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JohnCon II - September 2, 2001
Home Page - Gaming - Car Wars - JohnCon II (2001)

I ran an Amateur Night scenario for these folks. Here were the rules:

  • Everyone gets a Combat Cooper (stats below).
  • Each driver has a buddy as a passenger.
  • If a car is killed, the crew can get out and grab another car if they can make to an escape chute alive.
  • Once a crew reaches an escape chute, they re-enter the arena at the start of the next turn.
  • Most kills wins.
  • Dead people can't win
  • The Audience will open fire on anyone that drives in a cowardly or boring fashion.

Basically, it was a Compact with Light suspension, a Medium Powerplant, Puncture Resistant Radial Tires, 2 Machine-guns to the front, 1 smokescreen to the rear, and links for all of the weapons allowing them to be fired in any combination. Armor: F12, L/R9, U2, T2, B10.

The Arena

Car Wars veterans may notice that the arena is pretty small. For Hot Wheels scale, I am using 3:1 scale relative to normal Car Wars, that correlates to an approximately 8' x 10' arena. I have more like 3' x 7'. That is not such a big problem, since I want a lot of action instead of people tooling around at great distances and being careful. I used a big roll of Foamular insulating foam for the wall, gray felt for the base, and blue felt for the river (it is supposed to be an arena positioned over the River Walk in San Antonio, TX). The escape hatches are film cases with some lead shot in them to weigh them down so that they don't topple too easily. The entry chutes are large binder clips which were tacked down to the felt with carpet tape (a very strong double-sided tape); these clips also held the walls up and provided the bulk of the structural stability.

The Crew and Their Equipment (differences noted in yellow)

  • Driver gear: Explosive Grenade, Smoke Grenade, Fire Extinguisher, Bowie Knife, Heavy Pistol, Battle Vest, and Body Armor.
  • Buddy gear: Explosive Grenade, 2 Smoke Grenades, LAW Rocket, Bowie Knife, Heavy Pistol, Battle Vest, and Body Armor.
  • Reflexes: Both have Reflexes giving them a Handling Class of 2.

The Colors and The Drivers

  • White - Andy Solberg (color blind people get priority choice :-) )
  • Black - Jason Modisette, because he's scary and grim like that
  • Red - Angelo Benedetto, because red goes faster
  • Orange - Chuck Kuffner, because he likes orange?
  • Yellow - Jeff Cours, because that's the color all insane people like
  • Green - Barb Smith, because she's minty fresh?
  • Blue - Reema, because she likes blue
  • Purple - Greg Morrow, because he's regal

The Premise

Pagoda Motors has generously donated a small fleet of their new prototype for an economical combat taxi, the Combat Cooper. The arena has opted to use them for an Amateur Night scenario. All of the vehicle crews absolutely hate each other, so no teaming up. The radios only work if you talk trash (badmouth the other crews), and then everyone hears it, so no coordinating attacks or setting up non-aggression treaties. It's a game about people in a dark future killing each other for amusement, let's keep it that way. Cowardly and/or boring driving will be rewarded by the audience opening up with weapons on the offending driver. The greater the offense, the greater the firepower response. The point? Don't think, don't plan, and don't manipulate; just get in there and fight!

From left to right: Jeff, Reema (sitting), Andy (yawning), Jason , Greg (pondering), Barb (sitting), Chuck (sitting).

Here we see Andy seeking dark blessings in his battles, or is he just living out his childhood fantasies of being a member of a rock band? :-P

From left to right: A fragment of Jeff's leg, Reema (sitting), Andy, Jason, Greg (sitting), Barb (sitting), Chuck (sitting).

Reema's driver has written checks her reflexes can't cash and her car (Blue, near left, upside down) rolled after some fire from Jeff's car. The judges rule a kill for Jeff (yellow, near, leftmost). First blood! Her crew rolls out and makes a dash for the escape hatches as Andy's car (white, middle left) heads straight towards them, both barrels bared...

Jason (far left) continues to accelerate, desperate for a target as Andy drops smoke clouds to block line of sight. Chuck crosses the bridge towards Jeff with Angelo in hot pursuit (near right). Meanwhile, Barb and Greg jockey for position (far right) over one another, lacking any other viable targets..

Andy decides to not have his vehicle gun down the poor helpless crew of Reema's overturned car (if anyone armed with a LAW rocket can be considered truly helpless). Rather, he moves forward, hoping that with so many vehicles, he can get at least one kill.

Chuck (orange) kills Jeff (yellow), depriving Angelo (red, on bridge, behind the smoke) and Andy (white, facing camera) of a golden opportunity. You can barely see the back of Jeff's car slamming into Reema's overturned car (blue) as it comes to a halt just beyond Chuck's (orange) car and some smoke. Angelo curse the lost opportunity for a kill.

Jason (black) finally gets bloodied as he opens up into the side of Chuck (orange), destroying the powerplant and frustrating Angelo's (red) aspirations of scoring a kill off Chuck. As Chuck coasts to a stop, Angelo turns into Jason and guns it, ramming him head on! The crash kills Jason's car and crew as well as Angelo's car. However, Angelo's driver still has a pulse and the ambulance roars out of the chute....

One kill goes to Angelo and two go to Jason, albeit now posthumously.

Reema has re-entered the fray and crosses the far bridge to join the sporadic fight between Greg and Barb. Andy manages to avoid driving into the river, but he is suddenly without any targets.

The crew of the ambulance (the glue bottle) revive Angelo's driver and he staggers to the escape hatch, standing by sheer willpower and a desire for victory.

Jeff (Yellow) returns, Barb (green) skids into the river as Reema scores a kill on her. Reema (out of the picture) moves in to attack Greg (purple), along with Jeff's shiny new replacement car. Will Jeff or Reema get the kill? It's...Reema!

Chuck Returns!

Barb (pedestrians) whacks her own buddy with a bad grenade bounce as she tries to slow down Jeff (yellow).

Chuck (orange) and Andy (white) desperately try to score a kill in the final minutes...

Jeff (yellow) squeezes out one last kill, taking out Reema's vehicle (green).


Kill tally

  • Jason 2 (crew deceased)
  • Reema 2
  • Jeff 2
  • Chuck 1
  • Angelo 1
  • Greg 0
  • Barb 0
  • Andy 0

That leaves three people with 2 kills each. Jason's crew had been reduced to a thin paste on his engine block, so he loses the tie by default. So Reema's driver and Jeff's driver are thrown into a pit and given knives to settle the draw. They duck and weave, each still a little dazed by the sudden events. Both strike and miss. They circle again, they strike, and Reema's driver grimaces in pain, falling to the ground.

Jeff is the winner! Jeff took home the Golden Cooper trophy and the awe and esteem of the free world.

The Trophy - The Golden Cooper!

Ooh, aren't you kicking yourself for not playing now? Hand finished by a barely capable craftsman (me) and lovingly coated in a beautiful faux gold finish (even the barrels!). Truly priceless*!

* - OK, maybe $1 for the car, $1 for the paint, $10 for the brush, $10 for staining supplies, countless dead brain cells from the fumes...uhh, priceless!