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Games with vehicle/mecha/whatever construction rules similar to Car Wars?

PeterM

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I haven't played Car Wars in yonks, but I still have fond memories of creating and destroying truly ridiculous numbers of cars with my friends. I just caught sight of the box on my shelf, and I'm wondering if there are any other games that have similar creation systems?

I've never encountered anything else quite like Car Wars, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. What I'd like is a set of rules that gives you a lot of options but doesn't get extremely complex or fiddly. In Car Wars you could choose what class of vehicle you wanted, what type of vehicle within that class, and then those choices told you how much space and weight you had to play with, and then it was off to the races as you chose armor, weapons, accessories and tons of other options. A spreadsheet probably would've helped, but it sure wasn't necessary.

My other experiences with this sort of building in games has been either very simple or very complex. In some games you might assign only a few simple stats to your vehicles or gear, which is fine. In others things get terrifyingly complex. I still have nightmares about the first edition GURPS Vehicles, though I did manage to build a suit of TL 7 powered armor for one Supers game. Champions hits a lot of the same high notes, but it doesn't have huge lists of already written up equipment to choose from, and it doesn't limit you based on the vehicle and body type you choose.

So. Anyone have any suggestions?
 

Silverlion

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Have you looked at Mekton Zeta? Its a little complex, but I never found it more so than Car Wars. (Unless you WANT to get really strange with some of the options)
 

Marras

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I would suggest Heavy Gear. Vehicle creation is pretty simple with the assumption that engineers have a way of finding out how to create the vehicle like you want to do it.
 

tobygrandjean

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Seconding Mekton Zeta with Mekton Zeta Plus. Loads and loads of options and you can build anything from a personal set of armor to a starship and beyond. If you find it a tad too fiddly, then pick up the GM's screen. It has rules for just picking a frame and armor then slap whatever you want into it- forget about managing space.

Another option is Cyberpunk 2020 plus Maximum Metal. Though concentrating on powered armor, there's a fairly robust set of vehicle design rules.

Sil-Core (Heavy Gear and Jovian Chronicles) design rules are pretty nice though ironically I find it best to not worry so much about point costs and instead concentrate on what equipment and stats work.
 
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jerepp

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Battletech probably has the closest analog to Car Wars construction... especially the older editions. Same idea of pick a chassis add a power plant then sprinkle with armor, weapons and special systems. Same sort of limits of weight, heat, ammo, range and such. Mekton Zeta and Heavy Gear also have very good construction systems but go about it a little different. Most sci-fi or generic games have some sort of construction system in them these days though, if not so central to the game as those posted above. So you can build spaceships in Traveller or Star Wars or GURPS or HERO or whatever.
 

ChalkLine

Rogue Conformist
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CyberPunk 2020 had the Maximum Metal vehicles rules. I did all the Twilight 2000 vehicles in it with only a bit of tweaking.
 

Marius B

Euro-Trash
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Mekton Zeta+ has a lot of similarities to Car Wars with a few extra bells & whistles and extra complications. And with the obvious difference that it's about big, stompy robots, not cars. Although, I hasten to add, you could build cars with the MZ+ rules although it would produce some odd results.
 

Antinomian Tendencies

Social Justice Bard
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I always wanted a SF game with spaceships that were made like that - pick a stock shell, then have so many spaces to devote to various things. Traveller was sorta like that if you squint a bit, but still too involved and messy. I want plug and play, something that can be done in minutes.
 

PeterM

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Thanks for the suggestions, folks. Looks like I'll be looking for a copy of Mekton Zeta, at least. I always wanted to look at Heavy Gear, too.

It makes sense that mecha games are what I'm looking for, now that I think of it. I have played a bit of Battletech, and it did feel Car Wars-ish. We never got into creating our own mechs, though.
 
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