Milwaukee, Wisconsin and GenCon '94 played host to the 2044 World Racing Championships. Soldiers & Swords Games, set to publish Car Wars 3-D later this year, co-sponsored the mayhem, as they did at Origins. Due to a shipping tragedy, the HO-scale model arena for the final event could not be used, but there was no lack of enthusiasm or excitement. Returning racers from previous years as well as those new to the event vied for racing's highest laurels with equal vigor.
The at-large qualifiers were held back-to-back on Thursday afternoon and evening. A dozen competitors filled the space at each round. The course was an off-road arena with a crossover, which lead to numerous near-misses and several spectacular collisions. Some racers maintained their "off-season" duelling mentality, and concentrated more on shooting than driving, which led to warning in the pre-match remarks for later rounds. Despite one incident of suspected collusion, the events came off fairly well, with 12 drivers advancing to the semi-finals.
The semis, held Friday morning in the local Truax Arena, featured two basic car designs (externally identical) with four variants each. The warning about racing being primary and duelling secondary (at best) was likely unnecessary, but went far to placate those racers who were anxious about this year not being haunted by previous years' problems.
The long track allowed for some high speeds and high D-maneuvers. "Stormin'" Norman McMullen was the recipient of a high speed T-Bone that inflicted enough damage to make Gold Cross techs wince. Dan Geralti, in delivering the ram, managed to roll over the interior retaining wall. Thanks to heavy (for racing) armor, a roll cage, safety seat and impact armor, Dan survived.
Mike Garrity managed the most spectacular finish of a racing event. After sustaining damage that started a blaze under the hood, Mike popped his nitrous tank. While burning, and on the verge of explosion, Mike managed to keep his vehicle under control at speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour. By crossing his lap point at the last moment, he earned a berth in the final round. Pit crew tapes confirmed Mike was still alive at the moment the race ended, and was not completely immolated until after the race was over.
After making sure Gold Cross policies were paid up, the final round commenced early Saturday morning. Seeding of the final six was by maximum acceleration, and in the case of a tie, top speed. The defending World Champion, Dan Sloan, was seeded in the pole position. All vehicles were custom-designed sprint cars. Additional restrictions were in place to maintain the racing (over duelling) focus.
Of the 12 regions listed above, only five could manage to get enough participants to even hold a regional championship.
One solution is to reduce the number of regions and have each one cover a larger geographic area. This will put more clubs in each region, but will greatly extend the distance some of those club champions will have to travel to get to their regional. It's a big country, and 500 (or even 1,000) miles is a long way to go at your own expense for a game of Car Wars.
Another solution is to eliminate the concept of regions altogether. Under this plan, all club champions who come to Origins would receive byes to the semi-final round, but there would be no regional champs to seed into the finals.
And yet another solution would be to open regional championships to more players than just club champions. Say a region only has three AADA chapters in it; but instead of only those three club champions meeting, the top three finishers at each club championship were eligible. We could give the club champions some sort of advantage at the regional level, perhaps, to make the club event more important, or maybe not. Under this plan, this three-chapter region could have as many as nine duellists in the regional championship. Even a region with only two chapters could still have a pretty decent little event.
A decision will be announced next spring. If you have an opinion (or any other suggestions that could make the AADA Championships more fun for everybody), please send them along to the AADA, c/o Steve Jackson Games, Box 18957, Austin, TX 78760.
Look for a complete roster of current AADA chapters in the next edition of AADA News.
Sedan, CA Frame, X-Hvy Chassis, Hvy Suspension, Super Power Plant, PR Tires, Driver, Gunner, 2 linked HMGs with HD ammo front, 2 linked HMGs with HD ammo in a turret, Smart link between pairs of HMGs, Ram Plate, 2 Oil Dischargers and 2 Ice Dischargers (one each left and right) linked to bumper triggers left and right. 10% sloped FP plastic armor: F45, B40, R35, L35, T20, U8. HC 3, Accel. 5, Top Speed 107, 6,119 lbs., $40,000.
Martin won his victory over David Dotson, club champion of the Dotson Autoduellists. His vehicle:
Sedan, X-Hvy Chassis, Hvy Suspension, 250ci Gas Engine with Tubular Headers, 7-gallon Duelling Tank, PR Tires, Driver, Gunner, 2 linked HMGs with HD ammo front, 2 linked HMGs with HD ammor in universal turret, Smart link between pairs of HMGs, Sand discharger front linked to bumper triggers R and L, Hi-Res Computer for gunner, Single-Weapon Computer +1 for front HMGs and driver, Anti-Lock Braking System, 2 Flak Jackets, 4 Foam Grenades, 2 Thermite Grenades, 2 Machine Pistols. 10% sloped armor: F40, B29, R29, L29, T15, U5. HC 3, Accel. 10, Top Speed 131, 6,118 lbs., $36,966.