Autoduel QuarterlyVolume 3Issue 3


by John Nowak
A while ago, John Ford wrote a story for Space Gamer in which one of the weapons used was the kamicar, a rolling bomb from which the driver would eject before causing it to explode. As time went on, equipment very useful for the design of kamicars was developed for Car Wars. The only component not yet available is the explosive charge itself.

Bomb Loads

Type Cost Weight Spaces DP Blast Points
A $100 100 1 2 1.0
B $200 200 2 4 1.4
C $300 300 3 6 1.7
D $400 400 4 8 2.0
E $500 500 5 10 2.2
F $600 600 6 12 2.4
G $700 700 7 14 2.6
H $800 800 8 16 2.8
I $900 900 9 18 3.0
J $1000 1000 10 20 3.2
K $1100 1100 11 22 3.3

This table can be extended; the progression is fairly obvious and Blast Points is equal to the square root of the number of spaces occupied by the charge. Notice that the A charge is essentially an air-dropped bomb: an air-dropped bomb has a nastier blast radius than the A charge because it does not have to waste energy destroying its carrier vehicle. Blast Points are never additive: two linked K charges do not have a Blast of 6.6: they have a blast of the square root of 22, which is 4.7. Yes, really big charges are extremely inefficient: a two-megaton bomb is no-where near 1000 times as dangerous as a two-kiloton bomb.

When a charge goes off, it has a blast radius equal to twice its Blast Points in inches. Measure the distance between the exploding charge and the affected target. Divide the Blast Points by this range and round to the nearest whole number to determine the dice of damage done. If the range is less than 1/4", assume it is 1/4"

Another way to calculate damage is simply to say that at 1", the bomb does its Blast Point value in damage; twice its BP value at 1/2", four times its BP value at 1/4 ", half its BP value at 2"; one-third its BP value at 3"; one-fourth at 4"; and so on. Just remember that the maximum range is twice the BP value in inches, damage is always rounded to the nearest whole number of dice, and damage is never less than one die.

For example, a type A charge will do 4d6 to anything within 1/4" of it; 2d6 to anything 1/4" to 1/2" from it; and 1d6 to anything from 1/2" to 2" from it. Note the gradual reduction of damage versus distance. Measure distance in the same way firing range is calculated: to the nearest edge of the counter.

Wheelguards may protect tires from the blast because a shrapnel effect is assumed.

A charge will be rendered completely inoperative after taking a number of damage points greater than the amount listed. The casing has been ruptured to the point where it cannot contain the explosion; it will merely bum and destroy the kamicar if it is activated. The charge will not go off if the kamicar catches fire: The explosive used is detonated only by electricity.

When a charge is exploded near a building, check for damage for each 1/4" of the wall for making a breach: this is to simulate the possibility of causing a building to collapse with a single bomb or of opening a really big hole in a wall.

When a kamicar is triggered, flip the counter over: it is considered an obstacle (one big hunking pothole!). The 1/4" around it is littered with debris.

Kamicars and Equipment

Traditionally, the driver of a kamicar is equipped with an ejector seat "linked" to the charge: the charge is timed to detonate when the ejection seat reaches the highest point of its are (10 inches). Remember: the driver may also be affected by the blast! It would take a very big charge (25 spaces, to be precise), admittedly, but with RVs, anything is possible.

The charge may be set to go off with a bumper trigger. If so, the trigger activates the charge before damage is calculated. This is done so the ram will not damage the charge too much to fire. One interesting possibility lies in telling the driver of a kamicar that his bumper triggers are attached to heavy rockets: don't do this to someone who owes you money, but it is a way of getting around the problems caused by remote controls and is cheaper than ejection seats.

Remember. kamikaze pilots crippled battleships: kamicars are dangerous, and a van loaded with explosive is a truly terrifying thing. However, a kamicar or a suspected kamicar will draw very heavy fire; it is also rather expensive to use. Use them in good health.

Issue 3/3 Index

Steve Jackson Games * Car Wars * ADQ Index