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America's Cup: The Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: If you could only own 1 game, this isn't it rss

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Brian Stephens
Australia
Mt Martha
Victoria
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This game was clearly released as an attempt to make money by riding the wave of national celebration when Australia II won the America's Cup in 1983. The box cover even proclaims that proceeds from the game will be used to aid the Cup defence in 1987. (Well we know how that went!)

Components:
The board is quite thick and sturdy and unfolds into a zig-zag track which represents the various legs of the race. In addition to the board you get 4 small white plastic yachts, a sheet of stickers to apply to the yachts to show their country of origin (you can choose from Italy, GB, Canada, Australia, Japan, (West) Germany, USA, France and Sweden), two packs of cards (Tactician and Gamble), two standard 6-sided dice and a rule book.

The two decks of cards are of reasonable thickness cardboard but have square corners which are likely to be damaged in play.

Oh, and all this comes in a box, of sorts. The "box" is basically a cardboard sleeve which opens at one end to allow you to slide the components in and out of the "box". There is very little stiffening in the sides of the box and as a result mine now resembles a pancake!

Gameplay:
An initial look at the board looks hopeful as the track are in three colours and are marked Port Tack, Direct, and Starboard Tack (and they got the port tack red and the starboard green). As an old yachtie, I was intrigued.

A second look at the board brings disappointment as you see that many of the squares are marked with either bonuses (Correct genoa on deck +2) or hazards (Spinnaker sheet breaks -5).

The rule book is small A5, but quite thick. Examining it reveals that it has a centrefold of Australia II, and that the remainder of the book is a Glossary of sailing terms plus a listing of the meaning of the text on the two sets of cards.

Beginning to read the rules brings more disappointment. To move you roll two dice (ignoring 5s and 6s) and move the difference between the values of the two dice. (So the most you could move is 4, with a 4 on one die and a 5 or 6 on the other). The average move would be 1.7 (one and two thirds to be precise). As the track is about 100 spaces in length this could be a very long roll and move game!

Yachts can move either directly ahead or sideways!!! (I'm not kidding). If you land on your opponent, you get another roll (which the rule book constantly calls a shot (I know yachties are heavy drinkers, but this is ridiculous). If you land on a square labelled Tactician or Gamble you draw a card from the appropriate deck. As the rewards and penalties are usually around +5 or -5, this makes the die rolling pretty irrelevant.

But to complete the rules schmozzle one of the example diagrams has a boat moving 6 (it actually says Player 1 rolls a 6).

I can only feel gratified that as this is no longer on sale, no-one else will purchase this turkey (like the friend who bought it for me).

Rating: 1 yuk (but I'm tempted to give it a zero!)
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roger beatson
New Zealand
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Brian

This game does sound like a bit of a mess.
I've been looking out for a decent America's Cup game for some time but it doesn't appear that there are any.

I'll probably just end up making a homemade version instead.I'm looking at using some of the rules from an old game called Spinnaker Yacht Race Game.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/36764/spinnaker-yacht...

Movement is determined by wind strength and boat heading so seems to me to be a bit more realistic than the game you reviewed.

regards
Roger
 
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Brian Stephens
Australia
Mt Martha
Victoria
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You could try the old AH Regatta, it works pretty well as a yacht race game and seems similar to Spinnaker (Except it's played on a "sea" of dots rather than squares. Works quite well within game limitations.)
 
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