Be seeing you... -Alphonse
I had my friend Logan over tonight to fiddle with Car Wars for a couple of hours. Using the second edition rules, I created sheets for a standard Killer Kart (quick, crappy armour, machinegun) and a standard Shrimp (slow, half-decent armour, micro-missile launcher). When Logan arrived, we took a look at the pre-generated arenas we had access to, and we chose the Double Barrel arena from the Arena Book that Logan brought with him.
We played two games. The first game was over before it really began because ... well, because we were stupid.
Starting in opposite parts of the arena (me in gate one and Logan in gate six), we entered and kicked things off. I was the Shrimp in the first game, so I made an immediate B-line towards the centre of the arena where the two "barrels" join. I was accelerating ridiculously slow, so Logan in the faster Killer Kart took a different route, going around the centre column in his "barrel" and then heading right towards the centre of the arena. We opened fire. Both of us missed. Then we realized our mistake. We had got too close to each other, and our speeds meant we were going to crash into each other on the next round (with a combined speed of 105 mph). Boom!
We traded off cars and started again. This time, things were a bit different. I made a direct B-line for the centre of the arena again, but this time I was the speedier Killer Kart. Logan headed straight out of his gate and made some light turns in his part of the arena before coming around towards the centre.
What I had in mind was to circle around the centre column in Logan's "barrel" and get behind the slower Shrimp. However, I screwed up by taking a wide turn around the column. Meanwhile, Logan made a tight turn around the column, keeping my tail or right side within his front firing arc each turn. He fired micro-missile after micro-missile at me, doing a bit of damage here and there.
Realizing I had slipped up, I figured I'd get fancy. As Logan continued to accelerate, I decelerated in the hopes of getting slow enough to pull a J-turn (to turn right around and open fire with my machinegun). Unfortunately, just as I was getting slow enough to pull such a crazy maneuver, Logan pulled up right on my tail and rear-ended me hard enough to wipe out what crappy armour I did have and kill my driver.
So the second game also ended in a collision, but the Killer Kart was down and the Shrimp survived.
Neither of us had played in more than a decade, so this was a good start. The next time I play, I think I'd like to jump up to a higher vehicle cost so that the games don't feel like they're over before they've even begun.
D30 presents some choices and compromises viz the 'unlimiteds', but IMHO, D20-D25 is the best tradeoff vs. having to make tough choices to develop interesting and creataive cars. Lower, you spend too much on solid tires ('found in D5 and on wrecks' and have too many exploitable weaknesses, D30 and above it's too easy to max the armor (metal/regular combos, component, etc.) and weapons so it becomes a slugfest.
D20-D25 brings off-duel design and on-duel tactics to the fore to maximize your strengths and shield your weaknesses. Try it, and get back to us (via another session report) on how it goes