Saturday, June 14, 2014

Games From the Basement - Car Wars: Deluxe Edition

I was in the basement last night and one of the games I stumbled across was Car Wars: Deluxe Edition. The box is actually crammed full of stuff Car Wars related, including an issue of Autoduel Quarterly. I suspect much of it was bought separately.

Strangely enough, the counters don't appear to be cut. I remember playing a lot of Car Wars at one point, but I suspect it was all with the microgame box. I probably bought this on my tail end of Car Wars gaming.

It should be interesting when Steve Jackson Games comes out with the car Wars Kickstarter...


  1. Tell us about Car Wars. Never playedbut used to see it a lot when I was young. Always wondered about it. never knew anyone who played or owned it.

  2. This one is still minty because by the time Deluxe hits stores, most people were tired of learning new rules and finding patches for overpowered things that were cobbled into the game.

    I still remember it fondly but Cr Wars is something I probably wouldn't play again.

    Sort of like Battletech.

  3. I just found my copy with "Convoy" tucked into it. Don't have my ADQs, Uncle Albert Catalogs, or the different vehicle books anymore though... :(

  4. My copy is at my mom's house, along with a giant crate of ADQs, adventures, maps, counters, etc. I miss playing but my current group just isn't as into it as my junior high school/high school group was.

  5. We played this a little. I liked the system- liked buying the cars. My favorite pieces were the fake ram plate and fake passengers. wtf!?!

  6. Dang, is it not an RPG? I was picturing Mad Max crossed with Death Race 2000 (the original)!

    1. While itks a detailed tactical boardgame about building and blowing up cars there were still rules for character advancement, they were reall squishy.
      GURPS Autoduel raised the detail but it was a lot of work for characters that were still pretty squishy.

  7. It is an RPG. SJGames took Car Wars and made an RPG supplement for their GURPs system called Autoduel.

  8. I still have a set of Kill Stickers designed to put on your actual car/bike/tank?...... that SJ put out.

    Features dogs, cats, bikes, Winnebagos

  9. I had many of the early microgames and got Deluxe CW and Deul Track boxed sets. The good thing about car wars is that it served as a gateway system to lure folks into RPGs.

  10. Still have my CarWars game, the original micro and various supplements over the years, and issues of AutoDuel Quarterly. it was a very unique skirmish game, the major problem as has been noted above was it didn't convey the feel of split-second movements of fights involving cars and firearms when each second took ten minutes to play out. While it had role-playing elements in that the characters/cars might be the same from one duel to the next, it was not intended to be role-playing insofar as the characters "improving" or "advancing" or achieving some ultimate goal; this was deliberate, Steve Jackson wanted role-play-gamers to buy GURPS as well as CarWars.

  11. Still have my CW Deluxe box set like Erik along with Due Track, a few of the maps, Uncle Albert's, AADA, and a other things. I went through them all after my last move and surprisingly still had all my counters. Very interested in seeing what the Kickstarter will be like for Car Wars when SJGames finally decides to launch it. I picked up small booklet with bigger Car Wars counters, but I'm not sure if that's the way to go. Chip board stuff like Ogre Designer Edition and sizes similar to Matchbox/Hotwheels I think would be the way to go.

  12. Our group rediscovered Car Wars recently and had two excellent games at UK Games Expo, a road chase "stop the truck" affair and an "every man for himself" battle on 1/4 of the Midville map. Great times and lots of fun. We thought about it a lot beforehand as we all recalled the game eventually collapsing under its weight of errata and add-ons, SFB style. Our decision was to use original Car Wars (pocket box) rules and equipment only, supplemented by truck rules and the five impulse chart from the Compendium 2.5 (reasoning that the fewer opportunities people had for chin stroking the better). One house rule was no firing on impulse 1 (to prevent the impulse 5 / impulse 1 double whammy).. It worked a treat - fast, furious and fun, just how Car Wars should be.

  13. Techinically, Car Wars is *not* an RPG. It's a table top tactical combat game. It had some RPG elements, but GURPS Autoduel was a GURPS product, not a Car Wars product.

    FYI, for those who may not be paying close attention to Steve Jackson Games, they have hired back Scott Haring as the new line editor for the 6th edition of Car Wars (the one promised as part of the OGRE Kickstarter). Scott did a lot of the Car Wars development and design back in the day.

    They have started internal play testing to try various different mechanics for the new version which is intended to play quicker and have a less steep learning curve. Vehicle design will still likely be in the "core" rules, but it not intended to be necessary (my take). The idea is that pre-generated vehicles will be how most players will play the game.

    The design philosophy seems to be "if it slows down play, remove it or change it". They intend to keep the spirit of the game as-is, but the end result of the game may not entirely look like what we played in the 80's.

    OGRE backers get to provide feedback through a special forum on the SJ Games web site, but no "hard" mechanical details have been shared. They've just talked about design philosophy and asked for feedback through forum polls.

  14. We played the heck out of Car Wars. We solved the crazy power creep problem by going back to basics and not delving too deeply into the legion of additions.

    I think the most recent edition gets a bad rap. The way they released it in the little booklets, spread out over several months by tier, and without construction rules, were all horrible marketing ideas. That's what sunk it.

    But the actual rules played fast and fun. It was definitely worth a try, but the production killed it at the gate.


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