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Subject: Snow Tails 'strategy' tip sheet rss

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Graham Dean
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Snow Tails

Strategy Article

The majority of this article comes from my first Snow Tails session report here, but I’ve tried to expand a bit on my initial thoughts, although a better subtitle might be ‘Tip Sheet’ rather than ‘Strategy Article’. Snow Tails is after all a light racing game rather than a deep strategic one, but I hope the following might prove useful.

d10-1 The five starting positions are pretty balanced. The extra cards are given to the outside lane to help them handle the moves of the other players. If you have a choice of which lane to start from, select one which will require the least amount of drift. You may also want to think about drifting over and impeding the lanes of other players on your first turn.

d10-2 Blocking your opponents does work. Especially think about it at the start and the run in to the finish, or at the beginning of a straight where the bonus movement can be taken. This is especially important if you are in the lead and can’t achieve a balanced sled yourself.

d10-3 Sounds obvious, but avoid getting too many dent cards. 1 or 2 at most, but beyond that and you really don’t have a competitive sled. On a particularly twisty course, make sure you don’t pick up dent cards until near the end. Having the maximum available number of cards is vital around corners.

d10-4 Don’t rule out the tail enders from your calculations. Because each player has an identical deck, if a player gets lots of low cards at the start, they will get lots of high cards at the end. This is especially true on a course with straights, where sleds can be lined up for the balanced bonus.

d10-5 Don’t be in a hurry to be first to the woods. Pick your way through and avoid those dent cards. If someone else has cleared a path in front of you, use it.

d10-6 If you are the first player to a wooded section don’t leave a straight path for those following. Go through with some drift and make life a little harder for them. Depending on what obstacles are coming up next, I would recommend going through with at least a couple of lanes drift. Sine you can choose when in your move to take the drift, that should enable a clean passage through the trees.

d10-7 The balanced sled catch up bonus really counts. Races are won and lost with this, so make use of it when you can, and drift in front of your competitors when you can’t, to prevent them using it. This is especially useful to bear in mind during the run-in at the finish.

d10-8 Keep the brake value low. There aren’t many turns when you won’t want to adjust your huskies. Usually you will be going into a bend, coming out of one, or just generally trying to avoid other players. When you get the chance put a low card on the brake and leave it there. It makes it much easier to accelerate and maintain good movement. In general we have found that 2 works best in most situations. 3 or above prevents you getting up a decent turn of speed out of a corner. 1 makes it difficult to slow down to the speed limit when going into a corner.

d10-9 Save pairs of high cards for when you come out of a corner and have a straight in front of you, or for the run in. Don’t use one of them in a corner to get extreme amounts of drift. Save them up for when you can get the benefit from a balanced sled. There are only a small number of situations where this will be possible, but the one which will always occur is the finish. It is well worth keeping a couple of fives in your hand for this if at all possible. Races are won and lost on this.

d10-1d10-0 If you are last by a long way, don’t despair. Incredible comebacks are possible. Especially given the balanced sled bonus, and the separate identical draw decks for each player which mean that if you have drawn lots of low valued cards at the start you will draw high valued cards at the end..

d10-1d10-1 Don’t be afraid to take the long route round a corner if it means you don’t have to drift as far, and sets you up on the inside of the next corner. In other words, avoid large drifts. Take the long route with minimal drift rather than the short route with large drift.

d10-1d10-2 Keep drifting to a minimum. I have made this my final point deliberately to try and drive this home. Drifting is not your friend, and the less you do of it the better. Take the long way round a corner if it sets you up on the inside of the next bend. Don’t drift over sharply to the inside of the current bend, only to have to drift back the other way immediately. Once again, Keep drifting to a minimum.

I hope this will come in useful. Have fun.
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Cédric Rothacher
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Thx for your thoughts - they came handy when I played the game for the first time.

I'd like to add two more points that might be obvious, but i found them very important:

Plan your moves as far ahead as possible with the cards you have in hand - the more if you lead the race (in crowded places it's not that easy)!.

And 2nd thought: Be aware of the speed-limits before the curves - use a 'big brake (4 or even 5) just to cross the speed-limit-line and then 'unbreak' your sledge again - to me the best way to cross these lines.
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Graham Dean
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cero wrote:
Thx for your thoughts - they came handy when I played the game for the first time.

I'd like to add two more points that might be obvious, but i found them very important:

Plan your moves as far ahead as possible with the cards you have in hand - the more if you lead the race (in crowded places it's not that easy)!.

And 2nd thought: Be aware of the speed-limits before the curves - use a 'big brake (4 or even 5) just to cross the speed-limit-line and then 'unbreak' your sledge again - to me the best way to cross these lines.

Thanks for posting. I'm glad someone found this useful.

We actually just played this at the weekend, and I had an absolute nigtmare and came last by a mile. My group has taken to doing twisty tracks where it's harder to get a balanced sled and catch up.

I think your points are really good, and go some way to helping me understand what I did wrong. I don't plan several turns ahead, and I think this caught me out.
 
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Cédric Rothacher
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When I bought the game i thought it was more of a step by step game, meaning there's no planing more than one move at a time. But i found out there's much more - those speed-limit-lines are quite tricky, you can easily loose a turn per line, if you're not taking them in account at least 1 move before crossing them.
So i like the game even more now, it's challenge to make the best with the cards in one's hand - if one happens to draw a even more useful card, then it's all ok, but it's surely better not to be more dependent on the card you draw next than on the cards you have in hand already.
 
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