Daily Illuminator

April 1, 2023: Four Decades Later, Autoduel Champions Still Has My Favorite Summary Of The Car Wars Setting


To this day, I stand by my opinion that Aaron Allston's work on Autoduel Champions led to the creation of one of the best summaries of the Car Wars universe. Within that book, Allston wrote:

"North America, A.D. 2033. It's a new American frontier. The collapse of the U.S. government plunged the country back into the good old days - days of wilderness lawlessness, banditry, regional dictators, and of the men and women who combat them. Modern-day knights and gunslingers are in demand; but the automobile has replaced the horse, and the machine-gun and recoilless rifle have made the sword and Winchester obsolete.

Welcome to 2033. It's a rough world, but it's the only one around . . ."

And that's just the opening to the first chapter! Mixed throughout the game rules in that chapter are more tidbits of info on the Car Wars world, and I often direct people to this book – and specifically this chapter – when I'm asked for a snapshot of the Car Wars setting. Several articles and books that were produced after Autoduel Champions build on the core setting – and add a lot of depth – but I constantly return to that opening text when I need a reminder about what makes the universe so very fun.

With Car Wars Sixth Edition now in stores, fiction on the way, and something potentially much bigger that we're not ready to discuss, now's a great time to revisit Autoduel Champions and Aaron Allston's fantastic work on a Car Wars sourcebook that was, as Steve said in Space Gamer #65, "As far as I know, Autoduel Champions is the first supplement ever produced to seriously combine two different game systems, from two different publishers, in two different genres . . . "

You can grab a print copy of Autoduel Champions today! Yes, even though the book was first printed four decades ago, we have factory-fresh copies available. Some things truly do never go out of style.

-- Phil Reed

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