Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blueprints - Cars

In an incredible stroke of googling luck, I came across this mind blowing website, The Blueprints Dot Com, that has picture schematics of cars (see the side pic of a 1940 Lincoln Continental) - in the index of pictures look for a checkmark in the "T" column for "top view". This is the link for only vector drawings. There's also weapons, planes, tanks, and much more. Thank you intertubes!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Iridium 2060 - Div20 (Div25) Camper

Camper, Hvy Ch., Hvy Sus., Super PP, 4 PR-Radials, Driver, ATG (10/HEAT) in turret, HDOJ (10/reg) back, 7 Oil/Smoke Dischargers, all dischargers in panic link, 4 bumper triggers to dischargers (back to HDOJ as well), 13 pts WG/WH armor, SWC, 8 pts FP-LR CA each around driver & PP, 26/13 pts Sloped Metal/Plastic armor (F 5/0, B 3/3, R-L 7/0, T-U 2/5), Acc 5, Top 95, HC 3, 7149.8 lbs, $19,954.00
  • Option 1 "Non Metal" - same as above, except armor is 143 pts Sloped Plastic, $22,099.00

  • Option 2 "Xhvy" - Chassis is Xhvy, ATG has 10/APFSDS, SWC is HR, add 2 pts WG/WH, Ext. armor is now 29/32 Sloped Metal/Plastic (+3/+19), 7799.8 lbs, $24,888.50
Design Notes - This started as a design experiment - that I realized you could have a Camper with a 3 space turret and 4 wheels, as long as you didn't have an Xhvy Chassics. Once I started fooling around with the numbers, I realized that the weight difference of the two chasses is 750 lbs!, while 2 tires are 120-160 lbs. So the only reason to do this is to reduce cost. However, a camper is automatically going to cost a lot (3 space turrets are costly too). Then I ran into the problem of what to put in a three space turret (which may get its own blog entry). The best stuff is very expensive (XL, HL, AC) and it seems a crazy waste to just have 3 MG or 3 MML - so that left me with the erstwhile ATG. I also needed to go with metal armor to save money. And as the Xhvy version shows, a Div20 is necessary with this design because to bump it into Div25 is suicide.

Name Notes - From the element Iridium: "atomic number 77.... A very hard, brittle, silvery-white transition metal of the platinum family, [it] is the second densest element (after osmium) and is the most corrosion-resistant metal..." Which means Osmium is next!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Palladium - Div100 Van (Elemental)

Van (C/A), Xhvy Ch., Hvy-Active Sus., driver & gunner, 150 cu ICE (blue/tube/VP/Spr) + 5 gal duel tank (8DP); 6 Solid (FP/Radial) tires; 3 space pop-up cupola with gunner + ITL + HR (AP) and 3 space rocket mag (all AP); VFRP (30/AP) in 3-space sponson turret front, LGL to ITL front, smartlink between 2 ITL, ID back (25/reg), 10 dischargers: 8 hot smoke (2 R,L,T, 1 each F & B) with F-B-R-L-T linked to laser-reactive nets, 2 Oil (Under); Fake Ramplate; Spoiler & Airdam; HD-ABS; 2 HRSWC (driver to front IRL); no-paint windshield, ID-VFRP link, all dischargers panic linked; 4 bumper triggers, driver has blended BA + FP suit; 9 Pts LR-FP WH/WG on each (36 total); 152 pts Sloped LR-FP Plastic Armor: F30 B30 L33 R33 T16 U10; Acc. 15, Top 82.5, HC 4 (5), 7197 lbs., $99,445.00
  • Option 1: cupola is regular, remove fake ramplate, add 2 HR (AP) front - linked to front ITG, 9 pts LR-FP CA for VFRP; 1 pt vehicle armor, blended BA for gunner, 7199.8 lbs., $100,340

  • Option 2: Non C/A option - original design but change Solids to PR Tires (same mods), remove: fake ramplate, spoiler & airdam, 1 pt WH, and 38 pts armor (114 total), 7196.4 lbs, $73,035.

  • Option 3: Non C/A with just FP armor: Solids to PR, remove ramplate, spoiler, airdam, have full 10 pt WH/WG only remove 27 pts armor (125 total), add FP suit for gunner, 7199.8 lbs, $72,305 <
Design Notes - This design was in my head all weekend; it's based on the concept of how to best use the idiotic restrictions of vans (see full rant here): too much space, too little carrying capacity. One way to go with vans is to go with large space, low weight weapons - often defensive, but Rockets fit in this as well. Many of my van designs are like that (see whole list here.) And, as usual, I'm drawn/stuck with a C/A frame. One of these days I'll make a decent non-C/A van. I did include a non-C/A option but 109 pts of armor is just suicide.

In any case, one thing I felt was totally missing in any design I've read is the cupola, and especially the pop-up cupola. Are Q-devices/disguised weapons useful at all? Most arena battles seem to take place over a few game seconds and first-choice targets are often chosen by proximity and luck - i.e. where your car started in the arena and who's next to you. In that (common) situation, does the walk-around info matter? Possibly a fake ramplate is good with a C/A frame (I've designed that a few times before), hoping that a ICE's acceleration will dupe a few people. But does this cupola - limited on a van to a 1 space weapon - give any strategic advantage?

With the 1 space limit of a cupola, I'm limited to pissant weapons; the mighty guided missiles are totally impractical for the arena; MMLs/LL/HMGs are all that's left, and are not worth the elaborate pop-up ruse; so I felt that the laser guided HR trick should work. I don't know if it's legal to smartlink anything in a cupola - it's possible that the cupola rules have lain fallow for a long time because nobody really cares. The only real advantage that I can see to a cupola is the (hopefully legal) +1 accuracy added onto any targeting computer.

Note, this design could be moot if I need a laser battery for the targeting laser. Logically, I shouldn't - because even the normal internal combustion engines of today have a, what do they call those things, oh yeah, BATTERIES! There's a mess of electronics on a 21st Century gas burning car... that's what the battery is used for. Gas powered Main Battle Tanks have batteries for that reason too.

I also wanted to use some stuff I generally eschew (e.g. VFRP, sponson mounts) and some things I need to use all the time (laser reactive nets).

Name Notes - From the element, which, according to the Wiki, is "a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal that was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, who named it after the asteroid Pallas, which was named after the epithet of the Greek goddess Athena, acquired by her when she slew Pallas."

[Updated Nov 5, 2013]

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cleaned Out Links

I cleaned out the deadwood from the links today (sorry to see some favorites go, like TSAR). If you want me to add something, just pop a line.

CWC 2.5 at e23!

Or, for the acronymically challenged, the Car Wars Compendium 2nd Edition 5th Printing is now available for purchase as a PDF at e23, the Steve Jackson Games website! We (the aging CW community) have been waiting for this for years - it's the most definitive set of the CW rules, trapped in a time capsule (ironically, like the basic narrative of the game) and had been only available on ebay for the high two digits of greenbacks. I bought mine today, and I recommend you get yours as well - if anything to convince the Illuminati that we still want the (original) game.

Thanks Steve (Jackson)!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Overkill - Div10 Trike (AADA Update)

The Original: Hvy Trike (C/A frame), Std. Ch, Lt. Sus., 100 CID engine, carburetor, 4 gallon econ. tank, 3 Std. Tires; driver; 2 un-linked ATG (R & L)(7/reg each), 1 3pt. cycle WG front, fake WG rear; 87 pts. armor: F20 R19 L19 B17 T6 U6; 5 acc, HC 0, Top 67.5, 2715 lbs., $9995

Update 1 (Div 10): Hvy Trike (reg. frame), Xhvy Ch., Hvy Sus., 100 CID engine, multi-barrel carburetor, 5 Gal. HD tank (4 DP), 3 HD tires, driver; 2 linked ATG (R & L)(5/reg each); 3 pt WG front, 1 pt WG rear, 10 pts CA around driver, 10 pts FP-CA around gas tank & engine; 75 pts. armor: F14 R14 L14 B14 T13 U6; 5 Acc., HC 3, Top 65, 3134 lbs (226 to max), $10000 even.

Update 2 (Div 15):Hvy Trike, Xhvy Ch., Hvy Ch., 100 CID engine, Tubes, 5 gal. HD tank, 3 PR tires, driver; 2 linked ATG (R&L)(7/reg each); 6 oil/smoke dischargers, HRSWC to ATG link; 8 pt WG on all 3, 10 pts FP-CA each around driver & engine/tank; BA for driver; 84 pts armor: F15 B14 R17 L17 T14 U6); Acc 5, HC 3, Top 67.5, 3358 lbs, $14841

Design Notes - The AADA Vehicle Guide vol. 3 is riddled with cars which were over-weaponed and under-handling. Seriously, who designed these turkeys? Who needs two Anti-Tank Guns in Div10 if it means having a HC of zero?! The 79 points of armor plus a C/A frame is just a prank, no? And I know trike tops are -2 to hit, but they can still be targeted! Standard tires?! And these 2 powerful ATGs, the whole point of this juvenile design, aren't even linked! Moreover, at least according to MADHAT, the gas tank is too small.

So my main task in updating these cars is to crank up the HC (which IMHO is the single greatest key to life or death in the arena - what's the point of 6D6 damage if you blow a slight drift?!)

With 'overkill' I decided that I'd keep the essential definition: linked ATG in a Hvy Trike, with a gas engine. After that, I wanted it to be survivable.

Revising the AADA vol. 3

As avid readers may have noticed, most of my work on this page occurs around this time of year; it's no coincidence - my tricky brian gets re-obsessed with Car Wars when the school year begins. Maybe it's the commuting. No bother. Anyway, this year I managed to purchase the latter two AADA Vehicle Guides, vol. 2 & 3. Volume two meets the same density and interest of Vol. 1 but Vol. 3 is pathetic! There are typos, clear math errors, and blatant mismatches between the cars and the accompanying counters. And, to quote 'Guy' (where I got the cover pics): "the designs themselves were often flawed or illegal."

Flawed, illegal, and clearly wrong. The AVG3 is an early sign that SJGames wasn't caring too much about Car Wars. In any case, I'm taking it upon myself to revise these monstrosities. These revised cars will be under this special tag.

Astatine - Div70 Luxury

Luxury, Xhvy Ch., Active-Hvy Sus., 150 cu in engine, Tubes-Blueprinting-VP-Spr, 5 Gal. Duelling tank (8 DP); 4 Solid FP-Radial tires; driver & gunner (driver has blended BA & 3 Paint grenades, both crew have PFE), Pulse Laser in turret, OG (10/Flaming Oil) right, DSP under, ABS-HD Brakes, HD Shocks; 10 dischargers (8 oil/smoke, 2 ice); spoiler & airdam, 1 Hi-Res Computer (gunner) 1 HRSWC (driver-Laser), Laser Battery, 4 bumper triggers (4 to dischargers - 1 double with OG), weapon links (OG & Laser each to DSP, 1 panic link to all weapons); 9 pts LRFP CA each around engine/gastank & driver; 40 pts LRFP WH/WG (usu. 9 pt Guards rear, 9 pt Hubs front, + 2 pt Hubs rear); 167 pts. LRFP armor F 33 B 32 R 36 L 36 T 15 U 15; HC 5 (6), Acc 20, Top 80, 44 MPG, 220 Range, 6599.8 lbs, $69,880.00.

  • IFE Option - Remove DSP & PFEs, add IFE, remove 10 pts armor; $69,180.

Design Notes - This wasn't supposed to be a Div70, but after adding on things that I thought every decent car needed, the numbers just started adding up. It's still not a perfect design (the IFE option is safer but less armored), but seems well-rounded and mean.

Name Notes - The names for the newest cars will come from the Periodic Table, and will be called the Elemental Series; this element according to the Wiki: "is a radioactive chemical element with the symbol At and atomic number 85. It is the second-heaviest of the discovered halogens. Although astatine is produced by radioactive decay in nature, due to its short half life it is found only in minute amounts."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pyramid: Uncle Al's 2050 Catalog Supplement

Finally finally finally, Steve Jackson Games allowed their Car Wars articles up on the intertubes, including a long lost article on the [insert retching sound] Stickyfoam: Pyramid: Uncle Al's 2050 Catalog Supplement. Thanks to Michael Owens of SWAT for letting me know, here.

Here's the crucial data, just in case something happens:

Stickyfoam Sprayer (SfS) - $750, 25 lbs, 2 spaces, 3 DP; 25 shots ($30 and 2 lbs each). Loaded cost $1,500, loaded weight 75 lbs.; loaded magazine costs $800 and weighs 65 lbs. The sprayer mixes two binary chemicals to produce an instant 1" x 1/2" patch of stickyfoam. Any hazard suffered or maneuver performed on stickyfoam adds D4 to the difficulty; stickyfoam also does 1 point of damage to each tire and slows the vehicle down by 5 mph per 1/2" of stickyfoam crossed. Stickyfoam does not burn or melt, but its effects can be negated by Sand Ammo, Stickyfoam Neutraliser, or Superacid. Pedestrians entering a square with stickyfoam will be stuck fast until the foam biodegrades or is neutralised.

Catalytic Spikes -- $60 and 5 lbs each. Look just like regular spikes and are loaded in a regular spikedropper. A loaded magazine costs $650 and weighs 65 lbs. Does 1d damage to tires, no damage to solids, like regular spikes - but injects a chemical that continues to dissolve the rubber, doing 1 point of damage every second turn, even to solid tires, until the tire disintegrates completely. Plasticore tires will take 4 points of damage before being reduced to bare plastic; damage will then stop.

Crystal Spikes -- $30 and 4 lbs each. Do damage just like regular spikes and are loaded in a regular spikedropper. A loaded magazine costs $350 and weighs 45 lbs. Made of transparent plastic, Crystal Spikes can be seen on a roll of 1 at 6" distance, on a 1-2 at 5", on a 1-3 at 4", and so on; Visibility Targeting Modifiers apply. Not available in Catalytic, Explosive or Incendiary versions.

Pyrophoric Oil -- Any standard oil jet or discharger can drop Pyrophoric Oil. CPS 5x normal, WPS normal. Pyrophoric oil won't burst into flame until the pressure-sensitive microbeads inside are crushed, causing a chemical reaction (50 lbs to trigger anti-personnel version, 300 lbs to trigger anti-vehicle version) that ignites the slick. Damage and other effects as a Flaming Oil Jet. Volatile weapon.

Pic from the SJGames site.