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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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Car Wars vs. Gaslands

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13 Nov 2021 17:04 - 13 Nov 2021 17:05 #327925 by Space Ghost
Title says it all — which is the better game (assuming price isn’t a consideration).

I haven’t played the new version of CW; I also haven’t played Gaslands Refueled.

I saw some other threads about it, but I don’t generally trust most people’s that arent in this site gaming opinions
Last edit: 13 Nov 2021 17:05 by Space Ghost.
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13 Nov 2021 17:24 #327926 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
Two cars enter, one car leaves?
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13 Nov 2021 17:30 #327927 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
There is no way any sane person chooses Car Wars.

It was immensely influential and it's a hell of a game. But damn is it creaky, overwrought, and slow.

Gaslands is fantastic.
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13 Nov 2021 17:47 #327930 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
Time is the crucial difference between these games. If you have a busy life and just want to dip your toes in some road warrior action, Gaslands is quick and easy to learn and to play. Car Wars was a fantastic game when my friends and I were young and had a lot more free time. Even an experienced player needs at least 45 minutes to design a vehicle from scratch, and a new player might need twice as much time and some coaching. And even then, somebody will mess up the math or miss something crucial and end up with a vehicle that is too strong or too weak for the match.

But once you clear that preparation time, Car Wars delivers a much more detailed and engaging game. Detailed movement, combat, collisions, crashes. When somebody defeats your custom vehicle in Car Wars, it feels very personal and visceral. I still remember details of individual duels that happened in the '80s. Steve Jackson Games got greedy and started seriously milking the game, rapidly adding new equipment without proper playtesting, eventually ruining the game. I haven't played even once since 1990. Maybe the current edition is even good, but I have completely moved on.

Gaslands is a light, casual game with a strong toy factor. Car Wars is practically a war game in terms of complexity and play time. I would recommend Gaslands to casual gamers and parents who want to play games with their kids. I would recommend Car Wars to teenagers and college students and wargamers.
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13 Nov 2021 18:07 #327933 by Erik Twice
Replied by Erik Twice on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
I would also love to know your opinion on this. Like Space Ghosts says, there are comparisons but I do not trust them as much as I trust you guys.

I tried the original Car Wars and found it the simulation fantastic. It's probably one of the most immersive pseudo-wargames I've played. Despite being slow and turn-based, it does capture this sense of speed, of power behind the movement. Seeing your car slide because you went a bit too fast is a great feeling. The issue is that it's slow and not because the rules are too complex but because the components aren't designed for it. Battletech is much clearer, for example.

I do wonder how good the new Car Wars 6 edition is. Using special dice instead of roll tables seems a huge improvement in design. My fear is that it's not Car Wars, but a simple game about driving around and shooting. I want that in-depth quality that original had.

charlest wrote: There is no way any sane person chooses Car Wars.

It was immensely influential and it's a hell of a game. But damn is it creaky, overwrought, and slow.

I think Space Ghost is talking about Car Wars 6th Edition not just the original.
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13 Nov 2021 18:27 - 13 Nov 2021 18:28 #327934 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
So, I'm heavy on the Gaslands side here. I can only judge by the old car wars, so this may not help, I have not tried revised edition. This conviction has grown even stronger now that I've started watching formula 1 the last couple years.

So the weird thing is that, despite simulation/light game distinction discussed above, Gaslands does 10x the job creating the verisimilitude of being in a violent fast car race mechanically. The gears and hazard system combined with the template move restrictions by gear is an incredible design for effect that is leaps and bounds above car wars in the *core thing* it is trying to simulate. Is it weird that being in a higher gear gives you more (but also more restricted and dangerous) actions? Yes, again, it's very design for effect. But blows car wars out of the water because it is encouraging you to go fast and violent with the enticement of more actions and longer templates... it has a real push your luck action element that feels like the considerations formula 1 drivers are making during races when thinking about passing and, sometimes, making big and violent mistakes.

It helps that my spouse loves Gaslands.
Last edit: 13 Nov 2021 18:28 by Gary Sax.
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13 Nov 2021 18:45 #327937 by jason10mm
Replied by jason10mm on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
Back in high school and college we made countless Car Wars vehicles, stretching the rules to the limits. I think the value of that system was in fostering furore engineers.

Really gotta check out Gaslands.
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13 Nov 2021 22:44 #327944 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands

Erik Twice wrote:

charlest wrote: There is no way any sane person chooses Car Wars.

It was immensely influential and it's a hell of a game. But damn is it creaky, overwrought, and slow.

I think Space Ghost is talking about Car Wars 6th Edition not just the original.


True, but I assumed no one who regularly posts here has played 6th. From what I can tell it's much simpler than classic Car Wars and is actually closer to Gaslands.

I have enjoyed many hours of Car Wars deluxe, but it's just such a slower and laborious game which doesn't fit the material as well as a fast and snappy game in my opinion.

A game that wants to do Road Warrior shouldn't take three hours to simulate 30 seconds of in fiction time.

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14 Nov 2021 09:22 - 14 Nov 2021 09:23 #327945 by Michael Barnes
Gaslands is the best miniatures game I’ve ever played. It’s fast and furious. Wild and woolly. The push your luck mechanisms combined with the movement templates and amazing damage resolutions make for a thrilling game that never lets up. Thing is, if you strip out the guns and all it could still make for a great racing game.

But it does require hobby commitment, and it isn’t as much fun with stock hot wheels and Lego walls. I remain hopeful that one day they’ll do a more board gamey version with some premise cars.

Car Wars is super clunky by todays standards. It’s more complicated complicated than Battletech. Maybe about the same speed, but slower and more ponderous is OK for mechs but not race cars. I would like to look at 6e sometime though.

Back in the day you’d definitely design more cars than you’d actually play the game.
Last edit: 14 Nov 2021 09:23 by Michael Barnes.

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14 Nov 2021 10:29 #327947 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
Yeah, I think space ghost is out of luck because no one here has played the new version. Ha.
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14 Nov 2021 10:49 #327948 by Disgustipater
Replied by Disgustipater on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
Like everyone else, I play a lot of Gaslands and have never played Car Wars (any edition).

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15 Nov 2021 06:07 #327960 by the_jake_1973
Replied by the_jake_1973 on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
I grew up playing Car Wars and collected the AD Quarterly mags, the primitive PC game, the hopped up grid paper arenas, etc. Much fun was had creating the vehicles.

Gaslands hits different, as the kids say. The action is more vibrant and explosive, the building of the cars part is still satisfying, and it allows for my miniature painting side to be involved.
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15 Nov 2021 10:05 #327965 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
Cars Wars had smaller scale vehicles. A normal sedan was represented by a cardboard token that was 1" long by 1/2" wide. This allowed Car Wars to have some fairly epic maps on the table. One of the early supplements, Sunday Drivers, featured a map of a small town. One of the standard scenarios featured a motorcycle gang invading the town, which was defended by the local police department and some citizen autoduellists. There was also a walled truck stop, some race tracks, and some more exotic layouts like the Double Drum and an arena that looked like a cross between a maze and a hazmat symbol.

Dammit, I'm starting to get in the mood to play Car Wars again, and I swore that I was done with that game. The last time that I played was 30 years ago. A friend set up an elaborate 3D arena on a pool table, including ramps and even a jump, then invited 10 or 12 people to play on 2-player teams. We had an odd number of people, so we stupidly picked the only guy who didn't play Car Wars to be the judge of the event. The complex layout practically invited arguments, as did the usual quibbling over debris and vehicle placement after each collision, and the judge was biased in favor of the host. We made vehicles from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, played until almost midnight, then argued afterwards until nearly sunrise. To be fair, the arguments about the game only lasted a couple of hours before turning to more personal grievances dating back years. That night was one of a dozen reasons why I moved away from Indiana, though it was low on the list. My Indy friends continued to play Car Wars for several more years.
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15 Nov 2021 11:50 #327976 by hotseatgames
Replied by hotseatgames on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands
I have to say, the concept of a game night going so badly that you were like "fuck this state" is putting a smile on my face today.
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15 Nov 2021 12:33 #327982 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Car Wars vs. Gaslands

hotseatgames wrote: I have to say, the concept of a game night going so badly that you were like "fuck this state" is putting a smile on my face today.


There was a lot of alcohol consumed that night, too. Some of us stayed long after the game to avoid driving home drunk.

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