Title – LACORSA Grand Prix Game
Age Range – 14 and up
Players – 2 - 6
Maker/Publisher – Lacorsa Games LLC
Designer – Mark Haskins
78 LACORSA playing cards
22 racecar marker cards
6 wooden grand prix style racecar playing tokens
One wooden “playing board”
LACORSA is a racing game that doesn’t go anywhere. Before you tune out, let me explain. This game boils down a race to the bare bones of what is exciting about an Auto race…Passing. As opposed to almost every other racing simulation out there where you have a car, decide how fast it is going, rolling dice to see if you control the car, make turns, make more turns, make even more turns, LACORSA abstracts the “laps” and just cares who is in the lead at the end of the turn. With a relatively simple war-like mechanic, the higher cards race car advances one space in the pack. If the winner was already the race leader, he has the option of playing an “extend” card and thus putting distance between himself and the pack, making him that much harder to catch. The number of laps can be varied and even full seasons can be played using the championship scorepads to keep track of wins.
This is easy; the components win this category, hands down. The cards are nice sturdy cards and will withstand many plays, while the “board” is a multi-part, chunky, wooden strip that will never be damaged no matter how many plays it gets. However, the best components are the car tokens, Brightly colored, well painted, made of solid wood and designed to look like old open-wheel grand prix cars of the 1960’s, these tokens are a beautiful retro-inspired piece that a player of any age will love to move, play and mess around with. They are absolutely gorgeous.
The overall graphic design is cool too. Also retro and clear, the art on the cards, box and rules is very clean and easy to read and use.
The length of the game is refreshing as well. Other racing games are either too complicated to the point it takes hours to play or so simple that even a 5 year old can get bored quickly. This hits that middle ground perfectly and is the perfect length for this type of game.
The concept of a racing game where the pieces don’t really move can be a trick to get your head around, but once you have that a-ha moment, the rules click and it all falls into place.
I really enjoyed my plays of this. Slight more than a filler game but not a brain burner either. I think LACORSA is a great game. Quick gameplay, great art, fantastic bits all come together into a fun, exciting racing game.
The Score Per The BGG Scale:
1 – Defies description of a game, clearly broken
2 – Extremely annoying game, won’t play this ever again
3 – Bad, likely won’t play this again but could be convinced
4 – Not so good, it doesn’t get me but could be talked into it on occasion
5 – Average game, slightly boring, take it or leave it
6 – Okay game, some fun or challenge at least, will play sporadically if in the right mood
7 – Good game. Usually willing to play it
8 – Very good game, I like to play it. Probably I’ll suggest it and never turn down a game.
9 – Excellent game, always want to play it
10 – Outstanding, always want to play and expect this will never change
That’s my .02
We will meet at the Hour of Scampering.
Looks very much like Reiner Knizia's Formula Motor Racing, released in 1995.
Hi Darrell, thanks for the note. I hadn’t seen or played Formula Motor Racing so I bought a copy to play with my kids (6 and 8) to compare. We had a pretty good time with it.
Formula Motor Racing is a light game with simple strategy which is great for families. LACORSA is a card game with semi-complicated strategies. The benefit is it’s rewarding to play if you get it right. My kids liked being competitive in Formula Motor Racing but I found the play to be a bit too random.
Probably the biggest similarity between the 2 games is their linear nature and the fact that the cars don’t go around a track. Only their position relative to the other cars is important. This is a reflection of the processional nature of Formula One racing although in LACORSA the racecars do move forward to establish gaps between the cars.
The second resemblance is the pairing of cars into teams of 2. Again, this is drawn from the Formula One world where all the entires are from teams fielding two cars. LACORSA looks at teamwork a few different ways. You can control both cars within a team as in Formula Motor Racing, or you can play as a single car or two players can work together as a team.
LACORSA is focused on the overtaking battle between racecars and it’s much harder to pass. You can only pass 2 racecars per turn/lap so there are no dramatic leaps forward.
Plus LACORSA adds the magic of qualifying which is pivotal in Grand Prix racing. If your strategy demands that you be on pole (first position)to win, you will have to reassess your strategy if you fail. All the cards are dealt at the start so you set your strategy based on what you get in the deal, adjusting as the race continues.
Anyway, thanks for the heads up. I hadn’t played Formula Motor Racing before and it was fun. I am a big fan of auto racing games in general.