By Scott D. Haring
The more sharp-eyed among you out there noticed that the back cover of Car Wars Expansion Set 8: Chopper Challenge promised five scenarios, and only four were included. Well, excuuuuuse me...
What happened was we ran out of space, and the fifth scenario was cut at the last minute (why we didn't catch the mistake on the back cover is another story, one of those little things that make working in this industry such gosh darn fun...). So here it is, the missing scenario from Expansion Set 8, called Search and Destroy. You'll need Deluxe Car Wars , or regular Car Wars and the helicopter rules from Autoduel Champions, and, of course, Expansion Set 8 to play. Have fun...
Search and Destroy
AirTech Amalgamated is a big company used to getting its own way, so when an industrial spy escaped from the ATA plant with the blueprints for a new type of air vehicle, they were understandably annoyed. But the company's counterspies have learned where the blueprints are to be handed over, and AirTech intends to make sure those blueprints never change hands...
The scenario can be played in either of two ways: The players can take the side of the AirTech mercenaries while the referee handles the spies, or the players can split into two groups, one playing the mercenaries, the other playing the spies.
AirTech has copies of the stolen blueprints in a dozen safe places, so recovery of the documents is unnecessary. the players' task seems simple: Kill as many of the spies (and whoever comes out to meet them) as possible. Of course, the world of industrial espionage is full of double-crosses and twists of fate, so things may not be that easy.
The AirTech players get $250,000 to build three helicopters - AirTech property. These are elite fighting machines, so cargo and extra space should be at a minimum, weapons and armor at a maximum. There may be up to six characters, each of whom starts as Pilot, Driver, Gunner, Runner, and Handgunner, with four additional skill levels to spend, no more than two of which may be spent on any single skill.
The meeting is to take place on the south bank of the river at the shallow part in the center of the map. Executives of the unnamed other company arrive in a Burkhardt III helicopter, landing in the clearing north of the river in the center of the map.
The Burkhardt III is built as follows: Standard copter, standard plant, pilot and gunner, four passengers, RR in two-space universal turret under, two VMGs in each of two four-space external weapon pods to each side (four VMGs total). Three links in all - one for each pair of VMGs and one that enables all four to be fired at once. Cyberlink connecting gunner to VMGs, two hi-res computers. Armor: 10 points for each EWP, F60, R60, L60, B50, U60, T40. Cargo capacity: 6 spaces, 50 lbs. Acc. 5, HC 2, 13,950 lbs., $115,400.
The chopper's two crewmen stay on board - the pilot is a Pilot +2, Gunner, Runner, Handgunner +1; he has body armor, 2 LAWs, and a SMG. The gunner is a Pilot, Driver, Gunner +2, Runner, Handgunner; he has body armor, 5 VLAWs, and a heavy pistol.
Four people get out of the helicopter. Two are executives with no pertinent skills, though they are wearing body armor. The other two are bodyguards. Each bodyguard is a Handgunner +2, Runner +1 (the other skills are not important), with improved body armor, a shotgun, a SMG, and a heavy pistol.
One of the executives is carrying what looks like a pocket calculator - it is actually a case holding a small microchip containing half the decoding program required to gain access to a small fortune in a foreign bank. (The spy received the first half as a down payment for the assignment, and does not have it here. So while millions are about to change hands, there is nothing here the players can recover - too bad.)
The spy is a Driver +1, Cyclist, Trucker, Pilot +1, Gunner +3, Handgunner +2, Runner +3, Martial Arts +3, Mechanic +1. He has improved body armor (6 damage points), two smoke grenades, a tear gas grenade, and a concussion grenade. He has the blueprints - and a few friends. The spy won't double-cross the executives, but he's worried they may double-cross him.
Two of the spy's friends are in the brush to the east of the riverbank, covering the approaching foursome with a tripod-mounted MG and three LAWs. His other two cronies are hidden to the west and a little south, with a tripod-mounted RR and three extra clips (Note: This is the old style tripod-mounted RR; give them a new version with a full load of ammo.).
The spy has 12 more men scattered around the map in six large foxholes (two men in each) covered by brush; these are not visible from the air. Place them in an evenly-spaced semi-circle 4" to 6" wide, arrayed around the meeting place.
All these extra people are around in case the unexpected happens - like a mercenary helicopter attack. Two of the pairs have one tripod-mounted RR each, with two extra clips apiece (Note: Again, give them a new version with a full load of ammo instead). Two pairs have one tripod-mounted light laser each, with pedestrian laser battery (provides 12 shots). The last two pairs have four radar-guided missiles each.
All of the folks in the various foxholes and hiding places are Handgunner +1 (which doesn't help with the radar-guided missiles, but does with everything else), with body armor and a LAW, two grenades, and an SMG.
As an extra added surprise, the AirTech vehicles the attacking players are flying have each been outfitted with a Limpet Beacon. this device gives all laser- and radar-guided weapons an additional +2 to hit the unlucky aircraft carrying one. A paid-off mechanic has slipped one behind a false bulkhead of each copter - even a careful inspection of the vehicles beforehand would not reveal them.
The AirTech players may enter the map from anywhere they like. It is reasonable to assume that combat will start almost immediately. Everyone on the ground will take shots at the AirTech helicopters. The crew of the Burkhardt III will also lift off immediately to battle the players air-to-air. The AirTech players merely want to kill everyone they can, and leave.
If the spy and the two "enemy" executives are killed, and all three AirTech helicopters escape off the map, it is a total AirTech victory, good for a $30,000 bonus for each member of the team.
If the spy and only one executive is killed, or all three are killed but one of the helicopters is downed, then it is a marginal AirTech victory, good for a $10,000 payoff for the survivors.
If two or three AirTech helicopters are downed, or they spy escapes off the north edge of the map with his payoff, it is a spy victory - any AirTech survivors get nothing. There are no additional awards for killing the hired guns, though there is a definite incentive for this - once they're dead, they will no longer shoot at you.