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Subject: Winners Circle or Turfmaster rss

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Tom Anderson
United States
Hamilton
Illinois
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I have been considering purchasing Winners Circle and just found out that Turfmaster 2nd edition is now availabe again for sale. Both are horse racing games. I am trying to decide which to buy. Has anyone played both? What are your recommendations.
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Jonathan Takagi
United States
San Marcos
California
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Winner's Circle is more of a horse betting game than a horse racing game. Turfmaster deals more with the race. There is a pretty big price difference, if that's important to you.
 
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Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
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Winner's Circle is very distilled and abstracted. It's on the very light end of the scale - consider it a "filler". The movement mechanism is a simple but effective tactical exercise, but it doesn't really simulate the jockeying for position you find in better horse racing games. There is a very simple betting element, but it's really more of a bluff game than anything else.

TurfMaster is a much heavier game that centers around the tactics of jockeying the horses, but it still has fairly abstract mechanics. The horses do not have different performance curves (besides the cards you draw into your hand that round) and there is no betting. It's an excellent game if you want the kind of game that lets you optimize your horse's run based on the cards and die rolls you have to work with.

Win Place Show, in my opinion, is the best horse racing game of all. It is a full horse racing simulation. Horse come with predetermined performance curves, are sold at auction, and then run in races with fixed odds based on the performance of the individual horses. Luck of the dice plays a very small part in the game - much more important is the skill of the player controlling the horse. Many types of betting are supported - the usual win, place, and show bets as well as daily doubles.

Also don't overlook The Really Nasty Horseracing Game, which is almost as good as Win Place Show, but places a bit less emphasis on simulation and a bit more emphasis on hosing the other players.
 
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