Car Wars Sixth Edition Preview

I have been wondering about the new edition of Car Wars, so it was interesting to watch this preview of the new rules.

Car Wars Sixth Edition is a complete redesign of the original game of autoduelling. It plays faster and includes new plastic miniatures.

So it captures the spirit of the original game, but loses a lot of the complexity. Sounds like it will be interesting to see it in the flesh.

Car Wars 6th Edition Kickstarter

So having started looking again at Car Wars, and seeing what is out there, I was intrigued to read on the Daily Illuminator that there will be a Black Friday Kickstarter launch for the sixth edition of Car Wars…

Work continues on Car Wars Sixth Edition, with lots of energy going into the construction of the Kickstarter campaign page. Building a page is never easy, but creating an attractive, information-packed page for our biggest game of 2020 is more challenging than you may realize. Getting all of the graphic assets in place, the manufacturing costs nailed down, the stretch goals ready, and the near-endless other details prepped consumes a lot more bandwidth than any other Kickstarter campaign we have run this year.

Still, we’re on track for a November 29 launch! For those who join us on that very first day of the project, we have a Black Friday special reward level coming. You are planning to join us on Day One, right? You won’t want to miss out on Uncle Albert’s Black Friday special. This is gonna be epic!

There was also a picture of some new models for Car Wars…

Car Wars Miniatures

I’ve not done a Kickstarter before, though have heard some good things (and some bad things) about them. This time I may take the plunge…

The cars look very “modern” and “futuristic”, kind of expect from the future world of Car Wars. My own thinking for Car Wars is more akin the “Chassis and  Crossbow” or Gaslands style, a little more Mad Max kind of look.

Add-on bits for toy cars for 20mm Car Wars

After my most recent blog post about Car Wars, I was reading my most recent copy of Wargames Illustrated when I noticed that in the Northstar Figures advert was this…

Implements of Carnage

It’s a plastic sprue of 20mm scale parts for toy cars for the game Gaslands Refueled.

You get two sprues for £10 from Northstar Figures, which though expensive for a couple of plastic sprues, isn’t really that bad I guess. These days it seems really easy to design and sell plastic models, it hasn’t always been like that. Since thinking about converting some toy cars, I did wonder what I could use for weapons, well this makes things much easier.

Car Wars Rules

I recently on Twitter mentioned how I was looking at converting some toy cars for Car Wars.

I have been inspired back into automobile combat after reading the Gaslands rules.

Back in the 1980s I played a lot of Car Wars and has bought most of the rules back then, but I have no idea where they are now. I had most of the supplements and lots of the ADQ (AutoDuel Quarterly) magazine. I did subscribe to the magazine and it always use to confuse the Royal Mail as Steve Jackson Games sent the magazine from the USA, as is, no envelope, no plastic bag. At least one got damaged I think in the post, but most arrived okay.

I like the fact, that though the rules are out of print Steve Jackson Games have made them into PDFs you can buy.

I was also really pleased to see on an official Steve Jackson Games web site I have found a link to a free PDF of the original Car Wars rules. 

Skimming through the rules was like a blast from the past, bringing back happy memories of many games of Car Wars from over thirty years ago.

I think though I might splash out on some of the PDFs of ADQ and Uncle Albert’s Catalog.


Gaslands RulesFor Christmas I received a copy of Gaslands, the post-apocalyptic vehicle combat game from Osprey.

Gaslands is a tabletop game of post-apocalyptic vehicular mayhem. With fast and cinematic rules, it is designed to be played with toy cars, allowing players to ram, skid and race their way through the wreckage of a burnt-out Earth.

Back in the day I was introduced to vehicular combat playing Games Workshop’s Battlecars and very quickly moved onto Car Wars.
I really liked Battlecars, the combination of templates, tokens and a game board. The game mechanics were simple, but it was a fun game and really created the right experience of car combat.

Though we continued to play Battlecars, we moved to Car Wars mainly as the lack of vehicle design rules was frustrating and Car Wars had them in abundance. As well as the core design rules I really liked The Uncle Albert’s™ Auto Stop and Gunnery Shop catalogues, which were always fun to read.

The Uncle Albert's™ Auto Stop and Gunnery Shop catalogues

Car Wars though more complex than Battlecars was still able to create fun and exciting games of vehicular mayhem.

I had many games of Car Wars and Battlecars. I even had articles published in Autoduel Quartely. These were great games and a lot of fun.

Interestingly I never played Games Workshop’s Dark Future vehicle combat game.

So as you cam imagine I approached Gaslands with a combination of expectation, anticipation and a little hesitancy. So far I have only read the background and the rules.

First impressions of the rules was positive and I liked the use of templates, which did remind me slightly of Dark Future. I liked the relatively simplicity of the rules which for means they will be easy to pick up and result in fast fun games.

For me the biggest shock was the background. I knew that the game was set in a post apocalyptic future, the surprise was that the apocalypse was caused by an alien invasion!

I do need to make some models, and now I wished I had played Dark Future as I would then have models I could use.

Time to find some toy cars…

Dystopian Wars

I don’t know about you, but occasionally I find a game that I think just makes me go “woah!” and I just have to have it.

I remember playing Talisman (1st Edition) for the first time and thinking what an amazing boardgame. I had before playing Talisman only played boardgames like Monopoly, and Talisman was so very different. That was nearly thirty years ago…

Since then other games that have had a similar impact include Car Wars, Twilight 2000 and Space 1889. I really enjoyed playing Car Wars and spent many hours designing vehicles and playing it back in the 1980s. I loved the concept behind Twilight 2000 and though I never really got a chance to play it for a lengthy campaign, I did enjoy reading articles and scenarios for it. Space 1889 was one of those ideas that I hadn’t really considered before and was my first introduction to Victorian Science Fiction (well the First Men in the Moon aside). Since then I have really enjoyed VSF and steampunk, I really liked the Difference Engine and even wrote an article on wargaming in the world of the Difference Engine.

So a few months back when I was a gaming shop in Birmingham and noticed the Dystopian Wars, I was like a moth to a candle! This was one of those games that I just had to have and would have to play.

Imagine a world similar to our own, but subtly different. Now imagine the year is 1870 and the Industrial Revolution occurred decades earlier than in our own world. Technology is far advanced, and in many cases, unrecognisable, which has led to the development of fantastic naval vessels, hulking land ships and terror from the skies in the form of airships and war balloons.

Looking at the models, unfortunately the rules had sold out, there was one model that caught my eye and that was the model I had to have and would set me down the path of the Dystopian Wars. It was the Prussian Sky Fortress.

Having decided that this was a definite purchase, I realised that I would also need an opponent and looking at the boxed sets, I decided to go with the Kingdom of Britannia.

A few weeks later I managed to get hold of the rulebook and was very impressed with the content and production values.

So time to get painting.

Death Rally

In the dark and distant past I use to play Car Wars and also enjoyed the odd game of GW’s Battlecars. I even flirted with Dark Future for a while. I keep meaning to revist this genre, probably Car Wars which was a fun game.
However in the meantime I have been playing the odd game of Death Rally on my iPad.

It’s a great little racing game, but with guns and missiles, very much the flavour of Car Wars.
Buy Death Rally from the iTunes Store.

Download Dark Future

It was only a couple of weeks back when I mentioned Dark Future, in the main as I posted a photograph I had taken of a couple of the vehicles at Warhammer World.

Dark Future Cars

Well bless my cotton socks, you can now download from Games Workshop, the complete Dark Future game including all the supplements and White Dwarf articles. Warning – this is a very large file, 26.7MB.

Dark Future

Excellent, no excuse for a game now, though as I said before I liked the background and the models, but I much prefer the Car Wars mechanics.

Update 6th February 2009 – fixed link to Specialist Games download page.

Dark Future Cars

Those with long memories may remember that at one time Games Workshop produced a 20mm near future Car Wars style game called Dark Future. In which armed and armoured cars fought each other over the open road.

The game came with a selection of plastic vehicles and some were on display at Warhammer World.

Dark Future Cars

When the game was been promoted in White Dwarf there were lots of articles on how to convert Matchbox cars for use with Dark Future.

I really did like the concept and the metal miniatures which were also produced for the game, but though I admit I preferred the Car Wars rules.

Car Wars 2004

When I was younger I use to play a lot of Car Wars and even had an article published in Autoduel Quarterly, the magazine for Car Wars. One feature of the mag I liked was the historical references to “current” day events.

I was looking for something else on the web when I came across this, the SmarTruck III.

Now the blurb from the website says:

SmarTruck III is built on an International medium duty truck platform and features the most advanced communications, detection and deterrent systems to be deployed in a vehicle-based mobile unit. The next three commercial variants of SmarTruck III will be delivered to the Air Force; other potential end users are the Border Patrol and the U.S. Marshals Service.

SmarTruck III, like its two predecessors, is loaded with sophisticated technology including a weapons station module – featuring a remote controlled 50-calibre machine gun – a surveillance module with a 360-degree camera, a pan and tilt night vision camera with laser range finder, a hydraulic assist system to help the vehicle during acceleration, a regenerative braking system, which stores energy and makes the vehicle more fuel efficient and a terrain adjustable suspension and chassis system. The vehicle has sufficient gross vehicle weight (GVW) to accommodate armor and additional weapons or control modules while still providing excellent performance and fuel efficiency.

(my emphasis)

Now if that is not straight out of Car Wars I don’t know what is?