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For no real reason that I can convincingly articulate, I decided to try converting some of the units from Dream Pod 9's Gear Krieg into terms usable with Steve Jackson Games' Car Wars. I've converted a number of units from the core rulebook so far, using several variants off the web (linked to below), plus some rules hacks of my own.
I'm not sure how historically accurate any of this is - I suspect that the vehicle stats, in particular, may differ from their "real life" counterparts - but it seems to work out fine in play.
It's amazing how easy it was to get these vehicles to work in the different game system, and amazing how worthless state-of-the-art vehicles in the 1940s are in comparison to run-of-the-mill civilian vehicles in the 2040s. What a difference a hundred years makes.
Remember that all the metric measures have to be converted into the old Imperials.
Final costs are divided by 3 to represent WWII-era prices. Remember to multiply AFV costs by 0.75, because of mass production.
To determine how much armor a vehicle should have, I estimate based on a rough comparison of weapon strength to armor rating: How high a Margin of Success would you need with a certain weapon to get through the armor? Okay, I've got that. Then how much damage would an equivalently-successful damage roll with the same weapon in Car Wars do? Tweak that a little to look good, adjust the relevent facings to make up for Reinforced or Weak armor, and there you are.
Weapon Notes: .30 caliber machine guns become standard Machine Guns (MG); .50 caliber machine guns are Heavy Machine Guns (HMG). 2 lb. and 2cm through 5cm cannon become Anti-Tank Guns (ATG); 7.5cm cannon become 75mm Tank Guns (TG); 8.8cm cannon become 90mm Tank Guns (TG9). The closest equivalent I have at the moment to a 1.8cm cannon is the Recoilless Rifle (RR) - let's just pretend it's a light ATG for now. For grenades, use Depth Charges (see below).
Metal Armor: Metal armor works as in the "Chassis & Crossbow" rules: it is affected by hand weapons, but has doubled effectiveness against them.
AFV Performance: Top speed is calculated using a variant from "Top Ten Reasons Car Wars Sucks" (by Scott Hansma and Jack McGuire).
Walkers, Gears, Panzerkampfers: use rules from an article by Francis Greenaway. Additional ruling: drag (from arms or EWPs) is not calculated for walking speed unless unmodified top speed is 100 mph or more.
Secondary Movement System (SMS): 50% Walker Body cost, or 100% if Off-Road; no space, weight, or DP. Uses four car tires or treads (q.v.), purchased separately; they may be targeted normally, and may use wheelguards or tread skirts, special brakes, etc. Deploying the SMS is a firing action for the pilot and a D3 maneuver. When in SMS mode, calculate performance as for a car or half-track; drag is figured normally. The pilot still uses his Walker Pilot skill; someone who does not have Walker Pilot skill but does have Driver skill can drive in SMS mode at -2 HC.
Manipulator Arms (based on Francis Greenaway's design). Light: $8,000, 75 lbs., 0.75 spaces, 3 DP. Allows a walker to manipulate stuff. Targeted at -4 for Light, -3 for Heavy. They can be used to attack at TH 9; Light does 1d damage, Heavy does 2d. They can extend up to 6' (1/2") from the vehicle, with a 180-degree traverse. The Light Arm can lift 1,000 lbs., the Heavy 3,000 lbs. They produce drag just like an EWP.
Grenades: Depth Charges may be used on land normally; instead of sinking to a chosen depth and detonating, they explode upon impact. (They may also be equipped with a timer.) There is no concussion effect, but the other damage radii are normal. Depth Charges may be mounted on Bomb Racks (or, for land vehicles, "Hard Points") and thrown (with the same effects) by a manipulator arm.
Other Equipment Used: Alternate Weapon Mounts, Low-Tech Petrol Engines, Long-Barreled Hand Weapons - from the Boneheadz of New Idaho; Half-track Treads - from Norman McMullen of NOVA; Short Barreled Weapons - from Michael Garrity of NOVA.
PzKpf IV Ausf B "Loki" - Small Walker w/OR SMS, standard chassis, small TL5 truck petrol engine w/carburetor, 14-gallon HD fuel tank, four SB OR HD tires, pilot gunner, long-barreled RR fixed forward (fired by either crewman), long-barreled MG fixed forward (fired by either crewman), 3 DCs on hard point left (thrown with the left manipulator arm), two light manipulator arms (one left, one right; operated by the pilot), radio. Metal armor: F4, L3, R3, B3, T2, U2, left leg 2, right leg 2. Accel. 5 (10 w/SMS), top speed 62.5 (90 w/SMS), base 8 mpg, HC 2; 5,844.5 lbs., $14,817.
Amphibious variant - Add waterproofing; upgrade tires to water wheels. Water performance: top speed 5mph, HC 0; $17,150.
Ausf A - Remove manipulator arms and hard point; move DCs into the body fixed forward (fired by either crewman); replace RR with another MG fixed forward (fired by either crewman). Top speed 65 (92.5 w/SMS); 5,437 lbs., $9,425.
Ausf C - Upgrade to multibarrel carburetor; add 3 DP metal armor. Base 9 mpg; 5,964.5 lbs., $15,017.
PzKpf V Ausf A "Valkurie" - Small Walker w/OR SMS, standard chassis, small TL5 truck petrol engine w/carburetor, 10-gallon HD fuel tank, two SB OR HD tires, two 10DP tracks, pilot, gunner, long-barreled MG in swivel mount forward (fired by the gunner), long-barreled MG fixed forward (fired by either crewman), 3 DCs fixed forward (fired by either crewman), radio. Metal armor: F6, L4, R4, B4, T4, U4, left leg 2, right leg 2. Accel. 5 (10 w/SMS), top speed 62.5 (82.5 w/SMS), base 8 mpg, HC 2; 5,752.5 lbs., $10,681.
Ausf B - Replace gunner's swivel-mount MG with RR, move DCs onto hard point left (thrown with left manipulator arm), add two light manipulator arms (one left, one right; operated by pilot). Top speed 60 (80 secondary); 6,082.5 lbs., $15,903.
PzKpfw Mk II Ausf C - 24-space AFV, small TL5 AFV petrol engine, 25-gallon HD fuel tank, 13 DP treads, driver, 10 ATG magazines, 2 MG magazines. Metal armor: F10, L8, R8, B7, U7. 8-space AFV turret, commander, gunner, long-barreled ATG w/extra magazine forward, co-axial long-barreled MG w/extra magazine, radio. Metal armor: F8, L8, R8, B8, T6. Top speed 42.5, base 10 mpg; 15,200 lbs., $21,506.
Ausf B1 - Add amphibious modifications. Top speed 5 in water. $22,756.
Ausf D - Remove two ATG magazines; upgrade to medium petrol engine w/tubular headers and 35-gallon fuel tank. Top speed 50, base 8 mpg; 16,550 lbs., $24,794.
Ausf E "Flamingo" - Remove ATG and magazines; upgrade engine w/turbo and tubular headers; move gunner into the hull; add MFT fixed forward in hull. Top speed 47.5; 13,835 lbs., $22,169.
Ausf F - Remove two ATG magazines; upgrade to medium petrol engine w/tubular headers and 35-gallon fuel tank; add 6 DP metal armor. Top speed 50, base 8 mpg; 17,000 lbs., $24,944.
PzKpfw Mk III - 47-space AFV, small TL5 AFV petrol engine, 13-gallon HD fuel tank, 16 DP treads, driver, gunner, long-barreled MG on swivel mount forward (fired by gunner), 7 ATG magazines, 8 MG magazines. Sloped front, all left and right, back. Metal armor: F15, LF12, RF12, LB12, RB12, B11, TF6, UF7, UB7. 13-space AFV turret B, gunner, loader, commander, long-barreled ATG, co-axial long-barreled MG with 2 extra magazines, radio. Sloped front, left, right, back. Metal armor: F12, L12, R12, B12, T6. Top speed 35 mph, base 10 mpg. 21,909 lbs., $35,989.
Pak 36 Anti-Tank Gun - 3-space field carriage, two SB HD OR cycle tires, fixed long-barreled ATG (only 1 shot in magazine), 4 DP metal gunshield. 947.5 lbs., $1,180. Usually assigned a three-man gun crew (who can move it 1/4" or turn it 90 degrees per turn) and 6 fully-loaded extra magazines: 690 lbs., $1,100.
Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun - 10-space field carriage, two SB HD OR car tires, fixed long-barreled TG (only 1 shot in magazine), 4 DP metal gunshield. 2,175 lbs., $4,477. Usually assigned a three-man gun crew (who can move it 1/4" per five turns or turn it 15 degrees per turn) and 4 fully-loaded extra magazines: 860 lbs., $1,400.
8.8cm KWK Anti-Tank Gun - 12-space anti-aircraft mount, no wheels, fixed long-barreled TG9, 2 DP metal component armor for gun, 4 DP metal gunshield. 2,935 lbs., $7,900. Usually assigned a five-man gun crew (who can't move it, but can turn it 45 degrees per turn) and 5 fully-loaded extra magazines: 1,825 lbs., $7,750.
MVIIIB "Cavalier" - Small Walker w/OR SMS, standard chassis, small TL5 truck petrol engine w/carburetor, 14-gallon HD fuel tank, four SB OR HD tires, pilot, gunner, long-barreled HMG in swivel mount forward (fired by gunner), long-barreled MG fixed forward (fired by driver), 3 DCs fixed forward (fired by either crewman), radio. Metal armor: F6, L4, R4, B4, T4, U4, left leg 2, right leg 2. Accel. 5 (10 w/SMS), top speed 60 (97.5 w/SMS), base 8 mpg, HC 2; 5,979.5 lbs., $9,899.
Bren Universal Carrier - 29-space AFV w/half-top, large TL5 AFV petrol engine, 60-gallon HD fuel tank, 11 DP treads, driver (all under half-top); long-barreled MG on pintle mount, gunner, 12 spaces for passengers (all with exposed top). Metal armor: F3, L3, R3, B3, U3, T2*. Top speed 75, base 8 mpg; 10,710 lbs. empty, 13,210 lbs. carrying a full (and cramped) squad of 10, $30,380.
Matilda Mk. II - 40-space AFV, small TL5 AFV petrol engine, 25-gallon HD fuel tank, 15 DP treads, driver, 5 ATG magazines, 6 MG magazines. Metal armor (sloped F, LF, RF, LB, RB, B): F15, LF12, RF12, LB12, RB12, B11, TF6, UF7, UB7. 14-space AFV turret B: commander, gunner, loader, long-barreled ATG forward, co-axial long-barreled MG w/extra magazine forward, radio. Metal armor (sloped F, L, R, B): F12, L12, R12, B12, T6. Top speed 35, base 10 mpg; 20,590 lbs., $34,650.
2 lb. Anti-Tank Gun - 3-space field carriage, two SB HD OR cycle tires, fixed short-barreled ATG (only 1 shot in magazine), 2 DP metal gunshield. 962.5 lbs., $1,055. Usually assigned a three-man gun crew (who can move it 1/4" or turn it 90 degrees per turn) and 6 fully-loaded extra magazines: 690 lbs., $1,100.
The standard kit I'm using for an average infantryman is listed below. It's heavy - encumbrance runs into the -2 to -3 range - but most troops would cache the stuff somewhere before going into battle, and it's always a simple matter to ditch one's backpack if one needs to sprint. Prices are for the WWII era.
That comes to a grand total of $193, 36 lbs.
My German infantry squads each have a leader, seven riflemen, a medic, and a machinegunner. The leader carries a long-barreled SMG and 8 ammo clips. Each rifleman carries a long-barreled rifle with bayonet and 8 ammo clips. The medic carries an extra first aid kit, a rifle (normal length - a carbine) with bayonet and 8 ammo clips. The machinegunner carries a long-barreled "assault rifle" and 8 ammo clips; say this is a light man-portable gun.
My British infantry squads each have a leader, seven riflemen, a medic, and a machine-gunner. All are equipped as above, except for the machine-gunner. He carries a long-barreled IMG (which is assumed to include a tripod), an extra magazine for it, and a heavy pistol. Two of the riflemen also carry extra magazines. A British machine-gun team is composed of just the gunner and the two riflemen/loaders.
Vehicle crewmen get a flak vest and helmet, gas mask, heavy pistol, knife, first aid kit, flashlight, personal kit, canteen, and rations.
Page content Copyright 2001, William Spencer.
This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games or Dream Pod 9. Car Wars is a registered trademark of SJ Games; all rights are reserved by SJ Games, and material is used here in accordance with their online policy. Gear Krieg and Panzerkampfer are trademarks of DP9; all rights are reserved by DP9, and material is used here in accordance with their online policy. Gear Krieg, Panzerkampfer, and all other related names, logos, and specific game terms are Copyright 1997, 2000 Dream Pod 9, Inc.; the original Gear Krieg vehicle designs are Copyright 2000 Dream Pod 9, Inc.