Car Wars quick description

The latest game we have been playing at Armasheddon  is a very old classic game called  Car Wars 

I have summed up the general rules and lore of the game below .

Please note most of the litriture  below has come from a close friends site which is fully dedicated to all Car Wars stuff, I would highly recommend this site if you want more information on this great game.


carwars delux pictureIn Car Wars, players assume control of one or more automobiles, which may include any powered vehicle, from motorcycles to semi trucks. Optional rules include piloting helicopters, ultralights, balloons, boats, subs and tanks. The vehicles are typically outfitted with weapons (such as missiles and machine guns), souped-up components (like heavy-duty fire-proof wheels, and nitro injectors), and defensive elements (armor plating and radar tracking systems). Within any number of settings, the players then direct their vehicles in combat.

The published games use paper counters to represent vehicles in a simulated battle upon printed battlemaps. Most editions of the game were published to use a 1-inch = 15-feet scale, although the Fifth Edition switched to 1-inch = 5-feet (1:60). At this larger scale, players can use miniature toy vehicles such as Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars, S gauge model railroading scenery, or 28mm-30mm scale wargaming miniatures. Some play at yet other scales by using toys such as Micro Machines, or even 1/25th scale models in the game.


Car Wars had many scenarios available and the system allowed for players to make their own. Common scenarios included making it successfully through a harrowing gauntlet, other times the victor would compete in an arena to win a virtual cash prize with which to upgrade their cars. Many game sessions consist of players taking their cars through many successive arena-style scenarios, upgrading their cars between each round. At the height of the game’s popularity, many gaming conventions and gaming clubs sponsored Car Wars tournaments where finalist players could win real prizes such as a trophy.



Car Wars uses a number of standard six-sided dice to determine the outcomes of weapon fire,cw damage and vehicle control during the game. The game is played in turns, where each turn represents one second of real time. Each turn is divided into ten phases (first edition) then to five phases (revised edition), (in the latest version, Car Wars 5.0, the phases have been reduced to three). All action in Car Wars is simultaneous. Players do not roll for initiative which is common in other combat games, instead, each phase, a vehicle moves a number of inches determined by the vehicle’s speed and players may fire weapons on any phase as long as they have line-of-sight with a target of their choosing. As part of movement players may attempt turns and other maneuvers of increasing difficulty. The more maneuvers one attempts in a turn and the more difficult they are, the more likely it is that a player’s car will skid or crash. After all phases of movement and combat are resolved, a new turn begins. Typically, a game is over after a few turns, which represents a battle being over in a few seconds of real time, but because every action in the game must be resolved a typical game takes a few hours to play.


While the core of the original Car Warswas a boardgame, the supplements allowed it to be extended into a larger role-playing game. Other expansions such as rule-additions, mini-scenarios and dual-stated products like Autoduel Champions(for use with Car Wars or Champions) published in game magazines expanded the game even further.


~ by armasheddon on June 20, 2009.

2 Responses to “Car Wars quick description”

  1. this is a classic game – been looking around for years its good to know people still play

  2. Thanks you

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