This article originally appeared in Pyramid #9

Car WarsŪ

The description of the Improved Hovercraft Vertical Stabilizer (Uncle Albert's Catalog From Hell, p. 131) seems to be missing a line. Can you help?

-- John Burcham, Winston-Salem, NC

Sure. The last sentence of the description should read, "Has all the restrictions of a standard vertical stabilizer, but in addition to the HC increase above 60 mph, it also decreases the difficulty of any maneuver by 1. -- SDH

1) Does a Twin Laser's damage bonus automatically destroy a point of metal armor?

2) Do extra magazines for a weapon in a turret count against the vehicle's spaces? What about AFV turrets? EWPs?

3) How much does a spear for a spear gun weigh?

4) Can any vehicle use jet engines (cars, 18-wheelers, boats, etc.)?

5) In ADQ 9/3 it says that a sidecar may be armored in all six locations; what are a passenger's firing arcs?

6) Are High-Intensity Optics still available?

7) Are Racing Slicks and Racing Bodies still available?

8) What are the helmet and insurance laws for Illinois (Chicago in particular) in 2041?

-- Eric Vernon

1) No. Only when a rolled damage die comes up 6 does metal armor become damaged. A damage bonus, no matter how big, won't do it.

2) Extra magazines count against the space limit of the vehicle, but not of the turret. This applies to AFV turrets, too. Not so with External Weapons Pods, though -- there must be room for the extra magazine inside.

3) If you're using the Alternate Encumbrance rules, call it 1/2 lb.

4) What a frightening thought . . . I don't think so. Make that a solid no.

5) Sidecar passengers can fire hand weapons in a 360-degree arc of fire, just like motorcycle riders.

6) I can't find them in any of the current rule books.

7) Yep, they're in the Car Wars Compendium, 2nd Edition and Car Wars Deluxe.

8) I don't think governments care much about helmet laws and mandatory insurance regulations in the Car Wars future, since they have so many more important things to worry about. -- SDH

1) Can Active Suspension be used on Racing Bodies?

2) Can a truck steamroller a pedestrian?

3) Can a large airplane steamroller anything?

4) If a plane has extra wings, does it still suffer the full effects of wing loss if it loses one?

-- Alex Shearer, San Diego, CA

1) No. The rules clearly state that no suspension improvement of any kind can be made to racing cars.

2) Interesting idea . . . but no. Like a truck doesn't do enough damage already?

3) No. While a large airplane certainly has the bulk, the landing gear aren't built for that kind of punishment.

4) Good question. If a biplane or triplane were to lose a single wing, I don't think it would come crashing to earth immediately. Call it an automatic D4 hazard at the beginning of every turn still in the air, plus a loss of 2 points of HC, for every wing lost. This applies to biplanes or triplanes only -- aircraft with a single pair of wings use the rules in Aeroduel as written. -- SDH

1) Can Overdrive be used on gas-powered vehicles?

2) Can oversized vehicles benefit from Overdrive? Spoilers? Airdams? A spoiler and airdam together?

3) As 1 and 2, but for motorcycles?

4) On page 5 of the Car Wars Compendium, 2nd Edition (under Regaining Handling Status), it states that for every plus to vehicle skill, you automatically gain 1 point to Handling Class at the end of the turn, which would mean a split Handling Class for each vehicle, one for original HC and one for the gain each turn. Thus a HC 5 car, with a Driver +3 who gained +2 to HC from a reflex roll would be HC 7 for the combat, but would gain 8 points per turn (because he is +3 to skill). Is this true?

5) Under Carriers on page 61 of the Car Wars Compendium, 2nd Edition, when it states that "2d spaces' worth of cargo will remain," is this in addition to the 20 on the bottom (which would not be expected to fall off)?

-- Mark Ferguson, Norfolk, England

1) No. Overdrive, as written in the rules, is an accessory that affects the individual motors at each wheel, so it only works on electric power plant systems.

2) If the oversized vehicle is powered by an electric plant, then it can use overdrive (but since the cost for overdrive is per wheel, it could get expensive). But no to spoilers and airdams.

3) A motorcycle with an electric power plant can use overdrive, but not a gas-powered one. Motorcycles do not benefit from spoilers or airdams.

4) Your example is correct. But don't think of it as a "split Handling Class" -- the Handling Class of a vehicle in any given duel is the base HC of the vehicle plus any benefit gained from the reflex roll (HC 7 in your example). The number of handling points that a vehicle recovers at the beginning of each turn (the base HC of the vehicle plus the skill of the driver, +8 in your example) is not really "Handling Class" at all, but just the number of points that are recovered at the beginning of the turn. It might be less confusing if you think of it that way.

5) No, only 2d spaces' worth of total cargo remains. When you overload a flatbed, the entire load becomes unstable -- the base 20 spaces' worth of cargo is not somehow immune from catastrophe. -- SDH

Article publication date: October 1, 1994

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