I'm so excitement! There's a sixth edition of Car Wars in the works!
I grew up on this game. Finding players was tough and I think I spent more hours designing than playing. Oh the spreadsheets! Oh the miscalculations! This was the height of my crunchiness in gaming. Nothing has ever been quite like Car Wars.
To compare it against something like GURPS, for example, would give you an idea.
GURPS has a point-buy system. Everything has a point value. Physical attributes. Relationships with key individuals. Memberships in guilds. Its creation economy has a general equivalent: the point.
Car Wars has dollars. There's a limit for each event. Every item on the car costs something.
Car Wars has weight. It's an encumberance system that affects acceleration and collisions. Almost everything has a weight. My favourite overpriced weightless object was the advanced targeting computer. That +2 didn't seem like much at first.
Car Wars has space consumption. Every vehicle has limited space to fit in all those guns and ammo. Thankfully armour doesn't have space consumption. Just dollars and (oh noes!) weight.
Should we talk about ammo? Lots of games have that. In Car Wars even the ammo has weight. I don't remember designing anything that was so borderline as to warrant a recalculation part-way through a duel, but I'm sure it's possible.
What about fuel? Duels never lasted long enough to run out of gasoline, but if you wanted to burn your opponents with laser fire, you needed to count the Power Units per shot.
So crunchy. Designing for and playing that game was well and truly down the rabbit hole for me.
Can't wait to see what sixth edition will have!