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Car Wars Comes Roaring Back!

SJ Games To Relaunch Classic Game Line

Austin, TX – With three new products at the top of the October release schedule, Steve Jackson Games has kicked off a new era for Car Wars, one of their best-selling games ever.

The original Car Wars debuted in 1981. It was an instant hit, winning the Origins Award for Best Science Fiction Boardgame of 1981. The game spawned dozens of expansion sets and supplements, a fan club with two national tournaments a year, Autoduel Quarterly magazine, and crossovers with the GURPS and Champions roleplaying games.

And now . . . it's back. The classic game of car combat is now bigger, faster, deadlier, and easier to play. The new Car Wars features a triple-sized scale – car counters are 3" long. "The upscaling is just one feature," designer Phil Reed said. "We went back to the original Car Wars as our starting point, and left out a lot of the additional complications that came later. It's easier to learn and play, and loads of fun."

Scott Haring was Car Wars Line Editor, editor of Autoduel Quarterly, and designer or developer of many Car Wars expansion sets and supplements during the game's original heyday. He said, "Where I think we lost our way was when players spent more time with vehicle design spreadsheets, fine-tuning armor compositions and ammunition weights, than they did actually playing the game. I'm so glad to see this new version putting the emphasis back where it belongs – the action on the highways and in the arenas."

The first product in the Car Wars relaunch will be Car Wars: The Card Game, an August release. The card game provides the first peek at the new graphic look of Car Wars, a look that will continue throughout the entire line.

"We knew we wanted something different for the art and graphic presentation as well as the system," Reed said. "After a year of searching for 'the' artist I found Sanford Greene, and his style is perfect. It's kicky and dynamic, and very much in the anime tradition, and that makes it perfect for the new feel of the game, as well as today's audience."

Scheduled for October are three "Starter Set" booklets. Each booklet has the basic movement and combat rules, with two pre-designed cars (plus several variant designs per car). Bound into the booklet (and printed on the covers) are counter sheets with all the counters you need. Each booklet will retail for $5.95.

  • Car Wars Division 5 Set 1: Killer Kart vs. Shrimp – Stock # 40-1001, $5.95.
  • Car Wars Division 5 Set 2: Stinger vs. Firecracker – Stock # 40-1002, $5.95.
  • Car Wars Division 5 Set 3: Napalm vs. Dagger – Stock # 40-1003, $5.95.

Steve Jackson Games will be selling the Starter Sets in shrinkwrapped bundles of six to distributors (two copies of each of the three Starter Sets).

The first three Starter Sets all feature Division 5 vehicles. ("Division 5" refers to the cost of the vehicle; this division has basic vehicles without a lot of complications, and puts a premium on driving and shooting skill.) One booklet is all that is necessary to play the game, but all three will give players six different cars (plus variants) for maximum mayhem! And more Starter Sets are coming in future months, featuring motorcycles and other vehicle types, and higher Divisions.

Future plans for the Car Wars line include the complete vehicle design system, miniatures in the new 3" scale, and a free online magazine, Autoduel Times.

"I love the new look, and I love the direction the design has gone in," Haring said. "But mostly, I'm just happy that Car Wars is back!"

For more information, contact Scott Haring ( or Phil Reed ( at (512) 447-7866.

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