old school car wars

I’ve been on the road a lot so far this year, which has meant that not a lot of hobby has occurred. So, it may be ironic that the family broke out this re-boot of the classic Steve Jackson Car Wars.

Car Wars holds up really well for a game that is now around 40 years old. I think this is the second edition, which got a re-release around the time of the 6th edition kickstarter.

It is a nicely presented set, with punch-out, card playing pieces and pretty clean copies of the rules and other tables.

Playing straight from the box, we did a classic duel on the open road. I like arena games better, with more the higher potential for silliness, but the road version delivered plenty of laughs (and carnage).

I still prefer Gaslands for my rev-head needs, but Car Wars is a nice pocket sized alternative. And it was a fun drive down memory lane.

Another Car

It’s a funny ol’ hobby isn’t it? I purchased this perfectly nice hotwheels car from the local supermarket:

So, of course I pulled it to bits and stripped it, so I could do my own paint scheme

Now with added machine guns, I have a sports car frame ready for Gaslands

Brm, brm.

Allez les bleus

Modding toy cars is a low-stress project. I was quite pleased when Gaslands came along and provided a milieu to play with them.

straight from the showroom floor; I’m not sure why everything in the future has to be rusty and dirty
flamer in the backseat; what could possibly go wrong?

I already have a blue ram car, so the three of them should make a nice team at around 50 cans, a common team size around here.

See you in an arena sometime soon.

Gaslands, it’s still cool

A few months ago I wrote about how much I liked Gaslands from Osprey Publishing, a game of vehicular mayhem set in a bleak far future. Since then it has been one of the games I have played most frequently, but always with just two players. Well that changed last week, with a chance to play my first multi-player game. Dial up the carnage to FUN.

Here are some photos from the night. There were some great cars on show. I’ve tried to credit where I can, but apologies if I’ve got any wrong.

The game did slow down a bit, but I think much of that was that for many of us it was their first game. Drew took honours on points, as we didn’t manage a complete lap before the store closed, but was clearly ahead with two cars left running. The rest of us were in flames, few hull points or pointing the wrong way from failed flip checks. Great stuff. We’re assembling again next week to do it again.

Time to hit the garage and make sure my cars are running sweet for Wednesday night.

Brrm, brrm.

The Rule of Carnage

True story: The first date I had with my wife was at the Undera Park Speedway one hot summer evening in the mid-eighties. Petrol fumes and dust hold a special place for me and Osprey have just released Gaslands, a game of dystopian car racing that speaks to that long-ago rev head.


There is more than nostalgia going on, Car Wars could easily scratch that old time itch. Gaslands is a fun little game that brings chaotic, destruction filled death racing to the tabletop using matchbox (or hotwheels) cars.

It is hard not to enjoy this game. I’m told that the mechanics are reminiscent of X-Wing, which I’ve never played, so I can’t comment there.

Movement is governed by templates, with the choice of template restricted somewhat by your current speed. In higher gears you get to move (and shoot) more often, but only at a reduction in your ability to turn and with increased risk. Each time you move you roll spin dice that allow cinematic maneuvers but may also cause you to loose control of the vehicle. Crashing is not always fatal, so it is not just worth pushing your luck, but pretty much mandatory if you expect to have a chance of winning. It captures the mayhem of car racing very well, without becoming bogged in detail (or sometimes, even physics).

The game scales to multiple plays well. With players taking turns activating cars you’re never left spectating for long, which can be a problem with some multiplayer wargames.

Three hotwheels cars is all you need to start. With as little or as much pimping your ride as you like, you can be quickly at the gaming table and not stuck at the painting table.

For less than $50 and a visit to your bitz-box you can get into this game – rules, cars, dice, templates – which is a real plus around a stretched hobby budget. As a little bonus, there is an active FaceBook group, where even Gaslands’ creator Mike Hutchinson participates.

And the Rule of Carnage? In what may well be the best rule ever included in a wargame, the Rule of Carnage says whenever there is doubt, apply the interpretation that causes the most carnage. This sets the tone nicely. Gaslands is not a game of millimeters, it is a game that encourages mayhem and fun in equal measure.

If you have fond memories of Mad Max, Car Wars, or even Mario Cart, I reckon Gaslands is worth a go, who knows, maybe I’ll see you on the highways.