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Subject: Powerboats or Snow Tails rss

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Sandra Sherwood
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For those of you who are lucky enough to have played both, which is better, Powerboats or Snow Tails? We have Formula Dé Mini and enjoy it. Is Powerboats too similar to that? I play mostly with my kids, 7, 13, and 16. Minimal downtime is a bonus. Also, easy enough for the 7-year-old to play would be nice, too.

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Anthony Simons
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Royal Wootton Bassett
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From your apparent criteria, you should go for Powerboats. The downtime should be minimal, moves are carried out pretty quickly and there are few rules for kids to grasp.
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Scott A. Reed
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Both games are very fun, though I think I prefer Snow Tails to Powerboats. Though they are both racing games, the similarities mostly stop there.

In Powerboats, you are driving your boat around three buoys, with your speed managed by a collection of 3-sided dice. Your set your speed by adding or removing one die from your speed, and rolling as many of your speed dice as you like (you must roll the die you add to your speed). You get one 60-degree turn at the start of your turn and then you must move the number of spaces shown on your dice. It's a game of getting right into that optimal path that lets you get from one place to another the most efficient way while maintaining a good speed. There is a good amount of luck in it from the die rolls, but the ability to adjust speed by taking dice off of your speed can make it manageable.
In Powerboats, you play three races, with the combined score of the races determining the winner (though the first race is worth 1x points, the second 2x, and the third 3x)

In Snow tails, you have a dog sled that has three numbers on it that control speed -- one on the left dog, one on the right dog, and one on the brake. Your speed is the sum of the numbers on the dogs, less the brake. If the dogs have different numbers, then your sled "drifts" the difference toward the dog with the higher number. By using these figures, you race down the track, position yourself around other racers, "drift" through corners, but must also maintain a reasonable speed at certain points and stay on the track to prevent damage to your sled. Snow tails is only one race, but the board is made of a lot of modular track pieces which can be set up to make a variety of race courses (like a PitchCar track).

Of the two, I think I would go for Snow Tails, though it's a little cost-prohibitive at the moment. I really enjoyed the feel of the race on that one, as well as the management aspect of balancing your sled and making the proper drift through the corners. We only played 1 race at BGG.con, but looking at the other track pieces, I am excited to break it out more. Powerboats is also a solid game, and we've played it nearly every week in my game group, but I get very frustrated with the die rolls and my seeming impossibility to get a "good" roll that will let me get around a buoy without getting absolutely fucked-over in the the process.
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Sandra Sherwood
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skelebone wrote:
I get very frustrated with the die rolls and my seeming impossibility to get a "good" roll that will let me get around a buoy.


This is actually rather important for me. My middle son has the absolute worst luck with dice I have ever seen and can get pretty frustrated with them. Can you play to overcome bad throws with manipulating which ones you keep or does a series of bad throws pretty much ruin the game?

Snow Tails sounds like it may be a bit tough for a younger kid.
 
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Maarten Cappaert
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sandys89 wrote:
Can you play to overcome bad throws with manipulating which ones you keep or does a series of bad throws pretty much ruin the game?


It is rare that you have a 'series' of dice, in most cases we only had one, two or sometimes three to work with.

I feel that luck plays a huge role in this game, it's either that or it gets really dull by playing safe and moving slowly ahead.
 
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Anthony Simons
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sandys89 wrote:
skelebone wrote:
I get very frustrated with the die rolls and my seeming impossibility to get a "good" roll that will let me get around a buoy.


This is actually rather important for me. My middle son has the absolute worst luck with dice I have ever seen and can get pretty frustrated with them. Can you play to overcome bad throws with manipulating which ones you keep or does a series of bad throws pretty much ruin the game?

Yes you can; it's one of those games where you can usually avoid taking risks, but taking risks will often put you in front. These are only 3-sided dice, so the bad luck swing is often not a game-breaker.

sandys89 wrote:
Snow Tails sounds like it may be a bit tough for a younger kid.


I'd agree with that, but it depends. A younger kid would have to get to grips with the workings of the sled - the brake and the drift effect for example - just like everybody else; and while it might be more fun from an adult perspective it could be a bit puzzling. On the other hand, it might not be as puzzling as I am surmising here - I don't know the kid in question.

Thinking about the bigger picture, Snow Tails does at least have a fairly linear course whereas in Powerboats the competitors have to work out their route for themselves, in a way. Snow Tails employs a fixed course, but in Poweroats there are three buoys which must be rounded in the correct direction. In the latter case this means you can go anywhere you like but you can't finish until you have competed the course in the correct direction. The inherent complexity of that might sound a touch off-putting, but again you know your children so it's your decision.
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Mik Svellov
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Snow Tails is a great game, but not that easy to control your move.
Powerboats is far easier, and you have high degree of control despite the dice because each die only have 3 possible outcome.

I love both games, but play Powerboat more often - although not quite as often as Fast Flowing Forest Fellers
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EGG Head
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I prefer Snowtails. The game is slightly more involved than Powerboats but if your 7 yo plays games regularly it's probably no problem.
I would liken Powerboats more to basic Formula de. Another good race game to consider is Ave Caesar the Ravensburger ed is better.
 
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