The Driver's Seat

HTML conversion by Michael P. Owen, March 2000

Hello, sports fans! Welcome to yet another action-packed issue of Autoduel Quarterly. And action packed it is, too -- this one's got something for everybody. The featured article is "Tournament Design Strategy" (p. 24) by Tim Ray. Tim was the runner-up in last year's World Championships, and I'm glad he's letting the rest of us in on some of his winning techniques. He concludes a section on arena duellmg that begins on page 20. Once you've got that arena monster built, send it to us -- Ken Scott tells you how in his "Vehicle Guide 2 Designerís Notes" on page 8. On the other hand, if you're more interested in the human side of autoduelling, check out Jim Davie's interview with the president of Gold Cross on page 12. Jeff George gives us au interesting way for duellists to make a little money on the side in his article on parimutuel betting on page 16. Charles Oines has a very . . . strange twist to the world of Car Wars on page 30. Finally, an index to all the vehicles, gadgets and articles from the first five volumes of ADQ rounds out this issue's features.

If that sounds like a lot, it is -- we barely had room for all our regular features. But they're all here. Most importantly, see this issue's Backfire column for some possible rules changes regarding gas engines and laser guidance -- we've gotten a lot of mail on these problems, saying that something needs to be done. Read page 38 and see if you agree. Meanwhile, find out about the upcoming World Championship circuit in AADA News on page 40. Newswatch, ADQ&A and ADQ Classifieds finish up the list. Speaking of ADQ Classifieds . . .


We get a lot of ADQ Classified ads. There were easily four pages worth sent in for this issue alone, which is absurd. Iím not going to devote 10% of the article space in this magazine toward classified ads, and I don't think anyone out there wants me to. So:

1) Only one free ad per person per issue, not to exceed 25 words.

2) You may buy a longer ad, at $2.50 for every 25 words, or fraction thereof, beyond the first 25. (A 40-word ad costs $2.50; a 52-word ad costs $5 .)

3) You may buy an extra ad at $2.50 per 25 words including the first 25.

4) Any ad that is advertising something for sale, including back issues of ADQ, costs $2.50 per 25 words including the first 25. Whether something is "for sale" is our decision -- something that requires an SASE is not for sale, though something that requires two is.

5) Send checks or money orders (payable to SJ Games) -- nor cash. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement we deem unsuitable.
In particular --

6) Can you spell "copyright"? I knew you could. While we're not nearly as litigious as some other companies That Sue Regularly, we're rather fond of our copyrights and trademarks and intend to keep them. It's simply not legal to sell anything that violates one of our trademarks (other than our own products -- you can still sell back issues of ADQ) without our written permission.

We cannot make exceptions to this, and we will prosecute if necessary to insure our position. Sorry, guys. Sending us an ADQ Classified ad selling your latest book of Car Wars vehicles is not going to make you any friends around here.

'Nuff said. While we're on the subject of accusations, though . . .

All's Quiet on the Western Oops

Looks like I beat all of you to the punch -- nobody picked up on this goof. In The Driver's Seat of 5/4 I referred to "the ad on the back cover" as an example of a sedan, the new body style published in Vehicle Guide 2. Well, a discerning reader will note that the "sedan" on the back cover has rotors and is built by Airtech. Color me chagrined. The real sedan is on page 41. Also in 5/4, I failed to make it perfectly clear that the flame cloud gas streamer only has 2 shots. This should have been obvious (especially since I gave the loaded cost and weight), but itís good to have
this sort of thing spelled out.

One of the two oops from 5/3 is my fault as well. The speed modifier revisions on page 39 aren't quite clear. A lot of people wrote in, berating me for failing to state that, when two vehicles are approaching each other side by side, their speeds are added rather than subtracted to determine the modifier. Well, the reason why I failed to do that is because it's not true. In that instance, you merely use the full speed of the target for the modifier. The article clearly states that "no situation increases the target's speed" when determining modifiers. The reason for this is straight-forward: game balance and simplicity. The rationale is that a vehicle's targeting computers (even the rudimentary ones found in all
vehicles) compensate automatically for the firing vehicle's motion. Bogus? Perhaps so, but it's the easiest way to handle speed mods.

The last oops is in no way my fault. Plastique (5/3, p. 6) is too horrifyingly effective. If mere plastic explosive is this useful in combat, why haven't duellists used it all along? So we're gonna fix it. First, all damage numbers for plastique are halved. A full brick now does 4 dice. Second, plastique is illegal in all official AADA events. This should take care of all you "mad bombers" out there.

One last typo -- Radio Detonators (5/3, p. 7) are one grenade equivalent, not two.

And now, a cheap plug . . .

Due to some problems with the manuscript, the Car Wars TANKS supplement has been pushed back. We don't know quite when we'll get to it. On the other hand, we were able to bring out the Car Wars Arena Book in just a few months. The Arena Book has 14 arenas, including three full-sized arenas on two pull-out map sheets. It's a good product, and everybody should buy one. (Naturally, the fact that I wrote it in no way influences my opinion on this!) We'll be using the arenas from the Arena Book in the AADA World Championships this year.

Well, I'd better not take up more room with Driver's Seat right after I've complained about other stuff filling too much space. 'Till next issue, may your path never swerve and your aim never falter!

--  Stephen Beeman

ADQ Vol. 6, No. 1 Index

Car Wars*Steve Jackson Games*ADQ Index