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Tag Archives: Modern & Near Future

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 3

Our Car Wars retrospective rolls on ~

Michael Eckenfels, 7 October 2016

click most images to enlarge

CRASH CITY: A CAR WARS ROLEPLAYING SUPPLEMENT

Starting with the words “If you don’t like the way we drive, get off the streets, and the sidewalk…and the lawns…” this particular expansion was originally published in Space Gamer magazine as an article called “Sunday Drivers.” It later became a full Car Wars supplement, eventually becoming known as Crash City. Ultimately, this name is more suitable for this expansion. Both Sunday Drivers and Crash City were published in 1982, so there must not have been a lot of lead time between them, but they made do, I think, by re-using existing material, as you’ll see in a moment.

The game box.

The game box.

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 2

Continuing his series on Car Wars, Michael rolls back through the memory banks again ~

Michael Eckenfels, 23 September 2016

TRUCK STOP: A CAR WARS (FIRST EDITION) SUPPLEMENT

This expansion, released the same year I bought the original Car Wars, added massive 18-wheelers and other large rigs to the Car Wars universe. It seemed only right, given the fact that tanker trucks were a lynchpin of the Mad Max universe. Besides, these things are righteously huge. Just imagine them armored up with large-caliber guns bristling everywhere, and one wonders how cars, much less cycles, would have a chance in Hades against them.

One could virtually feel the temptation to HULK SMASH and sledgehammer smaller opponents with tons of rolling steel death. (Hell…I have this feeling even to this day.) I had to have the expansion, and so I have owned it for 32 years now. The box has held up well in that time, and I probably haven’t opened it in some 30-odd years, to be honest. So this will be something of a time capsule.

This box is in surprisingly excellent condition. I hope the insides have aged well, too…

This box is in surprisingly excellent condition. I hope the insides have aged well, too…

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 1

The first of a series, Michael looks back at the wasted years of burning rubber through the blacktop battlefields of yesterday ~

Michael Eckenfels, 09 September 2016

CAR WARS: A MEGA-ARTICLE RETRO LOOK

 Back in 1983 or so, when I was transitioning from middle school to high school, hobby stores were a refuge of mine. Mostly I, as well as some of my friends, were into role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. I still remember the modules at this store costing six dollars, which at the time was of course a princely sum for a 13-14 year old. (My first job in 1986 paid minimum wage, which I think was $3.25 an hour.) I’d be lucky to get five dollars from my cash-strapped parents, and having to save that money was a chore of epic proportions, because this was, of course, the heyday of the arcades.

Arcade games like Dig-Dug, Tron, Jungle Hunt, Zaxxon, Joust, and Burger Time hypnotized many a kid into pouring quarters into them, and I was one of the zombies. Saving money was never my strong suit, but when I found something I wanted in the hobby store, I’d save up religiously for it. Car Wars was one of those games.

Tracer Rounds: The C2E2

Revisiting an older concept to reinvigorate the re-conversation ~

Brant, 29 August 2016

So, about 5-6 years ago, I started playing with an idea for a game/system.  The idea was a basic unified set of rules for current events conflicts, with regularly-released updates that would provide unit information and updated map details for the current world situation.  This would allow any player to just grab the current update, and “play forward” from there, to see how the various conflicts might shape up over the next few months or years.  When the next update rolled around, the players would have the option to either reset to the current world situation, or adapt the update to their own ongoing conflicts and continue an “alternate future” using the update components.

It’s not like I was breaking any really new ground with the idea, but I had a pretty high-minded concept for how I wanted it to happen, but got quite bogged down in the actual execution of it all.

What I’d like to do here is reopen the discussion and attempt to reinvigorate the participation in the development of the rules and current updates, in the hopes that many minds are smarter than mine, and we can collaboratively move forward on an open-source set of rules and initial process for putting these kinds of tools in the hands of gamers with an interest in current events.

Today’s Screenshot: Combat Mission Shock Force

Driver’s License?  We don’t need no driver’s license! ~

Boggit, 19 July 2016

CMSF

The élite of the Syrian tank driving school


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The Zombie Apocalypse, Part 12: Do Your Shoes Match Your Bag?

Papa’s got a brand new bag! ~

Jonathan Glazer, 13 May 2016

If you have been reading this series faithfully, I hope you have come away with the observation that this is more of a practical discussion of surviving the zombie apocalypse aimed primarily at people who haven’t devoted their lives to every aspect of survival. za-12-magsWhen I was in Junior High School, I began reading survivalist magazines and that started me on the path towards building the right mindset towards being able to live through a variety of trying circumstances. I also thought that my parents would agree that stockpiling food, water, weapons and all the other stuff needed to be one of the few to help repopulate America Mark II would be a great idea.

As it turns out, I was not as persuasive as I thought. They were more focused on paying the mortgage and making lunches for us every day. As I “matured”, my interest in survival continued, but I realized that there was no way I could prepare for every eventuality and guarantee that my family and I would be one of the few that continued on with a full belly. If I lived in a rural area, my commitment to the cause would be greater because the lower population density and the ability to grow my own food would make hardcore survival into a real option. I have spent my entire life in a suburban environment which means my access to land and proximity to other people makes long term existence in dire times distinctly more difficult.

The Zombie Apocalypse, Part 11: Red Dawn in our lifetime?

What to do when the movies come true ~

Jonathan Glazer, 15 April 2016

ZA-wolvI am going to take a slight departure with this installment and move in a different direction for the moment. Of course we must always keep our eyes open for the first sign of the dead rising with a taste for human flesh. But for now I want to talk about a more immediate threat. This one is very real and in the news daily. I am talking about the invasion of the United States by a human hostile enemy.

The United States Armed forces have always been accused of preparing to fight the next war by training to fight the last war. As Santayana is often paraphrased “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it”, the lessons of prior conflicts must be studied, but that does not mean we will be fighting the same war over again. The United States Military command still teaches amphibious assaults, as executed on the beaches of Normandy, Sicily and the Pacific Theater of Operations throughout World War II. The reality is that while we do land troops in this fashion, such as in Somalia and a few other engagements, such landings are always unopposed. This is because technology has rendered the survivability of a true hostile amphibious landing to be not acceptable. Surface to shore missiles and man portable rockets along with increasingly sophisticated targeting systems mean that landing craft will be an endangered species by the time they reach a contested beachhead.

Tracer Rounds: Attack of the Killer Poetry

What do you do with a backlog of reviews? ~

Brant, 04 April 2016

We get all kinds of games sent to us, along with the ones we pick up one our own.  Some good, some bad, some gorgeous, some not so much.  We try – we really do try – to get to all of them for review purposes, but it doesn’t always happen.  There’s a reason I’ve got a weekly blurb here called “What I’m doing this week when I should be playing games”.  Moreover, when I play a game for review, I want to play it multiple times to ensure that the review I’m writing is accurate based on how the game is balanced, and how it plays over time – especially if replayability is one of the key factors we want to discuss.haiku

Among the reasons I’ve made it a point to start republishing a bunch of the ‘classic reviews’ are that I don’t want my reviews to be dependent on someone else’s site continuing to exist, as well as wanting folks to be able to find opinions on older games that they may want to take for a spin.  Additionally, many of those older reviews (some of which I’m going to get to soon) were longer borderline-investigative-journalism pieces that really dug into the games through repeated plays.  That was a lot easier when I was in grad school.  Working 3 different teaching jobs, plus being the editorial director here, makes all that a lot tougher.

So, this episode of Tracer Rounds is designed to catch up on those reviews – with a twist.