Monday, November 2, 2015

Car Wars and Hot Wheels (playing the Steve Jackson Games classic!)

Hi everyone,

In the past couple of weeks we had a chance to play a classic game (one of us hadn't played in about 25 years) -- Car Wars from Steve Jackson Games.

First we got the remake of the basic set.  We had fun looking at all of the little pieces :)  And, we ended up deciding that all would be more fun with 3D models!

Some quick reflections on the Car Wars game system:

- The system where a turn is broken into phases -- and a faster car gets more actions per turn -- is very fun.  Strong reminder of what was fun about the Champions system from Steve Jackson.  Really loved playing Champions - and fun feeling of nostalgia.

- Was it easy to build our first car?  No - not really.  Took us a while to figure out the handling class rules - but we finally figured out that your handling class works sort of like hit points....

Here's the first car we built - a van with lots of weapons.  Still don't think we figured out the weight of ammunition properly!

Then, it occurred to us that it would be even more fun to play 40K style with 3D models.  We chatted about it.  We could see two options.  Use the box set exactly as is -- and use N scale models (maybe parts from Dropzone Commander -- which are N scale) -- or use Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and modify some cars to play!

Well, we decided that Hot Wheels would be much more fun.  After all, we had lots of 40K equipment which would help us out :)

We had to figure out which scale to use for Hot Wheels and Matchbox....  First we figured out that the little paper set in the box was "N" scale.  And, since Hot Wheels and Matchbox are roughly "HO" scale, we did some quick research and math....

Turns out that Hot Wheels are 1:64 (or so), where HO scale is 1:87.  (And, this explains why Hot Wheels always looked a little bit big next to an HO locomotive scale-wise).

There are quite a few scales recognized as "N" scale.  Ranging from 1:144 all the way to 1:160.

Here's our quick set of multipliers from Car Wars to Hot Wheels....

After doing this we had read one blog where a person did a really nice job of setting up Hot Wheels for Car Wars.  (Here's a link to that!)  They used a multiplier of 3.  We took a look at that - and decided that it was just too large for our sense of things.

We went with 2.5 X.

Took a little while (and good practice with a protractor) to build our 2.5X Car Wars template.  But, we got it done!

With our new template ready, we set up a quick battle.

Here's our 2.5X Car Wars template for using with Hot Wheels side-by-side with the original N-scale template.

The scenario was that one of our friends had been captured by a rival gang - and we needed to rescue him in our weapon toting van.

We used some 40K fortification pieces to build a "base" for the bad guys -- and used our battle mat to create streets.

There we are at the very far end - and the "bad guys" base at the near end.  The yellow car tucked away belongs to our friend....

It was fun to play.  We used some 40K pieces to mark smoke and show bad guy cars on fire....  And, we ended up closing out the battle by ramming the bad guys (and realizing that we needed more front armor in the process!)....

Ramming time!  We took out the last bad guy by ramming him with our van.

And, the battle had a happy ending.  Rescued our comrade :)

So, what's next?

Well, we met some folks at Game Kastle in Santa Clara who happened to be working on exactly the same thing (but with some great skills).  [Here's a link to their website.  They have been using different rules -- rules from Road Wolf where you move the terrain -- not so much the vehicles....]

After checking out what they'd done, we happened to find a company in Florida who makes small pewter pieces which can be easily added to Hot Wheels for Car Wars -- little gun turrets and the like :)  (Here's a link: )

Our parts arrived this week - so now we need to decide how and where to use them.  Also had the great suggestion from the person we met from the Santa Cruz Fury Road group to use Ork bitz on our cars.  Certainly going to work on that since as we see it the latest Mad Max movie had lots and lots of great Orky ideas.  (Here's a link to our Orky things posting.)

Here we are opening up our turrets and gun bitz from Stan Johansen Miniatures

Here we are brainstorming how to modify our cars....

We'll post again when we have some more cars modified!