Scoretracks intrinsic to gameplay
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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There have been a couple of good geeklists dedicated to unique scoretracks:

OctiDecimal Math (and other Score Track oddities), by Liumas
and
Games Where You Don't Start At Zero on the Score Track, by ekted.

But last night a game reminded me that there's a third wrinkle to this: sometimes a scoring track is so intrinsic to the game that you ignore it at your peril. That is, in order to win, your must give considerable attention to the attributes of the score track itself, rather than--as with most games--using it as a record of your position relative to the other players.

Two games--one very old and one very new--are my way of starting this list. I am interested to see your additions and the discussion which I hope will follow.
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1. Board Game: Yut Nori [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:11968]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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In Yut Nori, players (or teams) may constantly choose the route they take on the scoring track. Some routes are shorter, but carry more risk. In addition, players can combine several scoring-track tokens into a group to travel around the track, but this too, can make one more vulnerable to attacks from opponents.
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2. Board Game: Hibernia [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:5646]
T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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This excellent little self-published iron age war game features a scoring track that is colour-coded. On your turn, you score one point for each territory you control, but only if the colour of your territory matches those on the track in front of you. So I might control red-green-blue-blue, but if the next step on the scoring track is yellow, I would score zero points that round. As a result, each player's position on the scoring track has significant influence on the battles which they will undertake. Very clever.
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3. Board Game: Venedig [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:4304]
Olav Fakkeldij
Netherlands
Beverwijk
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The scoretrack is running across the board along the different districts. For building in a particular district the place your scoringmarker is can be very important.
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4. Board Game: Starfarers of Catan [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:850]
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
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A more mild example; when your score marker is in the blue zone you get free resources every turn, but once you cross into the red zone (9+ points) you stop getting the help.
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5. Board Game: Siena [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3737]
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Wurtsboro
NY
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In Siena, you progress through certain stages, and those stages have certain abilities and privileges. Sometimes you want to advance, and sometimes it's to your advantage to drag your feet a bit.
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6. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:334]
whistler
United States
West Virginia
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Every player has multiple score tracks, but your lowest one is the one that counts.
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7. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:96] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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My memory is hazy but I believe that as your score increases you get more and more money given to you......But then you reach the summit and all the points you score after that actually give you LESS money. It's really smart actually.
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8. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:500]
Tuuli Mustasydän
Finland
Espoo
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Carcassone: The Castle has these little tiles placed on the scoring track that you can pick up only if you land exactly on them. They have useful bonuses.
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9. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:760]
Christian Jorgensen
New Zealand
Auckland
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With evo you use the points you score to pay for your evolutionary advances. So you have to be really careful not to get involved in huge bidding war that will see you knocked too far back down the track. I've seen people lose by overbidding a few times.

What I enjoy is the way you have to consider how to make what you are buying pay for itself. Especially in the later part of the game, when the variable end starts to be a concern.

Sometimes getting that horn, or extra leg is just not worth it.
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10. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:681]
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Allen Park
Michigan
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The score track in Primordial soup determines the general turn order as well as who picks genes first.

Resolving turns is in ascending order, so the person in last place deals with their amoeba first. On the flip side, genes are purchased in descending order.

Both items can be important for different reasons.
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11. Board Game: Hare & Tortoise [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1084]
David Fisher
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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In Hare & Tortoise, there are spaces you can land on that give you a bonus at the start of your next turn if you are in the correct position relative to the other players (a "2" space gives you a bonus if you are coming 2nd, etc).

It can be tricky predicting what your position will be next turn, since players can move backwards (to get more fuel) as well as forwards, .
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12. Board Game: Die Pyramiden des Jaguar [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:3312]
Olav Fakkeldij
Netherlands
Beverwijk
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You get actions based upon your position on the scoringtrack.
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13. Board Game: Times Square [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:2532]
Olav Fakkeldij
Netherlands
Beverwijk
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The bottle is the scoremarker. At the end of the game the player whose side it is on wins the game. But the game can end earlier when the bottle reaches one end of the scoretrack.
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