Friday, 25 November 2016

Creating a Car Game

Whilst over Will's at the weekend he mentioned a desire to play a skirmish game with Mad Max-esque car models, probably made from match box cars converted up and painted. Having looked at those available he had found that none of them played the way, without grids etc. So I started thinking about creating a rules set and here is my first set of notes. Let me know if it sounds like something you could get behind and I will start mocking up the cards.

Core Mechanics
No pre-measuring, D20 rolls 10+ as base roll, 1:64 scale models, each car is made using tarot cards (player organiser/base car) and mini American (upgrades/crew), uses two token types, Speed & Damage. Distances are measured between the closest visible parts of the two objects. LoS is determined by drawing an uninterrupted line between any parts of the two objects.

Game rounds and turns
Each game round is made up of player turns and car activations. A Game Round ends once all players cars on the board have been activated. Players will take a turn when they are required to activate one of their car models, players may have multiple turns during a game round but each car model may only activate once.

Car Activation
The cars activate based on the number of Speed Tokens (referred to as ST from now on) that is currently allocated to their engine. When cars are tied roll a D20 for each and then activate in descending numerical order.

When a player activates their car model they must remove all ST from their car except for those on their engine, these may be removed by Down Shifting (see page XX) and the player may choose to do so at this time.

Now players generate their ST for this activation by taking one ST for each +ST symbol visible on their car, some will have been covered by ST or Damage Tokens (referred to as DT from now on), adding in any bonus ST from other sources such as Scenario rules or other cars.

The player then allocates their ST to the required Action Zones tracks (referred to as AZ from now on), filling them  top left to  bottom right, to carry out the actions during their turn (with the exception of the Engines, a player is not required to carry out an action if they do not wish to later in their turn). Players are not required to allocate all their ST but any not allocated is wasted and is not saved for later use.

Car Movement/Engines
Unless otherwise stated by the scenario, players may choose to have their cars start the game with any number of ST allocated to their Engines up to the maximum generated by their car. Each engine has a Spark Plug symbol with a number, this referred to as the car’s Acceleration. This is the maximum number of ST that may be added to your Engine during it’s activation, for example Engine has two ST allocated with a total of six AZ on the Engine, if your Acceleration is 2 you may only allocate an additional two ST to your engine meaning you could have either two, three or four ST allocated but would have to wait until it’s next activation to increase this to five or six.

When allocating St to any AZ track you always start at the left and fill up towards the right for that car component.

The minimum and maximum movement for each car is determined by the comparing the numbers above the two filled AZ farthest to the right on the Engine. For example, if you have five ST allocated to your engine the minimum distance you must move in your turn without Braking is the speed above the fourth AZ and the maximum is above the fifth AZ.

Cars must move in straight lines with the exception that they may Drift and perform Turns during their move. Cars may Drift a number of inches left and/or right whist they move. To determine the maximum drift distance, divide the cars minimum movement by four and round down. For example a car with a minimum movement of 11” would be allowed to drift a maximum of 2” as 2.75 would be rounded down to 2.
A car may perform one 45 degree turn for each AZ that has not been allocated any ST. These turns may be performed at any point during the cars movement and may be combined together but may not be split into multiple smaller turns, for example a car with only one turn available may not perform two 20 degree turns but one turn up to 45 degrees.

If a player wishes to move less than the minimum distance required for their Car they may do so but must perform a braking action. Roll a D20 and subtract the number of inches the Car the player has chosen not to move the Car. If the score is 10+ then noting happens, but if it is lower then their opponent may allocate one DT to the Car performing the Braking action.

Down Shift
One ST may be removed from the Engine each time a Car is activated. If a player wishes to remove more they must roll one D20 for each ST being removed that turn. Each die that rolls of a 10+ results in no ill effect, every die that rolls lower causes one DT to the Engine.

There are two types of terrain, Rough and Blocking. Rough terrain does not restrict a cars movement. Each time a car moves through a piece of Rough terrain roll a D20 and subtract the number of inches of Rough terrain the car has moved through. On a roll of 10+ the car is unharmed, anything less the car suffers 1 DT. Cars must halt their movement when they touch Blocking terrain, remove all ST from the Engine and the car suffers 1 ST for each inch of movement the car has failed to move up to the minimum movement due to stopping, rounding down. For example the minimum movement of a Car is 12” but it touches Blocking terrain after moving 9 ½”, resulting in the car suffering 2 DT as the 2 ½ is rounded down to 2. Unless equipped with a Reinforced Ram, treat all other models as Blocking terrain and apply DT to both models.

Attacking opponents
Stages for performing an Attack action
1 - Declare target
2 - Apply SP to weapon
3 - Measure range and determine LoS
4 - Roll Attack dice
5 - Apply Speed and Blast modifiers
6 - Apply Damage

1- the player chooses an opposing model (or terrain feature if applicable to the scenario) as the target for the attack. Players are not permitted to pre-measure distances during the game so selecting the target of an attack is a judgement call.

2- When an ST is applied to a weapon upgrade the player may perform an Attack action. Each weapon will have the following characteristics: Range (Re), Blast (Bt), Damage (De), Shots (Ss).
Range – the maximum distance the target may be to allow an attack with this weapon to be made.
Blast -  a positive modifier to the chance of your attack hitting the target.
Damage – the number of DT the target will suffer if the attack is successful.
Shots – the number of attacks generated by each SP allocated to AZ for this weapon.

3- The players check to ensure that the attacker and target are within range and Line of Sight (LoS) of each other. To do so measure the shortest uninterrupted line between the two, if this is equal to or less than the weapons Range then the attack may proceed. If no uninterrupted line can be drawn the target is not in LoS and no attack may be made regardless of Range.

4- Roll a number of D20s equal to the Shot value for the weapon. Unmodified rolls of 20 are Crack Shots and auto hit regardless of modifiers. Unmodified rolls of 1 are Crap Shots and auto miss regardless of modifiers. A die may be rerolled as many times as a permitted by the number of rerolls a player has to spend.

5- To determine the modifier add the weapons Blast value and subtract the targets current minimum speed. For example, a weapon with Blast 3 fired at a target with a minimum movement of 9” would have a -6 modifier. Any die which scores 10+ after modifiers, is a successful Hit.

6- Each die that Hit will generate DT equal to the weapons Damage score. The owner of the Target model applies the first DT from each hit and the Attacking player applies any others. DT are always applied bottom right to top left on any AZ tracks. Any model that has all it’s Engine AZ track filled with DT may no longer move. Any car which has every AZ filled with DT explodes and is removed as a Casualty.

Exploding Cars
When a Car explodes each model within a number of inches equal to the number of AZ in the cars Engine will take 1 DT.

Building a Car Cult
Players choose a number of AZ to be their Build Limit, 30 AZ will be the standard size for a 4’x4’ game. Players then construct their cars ensuring that the total AZ for all their cars added together does not exceed the Build Limit. Engines will vary between 4 – 7 AZ (with varying Spark Plug scores to represent small fast vehicles and large slow ones).

All have 2 AZ, with varying amounts of ST generated.
Dangerous Driver – applies a -2 to enemy Attack rolls per ST allocated
Gutsy Gunner – Reroll one Attack roll per St allocated
Fanatical Fixer – Swap the positions of any two tokens not on the fixer per ST allocated
Armour – 1 to 4 AZ DT must be applied here before any other AZ

Machine Gun 2 AZ
Range – 12” Blast – 1 Damage – 1 Shots – 3
Cannon 2 AZ
Range – 24” Blast – 6 Damage – 2 Shots – 1
Flamethrower 3 AZ
Range – 6” Blast – 8 Damage – 1 Shots – 1
Rifle 2 AZ
Range – 18” Blast – 3 Damage – 1 Shots – 2
Mines 4 AZ
Place one Mine marker along the Cars route per ST allocated, then replace ST with DT. Mines automatically trigger when any model moves within Range, remove marker after the Attack roll is resolved
Range – 4” Blast – 10 Damage – 2 Shots – 1
Reinforced Ram 2 AZ
Does not require ST to use. Does not suffer DT when moving into other models but does still suffer DT from terrain.
Range – 0” Blast – 10 Damage – * Shots – 1

* Damage is equal to the number of ST allocated to the Engines


  1. given these a skim and its gotten me rather excited! is it wrong to be browsing ebay for 2nd hand matchbox cars already?

    i'll need to sit and give them a proper read through at some point, but this looks like a great start dave, nice one.

    1. I have some mock ups of the card layouts to put up which should help people understand how it works, but I am also really excited so started looking at boxes of cars on Amazon! I just need to find sone guns and missiles etc that are the right scale.

  2. Excited to give this a play test. in terms of bits there is this site

  3. and yes i have done some quite extensive reasearch on match box scale weapon add ons.

    1. I'm looking forward seeing what people come up with. Currently making a list of the weapons I need to make upgrade cards for (so far I have Harpoon, Missile Launcher, Hand Grenade, Wheel Spikes)

    2. You've covered most of the ones i would have suggested there.
      Hows about oil slicks and caltrops?
      Also, what about non combat upgrades? Nitrous turbo boosts?

    3. All options are open! I started trying to keep the rules as streamlined as possible but there is no reason oil slick and caltrop tokens can't made from 40mm bases and treated as rough/blocking terrain. Turbo boosters could allow an extra 6" movement for a damage token so that they are limited resources?

  4. Flamethrower is defo one. Maybe a targeting array and some kind of 'spares/extra ammo' so you could fix a weapon if needed. the game lee has is a good one for ideas.

    1. Flamethrower has two versions on the sheet so hopefully that should work okay. The Gunner and Fixer, hopefully, do the jobs o the upgrades but I can see opportunities to have some inbuilt abilities to the Engines.

  5. also, another thought, and i might be taking this too far, but i was thinking about the types of cars people could choose from and how some would be a lot easier to maintain than others (a toyota pickup vs say, a lambo?) which might not make much impact in a single game, but over the course of say, a campaign it might?
    Just a thought.

    1. We can work on a Campaign expansion for his type of thing, where you have to keep your Spark plugs wort of damage tokens between games unless you spend some of your resources to clear them.