Very simply, I think that the modern weapons are just too powerful. Duels are becoming faster. It isn't uncommon to be killed in two or three shots (recently I was hit by linked sabot ATs and killed in Div 15). So much of the game is being determined by the first to hit, that the maneuvering of ramplates, the fierce determination in a prolonged combat, and the value of metal armor is rapidly disappearing. And, what is most important is that the game is becoming less fun.
The turning point in the development of the game was when the AP heavy rocket ceased to be the ultimate weapon. How about running a round of next year's tournament (not Div 5) using pre-2038 direct fire weapons only. I think that it would be a lot more enjoyable than the modern exchanges between marauding gunships.
Craig Sheeley's article, "State of the Art 2039," has both good and bad ideas for the game of Car Wars. First off, I would like to say it provides some good background information to those players who are really picky on how everything works or to those who are curious. I also liked how the targeting computer works and why a human can aim and shoot so fast.
The only bad thing I see out of this article is that it could give too much information and/or rules to the game. The last thing I want Car Wars to become is "Car Fleet Battles," with countless rules and tedious explanations on everything. This can turn a lot of people off and hurt the game. Let's keep things simple and enjoyable.
Remember, Car Wars is fantasy and should be treated as such. When we start to get too specialized or detailed, we'll only hurt the game.
--Timothy D. Jacques
I would like to make a suggestion about ob-racing and the pedestrian variant rules included within that article from ADQ 7/2.
Why not make those rules "official" and bring out a new Pedestrian supplement to Car Wars including more detail on the people factor of the game? You could also include further skills as well as rule refinements within this supplement. I myself would prefer that to a completely different game based on ob-racing.
If you wanted, you could extend this idea even further, and make the supplement a fully-blown character scheme. I know what you are abut to respond with: "It's called GURPS Autoduel." But look at it from this point of view; how about some more fully sketched-out characters in Car Wars, rather than a roleplaying game with the hardware attached? I am a roleplaying gamer, but I am not particularly interested in investing in GURPS (that's not a comment on its quality -- it is excellent, but on my financial capacity and the time I have to play games).
No sooner had I finally found out what "FNORD" stands for than I read what loony vehicles they design (according to "Of Course, It was Black," ADQ 7/3). The pickup sounds similar to some of the screwier designs of the Driving Tigers, but that's a different psychosis.
I am glad the disclaimer was added to the story in the gaming notes. I would not want to be overwhelmed with new variant rules for the hazards of mounting weapons that do not fit! Mounting three auto-cannons was screwy enough, but a tank gun in a van? %ranted, it does conform to the 1/3-space rule, but falls a little short on the 10-wheels-or-more rule. Not to mention that it is a Dljust to fire one from an RV -- maybe the van should have rear-mounted it and fired it for extra acceleration! (That was not a suggestion for an unofficial variant rule of any kind!)
The main reason that I do not wish to see any new rule has to do with a loophole in the construction rules in Star Fleet Battles that allowed a player to build what was basically a fusion gun with wings. It was a fighter with the power of a Romulan Bird of Prey. Almost gives you new respect for subcompacts.
I don't understand why people don't want SJG to come out with new ideas such as tanks, planes, ships ... I know they add more of a variety to the Car Wars world and allow you to do something other than "Fire rocket launcher. 10 points damage to your right armor". Not saying that's not fun too, but there are more possibilities of tactics, adventures, characters, etc. . . . With additional rules the best part is, and those of you who don't like new stuff will like this, you can just not use it if you don't like it! So everybody stop griping about "there's too many rules" and just use the rules you want, then Backfire would be a happier place for everyone. The good thing is, now there isn't an excuse to gripe.
Just to show that we get a range 4 opinions about almost evely aspect of the game. Once more, for public record, the details of Car Wars fiction are not necessarily in line with the rules of the game. In the past, we have had mutant super heroes; in this issue we have screechers with android drivers. None of these are now, or are planned to be, a part of the rules of Car Wars. They are intended to be entertaining stories, with the flavor, and at least some of the shared background, of the Car Wars universe. Think of them as Car Wars fantasies, the son of escapist reading that autoduellists enjoy between fights. -MH