Welcome to the new format. It's been a heavy undertaking, but I believe the work (and wait) was worth it. Our cover story is on Microplanes, bringing fixed-wing aircraft into the Autoduel universe. ~ have another slew of mini-scenarios for your continued amusement, and plenty of variant articles. Are you tired of the myriad funny results of grenade equivalents? Check out the variant, more realistic encumbrance rules on p.17. Are your enemies climbing out of the clone vats too quickly for your taste? Read up on what it feels like to wake up as a clone on p.20. Find out what to do with those shark and duck counters from Boat Wars in Black Gold Blues, on p.6. Our regular features are included as always - check 'em out. Uncle Albert has let his adverti5ing contract with us slip while preparing his 2039 sales campaign. Maverick used car salesman Rodger Keller of Keller Motors, San Antonio, has leapt in to take up the slack and is offering some impressive bargains, if you can weasel them past his sales staff.
Elsewhere in this issue is an official Origins awards ballot, accompanied by a list of eligible products. Fill it out and send it ml The more ballots the committee receives, the less likely it is that the awards will be influenced by a small group - and the better the award process will be.
But don't stop there. Consider becoming an Academy member, and actually voting on the awards themselves! It's cheap, and is open to "active, accomplished hobbyists, both professional and amateur." Many of you would be surprised to find out that you qualify. Complete details are on the ballot.
Don't mail it to us - these awards are in no way connected with Steve Jackson Games. ~ print the ballot for your convenience.
On the subject of mail; can you guys slow down a little? I'm looking right now at a pile of letters dating back quite a way, and I simply haven't been able to find time to answer them as quickly as I should. If yours are among this pile, I apologize. I read them all as soon as I can after they come in, but I need to set aside a lot of time to answer them. Some of you are becoming regular correspondents and others seem to be sitting at home, deliberately thinking up bizarre questions
There are some letters I won't answer under any circumstances, and they usually have one or more of the following mortal transgressions:
If you desire a quick answer and have a computer and modem, call the Illuminati BBS at (512)4474449 (300/ 1200/2400 baud, 8-none-1, 24 hours/day), and post your questions on the Car Wars discussion board. Even if I don't get around to answering it, someone will.
Arrrgh. That didn't last long, now did it? just a couple from the magazine this time: Several of our pickier readers noted that the Airtech Windrider (back cover, ADQ 6/1) was both an oversized vehicle and streamlined. According to the third Uncle Albert's, oversized vehicles cannot be streamlined. Rather than change the hover, I'm changing streamlining to cover all vehicles.
The second one was on the front cover, claiming ADQ 6/4 was the "fall" issue. Call it culture shock. I'm originally from northern Illinois. Texas winter only lasts about two days, and it sure felt like fall to me.
In The AADA Duel Circuit: L'Outrance, things got a little messier. To start off, the interior art credits should have included Charlie Wiedman and the venerated George "Speed" Webber, and the production credits should also list Charlie Wiedman and Lisa A. Smith.
The entry for the Flying Fortress (p.14) let a few things slip as well. For those that are confused, the darkest level is the floor, the next lightest is the second level, and the white section is level three. The reference to the ramps at the south end of the map actually refers to the ones at the top. There are three ways to fix this one: 1) Assume the poles shifted, and north is somewhere in the region of Mexico now, 2) cut out the map and tape it back in upside down, or 3) replace "south" with "north." Me, I'd recommend the third choice.
Also, the eight gates leading into the Flying Fortress were not marked. For the record, there are three evenly spaced along each long side, and one, centered, on each short side.
And on p. 24, Running skill got left off the sheet. Put it in place of Prestige, and keep track of your prestige in the blank area at the bottom of the sheet for now.
Uncle Albert's 2039 Catalog Update is due out around the same time as this issue, featuring nautical hardware and a host of other neat stuff. Look for the beautiful Orange cover.
As I write this, I've just started working on the Car Wars Compendium, a 112-page rulebook that will have (almost) everything in one place; all the rules, gadgets and other useful data in one easy-to-carry book.
Car Wars City Blocks 3 is out, featuring a large, easily-customized arena and a whole mess of useful counters (bunkers, ramps, trenches, etc.). Car Wars City Blocks 4 should be out fairly soon, filled with extra arena sections, ~D folding ramps, overpasses, bunkers and whatever else we come up with. Look for it
The AADA Road Atlas and Survival Guide, Volume 7: Mountain West is on the shelves now, detailing the history and facts behind BLUD, the Republic of Deseret, and its near neighbors.
These are several rules variants that have been spawned on the BBS over the past few weeks, amidst flames of controversy . . . feel free to use or ignore these (they're unofficial, after all), but try them out and get me some feedback on them. In no particular order:
Variable Top Speeds for Electric Power Plants. The old electric top speeds were fine, when the fastest you could ever go was 100 mph. Now, with powerful gas engines and top-speed-boosting accessories available, the poor old electrics are being left behind. So, to give them some sort of competitive edge, try the following formula for car and cycle power plants: 360 x power factors I (power factors + weight), rounding down to a multiple of 2.5 mph. Overdrive and streamlining bonuses are added after finding the base top speed. Some results: A 6,600 lb. luxury with a super power plant tops out at 100 mph. Add platinum catalysts and superconductors and it will manage 110. A midsize with a tricked-up super power plant (PCs and SCs) will hit 122.5 mph, a streamlined heavy cycle with a super trike plant (PCs and SCs), cycle windshell and overdrive will achieve 215 mph flat out; a compact with a Thundercat (PCs and SCs again) will hit a staggering 227.5 mph!
Ram Concussions. When any vehicle is involved in a collision, all occupants must roll for concussion effects from the ram. Take the speed change that resulted (in T-bones, take it from the t-boning vehicle and apply it to both vehicles), divide that speed by 5mph (thus, a 35mph speed change from a 70 mph T-bone would come up with a 7). Roll that number or higher on two dice for each crewmember involved. If you make the roll, no problem. If you blow the roll, that crewman is stunned (unable to control a vehicle or gunner station) for as many seconds as he blew the roll by. Safety seats and impact armor would each add + 1 to the roll.
Ram Confetti. A vehicle can only take so much damage at one time, regardless of its construction. If a vehicle takes 1/50 of its weight in damage (1 point per 50 lbs.) in a single phase, either by rams or a tremendous volley of gunfire, the vehicle has shattered and is replaced by a handful of debris and obstacle counters (1 for every 200 lbs. of shattered vehicle) dropped from 4" above the table. No vehicle involved in a collision can ever deliver more damage than it takes to confetti that vehicle. Thus, a fully loaded luxury (6,600 lbs.) can inflict or absorb up to 132 points of damage before shattering, a 40' bus (25,200 lbs.) can handle a whopping 504 points, and a light cycle (800 lbs.) can only dish out or take 16 points.
Fire as Maneuver. In other words, a firing action is considered a maneuver. If the driver fires in a particular phase, he must go straight for the entire phase. If he fires at the end of a phase, he must go straight (if he moves) during the next phase. The driver can still only make a single firing action per turn. This variant can force some very interesting tactics, especially when combined with the Five-Phase Speed Chart
Spinout Recovery. As the rules stand, a spinout at average speeds will leave you Out of the action for quite a while. If you wish to recover, make a Control roll at HC -6 plus your Driver skill, at the end of every turn that you're spinning (if you have Driver+2, for example, you would roll at HC A). If you fail the roll, you simply continue to spinout. If you recover, your facing determines what happens next. If you are facing in the direction you were spinning, you continue normally, recovering your HC from -6. If you're sideways, you'll be forced into a T-Stop (see ADQ 6/2). If you're in reverse, you'll decelerate by 10 automatically until your speed is -20 or less. If you think your abused tires can handle it, you could attempt a reverse bootlegger to get out of it.
Example: Wildman (Driver+2) blows a control roll and spins out at 90 mph. On the next turn, he attempts to recover, rolling at A on the Control Table at 80 mph. At 80, he needs a 5 or 6 to regain control. If he waits another turn, he will need a 4, 5, or 6.
Spoilers, Airdams and other airfoils. There are some out there (I, for one) who find these things to be a bit too effective, allowing a car to do amazing high-gee, high speed maneuvers without even the slightest chance of the tires leaving the ground. There are several ways to change this: