HTML conversion by Michael P. Owen, April 2000

I am 13 years old, and I love your game -- Deluxe Car Wars. I play it all the time. What I wrote this letter about is kind of dumb to be sending all the way to Texas for, but I have a problem. The game has something not printed in the rulebook about Ds.

Example: A hazard for hitting a curb or pedestrian is a D3. That D is bothering me a lot, because I have no idea what it stands for.

Another Example: A road conditions hazard for running into heavy snow is another D3. That big D is what this whole letter is about. I would appreciate it a lot if you could send me a letter telling me what it means. Thanks.

Sincerely,

Jesse Daniels
Mountain View, CA

Oh, that's easy. D stands for Difficulty (p. 9 in DCW), or how hard it is for the driver to maintain control of his vehicle after a maneuver or hazard. The higher the D value, the more difficult it is to keep control. It's kind of refreshing to get a simple question once in a while . . .

Charles A. Oines

Page 43 of ADQ 5/3 in Backfire lists a formula for determining maximum weight of a vehicle for a desired top speed. That formula is no longer valid with the advent of the current gas rules introduced in issue 6/2. By using simple algebraic theory, I have rearranged the gas rule formula as follows:

Max. Wt. = [ (240 x PF) - (TS x PF) ] / (TS)

where TS = Desired top speed, and PF = Power Factors of desired engine.

Example: John has come into possesion of a 300 ci engine, and would like a top speed of 120 mph. Unfortunately, he doesn't know what kind of vehicle he should choose to put this new engine in.

PF = 4,000, TS = 120

so Max. Wt. = [ (240 x 4,000) - (120 x 4,000) ] / 120
= (960,000 - 480,000) / 120
= 480,000 / 120
= 4,000

Therefore, John has 4,000 lbs. to work with, and his best choice would be a compact.

Michael Heacock

Dear Sirs:

First off, thanks for publishing my arena designs in ADQ 6/3. I take it that the last sentence in the Editor's note was a hint that you guys need my Social Security number before you can pay me . . .

With regards to the AADA Championships, if you guys are going to do the same format next year, your Division 20 duel in the Double Drum needs to be changed a bit. I was in the Southern California Regional, and when combat began, only about half of the cars went forward -- the rest stayed still, or moved in reverse, and then picked off those cars that went forward. While this is a perfectly legal tactic (my sorrow was that I was one of those that moved forward), I have the feeling that you intended this to be more of a race. I suggest that next time, a vehicle cannot fire until after it has first passed the "center line" of the arena.

Once again, thanks for publishing me, and I will continue to drive offensively!

Douglas Kelley
Chatsworth, CA

Just a few suggestions:

1. Why can't a vehicle within a trike's front arc of fire target the trike's side? A car's side can be targeted from the front -- and its sides are at a steeper angle. Surely the ruling should be reversed -- it should not be possible to hit a trike's side from behind because you can't get line of sight on its sloped sides; the reverse being applicable for reversed trikes.

2. Dragsters should not be +1 to hit from the side, seeing as they are much lower than other cars. The narrow frame presents a smaller target (in height) than a normal car's body. With dragsters being longer and lower, their should be no penalty to hit from the side.

3. The weapons location restriction should apply to cycles because at present a heavy cycle can mount four spaces of weaponry on one side, while a light trike can mount only 2 2/3 spaces of weaponry at most on a side.

A couple of questions:

1. Do weapons mounted in EWPs count toward the weapons location restriction?

2. If two linked weapons of different types in a turret are fired together, how does the non-aimed one fire? In the same direction it last fired, or in some other direction?

J. McEvoy
West Yorkshire, ENGLAND

1. Oooh, the contradictions do pile up over the years, don't they? Personally, I don't know why trike targeting is so quirky, either. I suppose I'd better get in the practice of doing this, so I'll wave my magic wand, and presto! A new, official ruling: A trike's sides can be targeted from the front arc at the usual -2 penalty. They cannot be targeted from behind (switch for reversed trikes, of course). In addition, you cannot target a trike's top armor unless you could normally target anyone's top armor.

2. Sounds good to me. If you want to play it that way, fine.

3. Cycles are exempt from this because (everybody say this with me) cyclists need all the help they can get.

1. No.

2. That's what referees are for. What happens depends strongly on what the two weapons are. Usually, the other weapon would use the automatic fire rules along the direction the turret is facing.

Charles A. Oines

I am sending for your purview the design specifications and script for Autoduel II, the sequel to Lord British and Chuckles' computer adaptation of Car Wars, which we are developing for Origin Systems, Inc. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to design this game, and we have strong ideas of what enhancements are possible and necessary to add more Car Wars flavor to the game. We are very interested in your impression of the script and any changes you can suggest which would enhance the appeal of the finished game. We would also like to know how you feel about inviting AADA West Coast and World Champions to join the game as NPCs.

At our script review we bandied about the idea of expanding the car construction system and marketing it as a computerized play aid for Car Wars and GURPS Autoduel. Please let us know what you think of this idea.

Yours truly,

Kiri Naiman
MicroMagic

Me, I think it's a fantastic idea . . .

I had a chance to look over the script change, and it looks good! The vehicle construction and combat systems look like they will mirror Everybody's Favorite Game, with nearly every gadget up to and including the most recent Uncle Albert's catalog available. Among interesting options are an online newspaper called Autoduel Weekly, featuring local arena schedules and news of famous duellists (including PCs once they become famous), printouts of completed designs, and saving designs to disk (which allows swapping designs between friends). Say tuned -- more news as it comes in.

Charles A. Oines

I have come up with a way to solve the encumbrance problems in Car Wars without radical change. The 6-GE limit still applies but only to the torso. The head can carry 1 GE (within reason), and the arms 5. This makes it possible for a man to wear body armor, a battle vest, a backpack full of goodies and still carry a weapon. However, if a person carries the maximum limit of GEs on both body and hands, he loses 1/4" move per second.

Douglas W. Glover
Huntsville, AL

He's probably going to be rather clumsy, as well, but your suggestion has interesting possibilities. Anyone else have any ideas on this?

Charles A. Oines