Dust Pan Game Resource Pages

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Deluxe Car Wars and Old school gaming.


This one:
Steve Jackson Games, 1990 version.
I have been considering  liquidating some of my humble but I feel quality game collection. I don't have allot of stuff but what I have I feel is good usable items. As an after effect of  planning on an ebay sight and all that  ebay requires I have been spending some tie in my attic looking through my old books.
A while ago I ran into my old car wars set.
I loved car wars when I was in Jr. High and early high school. My friend Mike and I used to design cars and play out scenarios for hours at a shot. It was great fun.
Not for the first time I inquired with the group that I game with  to see if they woudl liek to try the venerable old game, and this time we finally set up a four player game.
Today we took to the streets of Midville, first on 2 map sections then on 1 map section (to speed things up)
I printed out  five cars from here
All class five (Around $5000) all pretty evenly matched. We would duel and when someone died they would just  pull a new car and enter the game anew.

Some high lights:
  • Neal tore a crossed a park at 55 MPH, failed a driving roll and skidded into a building, Jay then finished him off.
  • Russ blasted my car from long range twice with an anti tank gun  turning me into scrap in 3 second (game time.)
  • Jay pulled off a bootlegger reverse to thwart a tailing Neal and his new race car. Pretty awesome.
  • Rockets are hard as hell to hit with I missed Russ about 5 times before finally putting one through his passenger side door and turning  his driver into mush.
  • Jays car caught fire under withering incendiary Machine gun fire, harming the driver and generally sucking.
  • Neal Rammed Jay's car in the back bumper going 70 MPH. The rules were perfect telling me how to figure damage and  how to push  Jays car out of the way.
  • Neal eventually gunned Jay down with his machine gun.
  • I was convinced I was going to kill Neal, then I rolled badly, spun my car out,  and regained control. This happened Just in time to avoid a wall and then face off with  Jay who had just reappeared on the board 
  • Jay  got his hands on the car with the anti- tank gun and  ripped my car a new one.
  • A head on collision between Neal and  Russ ended the game.
  • And a few more funny spots that I can't quite remember.
In the  end though the final scores escape me the overall winner was Russ with at least three kills.
Russ this is for you  (For Now)


So can you go home again? Can a boxed set that's 20 something years old still dish-out some joy?
Yes.
Car Wars  in the form found in the deluxe boxed set is by no means an modern game. It is thoroughly simulationinst, the game is long playing, crunchy, and slow.  The rules and presentation feel 20 pluss years old, every day of it.
On the other hand:
It's also eloquent in how it represents time and movement. By the time this version hit the market it had been play tested to death. The game is surprisingly very strategic, and balanced.  Lastly the game hands you nothing. A player can fail based on their own miss judgement of speed and handling vs range and fire power. Very much like Blood Bowl another dated crunchy rules set, you can play this game and  get better at it with practice.
There is a reason why car wars was a huge tournament phenomenon at one point, it just works.

Will we ever play a Car Wars campaign or design our own characters or custom cars? Probably not.

Every once in a while however, it is nice to just slow down. Spend a whole day playing out fifteen seconds of  four cars trying to blow each other up. Laugh at each other failures and miscalculations, simply enjoy gaming. There is a feeling around the table that this kind of game produces that a more stream lined system  might never produce. It's hard to pin down but it's there. That time between  my phase and my next phase , I get to engage with  the other players, I was watching their  moves as closely as mine, and engaging with the the whole way. There is alot of space in a game like this , space to talk , bull shit and trash talk with out interrupting, it's part of the game.

I enjoyed the game very much. I  appreciate the guys willingness to give it a spin

Some Old school Games newly placed on my "I want to play these at the table again some day"

Star Frontiers Sci-Fiction  R.P.G. (I have access)
Star Fleet Battles. (ship to ship Star Trek slug fests) (Neal you must have a copy?)
Battletech  (the classic game or Armored Combat) (in my attic)
Battle system  Advanced dungeons and dragons mass fantasy combat (in my attic)

Thank you for reading
Please leave any questions or comments in the  burned out mini van below.
-Mark