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Control Table board for Car Wars Classic

So in Car Wars “classic” (a.k.a. 1e through 4e), the two main tables for driving is the Movement Chart and the control table.

Here I’ve tried to combine them to one board.

To use this, each vehicle has (in addition to their token on the map) a pawn or marker or wooden disc on something over on the right side of the board, the part with all the “safe” and “XX” and numbers.

The row should match their current speed.

For columns, they start on their modified handling class. They can never go more left than that.

End of each turn, each pawn moves left according to their modified handling class, which could be written on the pawn, or we could use dice turned to that number. Each pawn moves as many steps left as their modified handling class up to a max of that number.

And spending handling status (or “accruing D” or however you wanna phrase it) by doing maneuvers or encountering hazards means moving to the right that many spaces (just “clonking into” the rightmost edge if you’re there, just as you can’t go higher than your modified handling class), and then if you’re on a crash, you go to the crash table, and if you’re a number, you roll to see if you go to the crash table.

Accelerating means moving down orthogonally and decelerating means moving up.

Over on the left side, you can see how many inches you move on the map.

Example driving

So let’s say you have a modified handling class that happens to be 3 and you’re driving around in 90 mph.

You have your car token on the map and also a pawn on the 85-90 line.

That mean that every turn, you can move your car token on the map nine inches forward (look to the left half of the board to find that nine) and make maneuvers. For each maneuver you make, move your pawn right as many steps as the difficulty of that maneuver.

For example, one single 45 degree turn is a D3 maneuver so you’d move three steps to the right and see if you’re safe or if you’re risking losing control of your car. Now, most results on the crash table are like minor skids and stuff.

Then at the end of the turn, move your pawn three steps left since your modified handling class is 3. You can never go more left than the 3 columns (in this particular example, since that’s your handling class) or more right than the -6 column.

So this means in practice you can keep turning 45° or less and still be safe. You can also turn a little bit sharper some turns (making control rolls to do so) and then drive a little straighter on the following turns to “save up” control again.


I said you can move nine inches per turn above but what’s really going on is that a turn is divided in to five phases. You can make up to one maneuver per phase, and each of those maneuvers replaces one inch of movement.

So at 90 mph, looking at the left half of the board, that means that first three phases you move two inches, fourth phase you move one inch, and last phase you move your last two inches.

Most of the time, five phases are good. But if two drivers are on complete opposite sides of the board, no line of sight, no nothing, you can speed up play by joining phases together. Don’t actually change any real rules, you’re just shortcutting the execution of those rules. When in doubt, when cars are close to each other and stuff, do it phase by phase.

So for example, if you’re all alone on a race track driving 90, you can move nine, making one of those four inches a 45° turn, and then end of turn you regain three handling.

Or if your playing with a friend but your cars are a bit apart, you can join together two phases then one then two again or whatever. Or three + two. For your convienence I made the “T” column where you can see your entire turn of movement.

If you’ve played Robo Rally you kinda know the kind of shortcutting I mean here. In that game, everyone executes their card at once unless there’s collisions or stuff that might or might not happen and only then you zoom in, slow down, and look at priority more specifically to resolve things properly. Or in Magic, you’d be like “And then I loop that five times” instead of explaining every step of a combo five times over.

You can join phases as much as you need to depending on what makes sense on the map or in the situation, always taking care to know that the real rule is five phases and one maneuver per phase.

This phase stuff is a big argument among Car Wars players.

The older releases used ten phases per turn, whereas the one I have, the 2015 “classic” version of the 4th edition, has five. Not sure when that happened.

GURPS Autoduel 1e used one phase per turn, with an optional variant that each vehicle moved in 2-inch chunks until everyone had moved all their full speeds.

GURPS Autoduel 2e also used one phase per turn but with an optional variant dividing those turns into four phases.

Car Wars 6e uses one phase per turn.

Now, I haven’t played a lot of this game yet but it seems to me that five phases, and using human judgement & common sense on when to join them (or even split them if needed! But that would not be isomorphic to CWC RAW) is the best of all worlds. Fine-grained when you need the detail, fast when you don’t.

The italic numbers

10 miles in an hour means one inch in a second. But what if you’re driving 85 miles or 82.5 or whatever? You’d have to move half an inch or a quarter of an inch. I marked those numbers with italics to indicate which phase you move a little shorter. Note that except for pivoting, you can’t maneuver unless you’ve got a full inch of movement to swap for the maneuver.

Source files

If you wanna see the svg source or send changes, there’s a git repo at

git clone

Car Wars is a trademark of Steve Jackson Games, and its rules and art are copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by Steve Jackson Games. This game aid is the original creation of Idiomdrottning and is released for free distribution, and not for resale, under the permissions granted in the Steve Jackson Games Online Policy.