Car Wars® Plus Pro II Gold
New Suck-Resistant Formula!!
Top Ten reasons Car Wars sucks (and ways it can be fixed):
- 10. Wing Modifiers
- a. Extra Wings: Uh... on a cargo airplane, a second wing
costs and weighs 3x the cost and weight of the entire body, which means
it's probably 6x the cost & weight of the first wing. And the second
wing is 6x as large because...? It is true that larger airplanes' wings
are slightly larger in proportion to the rest of the airplane, but it's
not terribly significant. Finally, extra wings aren't really that cool,
so there's no reason to make them so expensive / heavy. How about just
making them 40% of body cost and weight for all airplanes. Then everyone
could be happy.
- b. Flying Wings: These would be cool and maybe even used if
it integrated your wing spaces together with your body spaces. So, for
example, a Medium Airplane flying wing, instead of having 18/3, you
would just have 26 spaces. This would be pretty rad, but it's still
expensive and decreases your maneuverability. Also, clarify that an
increase in lift is the same as heavy lift wings, and just ditch the
stupid thing about only being able to mount turrets.
- 9. Airships
- Anyone who gets an airship of any size other than micro or super
needs their heads examined. The transport airship can only hold 625
points of armor, totally unloaded. This isn't very much. How about just
making their armor costs / weights in proportion to the micro, more or
less. This gives:
|Size ||Armor $/Wt.|
- Granted, this makes the super pretty awesome, but that's sort of
what I would expect for a 240-space airship. And anyway, you can just
shoot the envelope. This brings up a minor problem, which is that the
cost/weight for envelope armor isn't printed in the Catalog
From Hell. (It's 5% body cost, 2% body weight per point,
max. doubling DP).
- 8. Halftracks
- For 100% of body weight and 1000% of body cost, you get... um... (let me
get back to you on this one). Ok, you take hazards at -D1, which is like HD
shocks, you get back "wheels" that are hard to shoot off (assuming you ignore
the track loss rules), and you get the equivalent of military suspension
(which only costs 4x body cost). Not a real exciting package. How about this,
to make halftracks something that in some way approaches worthwhile:
- Because of the support added by the rear tracks, halftrack suspension
increases maximum load by 40%. Combined with an extra heavy chassis, this
increases maximum load to 160% of original.
- Before you run out and convert
all your favorite vehicles to halftracks, consider this example: A luxury with
an extra heavy chassis, an off-road suspension, 4 OR solid tires, and a large
power plant with SCs costs $11,000 and has a free weight of 3580 pounds. A
halftrack luxury with extra heavy chassis, 2 OR solid tires, and a sport power
plant costs $16,800 and has a free weight of 4040 pounds. Ok, you have almost
500 pounds more to play with, but you also shelled out nearly $6000 more for
that privilege, and you can't go more than 100 mph, no matter how big your
power plant is.
- 7. AFV top speeds:
- This one is a real puzzler -- Car Wars has
a perfectly good system for top speed that gives reasonable top speeds,
so what does Tanks do? Make up a whole new
system that makes something close to 0 sense. Take the following example:
- Mach Tank -- Small armored car, heavy-duty gas engine, driver, 4
solid tires, etc, etc... $136,000, 10,000 lbs. Top speed 825 mph.
- This seems somewhat on the fast side. How about this: Top speed for tracked
AFVs is (100 * max load) / (max load + weight), for wheeled AFVs it's (150 *
max load) / (max load + weight). This gives the same top speed as before for
AFVs with a one to one power units, and it makes a lot more sense. (Now the
mach tank goes a more respectable 137.5 mph).
- 6. Boat costs
- Right now, it's $16k to get a totally unloaded speedboat with hydrofoils.
This is a little foolish. If you add a CA frame, it transcends the ridiculous.
Also, it means the boat is a very high percentage of the cost of the boat,
which severely reduces variability in boat designs where cost is an issue.
How about just giving boats chassis options, like cars, and halving their
price. (Yes, we realize that chassis strength is not the limiting factor in a
boat... say that the chassis modifiers strengthen key points, allowing the
boat to have a more efficient shape). Then the table would be as such:
|Boat ||Cost ||Weight ||Max Load|
|Rowboat||$500 ||100 ||800|
|Dinghy ||$1000 ||1300 ||3000|
|Cruiser||$5000 ||5400 ||15000|
|Yacht ||$12000 ||10000 ||40000|
- Now they're cheaper, and they can hold a little more if you boost their
chassis, but they're much more reasonable, and they're able to compete with
hovercraft in a reasonable manner.
- 5. Illegal weapons:
- This has gotten a little out of hand. It's a neat concept and all,
but this is Car Wars. Back in the good ol'
days, you could get a tank gun legally, and that's a pretty big gun. And
anyway, most of this weaponry wouldn't even show up in a tank, because
it's not powerful enough. As near as we can tell, these fall into two
- a. It's already heavy or expensive enough that it doesn't
need to be balanced any further.
- Gatling Cannon
- Heavy Mine Dropper
- Military Flamethrower
- Auto-Grenade Launcher
- Heavy Recoilless Rifle
- Super Rocket (now that it's $15k...)
- Rapid-Fire Tank Gun (Scott thinks it should be to-hit 7. Jake
- High Velocity Grenades
- Infantry Vulcan Machine Gun
- b. If you want to aspire to any sort of real-world-ness,
it's totally ridiculous to imagine this being illegal (they're probably
- Cellular Ammunition Storage Magazine
- Anti-Aircraft Mounts
- Open Mount
- 4. Torpedoes
- Why ever use any other weapon on a boat? Get about 5 wire-guided
torpedoes ($2500, 500 lbs) front, get kinda close to your opponent, and
fire. As long as you are reasonably close to your opponent's boat, you
fire, they hit automatically, and he takes 15d to his underbody. Ouch.
Why not just make all torpedoes like wire-guided missiles, and have a
to-hit of 6? Then they're still pretty rad, but not unbalancingly so.
- 3. Extended Cabs
- $1000 (or $1500 for the Cab +2) would be reasonable if they didn't
count into chassis & suspension costs. If you get x-heavy chassis &
heavy suspension with a Cab +2, you're paying $5250 to get 2 extra
spaces. That's silly. Plus, the original Camper Shell fiasco (2038
(?) AADA championships: some dude put limpet beacons on his camper shell
so that laser-guided fire would hit it, and not the car) shows that
you really just need it to be part of the body. So, I propose 2 new body
|Body ||Cost ||Weight ||Armor Cost ||Armor Weight|
|Pickup (Cab +1)||$1200 ||2200 ||22 ||11|
|Pickup (Cab +2)||$1400 ||2350 ||24 ||12|
- 2. Gas Tanks:
- Ok, this is a large source of big-time suckage. Apparently the
gallon has seen some serious devaluation in the past 50 years -- a
van-szied gas tank (30 spaces, 305 gallons) is 40 cubic feet, or about
the size of a small refrigerator. There are a few possible alternate
formulas which would dramatically reduce the suck-factor of gas tanks:
- The GURPS
Autoduel (1st edition) method -- in GURPS
Autoduel (1st edition -- I don't know if the second is out
yet), the space is defined as 5 cubic feet, which is approximately 37
- The passenger method -- a passenger fits in one space, and that's
with some open air and so on, so assume that you could fit two
passengers in a space if you blended them up real good. That gives 300
pounds of something that's pretty similar, density-wise, to water, which
means that you've got 35 gallons to the space.
- The Boat method -- on page 66 of CWC, it says that a boat taking on
water adds 500 lbs to its weight for each space of water it takes on.
Even if we assume that this fills an entire space (which is not, of
course, correct, because there is stuff in that space too), this means
that a space is 60 gallons.
- Any of these methods seem reasonably valid, especially the last one. So,
how about this: Gas takes up 1 space per 40 gallons, rounding up. If
you have less than 10 gallons of total gas in one vehicle, the tank takes up
no spaces. Examples: a 5 gallon tank takes 0 spaces. A 41 gallon tank takes 2
- 1. No ADQ!
- We don't have a solution for this one. You're going to have to
figure it out on your own, I guess. Sucks to be you.
print this page
Copyright © 1995 by Scott Hansma and Jake McGuire
Car Wars is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games
Incorporated, and doesn't actually suck that much.