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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


So, last night saw Simon and I playing Car Wars at the club for the first time in, errmm, let's just leave it at a rather long time indeed. And we didn't just get one game in, but three.

The games took place in a basic 4' x 4' arena with some solid barriers to block line of sight, provide cover and make manoeuvres a bit more difficult. The barriers were the inserts from a Figures in Comfort foam tray - a good way to use things which would otherwise be thrown out. The arena was set up with a gate at the centre of each side.

We were playing Classic rules, scaled up to 3x.

Car stuck on base marked with fire arcs

Game 1 - Contaminator v Contaminator

Contaminator: Compact, Heavy chassis, Heavy suspension, Super power plant, 4 Heavy-Duty tires, Driver, 2 Linked Machine Guns Front, Spoiler, Plastic Armor: F35, L30, R30, B30, T10, U15, Acceleration 10, Top Speed 140, HC 3 (4 @60mph), 4070 lbs., $9925

For our first game, we decided to go with one car each so that we could get into the swing of things. We soon did. Simon had opted for Driver 1/Gunner 0; I'd opted for Driver 0/Gunner 1.

Positions at end of turn 1
 I took a long range shot at Simon's car. I knew I was unlikely to hit, but continuous fire against the same target gives a cumulative bonus on subsequent shots.

End of turn 2
 We both shot this turn, doing minimal damage to each other. The next turn would see us either closely passing or ramming each other.

After a quick shot, we rammed each other, head on.
 We rammed each other. Head on. I was doing 45mph, Simon was doing 40mph giving a collision speed of 85mph. This was going to be nasty - 14 dice of damage each.

The damage to my car
The damage to Simon's car

We each rolled enough damage to destroy each other.

Game 2 - 2 Contaminators v 2 Contaminators

One car each was clearly not enough to keep us busy and Simon thought we needed more obstacles, so we scattered a bunch of smoke and flaming oil markers and went with two cars each. Simon took blue and green, I took red and yellow.

Ganging up on Blue

 Sadly, sideswipes are the least effective ram - effective speed is quartered which left red doing just 1d6 of damage. And I rolled low!

Oh, and yellow just missed. Rats!

 Red had got up to 60mph, took a tight bend and failed the control roll. The crash table result was a severe skid. Yellow was chasing a fast-moving Blue.

Blue made a tight turn to avoid Yellow (and the arena wall), just passed the control roll for the bend, ended up on flaming oil, failed the control roll for hitting oil, suffered a heavy fishtail taking more tires onto the oil resulting in enough fire damage to take out two tires, failed the control roll for losing them and spun out. With two tires gone on diagonally opposite corners Blue was going to become a sitting duck very rapidly.

Back on the other side of the arena, Green did two successive very tight turns, lost control and rolled.

So, a win to me.

Game 3 - Smaksov & Zentrale v Smaksov & Zentrale

Smaksov: Mid-sized, Extra-Heavy chassis, Heavy suspension, Super power plant, 4 Puncture-Resistant tires, Driver, 2 Machine Guns Front, Minedroppers Back each w/extra magazine and 20 Mines, Airdam, Link (MG Front), Plastic Armor: F50 (Ramplate), L25, R25, B25, T10, U15, Gear Allocation: [565 lbs. @ Accel 5/Top Speed 110], Acceleration 10, Top Speed 120, HC 3 (4 @60mph), 5195 lbs., $14550

Zentrale: Sedan, Extra-Heavy chassis, Standard suspension, Large power plant, 4 Puncture-Resistant tires, Driver, Gunner w/SWC, Recoilless Rifle in Turret w/extra magazine and 20 shots, Vulcan Machine Gun Front, Flaming Oil Jet Back, Link (FOJ, VMG), Fireproof Plastic Armor: F50, L30, R30, B35, T22, U25, Gear Allocation: [27 lbs.], Acceleration 5, Top Speed 90, HC 2, 5973 lbs., $19987

We decided to up the ante for the third game with each of us taking a Division 15 ramcar and a Division 20 shooter. We kept the extra obstacles.

As Simon was having trouble remembering to add 1 to the difficulty ratings for bends (the ratings are 1 lower in 5th edition which was where the manoeuvre key was from) we decided to use the 5th edition difficulty ratings for this game. Just imagine how soon he'd have been crashing if he'd been adding the 1 to the difficulty. I forgot to take pics for the first turn or two.

During turn 2 I'd managed to position my red Smaksov for a T-bone ram on Simon's blue Zentrale. I hit him at 60mph and with the ramplate did enough damage to wipe out his right-side armour and do some internal damage. However, it did drop my speed down and the (failed) control roll resulted in a severe skid.

My red Zentrale had split it's shooting, firing the VMG at Simon's Smaksov and the recoilless rifle at his Zentrale.

Note- ramplates do double damage to your opponent and halve the damage you take.

I decided to add to the obstacles by setting my Smaksov's minedropper to automatic. My Zentrale dropped a single patch of flaming oil and fired the RR at the blue Smaksov.

Note - if you set dropped weapons to automatic, they dispense one counter for every phase you move.

I'd left the minedropper on auto so that I'd be able to shoot at the blues on the next turn - I shot at the blue Smaksov ahead of the likely ram. The big question for me (and even more for Simon) was which way his Zentrale would turn.

Zooming out to show my red Zentrale a long way from the action.

Luckily, Simon's blue Smaksov sideswiped me, mostly thanks to me turning slightly right. a head on collision would have been ugly and would have stopped me ramming his Zentrale.

I remained in control, but Simon failed the control roll for the ram and his car suffered a severe skid.

Oh dear, Simon turned his Zentrale left, exposing his damaged right side with me in the perfect position to T-bone him again. The result?


With me having two practically undamaged cars and Simon having just the one ramcar left, we called the game a win for me.

We had great fun playing these games. We need to get a few more in before inviting others to join in, so that we have the rules down. We'll also need to to make up some cheat-sheets with the distances done up to 3x scale. I think we'll also need to make up (or print out) some turning keys with the difficulty ratings for Classic rules.


  1. Looks to have been fun. And always nice to get the win too. Car Wars seems to have come a fair way since I played 'cough' years ago. Can't beat a bit of mayhem on the roads.

  2. Awesome! I used to play Car Wars many years ago with paper, pencil and cardboard car counters. This is so much better.

    1. So did I! I'd almost forgotten about it until reading Tamsin's write-up.

  3. Very cool. Good to see your cars finally get some some action!

  4. Brings back memories! Looks like a lot of fun.

  5. Oooh! this takes me back, I remember it well. Excellent write up.

  6. What a blast Tamsin and congratulations on the win.

  7. Nice game, Tamsin. Love the cars and markers!

  8. Looks like a wondefully funny game. Many congrats on your victory!

  9. @ Hendrid - indeed it has since I played *cough* years ago. Motor mayhem is great fun :)

    @ Monty - scaling up to Hotwheels makes it so much more fun :)

    @ Ski - it was good getting them onto the table :)

    @ Johnny Rosbif - it was good fun :)

    @ Papa Spanky - cheers!:)

    @ Clint - thanks! It took us back as well :)

    @ Michael - cheers! Two wins out of three games was a top result :)

    @ Dean - thanks! :)

    @ Stefan - cheers! The games were great fun :)

  10. Ha much better than the cardboard version I played years ago! Very cool.

  11. Great to see the cars in action.

  12. Nice report and great pictures.

    FWIW, there is only one roll in a collision which is applied to both vehicles (possibly modified by ramplates and/or carbon aluminum frames.)

    1. Thanks! :)

      Yup, we spotted that mistake afterwards. What we should probably have done is rolled 7 dice each, then applied the total of both sets (we hit each other simultaneously).


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