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Subject: A Brief Review rss

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Dan Poole
United States
Goldsboro
North Carolina
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This game and Snow Tails were quite popular racing games at BGG Con this year. My spouse and I played several games of Powerboats. Though my experience is somewhat limited, I feel like we played enough to get a good feel for the game in general.


Powerboats is a racing game that is played over 3 races. The board depicts water and island hazards where you can (obviously) crash. The board spaces are hexes. There are various buoys. These are marked A through C. The A buoys are used on the first race, the B's on the second etcetera. The order of which the buoys must be crossed is randomly determined. This makes for a different course each race. In short, you must round the bouys then cross the finish line.

Image by garyjames
Image by fehrmeister)

3-sided dice represent your boat's engine. At the beginning of the race, you start with no dice, so you (obviously) are not moving. At the beginning of a turn, you may turn your boat 60 degrees (1 hexside direction). This is the only time your boat turns during your turn. Then you may add or remove a single die from your engine. Then you may roll any number of dice present. The result is the distance in hexes you travel in a straight line.

For example, let's say at the start of your turn, you have 1 die showing a "2". This represents your current engine speed; if you do nothing, your boat will move 2 spaces straight (remember you can turn 60 degress before you actually move). Let's say you really want to pick up speed; you would then bring in a die and roll it. Since you can re-roll any pre-existing engine dice, you have the option to re-reoll the "2" along with this new die. Let's say you re-roll both and get a "2" and a "3", then your boat would move 5 spaces.

Let's say you are getting into some dangerous waters and you need to slow down, then you would perhaps want to take a die away and/or reroll engine dice.

If you crash into land, you sustain a certain number of damage tokens. If you get 4, you immediately lose. Note that all damage tokens except for 1 from each race are carried over to the next race. You can travel through opponents, but if you land in their hex, you have to end your move 1 space behind them. Note no damage is incurred by entering an opponent's space.

My Overall Ratings
Theme: 8 The gameplay certainly fits the theme.

Mechanics: 8 I certainly feel like the dice mechanic is very clever and works extremely well.

Strategy: 7.5 There is actually a goodly amount of decisions to be made. Low dice are slow, but safer; which dice do you re-roll, when do you add/take away dice?

Rulebook: 8 The rules are pretty easy in general. The book is well-written with examples.

Asthetics/Components: 8 The Map is attractive and 2-sided. The powerboats are plastic. The 3-sided dice are really cool. Standard cardboard tokens are used to measure victory points and damage.

Overall Fun Factor: 8

I have to say, I really like this game despite the fact I am not a huge fan of racing games in general. The dice mechanic for the engine speed seems to work really well. Thanks to random buoy order, each race is different. Even with just 2-players, both me and my wife had a lot of fun playing. If anything, it makes for a quicker game. Playing with more players doesn't really change the dynamics, since you can't be harmed by running into your opponents' boat. The only consequence is that you have end your turn 1 space sooner. I liked Snow Tails too, though I think I liked this one bettter. I will definitely be buying a copy of this when it becomes available.





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Richard Dewsbery
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I *am* a big fan of race games, but one who is disappointed time after time. Up until now, Motorchamp was probably my favourite, despite it's many, many flaws. Powerboats has comfortably eclipsed MC - it's a lot faster and actually manages to feel like a race. It helps that after a race or two most people can play with very little downtime, even in a 6-player game.
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Thomas Staudt
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voynix wrote:
Note that all damage tokens except for 1 from each race are carried over to the next race.


Slight correction:
The German rules state that you keep one damage token, no all but one.
Might be a mistranslation, though.
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Ted Groth
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ashman wrote:
voynix wrote:
Note that all damage tokens except for 1 from each race are carried over to the next race.


Slight correction:
The German rules state that you keep one damage token, no all but one.
Might be a mistranslation, though.

The English rules online indicate that you repair all but one. So you keep one damage token after the first race, if you had any damage. After the second race you repair all but one additional damage token, so if you took damage in both the first and second race you would have two damage tokens going into the third race, but if you took damage in only one of these two races, then you would only have one damage token.

Edit: German rules online appear to say the same, but my German is very limited.
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Thomas Staudt
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Tradewinds Ted wrote:
ashman wrote:
voynix wrote:
Note that all damage tokens except for 1 from each race are carried over to the next race.


Slight correction:
The German rules state that you keep one damage token, no all but one.
Might be a mistranslation, though.

The English rules online indicate that you repair all but one. So you keep one damage token after the first race, if you had any damage. After the second race you repair all but one additional damage token, so if you took damage in both the first and second race you would have two damage tokens going into the third race, but if you took damage in only one of these two races, then you would only have one damage token.

Edit: German rules online appear to say the same, but my German is very limited.


Yes, that's what I meant. It probably would be clearer if I had written

"The German rules state that you keep one damage token, not all but one."

as intended instead of "no all but one".

Your additional explanations comply with the german rule set.
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