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Tag Archives: Modern & Near Future

The Zombie Apocalypse, Part 14: Pets Pets Pets

The Zombie Apocalypse Series returns! ~

Jonathan Glazer, 21 April 2017

Having pets happens to be a big feature of American culture. Whether we are talking about dogs, cats, birds, fish, chinchilla, ferrets or llamas, keeping and caring for other life forms is extremely common and quite engraved in the American way. This does not mean it is something peculiar to The United States. Many countries have a strong tradition of pet ownership. I was in Argentina recently and I was struck by the number of dog walkers with large packs of canines wandering the many scenic parts in Buenos Aires. However, there are counties without a strong tradition of pet ownership. China is an example. Dogs and cats are viewed somewhat differently there. This brings us to my disclaimer. While most of the columns in this series are less than pleasant, this one in particular is sure to offend some. If you cannot discuss unpleasant things happening to animals intellectually without having an overwhelming emotional response, stop reading now and wait for the next installment. I will try to be sensitive, but this is still going to be a difficult topic.

The Zombie Apocalypse, Part 13: Love and the Undead

The Zombie Apocalypse Series returns! ~

Jonathan Glazer, 21 April 2017

The dead have risen with a taste for our yummy flesh. Beyond feeding ourselves gathering other supplies and killing zombies, what is our next priority? Well, if you believe most TV shows and movies about this topic, you would probably say finding a hot hookup ranks at the top of the list. Romance seems to be a big thing among apocalyptic survivors in the minds of screenwriters. Will the dystopian future be a great time for grabbing a little something-something? I hate to be the burster of bubbles, but losing our technology and societal support infrastructure will probably have the opposite effect. The reasons for this are many. Chief among them would be our focus on just plain trying to stay alive. Leisure time will be a real luxury as most of the day will be spent doing the things required to feed us, quench our thirst, find us shelter and protect us from fetid snapping undead jaws (not to mention our fellow survivors who will have long cast the Boy Scout’s oath aside). Listen to any mother/wife in our present world and you will hear that the daily grind of food preparation, child care, laundry and other assorted chores leave them with a nightly desire for action hovering around the zero level. And that is without the stress of being attacked by rotten ghouls jonesing for our innards. Add in the collapse of civilization and most survivors, male, female or other will have little leftover energy for boom boom.

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 8

The Car Wars retrospective is back! ~

Michael Eckenfels, 3 February 2016

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UNCLE ALBERT’S AUTO STOP & GUNNERY SHOP
2035 CATALOG

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Ah, good ol’ Uncle Albert and his catalogs ‘o death. If the ‘basic’ Car Wars rules just didn’t have enough creative ways to destroy, maim, and otherwise disassemble, the Uncle Albert catalogs certainly helped pad those needs, and then some.

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 7

The long and winding retrospective on Car Wars continues ~

Michael Eckenfels, 2 December 2016

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CAR WARS EXPANSION SET #9:

MUSKOGEE FAIRGROUND AND FAMILY EMPORIUM

For this ninth expansion, Steve Jackson Games has once again created a mega-map setting for the Car Wars universe. Instead of a town, like I talked about in Crash City, this one is more of a giant and world-famous autoduellist gathering. Think NASCAR meets vehicular violence meets Buc-ee’s, and you’ve got a general idea of what the Muskogee Fairground is all about.

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Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 6

The long and winding retrospective on Car Wars continues ~

Michael Eckenfels, 18 November 2016

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THE BEST OF AUTODUEL QUARTERLY, VOLUME 1

 

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Released in 1986, and packed with 48 pages of goodness, this little book republished the best articles as per the demands of Car Wars fans everywhere. The hard part, the editors state on the inside cover, is how to pare down the list and include the actual best stuff. So, they decided to not republish stuff that had already been released on its own, like Uncle Albert and the Convoy module. Instead, you have a book that is loaded with some good stuff that’s not easily found elsewhere, all in one place.

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 5

Rolling through our Car Wars retrospective ~

Michael Eckenfels, 4 November 2016

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CONVOY: A PROGRAMMED CAR WARS ADVENTURE FOR 1-6 PLAYERS

 

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Now we come across one of my favorites. This little gem is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure for the Car Wars universe, and I played the holy heck out of it. Released in 1984 in the first issue of Autoduel Quarterly and then later re-published here as a stand-alone book, this game sets you up in an adventure where you could indeed play it solo (albeit playing six characters), or up to six players. As long as six players were in the game, you could play it. It could even be played tournament style, with a referee guiding the players and rolling for the bad guys.

Car Wars – A Trip Down The Memory Fast Lane, Part 4

Car Wars in the rear view mirror, again ~

Michael Eckenfels, 21 October 2016

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CAR WARS EXPANSION SET #3: EAST MIDVILLE

Yes, it’s marked #3. Expansion #1 (uniquely and cleverly named “Expansion Set #1) had a ton of road sections and extra counters, along with suggested track and arena layouts. Expansion #2 (named…yes, you guessed it!) had more of the same…more counters in the form of duplicate counter sheets from the original game, as well as from both Sunday Drivers (err, Crash City) and Truck Stop, and even a ‘Turning Key’ that was apparently a maneuver template of some kind to move your cars around more easily.

 

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

Our Car Wars retrospective rolls on ~

Michael Eckenfels, 7 October 2016

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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.