Due to an outbreak of plague in Akron, as well as renovation of the Flying Fortress arena (i.e., it was made before the new jumping rules), the National Championship was held in the Arch arena in downtown St. Louis, Missouri (L'Ouftance), on a gridless 3-D mapboard. Points were awarded for passing over and under the Arch, as well as the standard points for kills, and this influenced designs greatly. Of the six contenders, only two had directfire repeating weapons, one took a missile van, and the other three had dropped weapons only - at least that was the plan when the referees reviewed the cars.
2042 finalists were defending world champion Todd MacDermid of GHOST, Grand Master Duellist and FOS regional champion Mike Montgomery, Central regional champion Tim Jacques of NOVA, Cliff Christiansen of NOVA, ex-RCADAer Heath Culp. and Jon Karl of GHOST.
The action started furiously, with all cars scrambling for the center of the arena (no one was allowed to fire until his car reached the dividing center line of the arena). Car #1, piloted by Heath Culp, accelerated up the ramp, external rocket boosters blazing. His pilot screamed "Banzai!" over the corn system, and flew into the presidential booth. The ensuing explosion stunned the crowd, but not the duellists on the floor. They merrily laid mines everywhere, and started activating radio controls, causing minor damage to several cars.
The first real action came when the two favorites went after one another - defending-champion MacDermid sideswiped Grand Master Duellist Montgomery's car at obscene speed, his bumper trigger activating the oil and ice dischargers on that side. Montgomery's car vaulted 90 feet through the air and rolled into the wall. Fighting to the end, he tried to squirm through his damaged car to continue to detonate his mines, but Christiansen hosed his bottom armor with .50 API until he killed Mike's driver. First kill was split between Christiansen and MacDermid.
All the time, Karl continued over and under the ramp, racking up points. Jacques salvoed nearly a dozen heavy rockets at MacDermid's car, but his targeting laser was fooled by a laser web and a hot smoke discharger, and his rockets blew a hole in the wall! Jacques finally surrendered his unarmed and practically unarmored van to Christiansen, who was charging in with ramplate and HMG. Kill to Christiansen.
The defending champion was the next to go. Blowing a high-speed turn coming off the ramp, Karl detonated mines beneath him and MacDermid skidded into the wall, where he discovered just how deadly the bumper-trigger oil/ice discharger trick was - his bumper trigger oiled and iced his own car! Hoist on his own petard. MacDermid smashed into the wall at 80 mph, and was squashed. Kill to Karl.
As the clock ticked down on the final seconds, Christiansen tried valiantly to oust Karl, who held the lead by one point. but Christiansen's mines only caused minor damage, and Jon Karl was proclaimed 2042 AADA World Duelling Champion! Cliff Christiansen took second, and Todd MacDermid was third.
Make Them Take the Shot: If a car has a good shot at a target, and doesn't already have a target that it's pounding on, make the driver take the shot. A good shot means an 8 or better to hit, with at least 5 shots of ammo left in the weapon (or 5 or more mine counters still out on the map). At one point during the final, one club member declined to take an easy shot at a fellow club member. The referee enforced the shot, which turned out to be in the shooter's favor.
No Talking in the Ranks: Do not allow players to make deals. Do not allow secret communications; anything that's said, everyone can hear. And if two or more players start driving around the arena without shooting at each other (if possible), promise to dock victory points if the shooting doesn't pick up...
Surrenders: Only allow these if a vehicle obviously cannot continue fighting, and then only to the closest enemy vehicle that can seriously damage or destroy the surrendering vehicle.
The AADA World Championships are supposed to be lone-wolf bloodbaths, not "you scratch my back, I'11 scratch yours." Enforce this attitude.
An intensive investigation is underway to determine the identity, method and motive of the assassin. Secretary of War David D. Rake claims, off the record, that "the whole incident smells of a Texan/Japanese plot."
Jeff Rakow successfully defended his championship title for the third consecutive year, and Cliff Christiansen of NOVA took second, giving him the runner-up slot in both 2042 World Championships.
NOVA has also announced their second annual "NOVA Awards" for outstanding contributions to autoduelling. NOVA modestly voted itself "Chapter of the Year," and "Duellist of the Year" went to NOVA member Cliff Christiansen, for his high standing in both world championships.