Speeding Things Up


     Most of the people who don't enjoy playing Car Wars have the same complaint, "It's too ssslllooowww!" Even those of us who love the game have to admit that when there are more than two players, the game is about as fast as continental drift. 

     The hints and tips below will help your game move like a jackrabbit . . . a dead jackrabbit with snails for pallbearers . . . but that's MUCH faster than continental drift, so read on!

Divide the Chores

     If you have a group of regular players, you can make each of them responsible for knowing a portion of the rules. One can bone up on the Crash Tables, another can explore the wonders of collisions, another can memorize targeting modifiers, and someone else can become one with debris and obstacles (how they are produced and the effects of running over them). This leaves the referee free to keep track of the Master Movement Chart.

Make Photocopies . . .

     but if Steve Jackson knocks on your door, you must quickly eat them. Make a copy of the Master Movement Chart for each player to refer to so that they'll know when their next move is coming up. Also make multiple copies for the referee. He can use a new one for each second of combat and write right on them, checking off each phase as it occurs. Also make multiple copies of the turning key on card stock, cut them out, and pass them around.

Make Foolproof Range Rulers

     Instead of using a ruler or tape measure and doing the math in your head, the handy range rulers described below will instantly show your to-hit bonus or penalty.
    Tape two sheets of 8-1/2" x 11" white paper side by side to make one 11" x 17" sheet
    Draw dark vertical lines at 1", 4", 8", 12" and 16" from the left edge
    Draw horizontal lines every half inch
    Write "+4" in each of the boxes in the first vertical column
    Write "+0" in each of the boxes in the second vertical column
    Write "-1" in each of the boxes in the third vertical column
    Write "-2" in each of the boxes in the fourth vertical column
    Write "-3" in each of the boxes in the fifth vertical column
    Write "-4" in each of the boxes in the sixth vertical column
    Cut along the horizontal lines to produce 22 range rulers (enough for everybody).
     To use, simply place the "+4" end of the ruler against the target vehicle, and measure the distance to the closest point on the firing vehicle.
     The finished product should look something like this . . .

range ruler

                    That's a -1 to hit.

Micro Machines!

     They look great and are almost the right size. Ours are glued atop 3/8" x 1/4" diameter wooden dowels which are then glued atop a 1" x 1/2" plastic rectangles (cut from a "for sale" sign available at any hardware store) This keeps them from rolling and allows enough clearance between the bottom of the car and the plastic rectangle to allow the turning key to be used easily.

Making the Arena

     This piece of advice may not work for everyone, but it has worked well for us. A couple of our members work in the printing industry, and part of the plate making process involves "pre-ruled masking sheets" which are sheets of goldenrod colored glossy paper imprinted with a 1" red square grid which is further subdivided into 1/4" squares. These sheets can be quite large, depending on the size of the printing plate they are used to produce. Often, the scraps from this process are large enough to be used in making arenas. You might contact a nearby printer and see if they would be willing to sell a few sheets or even give you their scrap.


Web posted by the Black Circle Gaming Society, March 1999 - February 2000.
Reprinted by the Seattle Washington Autoduel Team, February 2008.
Updated January 11, 2009 and April 05, 2015.
Original URL: http://www.mindspring.com/~aardvarkz/car/speedup.html