His basic assumptions seemed to be logical enough. Two turbos produce twice as much power (his example was the Callaway Corvette twin-turbo). First, the cost of the twin-turbo option is around $20,000 (two-thirds the price of the basic car). The engine must be strengthened to handle the extra power produced by the turbos. It would seem logical to use two turbos to get twice the power. This is untrue. I suppose they could have done it with one big turbo. The problem with one turbo, however, is that when you step on the accelerator, the engine revs up but the big turbo takes a while to get spinning fast enough and it takes a while for the turbo to "catch up" to the engine. This is called turbo-lag. The perfect example of this is the Porsche 911 Turbo; you floor the gas pedal and there is a lot less power than you would expect from such an expensive car, until the turbo catches up and you are thrown back into your seat (violently). So the reason they used two turbos is that the turbos can then be smaller and it doesn't take as much force to get them going and turbo-lag disappears. This is obviously not necessary in Car Wars because of the variable pitch turbos.
My information comes from reading Road & Track cover-to-cover every month and especially reading the article on the Callaway Corvette. What I would like to see is multiple-valve engines.
I have no comment about the dragsters because I don't follow drag racing
(I'm a Grand Prix person, myself). I hope this shines light on the
subject (and hopefully closes it for good).
-David Whitacre, Basel, Switzerland
Hence, I have written a formula by which a vehicle's maximum weight can be calculated by using the power factors available and the speed you wish to obtain:
W = P - (200xS) + 32,000 + (20xV)
where W = maximum weight (lbs.)
P - Power Factors
S = Speed (mph)
V = Variable to speed (e.g. + 20 mph for a Turbo and Supercharger, -10 mph for a carburetor)
For example, if we are using a 400 cu. in. IC engine (with no extras, 6,300 power factors) and we want a top speed of 175 mph, we can calculate the maximum weight:
W = 6,300 - (200x175) + 32,000 + (20x0)
= 6,300 - 35,000 + 32,600 + 0
Therefore, the maximum weight of the car with a 400 cu. in. engine that wants a top speed of 175 mph is 3,900 lbs.
Hopefully, this will be of some use to your duellist readers in building
more weight efficient cars. Keep on drivin' & Duellin'.
- Chris Lloyd, West Shefford, Berks,
Quite true, the real Anarchists have nothing to do (except shoot) with the ARF. In fact, if you've really wiped out 17 of those ARF-holes, then we owe you 17 beers, at least, for Pest Extermination. Thanks for the help.
As for those smart-cards found on the bodies, the ones with the eye-in-a-triangle marked on them, for one of those we'll buy you a whole keg.
Actually, it's an eye-in-a-pyramid, which has never been an Anarchist symbol. Try reading some of L. Neil Smith's books before you Probability Broach the subject! The fact that the ARF-holes are carrying cards now means that their campaign has just shifted into high gear, which bodes no good for anybody. By all means, keep collecting camo-green kills. And keep trying to find somebody who can translate those smart-cards. We're trying, too.
Now, if you don't want to believe the government is behind the ARF - or that government itself is both good and necessary - well, that's your privilege. You can believe the earth is flat, too, if you like. But do ask yourself this: Who, besides the government, has anything to gain by discrediting Anarchists, of all people? Who else do our ideas threaten?
Proving that the government is behind covert dirty deeds is not easy, as any investigative reporter can tell you. The people who keep all the records and hire all the cops are in a great position to hide evidence and silence witnesses, after all. Who would have known about Watergate if it hadn't been for "Deep Throat"? Or the Iran-Contra deal, if the Iranians themselves hadn't talked? Governments love secrets, remember.
If you think the government wouldn't wipe out it's own citizens, what was the Kent State massacre? What were the Resident Japanese Internment Camps of WWII? What were the Un-American witch hunts of the 1950s?
If a proper government wouldn't kill people who happen to annoy it, then who blew up the Rainbow Warrior? And what are Contras? Nobody had heard of Richard Nixon until he got on the House Un-American Activities Committee - and he got to the White House.
Proof? You'll get proof when someone high up spills the beans, and not before. Politicians are unlikely to do that fore love of honesty, or Anarchists. Pray for another Deep Throat.
Funny you should mention those three government targets that the ARF supposedly hit. Those eight SISC members had constantly voted against Wesley before they were snuffed; their replacements were all his supporters. The stolen XM-6 is now roaming around the country (still painted camo-green!) with no official record of its actions or whereabouts - just like earlier "stolen" weaponry that wound up in Contra hands - but strangely enough has never been used against U.S. government targets. It's managed to keep well hidden, too. This is rather odd performance for a terrorist gang, but par-for-the-course for, say, the CIA. Likewise, the attack on the B/B-rig and theft of it's cargo is the sort of game government "security" agencies have played before; remember how the CIA used to work the heroin trade? $5 million is peanuts to the federal government, bit big money to the ARF's hirelings. How do you think the Contras used to be paid? In Checks?! Gold is even less traceable than dollar bills, and accepted everywhere. As for the lives lost, governments have always used soldiers like Kleenex - "acceptable losses" in pursuit of "policy," as they said in the days of Vietnam. What do you think war is?
So, Wesley only rants about the ARF, not the Anarchy Party itself? Sure, he just says the ARF is our "striking arm." Now, if you knife somebody, it isn't just your blade that gets gunned down by witnesses or thrown in the clink. It isn't just the ARF that's blamed, and shot down, in his crusade.
It's hardly paranoid, if you're openly opposed to all governments, to expect that all governments are damn-well opposed to you - especially if you make noticeable gains, as we did. Why should "Anarchy Party" be a contradiction in terms? There was an Anarchist Party in Australia as long ago as the 1970s, whose candidates ran on the promise of abolishing the offices they were elected to, just like us. If it works, it works - and winning elections is a damn sight cheaper than bloody revolution, in money and in lives. You know, we're probably the only people ever elected who kept their election promises!
Tell me this; if people are competent to elect a government to rule them, why shouldn't they save money and effort by short-circuiting the whole process - doing away with the middleman and ruling themselves, by themselves, for themselves?
But a government is a monopoly on power, and power corrupts.
Chew on that one, Cholly.
And while you're at it, off an ARF for me.
- Leslie Fish, Berkeley, CA
Also, how about a little more recognition for all the AADA chapters around the country? (seeing your club's name in print more than just once a year on the official club list feels pretty good.)
How about some more recognition for winners at convention tournaments sponsored by Steve Jackson Games? I suggest that when one of the certificates is sent in and redeemed, ADQ should keep track of all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes, awarding points as follows: 4 for 1st, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd, plus a prize such as a year's subscription to the top three finishers of the season.
If only AADA members would be eligible, this would probably encourage membership in AADA and boost participation.
AADA chapters should also be encouraged to play other chapters and send the results to ADQ with both club presidents signing the bottom of the letter to verify the outcome.
Possibly the best club (win/loss/ratio or kill ratio) at the end of the season would have their charter renewed free! These events should be team events with at least four people from each club participating.
Hope you can use the suggestions and that there will be better
competition in the future.
- Anonymous Duellist
Anonymous huh? That's OK . . . I know who you are.
Actually, except for it being a fair amount of extra work, it sounds like a great idea. Of course, we've always been ready to accept reports on club activities for "AADA News" - we just don't receive many. And it wouldn't be hard to keep track of the reports and run standings - and even reward the top club with a free charter renewal. This issue's "AADA News" contains all the details.
As for the national standing idea - would this reward the best duellist, or just the ones who can afford to go to the most conventions? I know that games are by their nature competitive events, but would a system like this encourage even more loophole-searching, rule-bending, and perhaps even out-and-out cheating? I'd rather we all played a friendly game; there's enough mayhem and bloodletting on the arena floor for it to carry over to the game tables.
But, that's just one possibility. The positive points listed in the
letter are all good ones, more duellists attending cons, more
Car Wars players joining the AADA, and everybody
generally having more fun. Please send in your opinions on this subject
We'll run some of the letters here in "Backfire" next issue, and make
My suggestion is as follows: Whenever a GG is fired, draw power factors from the power plant as if a heavy laser had been fired, and a GG is not silent and does give away the firer's location. While this may not be completely accurate, it will give a bit of realism to this weapon. I also suggest that you (SDH), Andy M., and anyone else interested in electromagnetic guns read the article.
Question: How many spaces would a passenger in a topless boat take up if
he were to fire a tripod-mounted weapon?
- Shawn Gill, Allentown, PA
The idea has always been to base Car Wars weapons loosely on existing hardware (or stuff it could be reasonably assumed will exist in the near future). How loosely? Good question. I don't think it's too big a leap of faith to assume that 50 years in the future, the muzzle flash and power problems have been solved. And why not assume subsonic muzzle velocity? (It would certainly help explain the power requirements . . .) I've always cautioned against stat-by-stat comparisons of our equipment with real-life military specs - and I still do.
The passenger in the boat takes up one space.
Also, a sample dragster has a listing of 30-0 armor on the sides - the
30 on the side next to the competitor. Is there any way to switch sides
if you are put in the other lane, or do you have to get two
- Otto Kitsinger, Rockville, MD
Why not two different arenas? Joustduelling is certainly popular enough in Maryland to warrant it. But you're right - while both arenas can be in Baltimore, only one can be the Baltimore Joustduelling Arena. Use the one in the Road Atlas, and consider the other to be in the same area and nearly as popular.
Once a dragster learns its lane assignment, putting the armor on the
appropriate side is a fairly easy task for a racing pit crew. Teams are
always given enough time to make the necessary changes before each
I think your Uncle Albert's catalogs and rules in general are some of the best I have ever seen, and vehicle designs are (mostly) beyond appraisal. Terrific! But, I think I would like to see more gas car designs and some more "ADQ Custom Features." If you feel "If you want 'em, write 'em" I will, as soon as I finish my History project ...
Well, enough grovelling. If you'd like to know, I am 15 and have been enjoying Car Wars for two years now. The joy of watching my friend jump up and down in a rage when I blow away his left armor cannot be expressed. I am sure many players know what I mean. Keep up the great work, keep up the great supplements, and keep up the new and destructive weapons!
Just one more thing - I'd like to say how handy by Dad's MasterCard was
when choosing from your Mail Order List.
- Martin Hills, Liverpool, Australia
Here's a solution to the "to kill or not to kill" question. If you can't kill in cold blood, then give him a gun, some food, point out to him how nice you're being, and let him go. Then go after him. This provides lots of fun, and is great target practice.
However, if your problem is with the killing itself, than make him do the killing. Tear gas him, then leave him in a trap, like the one below.
Frank is out for a Sunday drive when the local scum of a biker gang starts following him. Remembering how this gang let a friend of his go when he surrendered, he pulls over. The leader gets off his bike and walks over. He sticks his head in the window. When Frank sees that he has a gas mask on, he thinks, oh, no.
Frank wakes up in a weird contraption. There are strings all around.
He then sees four things. A large blade about to chop off his head,
that he's tied up with string, that in his free hand there is a pair of
scissors with two strings within cutting distance, and a sign saying,
"Welcome to our trap! One of the strings will set you free, and the
other will cut your head off. Sweet guessing!"
- Shaw Isenhart, Anoka, MN
I'm not sure that solves the basic moral dilemma, Shaw. But it
could be amusing . . .