Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Life as a Gamer: Car Wars

Back in the 1980s, Steve Jackson Games made a fantastic tabletop war game by the name of Car Wars. This was a cheap, fun wargame with paper battlemaps and chit-based units that had all of the fun of Mad Max but with far more firepower to it.


I loved the hell out of that game (as I did BattleTech), and when I got Car Wars Classic (a revival of the aforementioned game) for Christmas I was elated. (I hope to get the Arenas box soon.) I gave the rulebook a once-over to see if I remembered the rules correctly, and I found that I had.

Alas, I haven't had a chance to play. Fortunately, boardgames aren't reliant on Internet connections or require updates, so my Car Wars stuff will be fine for when I get that opportunity.

But in the meantime I can indulge the other half of being a Car Wars player (the same thing that kept me engaged in BattleTech when I wasn't playing): Vehicle Design.

Yep, that was the killer app for a lot of us: designing our own vehicles and putting them to the test in play. This is something a lot of designers would come to comprehend in the years to come: having multiple, interlocking means of player engagement to act as a retention mechanism. It's why a lot of games have a significant lore component now, but an active means is superior and having a player-accessible content design method is best.

Now, if only Autoduel Quarterley was a thing once more. The Wraith needs to collect more A.R.F. trophies.

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