It was a landmark night at our game table this weekend. I introduced my daughter to a game from my childhood and she thanked me with 50 cal. bullets and a LAW rocket.
It all started when I found my old Car Wars stuff and realized that I hadn’t played that excellent game in nearly thirty years. My friends and I played it a lot when I was younger and enjoyed many a game of autodueling goodness, but I had forgotten about it and never played it with my children. Having found it again I decided to correct that mistake and play with my daughter.
Not sure I should have done that.
I had forgotten what the siren’s call of armed vehicular mayhem can do to some people.
But, first some background on the 1980’s Mad Max inspired Steve Jackson Games masterpiece. Combining vehicle mounted weapons with demolition derby style arena combat the game allowed the players to fight in either gladiator style autoduels or in road battles of the post-apocalyptic America. The rules are simple enough that they were originally sold in ziplock bags or little black plastic folding boxes. I lost my copy of the black box rules years ago but did save the collected edition of Car Wars Deluxe, a compendium style edition of the rules released in 1985. If you follow our Instagram you may have seen the pictures of it and the remaining books and box sets I found and brought to the game table last Saturday night.
We decided that a simple three car arena autoduel with division 10 cars might be a good way to introduce Beth to the rules of Car Wars and picked out cars from the 2034 edition of The American Autoduel Association Vehicle Guide. I went with an X-10, a lightly armored subcompact armed with a forward mounted Vulcan machine gun. Starting the fight in the middle and with Uncle Mutt’s fast moving Flamenco coming at me from the left I turned toward him and rode in with my 50 cal blazing. My vehicle’s hi-res targeting system guided my shots, but his car had a lot more armor on it than I realized and I came out the worse in our exchange. His machine gun shredded my driver’s side armor and peppered the interior with .30 lead.
My power plant was damaged, I was bleeding in my seat and my car was skidding sideways to a halt.
I wasn’t out of the fight but I was hurt badly and stalled and Beth was coming in fast in V model Pisces.
Armed with two front mounted Vulcans set up with a trigger link that fired both guns simultaneously and with heavy rockets on both sides and two linked rockets rear, she was a heavily armed threat and Mutt veered away from my car and at her. They exchanged machine gun bursts and passed each other by, hurt but drivable.
And that is where things went south for me.
Ignoring not one but two close range chances to put rockets into Mutt’s Flamenco, Beth came at me laughing and firing linked 50 cals. She blasted away my front armor and finished off my power plant.
My car was dead on it’s tires.
Looking through the wreckage of my car I could see Beth grinning as she reached for the trigger of her right side heavy rocket.
I barely had time to cry out, “Cruel fates, why have you given me such a vengeful harpy for a daughter?”
And then I was no more.
My car was blasted open and I was spread about the arena in an untidy mess.
My newly departed ghost got quite a laugh though as she promptly lost control of her car trying to avoid my wreckage. Her usual catastrophically bad dice rolls resulted in her flipping her car sideways and crashing down on her side; and although she wasn’t badly damaged she was out of the fight.
Mutt slowed to a halt and an easy victory as my charred body parts fell to the ground and my darling daughter sat in an overturned car, laughing maniacally.
But I’ll get her back.
We’re building cars for a road dueling campaign of vehicular outlaw combat. I’ll keep you posted on how that comes out.
Until next time,
First Edition Dad