About Me

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London, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break and haven't looked back since. I must admit that I seem to be more of a painter/collector than a gamer, but do hope to correct that at some point in the near future. My gaming interests span the ages, from the "Biblical" era all the way through to the far future. I enjoy games of all sizes, from a handful of figures up to major battles (see my megalomaniacally sized Choson Korean and Russian Seven Years War armies).

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Racing Rats

Yes, it's time for the AAR of last night's game of Car Wars. We only managed to get one game in.

What we were trying out was a race arena based on the original Rat Race Arena in Lexington, Kentucky (from Arena Book 1, a supplement for Car Wars 5th Edition). Now, that arena is designed to be 30" x 36" on the table. We (rather crazily/stupidly) set up ours up to fill a 48" x 72" table, but with wider lanes than the original (12" vs 6"). If you're wondering how big that would be in real life, 1" = 5 ft, so our table would be 80 yards by 120 yards, about the size of a football pitch. The "book" arena would be just 50 yards by 60!

We also made the big mistake of using standard road/arena dueling designs rather than ones intended for racing arenas. Oh, and we forgot to agree certain ground rules such as no tire shots and no dropped weapons.

We each selected two Division 20 cars - I went for a pair of Smaksov IIs (the blue and the red); Simon went for a Zentrale and a Smaksov II (the two yellows). We then agreed to have starting speeds between 20 and 40 mph.

The arena layout
Starting grid and finish line printed on OHP film
And they're off!
My starting speeds were 20mph; Simon's were 30 and 40
Simon put his droppers on automatic - my decision to start slow and then accelerate for ramming his Zentrale didn't look so clever now...
Definitely not clever (blue shifted to show flaming oil underneath)
I did manage to shunt the Zentrale off course with a rear-end ram though. Red has had a rear wheel shot out, but survived the control roll and was able to carry on at speed with just 3 wheels on the ground.
I had failed to spot that the Smaksov play sheets had the wrong vehicle image. the front weapons were correct but the back ones weren't. Oh, and the tires were wrong too (wouldn't have saved Red's rear tire - Simon hit it with a recoilless rifle and a VMG for 16 points damage)
Despite both my cars having had a wheel shot out, they were still going, and passing control rolls after making tight turns
Preparing to ram (and still in control)
(we both failed our control rolls after the ram. Simon had lost his front armour and his VMG)
Simon decided in dastardly fashion to shoot out another wheel...
...unless Simon completes a lap and starts a second - then I can shoot him up as he comes down the straight!
"To lose one wheel, Miss Piper, is a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness."
Red tried to ram yellow (which was in a spinout). Having survived several control rolls for very tight bands (at a handling status of -6), I failed the control roll doing a very simple 15 degree bend and spun out. The remaining tires took enough damage for a second to blow out, immobilising the car. Annoyingly, Simon's Smaksov was still mobile having spun to a stop so he could carry on to complete the race
as could the Zentrale
It was a rather crazy game and the arena was definitely much too big. For future racing arena events we need a smaller arena, cars designed for arena racing and racing specific rules (no dropped weapons, no tire shots, etc).

Game Results to Date:
Tamsin: W2, D1, L1
Simon: W1, D1, L2

Oh, and I did buy some cars this morning:

The only new one is the blue in the middle, the others are repeats. That takes my count (I've double checked the spelling!!) to 13 new cars so far; 11 still allowed.

The reason for the 5-pack is that there are some great cars in there for doing customs.

I didn't manage to do any painting today. I did try, but my right shoulder was a bit painful from sleeping awkwardly. Hopefully it will have eased off tomorrow so that I can get the 6mm figures finished, allowing me to start on the road-sweeper.


  1. Interesting game play, Tamsin, One of the longtime locals here always runs highly attended and received speed boat and air race games. I've yet to try any of them - but someday plan to. A car race themed game sounds cool.

  2. Despite the problems, it looks like you two had a good time and learned from it. Have fun with the road sweeper!

  3. With that arena, dropped weapons really are a must. I would have chosen oil slicks if you were going fast. I also find that the more expensive the cars the more tire sniping happens as the armour is so thick otherwise and a tire will only have a max of 12 hits!

    Looks good though and sparks my interest!

  4. Great to see the cars in action Tamsin, looks like a lot of fun.

  5. Great post, fabulous table set up and it looks like a lot of fun was had! Made of WIN! in my book!

  6. @ Dean - I think our problem with racing is that Simon and I are both leadheads; shoot early, shoot often. We'll need to adapt the rules to actually manage more than one lap in a session (you'll note we didn't manage a single lap in this game!).

    @ Anne - definitely fun and we're still re-learning the rules. The roadsweeper should be a fun build.:)

    @ Clint - taking cars out like that doesn't make for much of a race though, does it? ;)

    @ Michael A - indeed it was good fun :)

    @ Stefan - thanks! We enjoyed it :)

    @ Swelter - it was definitely different to a standard arena, which made it interesting to say the least :)

  7. I got my old Car Wars out a few weeks back - looks like a trip to the Dollar store is in order.