Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Brace yourselves. Car Wars is coming!

In my prior post about Car Wars and Gaslands, I noted the Car Wars Sixth Edition Kickstarter was coming "any day now"... and here it is!

On Black Friday, Steve Jackson Games will launch their Car Wars Kickstarter with bonus equipment cards for Day One backers. As announced on their website, "Uncle Al and his crew have been working overtime to prepare a special deal for those who join the Kickstarter campaign on that first day – November 29th." There are also several pre-campaign stretch goals that can be unlocked even before the first day.

Car War Deluxe Edition (1985) cover and Car War Sixth Edition cover preview
Car War Deluxe Edition (1985) cover and Car War Sixth Edition sneak preview (source: Steve Jackson Games)

Over the summer, I got the chance to play several games of the CW6e prototype at game conventions. You can read my initial play impressions in my article here. Spoiler alert: I love the new version of Car Wars.

Car Wars 6e vehicle dashboard
The dashboard shows your current
vehicle speed, handling, and damage.
On the @sjgames web site, Twitter, Facebook, and Board Game Geek blogs, Steve Jackson Games has been showing sneak previews of game components and other in-development ideas they are working on.

The new game will include unpainted vehicle miniatures, cards for vehicles and upgrade/components (ala X-Wing), a vehicle "dashboard" showing the vehicle's current speed, armor, and handling status, a maneuver stick, play mat(s), road section tiles (a stretch goal), and specialized combat dice.

Car Wars 6e custom dice
The different colored dice alter the odds of
getting star (hit) or shield (dodge) results.
While the vehicle design rules have not been teased, one can see the basics from the prototypes.  Like with X-Wing or other squad-building minature games, vehicles have a point cost. Weapon systems and skilled drivers or gunners are detailed on small cards and will cost additional points to upgrade a vehicle. Building a vehicle will be as simple as choosing a base model and adding several points worth of weapon and equipment cards to the build.

Image showing Car Wars 6e miniatures on a play mat
The new miniatures (which come unpainted) are displayed on a prototype play mat. (source: @SJGames)

Previews of the vehicles have shown some amazing paint jobs by SJG artist Ben Williams. Hopefully, those of us with not-quite-as-mad painting skillz can make them look half as good. The scale is going to be 1/64, or roughly the same as Hot Wheels and Matchbox die cast vehicles. This will potentially allow players to kit-bash their own cars, assuming Steve Jackson decides to sell additional bases.

Image showing Car Wars miniatures on a road tile
New miniature on a road tile (source: @SJGames)
SJG has also teased card stock road tiles with an art style that matches the play mat(s). The tiles are planned to be interlocking and double-sided.

At this time, it appears the base rules will only include cars. Motorcycles and trucks may show up in future expansions.

I'm hoping for a stretch goal or two to include additional rules for cycles and trucks, or the option of an expansion released concurrently, but I'm also being realistic.

After all, it took 7 years from the Ogre Designer Edition stretch goal to finally get a Car Wars Kickstarter. Holding one's breath for a Truck Stop expansion is probably not advised at this time.

Image showing Autoduel video game from 1985
8-bit highway combat in Autoduel
On a final tangential note, Steve Jackson also announced that the classic Autoduel computer game from 1985 will be re-released in March 2020. You'll be able to make cargo runs on post-apocalyptic highways in all their 8-bit glory. So keep a look out for that.

If you're curious for more about Car Wars Sixth Edition, check out the Steve Jackson Games Facebook and Twitter accounts and be sure to read my play preview.

You might also like:
Car Wars 6e and Gaslands: First Impressions

Other Owlbear musings