SJG: Car Wars 6th Edition Delayed

car wars cover art

Steve Jackson Games has an update on the highly anticipated Car Wars 6th Edition.

via SJG 11-14-2016

“Earlier this year, we announced that we were delaying the release of Car Wars Sixth Edition until 2017. Our plans at that time were to launch a Kickstarter project this month for the Car Wars Anthology, and a Kickstarter project for the new game in January.
Unfortunately, those plans have changed, too. At this time, it is better if we hold off on both of these Kickstarter projects and continue to focus on developing the core game and constructing the expansions.
We have now taken the Car Wars game to two separate retailer events. While the feedback from retailers has been overwhelmingly positive, the game is still taking more time to play than we like – four-player games are running roughly 90 to 120 minutes. So we want to dig into the core of the game to cut that down to about 60 minutes.
We have ideas on how to streamline playing time, but each concept requires time to explore, and once we select a solution, we will have to hammer out the details of the decision – that is, playtest! – from every angle.
We believe this is the right answer, even if it means pushing back the launch of the Kickstarter projects – and the game – four to six months. Not having Car Wars for Gen Con 2017 will be painful, yes, to both our bottom line and pride. But it would be more painful to proceed with the game at the current average playing time. It’s better to take the short-term hit to sales and pride than to be stuck with a game length that is twice our goal.”
I have to say this is encouraging if sad sign.  So many companies these days will rush to market come hell or high water, in a mad dash for short-term profits.  With a franchise as cherished as Car Wars, it’s nice to hear that SJG is taking the time to get it right. I’d hate to have a game I didn’t enjoy 6 months before one I loved.
Back in the day, Car Wars was a highly complex game.  In an era of Battletech, and Star Fleet Battles, complexity was the industry norm – but times have changed.  Todays gamers want faster experiences and the ability to get in more games – so I’m sure Car Wars 6th Ed. will be a very, very streamlined counterpart to it’s 1980s ancestors.

Car Wars 6th Edition Basics

Initial Product Details from SJG

“We continue to work on Car Wars, and at the moment we can report that:

  • The game features twelve different factions: six wasteland factions and six arena factions. Each faction represents a gang, corporation, outlaw group, or other organization within the Car Wars world.
  • There are three points of entry into the Car Wars game: The two-player Wastelands Starter, the two-player Arenas Starter, and the four-player Car Wars game. A player may buy any one of those and start playing immediately, and buying all three allows up to eight to play at once.
  • From wheels to machineguns, Car Wars sixth edition is a new game. Everything from combat to maneuvering to vehicle design was designed to get players into combat within moments of sitting down at the table. The driving goal behind the overall creative process is best summed up with three words: Cars. With. Guns.
  • Car Wars sixth edition features plastic car miniatures at HO scale. Miniatures are included in the three games as well as in faction-specific expansion sets. At the moment, it looks like one faction pack – loaded with three plastic miniatures, several new game cards, and whatever tokens are required to use the cars in combat – will cost players $19.95. That’s a lot of new options at a low price!
  • James Lowder, established author and editor with decades of experience in and out of the game industry, is at work on the first anthology of new stories set in the Car Wars sixth edition world. It is 2117, and this book tells a dozen tales, each centered on a different faction. Additionally, the anthology will include twelve new game cards so that players can incorporate bits of the stories into their game sessions.
  • We are taking both the Car Wars anthology and the new game to Kickstarter, and the two projects will connect. The fiction project is first, and backers of the Car Wars anthology project who also back the game on Kickstarter will receive special bonus cards when they receive their rewards.
  • Additionally, we will offer special retailer reward levels for both projects. We will release information through our retailer newsletter once the projects launch on Kickstarter.”
Here’s a video of some SJG staff talking about Car Wars 6th Edition at GENCON 2016.

~Oh yeah – 3 plastic cars + rules/tokens for $20! This is going to be awesome!
  • Commissar Molotov

    Hmmm…I suspect this’ll be another X-Wing w/cars.

    • Peripheral

      And that would be bad how?

      • Commissar Molotov

        The original “pocket game” cost six bucks and had all the counters, road sections and rules (and two dice!) that you needed to play.

        While pre-painted miniatures would be nice, I really don’t care for how X-Wing forces you to buy new miniatures packs to get new rules.

    • zeno666

      That sounds great to me

      • Richard Mitchell

        Sounds awesome. I don’t mind delays if it is for the sake of quality control and SJG has proven themselves time and time again on that point.

        • euansmith

          I wonder if the game will fit in to a pocket, like the original one.

  • kloosterboer

    SJG has a history of delays, non delivery. Buy it once is hits the shelves, ignore it otherwise.

  • euansmith

    The artwork on the original was super cool; being more in keeping with the 1970’s Custom Car Culture of polyester slacks and metallic paint jobs, rather than the Mad Max look of dust and rust.

    • Richard Mitchell

      I agree, like O.G.R.E.s stark Cold War feel, I would really like it if Car Wars keeps its neon 80’s vibe. Atari foreva man!

  • byteme

    Maybe I’m just old, but having to redesign a beloved game to fit into a 60 minute window and dumb down the rules in the process, is a sad example of how far we have devolved as a society. It wasn’t long ago that words like complex, depth, and realism were used as selling points. Now they are considered taboo and are scoffed at by today’s gamers. Has society as a whole become so ADHD the average gamer is incapable of paying attention for more than an hour at a time or incapable of grasping complex rulesets? I truly weep for the future.

    • Commissar Molotov

      There’s a happy medium somewhere. I loved those old games, too – but I have no desire to take on a rules-set like “Air War” or “Squad Leader” again. Too much like work!

      • euansmith

        Harpoon 😀

        • Commissar Molotov

          I know I’ve told you how “Westwall” almost broke up my buddy’s marriage!

          • euansmith

            When folks say, “In the old days, we used to make our own entertainment”, the answer should be, “Because you had to!” 😉

          • palaeomerus

            Once you’ve had your fill of twinkies, bugles, and fried pies YOU STILL HAVE TO.

    • zeno666

      I’m old as well, and grumpy 😉
      But there is a difference between complex and clunky.
      And I do feel that the old Car Wars ruleset was very, very clunky.

      • euansmith

        Yeah, I think that a certain amount of new rules are polished, elegant and streamlined rather than dumbed-down. After all, 10 or 20 years of games development should count for something. 😉

    • palaeomerus

      That’s why we’ve made something just for you! Phoenix-Command Collectible Battle Dice Wars! Just roll the dice, look up the result on the phone app, and let the insane back-ground computations and tables all happen invisibly! Yes the game still tells which molars you lose if shot laterally through the mouth from 421 yards away slightly downhill in brisk north easterly summer wind at THAT precise lattitude, longitude, and elevation at 2:00pm greenwhich on Nov 22 1978 with a deer rifle necked down to single-fire notched .22 wmr through a 2 liter Mr Pibb bottle filled with strips of gym socks as an ersatz supressor!

      Remember, Who Dares Wins!