World Champion Maintains Winning Form
by Jim Davie
HTML conversion by Tim C. and Odette Morrison, June 1997
The Texas UTHERCON VII Car Wars Arena, held by invitation in the Buffalo Municipal Arena in November, proved to be one of the year's most exciting televised events as local takes pined their guns against Austin's World Champion Mike Montgomery in a $30,000 blitzkrieg.
Montgomery demonstrated his championship form by shattering five of his seven opponents almost single-handedly, and driving out of the arena relatively intact. His winning design -- a compact car with heavy-duty transmission pulling a 20-foot car trailer with laser-guided armor-piercing heavy rocket magazines in a 4-space turret -- proved capable of taking out most opponents in a single four-rocket salvo. His secret: Firing at the weaker top armor of cars that came within six inches of the oversized trailer's turret.
The two vehicles that avoided Montgomery's fire came up with some withering fire of their own. While rushing toward a head-on collision. both drivers rolled 12s and scored simultaneous critical hits on each other! (Instant replay suggests that both the RL shell and the VMG volley fired managed to score directly on the other opponent's front weapon port.) This once-in-a-lifetime occurence was made even more incredible when both power plants ignited from the damage -- with neither car having an extinguisher! The crowd was on its feet as David, chancing a possible explosion, stayed in the smoking driver's seat long enough to stop his flaming opponent mid with a low-speed ram. Adding inflammation to injury, he finished off the driver (and the kill) with a rear-mounted flame-cloud ejector, and then jumped out to continue the fight with a TV bunker machine-gun. His incredible skill and derring-do won him second place.
Things looked grim for Robert "Evil Fred" Dennett when his vehicle rolled
into a TV bunker after losing two tires and a trailer to simultaneous enemy
attacks. But he ended upright, and gained enough points to win third by
setting Montgomery on fire with incendiary RL shells, causing considerable
fire damage before the blaze could be extinguished and Dennett taken out
To encourage blitzkrieg combat that would end on time, points were awarded for aggressive play: 1 point for each point of damage scored against an opponent, 2 points for each internal (and tire) hit, and 100 points for killing a vehicle, with a 25 point penalty for not killing all crewmembers (this tended to make pedestrians popular targets). Firing pedestrians received double points. Bonuses (5-30 points) were awarded for incidences of unusually good or daring game play -- basically, anything that the referee decided would impress the arena spectators.
As Montgomery's design so aptly demonstrated, heavy-duty transmissions have the entire complexion of car-trailer designs, allowing the duellist willing to give up acceleration to get the hauling capacity of a Thundercat at a much more reasonable price in money, weight, and space. Considering the tremendous weight and space capacity of car trailers, the bulkiness of many weapon systems no longer becomes a factor ("Excuse me . . .just how many HRs did you say you were launching?"). In addition to the threat of oversized trailers, the enveloping effect of flame-cloud ejectors and the new mine technology makes the practice of skimping on top and bottom armor that much more dangerous. And with the proliferation of flame weapons in Uncle Al's Catalog Update, the sorriest duellist around will be the one without metal armor or an effective fire extinguisher system. Be safe -- drive offensively!