# Drawbridges in Car Wars

### By Christopher Burke

The tug is coming. The lights are flashing. You're lined up for the ultimate game of chicken.

Many of the old drawbridges are still working. Some prevent unauthorized entry into territory, while others provide daredevil excitement. In some cases, the rivers have dried up and there is no need to have a bridge that opens at all ...

There are several types of drawbridges. The most common kind opens up in the center of the bridge. At the end of the turn after the lever was pulled, the bridge raises or lowers at a rate of 10 degress per second, up to a maximum of 60 degrees

When opened at 20 , 30 or 40 degrees, the bridge can be jumped like a ramp. The only difference is the distance the car will fall if it comes up short on the jump. The driver better hope that the river is still flowing below.

At 50 or 60 degrees, a vehicle approaching the open bridge will crash into it as if it were a wall. Additionally, if a vehicle is actually on the bridge at that angle, it will lose 5 mph of speed per second until it leaves the bridge, one way or another.

If a car makes it over the edge of the bridge, trying to jump at 50 or 60 degrees, the distanced jumped will be 1/4 that of a normal jump. The car will most likely fall in unless it's moving extremely fast.

When the bridge is only at 10 degrees, there is not much of a gap between the bridge ends. This gap cannot be jumped, but is treated as a D2 hazard. For a gap large enough for a cycle to fall through, the bridge would have to be big - about 450 feet (30") from end to end.

## Jumping Distance

If the bridge is 15' (1 game inch) on both sides, consult the following chart. It can be scaled up or down to suit your needs. The numbers are based on trigonometric tables and have been fudged to more workable numbers.

```Angle        Distance         Height
10 degrees     1/2"	         3'
20             2'                5'
30	       4' (1 square)	 7.5'
40             7' (2 squares)   lO'
50            11' (3 squares)   11.5'
60            15' (1 inch)      13'
```

Most bridges would not be longer than 60' (4") from end to end, but there are always exceptions. All drawbridges have (or had) automatic barricades (7 DP) that drop across the road when the bridge is activated. They remain down until the bridge is reconnected, raising at the end of the next turn.

Each bridge will also have a control booth. Usually, this is to one side of the bridge. In dangerous territories, the control booth will be in a more remote, hidden position.

## Other Types of Bridges

Some drawbridges only rise on one side. When trying to jump a drawbridge, the distance across is halved. The height remains the same, but there is no landing ramp so a car will take some falling damage. The hazard for 10 degree "jumps" is still D2.

The big difference with one-sided bridges is that a car that approaches from the wrong end while the bridge is up will probably go to a watery doom. If the opening is 5 feet above level for cars and smaller vehicles, 10 feet for vans and midsized trucks, or 15 feet for anything larger, the vehicle will drop through. Otherwise, there is a collision with the bridge and the car stops, hanging on the edge of the bridge, but not falling in.

Lift bridges simply lift the entire central Section - there are no ramps, and both ends are treated as the wrong end of a one-sided bridge. jumping off the central platform is done using the free-fall rules from the Arena Book.

The last type of bridge is rare, but still encountered. Instead of raising the bridge at one end or in the middle, the road retracts on a dolly system beneath the rest of the road at a rate of 1/4" per second on each side. In this case, a vehicle cannot jump there's no place to go but down!

When the bridge retracts, everything on it is moved with it. Anything in the center, on both sides at the same time, stays in the same place. A vehicle can attempt to cross the gap, taking a D2 hazard per 1/4" distance, so long as part of the vehicle is on both sides of the bridge at the same time. Use common sense for odd situations.

## Final Notes

All wheeled vehicles suffer a -1 to HC when on a drawbridge (open or shut) because the road isn't paved - if it were, it would be too heavy to open. A Hovercraft attempting to cross the bridge grating will ground out immediately, decelerating by 15 mph per turn, and taking 1 die to each skirt each turn until it stops moving. Conversely, the hazards for bad weather, oil or ice on the road will never be worse than +D1 because no puddles or ice will form - the grating will just freeze or become slick. Flaming oil will not ignite, since most of the oil will just drop through the grating. Holes cannot be blown in the bridge, either - most of the damage will be shunted through, harmlessly.

If a vehicle is directly over the center of a bridge when it opens, the vehicle's underbody will take id of damage. It remains over the edge of the side it is mostly on. If it is directly over the center, it will take an additional point of scraping damage each turn it remains there until it moves or falls through.

If someone fires an ejection seat while on the drawbridge, there are two possible ways to handle it. First, take out any good physics textbook and use the formulas for the basic parabolic-motion equations. The second idea is to take the physics book and whomp the bejeebers out of the guy who suggested the first idea, and then assume that the ejection seat has some form of miraculous gyroscopic balance that immediately returns it to straight vertical flight directly over the vehicle in question.

Finally, a drag chute will not work to stop your fall should you miscalculate. So be quick, be aggressive, and jump offensivelyl

Issue 7/1 Index