to phase 4. After that is cycles back to odd phases.

Stealth -- The ability to avoid detection on foot by hiding in a parked car's blind spot, hiding amongst dead vehicle, etc. This skill is only usable on foot and cannot be attempted in direct line of vision. The base chance to escape detection in an arena is 7 modified by skill bonuses. Smoke and paint clouds block vision for a pedestrian. Flame clouds give a character using Stealth a +2.

Swimming -- This skill is exactly like Running, except it is done in water such as rivers, lakes, pools, creeks, etc. Only 30 pounds maximum of hand equipment and armor can be carried. Improved Body Armor can be worn in water, but no further items other than a heavy pistol may be carried. It takes a full turn to drop items in preparation to swim.



A vehicle can only take so much damage at one time, regardless of its construction. DRAW uses the "confetti" option at all times. If a vehicle takes 1/50 of its weight in damage from either a collision, weapons fire or both in a single phase, then the vehicle has shattered and is replaced with debris and obstacles. A vehicle that has been turned to confetti will produce an obstacle counter for every 500 pounds of vehicle weight and a debris counter for every 200 pounds.

Conforming Movement

To avoid potential arguments at games, DRAW referees will always make the conforming movements of vehicles in collisions. The general rule used to determine conforming is the lighter vehicle will conform with the heavier vehicle. Should both be of equal (or very close) vehicle weights, then the slower vehicle conforms to the faster vehicle. If both vehicles are of nearly the same weight and going the same speed, then both have equal conforming movement. Once a vehicle counter touches another vehicle counter or immobile object, the player is to stop and alert a referee. The actual movement in conforming takes place on the left over movement and does not add any further movement of the vehicle involved or the vehicle being impacted.


Scoring by DRAW standards is based on the three major components of a dueling vehicle. No car could compete without mobility, firepower or a driver. To score a point in the arena of a DRAW event, a player must destroy a vehicle's mobility, all of its firepower or kill the driver. (This is only a game. For those of you that do not know about Car Wars by Steve Jackson Games, the player is not really injured as we do not promote real-life violence.)

For a player to receive the honor of a "kill", similar to that of an air combat pilot shooting down another aircraft, the player must score two out of the three points available for a single car. Example: If Dave "Fuzz" Adams fires upon Dave "Launchpad" Hill's car and destroys the mobility and the only weapon on the vehicle, then Fuzz is credited with the KILL.

There a few other ways to earn points, such as a point is given to every duelist brave enough to set foot in the arena and a point is also given to all the drivers that survive. The purpose of obtaining KILLS is for bragging rights, DRAW KILL stickers and because they are used to determine the results in case of a tie. If two cars have both scored three points, then the car with the KILL would be placed before the other. If there are no KILLS during an event, then the surviving drivers will place higher than the dead drivers with equal points.

Scoring on Foot

When a vehicle loses its mobility or firepower, then the driver (and gunner if there is one) are able to exit the vehicle and continue the fight on foot. An extra point is given to a vehicle crew that fights as pedestrians for their bravery and to encourage the duel to continue. DRAW doubles the points gained for destroying other vehicles' mobility, firepower or crew members (provided they are not on foot as well). This adds more excitement for the crowds and another level of competition for the players. It is against AADA tournament rules, but some of the best events have ended with a driver on foot firing a rifle or pistol at the other cars. It pays to fight on foot and to do it well.

Scoring Breakdown

Destroying vehicle firepower
1 point
Destroying vehicle mobility
1 point
Entering an event
1 point
Hitting vehicle in air
1/2 point
Hitting vehicle while in air
1/2 point
Jumps 1/2 point (first time only per jump)
Killing driver or gunner 1 point for each
Loss of firepower -1 point
Loss of mobility -1 point
Roll over target 1/2 point
Surviving the event 1 point
Target 1/2 point (first time only per target)

Points Available to Pedestrians

Crew dueling as pedestrians 1 point
Destroying vehicle firepower 2 points
Destroying vehicle mobility 2 points
Killing driver or gunner 2 points (per crew member)

Scoring Clarification from the DRAW April 2000 Event

When a vehicle does not have any person (driver, gunner or passenger) in it, the vehicle is considered an obstacle and is no longer worth points despite any remaining firepower or mobility points, such as surviving weapons, tires, engine or gas tank. The vehicle becomes worth points again only if another person (driver, gunner, passenger) gets into the vehicle to begin using it.


Crew dueling as pedestrians = Only when a vehicle loses either its firepower or mobility, is the crew (driver and/or gunner) able to leave the vehicle and duel as pedestrians in an event. They have the choice to surrender if they wish and will be left alone by the other players. Leaving the vehicle to fight on foot earns the driver (or crew) the point as well as changes the values of destroying firepower, mobility or the crew of other vehicles. The point for dueling as pedestrians is a one time bonus, regardless of how many times a driver (or gunner) enters and exits a vehicle. Even if it is a different vehicle.

Firepower = If all vehicular weapons are destroyed, then the firepower of a vehicle is destroyed and the point awarded. For ram cars that only have a ram plate, it is considered to be the weapon for determining firepower.

Mobility = The mobility is destroyed when the vehicle is unable to accelerate under its own power. Rocket boosters do not count. The point for destroying mobility is awarded to the person that directly causes the loss of the vehicle's mobility by weapons fire, dropped weapons or ramming.

Surviving = If the driver (or one person of a vehicle with a gunner) survives the event, then the point is awarded.

Seeking To-Hit Modifiers

To help speed up play during a tournament, DRAW adopted a policy created by Edgar "Guru" Lincoln. If a player asks what the modifiers are for him or her to shoot another vehicle, then the ammunition is marked off regardless if the shot is impossible to make (in effect, a -8 to-hit with an MG making it a 13 or better on 2d6). This is rationalized as the driver (or gunner) firing a round without much thought and simply finding it to be too hard of a shot to hit.

Car Creation

Available Body Styles

DRAW allows three types of vehicle bodies in the arena. Car, trike and motorcycle body styles are all accepted. Pickups, campers and vans are listed under "Cars". Racing Bodies are allowed only during special events and the option will be listed under the event description.

Gas Tanks

When designing a vehicle that uses a gas powered engine, a gas tank must be installed. DRAW requires a five-gallon gas tank with the cost of gas being $30 per gallon and weight being 6 pounds per gallon. A five-gallon tank takes no space, but five gallons of gas will cost $150 and weigh 30 pounds.

Hand Weaponry

All hand weaponry will add weight to a vehicle. Even the cost-free regular body armor and heavy pistol provided by DRAW to all drivers and gunners. Passengers must equip themselves. Each person in the vehicle can carry eight GEs of equipment without infringing on a vehicle design space. (See Characters under House Rules).

Pre-Duel Descriptions

Pre-duel descriptions are always used before DRAW events and tournaments. When designing a vehicle it is asked to note whether a weapon is a small-bore or large-bore, as well as noting any weapon concealments.



DRAW uses a variation of the standard Car Wars scale. The scale is one-and-a-half inches being equal to 15 feet, instead of the normal one inch equaling 15 feet. This means each half-inch of terrain is the equivalent to 5 feet. Galoob manufactures Micro Machines, which are the proper size and scale to use for the DRAW variation of Car Wars scale.

The scale of time for DRAW remains the same with each turn represents one second is divided into five "phases" of 1/5 a second each.

6th Phase: Acceleration, Deceleration and Recover Handling

At the beginning of every turn, all players whose vehicles remain in control may choose to accelerate or decelerate. The referee will announce when the changes may occur.

DRAW does not allow acceleration or deceleration during any of the phases unless it is prompted by a device (such as nitrous oxide, rocket booster, drag chute, etc.) which requires a firing action. This is to speed up game playability and make it easier to cope with speed changes at tournaments with numerous players. This is a step back in time and is the old system of acceleration and deceleration.

Web posted by the Death Racing Association of Washington, February 1999.
Reprinted by the Seattle Washington Autoduel Team, March 30, 2015
Updated April 05, 2015
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