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Subject: A few plays in... rss

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Josh Webb
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So I just got this a few days ago off Amazon, and have been able to try it out a couple times already. This game works for 2 to 9 players, which is amazing for such a small box.
I love team games, and this one promises to be well balanced even if the teams are uneven (take that, Space Cadets: Dice Duel!). Now so far, I have played it with 3 players, and 4 players. More on that in a minute.

The way the game works - if you haven't already looked it up - is that you and your team are repairing and refueling a racecar in real time! Like a real race, this is about balancing speed with tactics. In this case though, the driver's skill is almost completely unimportant; instead the pit crew's expertise is critical in getting the most out of the cars.

How to play:
In each round, teams need to replace all four tyres, fill up the fuel tank, and (in rounds 2 and 3), repair wear on the engine.
This is done by playing cards onto each component, however you only ever have 6 cards in hand to choose from, and part of the car requires a different approach:

Tyres: Every tyre has a starting number next to it. You must play four cards on each tyre, with each card value being 1 higher, or 1 lower, than the number before it.
Fuel: The large number on the car tells you how much fuel you need. Play cards (in any order) until you reach that number exactly.
Engine: A pair of cards of the same value in round 2, or 2 pairs in round 3, will keep your engine revving.

Once your team has finished all the components, you can pick up a d6 and start rolling. Every 6 that you roll lets your car advance around the track 1 space. You can keep going until all the other teams have finished their repairs, when they yell STOP! Then each team assesses how well they managed their cars. For each mistake you've made (like putting a 5 after a 2 on your tyres, or overfilling your fuel) your opponents get to move forward. Also the cards you play come in 2 different colours. If you've managed to complete a component in all the same colour, you get a turbo bonus, moving your own car forward 2 spaces.
Do this for 3 rounds, and the car that has gone farthest is the winner. There's a couple more intricacies to it, but that's pretty much it.

As I said at the top, I've only played this with 3 and 4 players so far. The 3 player has each person working solo on their own cars, so we each had the full hand of 6 cards to work and plan with. When you play with team mates, you have to split the 6 cards between you, which calls for a lot more communication. I wasn't expecting a whole lot from the one-man teams, but it was still really tense and exciting. Having all the information yourself lets you hold back certain cards that you know will be useful, or manage the discard pile a little more carefully. I think one downside here is that one player can be clearly better than another and dominate this. Not having to run everything by your teammate means there is no time wasted asking for cards. I would totally recommend the 3 player game.
The 4 player game gave us 2 teams of 2. One team really struggled to co-ordinate, while the other worked very quickly as a unit. Something that more players allows you to do is split the workload. My teammate and I worked on separate components of our car, moving on if we got stuck for the other to finish it off. In this case, our team thrashed the other, who took a long time to make sure they got as many bonuses on their car as possible. Finishing quickly in order to roll the die is definitely the way to win this, which makes sense. I think the pacing of this game would be very slow if all teams just decided to try to max out bonuses on their cars. You want to get your car rolling as soon as you can, whether it's perfect or not.

Quick to play (plays in about 20 minutes) and quick to explain
Nice components
Play feels thematic
Tiny box makes it super portable

Could be one-sided in low player counts (you could just get better at the game though...)
If you play with perfectionists, this game will drag
Feels a bit short, tbh. We added an optional 4th round to flesh it out a bit more

Verdict: Yeah, buy it. It's pretty cheap I think, and how many games scale to 9 players? I'm gonna bring this to many more game nights.
I'll have to update once I've played with the full complement of players, but it should make for a pretty exciting game. The restriction of only having 2 cards in each player's hand will really force you to work together.
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