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Subject: Is Car Wars dead? rss

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Gabriel Mann
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Alright I don't want any one to attack me for asking this but is car wars considered "dead"? Because I'm really interested in playing it but it doesn't seam like many people play it :/. It also looks like there are absolutely no plans for its future which is fair enough I guess . I just wanted to check even though I am sure this game is more or less "dead" because if it isn't I would love to play it sometime.

On a sidenote can any direct me to some similar games?
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John "Omega" Williams
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Car Wars is still clicking along. Its just that its allmost a niche game so fonding players is hard. Though its remarkably easy to get people interested in it if they happen to like post-apoc or "Road Warrior" type games.

Part of its decline may be the shift of focus for a while to the card game which met with mixed reactions.

Theres plenty of simmilar games but few come even remotely to Car Wars scope.

Macho Women With Guns expansion Renegade Nuns on Wheels. Battlecars, and Dark Future come to mind as older games with a simmilar feel.

My Road Kill expansion to Omega World would have come close. But it has not yet seen publication since OW has been down all this time.

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Yeah...it still gets played, but there's nothing still in print from SJG. They still have a few things in stock, but many of their "Legacy" titles like Car Wars and OGRE got put on the backburner in favor of a seemingly endless stream of Munchkin expansions.

If interested, keep your eyes peeled for bulk Car Wars lots on eBay from people selling their stash. You can find some decent deals. The base game alone is fun, but to me the beauty is in the expansions which provide an endless amount of options and complexity to the game.
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Scott Everts
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I was a huge Car Wars fanatic years ago but the last time we played was about 15 years ago. I remember the game too. We played for something like 6 hours and only a couple minutes of game time!

It's just too complex for today's market. I'd love to see a more streamlined version released. Maybe go back to the original baggie version rules but even faster to play. The game became quite unwieldy at a certain point with the mountain of expansions. I think there's certainly a market for it. The original car art was really good, but the maps could use a makeover.
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Peter Wiles
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Fifth edition did simplify the rules a bit. I prefer its 3 phase movement to the older versions, and it gets rid of all the power creep that invaded the prior editions. A lot of people don't like 5e because they never put out a vehicle design system. You could only use the cars that were included in the books.

I saw reference once to someone who reverse engineered the vehicle design system. Here, I found the link http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=50124. You can sometimes find the whole set of books pretty cheap, so it is something to look out for.

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William Hostman
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I'd say it's comatose.

Still alive, but not doing anything. Lots of fan support, and some die-hards, and some con play.

SJG is milking it for PDF sales of older rulesets, but apparently isn't looking at dead tree nor new material.
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Matt Lee
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Phil Reed mentioned that he wants to do a re-start with a new edition once Ogre is finally out. Many of us are holding out hope that the streamlining of the game for 5th edition would be combined with a real vehicle design system again. I loved the older version, but the power creep and rules messiness got really bad once you had tanks and planes.
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Settlers of Catan does not improve with your house rules. The best option if you don't like the rules as written is to just select another game.
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ScottE wrote:
the original baggie version rules


thumbsup for knowing the the Pocket Box was not the original version.

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Settlers of Catan does not improve with your house rules. The best option if you don't like the rules as written is to just select another game.
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wilesps wrote:
I saw reference once to someone who reverse engineered the vehicle design system.


SJG put out a playtest of the vehicle rules which never went anywhere. It was an easy task to create a spreadsheet to design vehicles but I really never did anything with it since I didn't care for the 5e rules.
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Gregg Lewis
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I designed Outrider becuase I wanted a new version of Car Wars, but at the time, there was no talk of it returning. Outrider is on the level of complexity of 5th edition and other games, like Wings of War. Since releasing the game in January, Ive been contacted by many people, so I know the fandom/market is still alive and thriving. Over the course of this year Ive heard more and more talk of a new version - Depending how the OGRE remake goes will probably determine the future fate of CW. I'd love to see a new version.

I apologize for schilling for my own game, so I will offer some others as well

Wreckage is good (and cheap!) out of print, but still plentiful online

Warlands: Full Throttle Vehicular Combat! is more of a 40k-type game with a road warrior setting, but is solid, in print and even has a range of minis

Vehicular Homicide (second edition) is a PDF game with a solid set of rules. Has a 'point-buy' system for creating your vehicles

Speed Rally is a great rules-lite game. Designed to play Speed Racer/Wacky Races/Mario Kart type races, the rules are flexible enough to do just about anything

gabrielward wrote:
Alright I don't want any one to attack me for asking this but is car wars considered "dead"? Because I'm really interested in playing it but it doesn't seam like many people play it :/. It also looks like there are absolutely no plans for its future which is fair enough I guess . I just wanted to check even though I am sure this game is more or less "dead" because if it isn't I would love to play it sometime.

On a sidenote can any direct me to some similar games?
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Settlers of Catan does not improve with your house rules. The best option if you don't like the rules as written is to just select another game.
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klz_fc wrote:
Phil Reed mentioned that he wants to do a re-start with a new edition once Ogre is finally out.


IMHO, this will never happen as long as Munchkin is making money.

klz_fc wrote:
Many of us are holding out hope that the streamlining of the game for 5th edition would be combined with a real vehicle design system again.


I did not like the 5e rules at all - the Three Phase movement system and the ability to fire only when you moved or were fired upon changed the game significantly and not for the good. However, it was the lack of vehicle design that doomed that edition to failure.

klz_fc wrote:
I loved the older version, but the power creep and rules messiness got really bad once you had tanks and planes.


Agreed but I'd say that happened even before tanks and planes. The rules work pretty well but definitely need to be cleaned from the ground up due to rules being "bolted on" over the years.

An electronic design system that would print out record sheets much like what was done for Battletech would go a long ways toward making a new version viable.
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Max Maloney
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Car Wars is definitely an antiquated design. It really needs a clever designer to remake it into something more usable that delivers on the promise of fun it makes.

I spent many hours on this game in the pocket box era, when it was Car Wars, Sunday Drivers and Truck Stop. I have fond memories but even then I was acutely aware of an undercurrent of disappointment with the game.
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Guidance is internal.
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Omega2064 wrote:
Its just that its allmost a niche game so fonding players is hard.


Just one "L" from a hilarious typo.
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Guidance is internal.
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I'm planning on doing a Hot Wheels scale Corporate Car Wars campaign this winter. I'm doing my part to keep the dream alive.
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Christian Shelton
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There certainly are small groups that continue to play, but as others point out, this is usually because they played the game 20-25 years ago. There is a nice set of links to resources at http://www.seanet.com/~owenmp/swathome.html. Jeffr0 has a nice blog about Car Wars: http://jeffro.wordpress.com/author/jeffro/ (try going back a few pages for some reports of earlier battles this year).
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Scott Everts
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kjamma4 wrote:
ScottE wrote:
the original baggie version rules


thumbsup for knowing the the Pocket Box was not the original version.

I think I still have a baggie edition in my closet somewhere! I sold off my huge collection years ago but I kept I think the original and Sunday Drivers. They are stored with all my old Microgames.
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Settlers of Catan does not improve with your house rules. The best option if you don't like the rules as written is to just select another game.
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ScottE wrote:
I think I still have a baggie edition in my closet somewhere!


As do I.

Although it is not the rarest nor would it be the most costly to replace, if someone was going to burn my collection and allow me to keep one thing, this would be it for sentimental reasons.

[Note to self: I have to play a game of Car Wars before the end of the year.]
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Gabriel Mann
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Ah thanks for all your responses and such guys. I will definitely be on the look out for an old copy of this now. Also on a side note is there any good websites for finding online players?
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Matt Lee
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kjamma4 wrote:
klz_fc wrote:
Phil Reed mentioned that he wants to do a re-start with a new edition once Ogre is finally out.


IMHO, this will never happen as long as Munchkin is making money.


While I respect this opinion, the fact that Munchkin is publicly noted as the vast majority of their sales (Over 75% according to the 2011 stakeholder report) is an easy reason to believe this, but I do want to point out that Ogre 6th edition is in fact coming and was considered dead and unloved for a few years.

Add in that they chose to publish Revolution and The Stars Are Right (2 games that are very hobby friendly and completely unlike anything SJG published in the last 10 years) and that this was another of SJG's historically important games, and I hope you see why I do think there is a good chance of a remake.

Phil Reed is also COO of the company and even earlier this year stated in the official forums that he does in fact want to do it (dated this year, and I know there were other comments that said as much more recently), and trying to make it more appealing to the mainstream audience.

I do note that he is a big toy guy, so the plans noted are a bit ambitious and would have to fight with Formula De and other racing games that use a board. Since the defining difference is the freeform movement, I'd think open mats with marked measuring sticks would help to make it more mainstream friendly while still giving the hardcore players the feel of the game that grabbed us in the first place.

kjamma4 wrote:

klz_fc wrote:
Many of us are holding out hope that the streamlining of the game for 5th edition would be combined with a real vehicle design system again.


I did not like the 5e rules at all - the Three Phase movement system and the ability to fire only when you moved or were fired upon changed the game significantly and not for the good. However, it was the lack of vehicle design that doomed that edition to failure.


I was trying to make my thoughts brief, and it has been a long time since I played, but I meant streamlining the miniatures based 10 phase turns with the minutiae involved to a more mainstream-friendly system to speed things up. The idea of streamlining is where I see people hoped for, not the system that admittedly went way too far into the wrong direction. I do agree the firing rules change was badly implemented, but I can see they were trying to go for a faster game. Let's just hope that a vehicle design system is included somehow right at release, since I can't imagine too many fans would be willing to spend money on a new set after being disappointed in how the last set was handled.


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TheChin! wrote:
Omega2064 wrote:
Its just that its allmost a niche game so fonding players is hard.


Just one "L" from a hilarious typo.


It's hiding earlier in the sentence, awaiting its chance.
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klz_fc wrote:
I was trying to make my thoughts brief, and it has been a long time since I played, but I meant streamlining the miniatures based 10 phase turns


Wow, must have been a really long time. You missed the whole "Five phase per turn" era.

Ten phases per turn, too much. Three phases per turn, too little. Five phases per turn, just right.

[And the only reason they went to three phases per turn is that with the increase in scale to 3X "regular" Car Wars, it was the only way to have the movement = 1 inch per 10 mph of movement.]
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Matt Lee
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Yeah, it's been a really long time between that battered deluxe edition and the 3 phases era.

Adjusting the game to keep the 5 phases sounds just about right to me too, without making it overly cumbersome. I just hope they give it the love that it deserves. With alternatives like Road Kill Rally and Formula D that boardgamers have been able to pick up, Car Wars still has room to add more but hopefully without making it too overwhelming for new player to want to try.

I also really like the idea of switchable pieces on a physical car, but I wonder how expensive it would be to make. From the Wizkids forums, we know the pocketmodel type of design is too costly to do in a small run (which I envision like the Racers of Falconus release but without the really bad collation), so it would have to be solid plastic pieces that can somehow snap together easily but still be easy to customize.

I'd love to see this with removable pieces as parts of the car get destroyed too. Closest I came was running a play doh Car Wars game at World Con in Baltimore in the late 90s.
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Michael Owen
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Gearmageddon and Road Rage are two recently-published games that are fast-playing and have rules for Death Race events.


Gearmageddon: The Turbo-Charged Vehicle Combat Game
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/93644

Road Rage: Apocalyptic Death and Destruction in 20mm Scale
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/71618


You might be able to find online Car Wars players on the Web sites found at the links below.


Access Denied
http://www.accessdenied.net

BoardGameGeek Forums: Game Groups
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/forum/19/forum/1

Boardgame Players Association
http://www.boardgamers.org

Frappr Maps: Car Wars
http://www.frappr.com/carwars

Meetup.com
http://www.meetup.com

NearbyGamers - Car Wars
http://nearbygamers.com
http://nearbygamers.com/tags/Car_Wars

RPGnet Forums: Gaming Gatherings
http://forum.rpg.net/forumdisplay.php?f=21

RPG Registry
http://www.rpgregistry.com

Steve Jackson Games Store and Gamer Finder
http://www.sjgames.com/gamerfinder

Steve Jackson Games Discussion Forums - Car Wars
http://forums.sjgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=23

SWAT HQ - WADA Play-by-Internet Group Registry
http://www.seanet.com/~owenmp/wada/pbi.html

The Wargamer Opponent Finder
http://tetrad.stanford.edu/playerList.html


Thanks for mentioning my Web site.
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Michael Owen
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My photos of the Dragonflight 2011 Car Wars Tournament suggest Car Wars is not dead.

owenmp's photosets on flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/47151912@N05/sets

The SJ Games Car Wars Discussion Forum usually has more active discussions than this forum, however I recommend using both boards.
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Philip Reed
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It is no secret that Steve and I both want to release a new edition of Car Wars, but at the moment we don't have the resources to create the game that we want. (Resources in this case = Steve and Phil time.) The game will see a new edition in the future.
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