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Car Wars: The Card Game
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Store:  Card Games, Family Games
Series:  Car Wars
Format:  Card Games, Books

Car Wars: The Card Game

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 10-20 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Creede Lambard, Sharleen Lambard

Manufacturer(s): Steve Jackson Games

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Product Description

Welcome to the sport of the future -- autoduelling! Killer cars battle with machine guns, missiles, autocannons, and flamethrowers. You're behind the wheel... and the last survivor wins.

This fast, fun game, based on Steve Jackson Games' award-winning Car Wars, includes six full-color car cards, 110 full-color playing cards, and short, easy rules.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Creede Lambard, Sharleen Lambard

  • Manufacturer(s): Steve Jackson Games

  • Artist(s): Sanford Greene

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 2 - 6

  • Time: 10 - 20 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 315 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are printed in English. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is a domestic item.


  • 6 full-color car cards
  • 110 full-color playing cards
  • rules

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 2.8 in 8 reviews

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This game is a blast! Better than the table-top version.
March 14, 2005

This game is great. It's an absolute giggle. I generally play it as a two-player game, and it's one of the most entertaining games in my collection when you're just looking for something fun. It's easy to teach (my 8 year old picked it up in no time), and that makes it also a great game for friends that maybe aren't hardcore gamers.

Sure, after a few games, the strategy is pretty clear, and the game boils down to mostly luck. But that can be part of the fun. When playing with hardcore gamers, we get right into the "trash-talking" side of things, mostly involving offensive innuendo concerning "taking missiles up the rear end". It's all totally harmless, since we all know it normally comes down to the draw of the cards.

I also have to nitpick with Søren, a previous reviewer who said that "all the instant play cards you want to play right away". When we play, instant cards tend to get held and played only at the time they're needed. E.g. playing machine-gun jams, I usually hold until I'm actually attacked with a machine gun. Why? Yes, true the card fills a slot in your hand for a while. BUT, the advantage is that your opponent wastes a turn playing his MG card that does no damage, and that's usually worth it. Also, it is far more satisfying that way! :)

My only complaint is that there are no blank cards available! I have a dozen great ideas for new cards. e.g. "Linked Machine Guns (play two identical MG cards at once)". "Pre-placed armour" (allows you to use your turn to pre-place armour cards on any one side). "Experimental Ammo" (+1 damage to any attack). "Heavy Armour" (+1 to any armour card). "No Machine Guns" (special, you cannot use MGs, but for every MG card you discard in a discard turn, you may draw one extra card to refill your hand, taking you over 6 temporarily). Etc, etc. I got heaps of 'em! Steve, just call me! Let's make an expansion pack!

A great game
October 05, 2002

In my opinion the previous reviewers missed the boat on this game. This is a great game when playing with a group or 5-6 players; it can be a ridiculously-cutthroat and chaotic time, in which you form allies, backstab each other, and struggle to win. Add beer and watch the sparks fly. Out of print for a long time, it's nice to see the game available again. Games like Lunch Money owe a lot to the Car Wars card game.


Great Game to Fire Up Any Group
March 09, 2004

In this game you have a car that has 12 hit points on each side, once players have damaged a side down to 0 or less hit points they can fire at the driver who had 5 HP's. Deal damage with cards, and prevent damage with others. You get 10 points for taking a driver out of the game and 20 for being the last standing. First player to 60 points wins the duel and is declared ACE!

The more the merrier with this game. So far I've been playing games of 4 people and its great. Their really is no strategy, except for diplomacy, and thats fun in itself.

This game might not meet expectations for thirty dollars but for fifteen I'd say your getting your money's worth. If you cant play with a group of four then dont bother with it. Otherwise Car Wars would make a nice addition to any groups collection.

by Ric M
A blast! The more the merrier.
February 12, 2002

This game sat on the floor for several weeks at our game nights because it didn't look to intriguing.

We took it out one night as kind of a filler game at the end of the night. It was a blast! We only had three players the first couple times and it was a lot of fun.

Then we played with 4 players and it was exponentially better. Haven't tried yet with 5 or 6, but I think it would be better yet.

Much of the fun comes when an opponent realizes that they need to discard many or all of their cards to build up defense or get more offensive cards - then it just turns into a pile-on.

The attacks are very fun and light-hearted though.

There are enough defensive cards to keep you alive for a while generally and there are some special cards that can really turn the game around in a flash.

One thing I would recommend changing would be the usefulness of the tires though. In about a dozen rounds, the tires have only been a factor for one player in one game.

This is a fast and fun game.

WAR with Cars on Cards
March 16, 2005

This game is a no-brainer. maybe a half-step more strategic than the card game "WAR", it's all luck of the draw. With more than 2 players, a gang-up mentality is often the result. You can have a good time playing this, sure, but to compare this to Car Wars is like comparing an elementary school play to broadway. They are two very different things, indeed!

If you can have fun playing this game, then chances are you could have just as much fun flipping a coin and shouting "I win!" when you guess heads or tails correctly. If that's your thing, go for it, but don't think you are getting a scaled down version of Car Wars with cards.

One Star is Max!
July 15, 2003

The persons who gave good reviews of this game must be working for SJG. This game sucks all the way. After having read the rules I realised that this game is very badly made. Here is an example: You can play some of the cards as instants, but its allways an atvantage to play them as fast as you draw them.

A stupid lame game! In my opinion Steve Jackson oves me the money back, because this product is should never have been made and is a disgrase to his name.

by Paul
Boring, random, dull
February 21, 2002

Now that the headline of the review has detailed the high points of this fine collection of poor art on cheap cards over which the player has little control or care for, I must hurry off in an attempt to sell it to someone unsuspecting. A grave error on the part of SJG.

There's no 'there' there
January 12, 2002

I certainly hope Steve Jackson Games is doing well with its chess variants, because they seem to have latched on to a string of losers in the board and card game departments. I've now played Chez Geek, Frag, Munchkin, and Car Wars: TCG, and the best thing I can say about 'em is that I'm glad that they were other peoples' copies.

Car Wars: TCG is quick to learn and maybe an okay game for kids, but it's just too simple and obvious for anyone over age 12. Every player has a car. During your turn, you simply draw cards (containing offensive or defensive weapons) and then either play a defense or attack an opponents' car on the front, back, side, or tires. If they've got armor or force fields or such, they'll repel the attack, otherwise they take damage points. Once a part of the car has taken too much damage, the driver is vulnerable. Once the driver is dead, the player is out of the game.

The game continues this way until it's down to two players who simply draw cards and fire weapons randomly until one player dies and the game mercifully ends.

That's the whole game. It's not fun to play, the production isn't very good, and it's very overpriced for what you get. Do yourself a favor and spend less money on a copy of Wyatt Earp or Bohnanza. You can almost get both for the price of Car Wars: TCG.

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