Archive for August, 2010

Bullmark and Interstate ’76 Music

August 29, 2010

I am still full of adrenaline from last night’s discovery. I finally acquired the missing Track 14 from the Bullmark Demo CD titled “Ma… Something Like This”. The piece is the same music that plays during the end credits of the original edition of the Interstate ’76 game.

I have owned Interstate ’76 since its initial release in 1997. I have used the game disc both as a game CD and an audio CD since that time, however I only became aware of the Bullmark Demo CD approximately a year ago.

Arion Salazar had all tracks of the Bullmark Demo CD on his Web site 10 years ago. The site was taken down over five years ago.

About a year ago I finally obtained a near-mint copy of the Interstate ’76 Official Soundtrack, a CD that was sold directly from Activision only for a short time in 1997. Around the same time I found a fan site for Third Eye Blind. The site had an archive of the Bullmark Demo CD but it was missing Track 14.

Late Saturday evening I found the missing track in a torrent file found on the site below.

Now between the Third Eye Blind site and the torrent collection veteran Interstate ’76 fans can have the entire collection of the Interstate ’76 demo music.

ilibr.org – Interstate ’76 Soundtracks
http://ilibr.org/5iG

Third Eye Blind Media – Side Projects
http://www.3ebmedia.co.uk/
http://www.3ebmedia.co.uk/audio/sideprojects

If you are a veteran auto-vigilante who wants to listen to the funk of Interstate ’76 again, note there are four different collections of Interstate ’76 music.

* Bullmark Demo CD
* Interstate ’76 Score on Original Edition Game Disc
* Interstate ’76 Score on Gold Edition Game Disc
* Interstate ’76 Original Game Soundtrack CD (Limited release; sold directly from Activision)

A few Web sites giving more information on Interstate ’76 music are listed below.

Does anyone know how to rip the music from the Interstate ’76 Nitro Pack Game CD? I can access the cutscenes using the Smacker program but I have not determined how to get the music. The Nitro Pack Game CD cannot be played as an audio CD as with the Original Edition and Gold Edition Interstate ’76 Game CDs.

Internet Archive – ArionSalazar.com – Bullmark
http://web.archive.org/web/20010305004741/arionsalazar.com/audio_bullmark.html

The Local Ditch Gaming Emporium
http://www.localditch.com

The Local Ditch Gaming Emporium – Interstate ’76
http://www.localditch.com/interstate-76/index.html

Interstate ’76 Music
http://fongsongs.blogspot.com/2006/04/interstate-76.html
Fong Songs Blog
April 18, 2006

Interstate ’76 Revisited
http://fongsongs.blogspot.com/2006/12/interstate-76-revisited.html
Fong Songs Blog
December 17, 2006

Interstate ’76 Revisited . . . again
http://fongsongs.blogspot.com/2006/12/interstate-76-revisited-again.html
Fong Songs Blog
December 28, 2006

Interstate ’76 Official Soundtrack. Oh Yeah!
http://fongsongs.blogspot.com/2007/03/interstate-76-official-soundtrack-oh.html
Fong Songs Blog
March 30, 2007

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Dragonflight 2010 Thoughts Continued

August 29, 2010

Do Division 5 duels provide enough offense and defense for novice duellists learning to play Car Wars?

If the only aimed weaponry on a vehicle is placed inside a turret, does the vehicle have enough offense for novices?

Has anyone used different rules for how to armor standard (non-AFV) turrets?

If hosting a tournament, what is the minimum amount of (real world) time needed for each qualifying round?

What are useful definitions of kills for novice duellists?

How should points be awarded for firepower kills, mobility kills, making crew members unconscious and killing crew members?

Should victory points be lost when a vehicle takes damage?

Having standard Body Armor protect the wearer from collision damage is a useful rules change when duelling with many novices.

What is the amount of time needed to exit a car that is stationary?

When using 3-D components for your arena layout, having all of the arena components such as buildings, pillars, bunkers and TV towers in 3-D is very helpful. Line of sight questions with 3-D versions of these items are easily answered. Questions whether arena “obstacles” are objects or areas on the arena floor are easily answered with 3-D buildings. unlabeled pieces of foam insulation are fine. The extra 3-D components take much more preparation but should speed up games and make the duels look more exciting to spectators.

In a tournament should arenas roughly be symmetrical? If using asymmetrical arenas, the starting positions may be more advantageous for some players than others.

If areas of the arena floor are designated as liquids of various effects, translucent colored plastic should be used to cover these surfaces. Pits of hot liquid plastic (making vehicles become permanently stuck) or molten metal (converting vehicles into balls of fire) would look great with transparent red plastic.

The water tiles from first printing of the first HeroScape Master Set were transparent blue with sparkles. This effect could be used for other liquids in Car Wars. I have seen several HeroScape Web sites showing how to create sparkle liquid titles.

Has anyone considered modifying the Character system in Car Wars to have d2o skill checks? I know this idea is considered heresy by most duellists but follow Morpheus’s (from The Matrix Trilogy) and Taurus’s (from Interstate ’76) advice by “free your mind” and “just think about it.”

Has anyone thought about converting the Crash Tables to 1d6, 1d10 or 1d12 charts? Veteran duellists will remember the original Crash Tables were based on 1d6.

Has anyone tried using Shot Cards from the CADC to keep track of speed changes and firing actions?

Permitting speed changes only at the beginning of a turn and not in the middle of a turn makes the game faster for novices, especially in tournaments.

I thought of a way to permit two-space turrets on compacts again and possibly 1-space turrets on subcompacts . Turrets could be specified as standard and slow. Two-space turrets on compacts and 1-space turrets on subcompacts would be designated as slow.

Slow turrets would behave as AFV turrets only able to rotate 90 degrees once a second.

Four-wheeled ATVs (quadcycles) and three-wheeled ATVs (tricycles; no longer produced) need to be added to the rules system. These vehicles would be extremely useful in Chassis & Crossbow and off-road scenarios.

Are multiple range rules helpful for making duels faster?

If there was an increased reliance on character abilities, the choices of allocating skill points to Driver, Gunner and Handgunner may be more critical. Complete RPG systems such as GURPS and d20 Modern use this procedure for vehicle action. I am not suggesting to use this amount of detail but an abbreviated character skill system such as the one used in the six Car Wars Adventure Gamebooks would be a relatively simple variant.

An online demo for Car Wars like Zombie Dice would be a great play-aid.

Anyone tried making plastic armor semi-ablative as in GURPS Autoduel First Edition?

Has anyone experimented with frame DP with frame armor and frame DP used to assess collision damage? Chassis & Crossbow First Edition in ADQ 1/3 had a few rules for frame DP.

Austin had a set of wood blocks of multiple heights for cars jumping. I believe the blocks were of heights based on the jumping and falling rules in UACFH. These blocks were very impressive and well-constructed.

If using a modular set of arena maps for a tournament, decide on the layouts of each map before the tournament. If possible, publish these layouts on the Web before the tournament or on sheets of paper available during the tournament.

The rules for debris and obstacles need to be placed on Vehicle Design Sheets or other reference sheets. Questions about Difficulty ratings and tire damage caused by debris and obstacles are commonly encountered in duels that have beginners driving cars with non-solid tires.

Should Puncture-Resistant tires and possibly Heavy-Duty tires have more resistance to debris and obstacles? What about standard spikes?

Are there any duellists with experience of using pintle mount weapons and sunroofs in arena events as in Death Race? The Unrated Extended Version of Death Race on the Death Race DVD has a short scene where a navigator stands up through a sunroof and uses a 0.50-caliber HMG mounted on the top of the car.

In a tournament with novices should hand weapons capable to causing vehicular damage be given to each player? The Tampa Wrecking Crew Web site, archived on SWAT HQ, has a fun set of rules for pedestrian action in arena events. Would novices become confused with hand weapons? Should crew members be permitted to exit vehicles during tournaments and continue fighting on foot?

In Death Race oil slicks immediately caused vehicles to lose control. Should oil slicks cause a hazard as ice in addition to their +D2 modifier to maneuvers and hazards?

Are there any thoughts on having oil and ice affecting acceleration and deceleration?

What are thoughts for gravel pits, both shallow and deep?

What are thoughts for deep sand pits?

What are thoughts for quicksand pits?

What are thoughts for liquid cement pits?

What are thoughts for liquid asphalt pits?

Most Car Wars players are probably familar with the Sword, Shield and Death’s Head magnetic plates of Death Race. The virtual reality Morgoth Memorial Arena in the 1988 Car Wars Arena Book had rings similar to these plates. Has anyone tried using some of these types of plates in other arenas?

Instead of placing targets around an arena, place targets that have dischargers or multiple-use dropped weapons. If a target is successfully hit the discharger/weapon activates. The timing would be difficult but hitting a target to generate a smoke cloud or flaming oil slick in front of an opponent would be an exciting tactic.

Would metal or plastic turning keys, especially for 1.5X or 3X scales, be recommended prizes for all finalists in a tournament?

This post concludes my discussion of my list of ideas I wrote down during the Dragonflight 2010 tournament. Many thanks to those of you who have read my previous posts and responded with great comments. Drive Offensively.

Dragonflight 2010 Thoughts

August 23, 2010

Austin Searles, member of SWAT and the SJ Games MiB, arranged and ran the Car Wars tournament at Dragonflight 2010. Austin performed one of the best duelmastering jobs I have ever seen. I will make more comments about Austin’s tournament in the next issue of CWIN being sent to subscribers next week.

I mentioned earlier the main reason for making this blog active is the list of ideas I developed during the Dragonflight duels.

* A large Movement Chart made of wood with wooden pegs was used to track speeds of each player. A poster board with blown-up images of the Control Table and other charts from CWC 2.5 was also used for a reference.

* What are the advantages of having a “Master” Movement Chart and a “Master” Control Table versus giving each player these documents?

* What are useful ways to keep track of phases? The Master Movement Chart used had a phase track. I have used a large d6 a relative purchased for me in Las Vegas. Conventions can be loud therefore you want to make yourself heard when announcing the beginning and end of each phase, however you do not want to yell.

*  A tool I have wanted to create for a long time has been one sheet showing all possible maneuvers. This reference would be helpful particularly for beginning players. I do not know if maneuver images from the Movement chapter in CWC 2.5 or custom-designed images should be used. These images should also have clear examples how to use a Turning Key for all maneuvers including the Pivot, T-Stop and Bootlegger’s Reverse.

* A transparent plastic template for the Bootlegger’s Reverse would make performing that complex maneuver easier.

* I would very much like to create graphical examples of how to use a Turning Key to perform Crash Table 1 and Crah Table 2 results. The Advanced Maneuvering System articles in ADQ 5/1 and ADQ 6/2 had several of these images but CWC 2.5 has replaced those rules.

* The AAIE and DRAW Car Wars groups used to often start duels with all players entering an arena after five turns of acceleration. Austin used this rule for several rounds of the tournament. All of the vehicles were the same, pre-generated by Austin, however has anyone tried using this rule in standard (design your own vehicle) games?

*  I created for Austin a slightly different graphical representation of the Speed Modifier Table on the white board I brought to the convention. Austin created an Adobe Acrobat version of the table I still need to view. Austin said having the orientations of cars and using the terms “attacker” and “defender” was useful.

* One of Austin’s great play-aids was a wooden board for each player that had tracks for Current Speed and Handling Status. Each board also had a track for Handling Class. The extra track was excellent when HC would be changing rapidly because of airfoils becoming effective or loss of wheels.

* When there was a chance of collision, Austin had the two players write down on the map (laminated modular sections that were compatible with dry erase markers) their movement choices for the phase. This method is similar to the Shot Card system used by the CADC.

* Make sure you have all of the Difficulty ratings for all bends marked on your Turning Keys. Older versions of the Turning Keys do not have the 60-degree and 75-degree bends marked.

* Austin had a wooden stick marked with the To-Hit range modifiers as opposed to a tape measure which would require conversion of the actual distance to the targeting modifier. The Tampa Wrecking Crew also used this play-aid. This tool is described on the archived Tampa Wrecking Crew Web site archived on SWAT HQ.

* Is a range ruler more useful as a long piece of wood or plastic like a yard stick or meter stick, a retractable tape measure or a marked sheet of paper? A long stick looks great but can sometimes be difficult to handle with many 3-D components on a map. A retractable tape measure requires marking the tool. Narrow sheets of paper are flexible but wear out quickly.

* When using upscaled components, explaining the term “inch” means “game inch” or “car length” can be helpful to novice duellists. Austin did a great job with this issue.

* Are the effects of airdams and spoilers too difficult for novices? Should these devices simply give HC bonuses when playing with many beginners? 

* Should open games almost always be run in parallel with a tournament to make playing Car Wars easier for younger players?

Dragonflight 2010: Acceleration and Deceleration

August 22, 2010

Almost all of the players in the Car Wars tournament at Dragonflight 2010 were new to Car Wars or had not played the game for over 10 years. I thought of a few ideas during the carnage that may be helpful for novices and veterans alike.

A table of permitted, safe and hazard-causing acceleration and deceleration ratings for each vehicle should be printed for each player. If there is not enough room on the Vehicle Record Sheet use a seperate sheet for this information and other useful tables.

Austin Searles, the tournament organizer and I had to look up the Rapid Deceleration rules many times during the event. Having this information available for instant consultation would be a great tool for referees making rules and players deciding on tactics.

Heroes and Barbarians

August 22, 2010

While on a business trip to Portland, Oregon this month I was able to visit Powell’s City of Books. I found a near-mint, used copy of The Ultimate Vehicle Sourcebook (UVS) for HERO System Fifth Edition for half of the retail price.

I navigated my way east of Downtown Portland across the Willamette River to find Guardian Games, one of the largest game stores I have visited in many years. The staff are awesome, the inventory is huge and the gaming space is enormous.

Because I had the UVS I purchased a new copy of the Post-Apocalyptic Genre Book for HERO System Fifth Edition. Post-Apocalyptic Hero appears to still be in print but I have not encountered it regularly in the Seattle area.

I also acquired from Guardian Games the Barbarians of the Aftermath (BOA) Sourcebook for the Barbarians of Lemuria (BOA) RPG. I knew about BOL but I was unaware of the BOA Sourcebook.

Why am I telling autoduellists of three new books added to my gaming collection? These books are full of great ideas for autoduelling in a variety of post-apocalyptic environments. Although they are not written for Car Wars, many of their sections can be easily adapted to Car Wars, GURPS Autoduel and other systems.

Finding Guardian Games, located along in the Willamette River in a warehouse area, can be a little difficult. I read a useful hint from the DexKnows Web site.

Proceed on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (a one-way street) until you encounter an Office Depot  on your right. Make right from MLK Jr. Drive to Oak Street, one of the intersections in front of Office Depot. Proceed straight for one block until you reach 3rd Avenue SE. Guardian Games is directly behind the Office Depot on your right on 3rd Avenue SE. You will have to drive around the area to find an open parking spot. Spaces are scattered around the warehouse area. 

The Ultimate Vehicle for HERO System Fifth Edition

Post-Apocalyptic Hero for HERO System Fifth Edition

Barbarians of the Aftermath for Barbarians of Lemuria

Powell’s City of Books (http://www.powells.com)

Guardian Games (http://www.guardiangamesportland.com)

Starting this Last of the V-8s

August 22, 2010

I created this blog in January 2009. I never used it because of my chaotic work schedule and most of my Car Wars discussions were placed in the Car Wars Internet Newsletter (CWIN) or on various message boards.

While helping to run the Car Wars tournament at the Dragonflight convention in Bellevue, WA earlier this month, I wrote down problems (which were minor) and possible solutions. Once I was an arena manager, calculating to-hit values and looking up rules, the autoduelling section of my mind was awakened from a long sleep. I started to remember several odd ideas for Car Wars. I added these variants to my notepad.

After the convention my thoughts in written form had filled one sheet of engineering paper and started to fill a second sheet. A few of the comments appear to actually be useful, therefore I decided to share them with the online autoduelling community.

Posting on one or more message boards would be cumbersome. I may still post some of my ideas on forums. The same situation is true for publishing in CWIN. I prefer to keep that magazine for notification of hyperlinks, resources, news and articles written by other auto-vigilantes.

I decided to actually use the old blog I created last year.

I have no idea if I will have time or interest to keep this blog running. I also do not know if there will be interest in reading or even replying to this blog.

If my comments and variant rules cause the autoduelling community to drive through this corner of the Internet, at least I renamed this blog to a slightly interesting title.

If I do use this blog semi-regularly and there is interest in reading it, I may start adding pages from the old “Car Wars Notebooks of Chaos” I wrote many years ago when I started to create the ADQ&A Compendium.

I am still becoming oriented with the WordPress software therefore I apologize in advance for the odd formatting situations.

Drive Offensively,

Michael P. Owen

Seattle Washington Autoduel Team

http://www.seanet.com/~owenmp/swathome.html