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Subject: I need some suggestions for a 'racing' board game rss

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Jeff Baker
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I'm designing a racetrack. It is 4 lanes wide. A player may change lanes ONCE a turn, otherwise they move straight in their lane. I'm planning on cards to be used to activate traps on the racetrack, to use special abilities, and such.

I need advice on how best to allow players to acquire cards. Should I just randomly place spots on the racetrack that players must move over to pick up a card, or each turn they pick up X amount of cards? And what would be a good amount of cards a player may have on hand, 3 or 5 or X?

Thanks!
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Steve Wood
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I have always found 5 to be a nice hand size. And we have generations of poker to show for it so it must work for some reason!

I am a big fan of drawing your hand of cards at the start of each turn. It's a good mechanic, tried and true. Let's you feel like you are doing something right off the bat and as you draw each card, a plan starts to form in your mind for what you will be doing that turn.

Perhaps BONUS cards or cards from a special deck if the players roll over parts of the track. This will create situations where players will want to outdo each other to get to those first.

Make sure that these spots appear randomly - not always in front, or the guy who is winning will be unbeatable as he rolls over more and more cards!

Steve
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Steve Wood
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Also, please include oil slicks, smoke screens etc. ! Oh yes, do NOt forget the mines!

Just stay away from any rules that are too close to Car Wars.

Car Wars was my "gateway game" into this hobby and so I love anything that is like this. One day we plan to do one of our own.

Steve
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Walt
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JefferyB wrote:
I'm designing a racetrack. It is 4 lanes wide. A player may change lanes ONCE a turn...

This works if you're going in straight lines or a high bank oval. If you plan for your race courses to include "road courses" where you have tight turns and esses, the optimal "line" through a corner would involve changing which side of the course you're on. This might be done by having lanes appear and disappear on either side of the "line", but I'm still unsure if one lane change would be enough. It's going to rub any F1 or SCCA fan the wrong way.

Escape Pod Games wrote:
I am a big fan of drawing your hand of cards at the start of each turn.

Drawing at the end of your turn reduces down time (because the player can think about his new cards and his next move during other players' turns) and lets the player anticipate playing his new cards.

Hand size all depends on the number of different cards a player might need to play. In a number of games (including traditional games) you deal out the entire deck initially. If you need the player's options to be tight or want to reduce options to reduce complexity I can think of several games, including some kinds of poker, where the hand size is three, or even less--but I don't think poker is really relevant since poker is about constructing a hand, not playing individual cards for effect.
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Ian Hedberg
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I like the idea of drawing cards by moving on spaces on the board. It seems like it would add some interesting choices to movement. Drawing cards each turn is pretty typical, so I would go for something novel if I could. But it's typical because it works well.

If you're completely unsure, playtest both systems and see which one you like better.

Odd-numbered hands seem to be the most psychologically satisfying for some reason. 5 cards is a good starting point, 7 if you want players to have lots of options, 3 if you want more limited options. 9 is a bit overwhelming though and 1 isn't any choice at all!
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Phil Lewis
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You might tie the hand size and draw to the vehicle type. DVG's Down in Flame series does a nice job with different types of aircraft. Maximum hand sizes vary from plane to plane, as does the number of cards you draw at the beginning and end of your turns. Since cards are played defensively when it's not your turn, being able to draw something at the beginning is critical.

Good luck.
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David Fisher
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Have you considered a variable sized hand (with a certain maximum) instead of a fixed size one? Just a thought.

Another possibility is to pick up one card from the deck each turn, and to allow picking up from points on the track as well -- but the ones on the track are face up cards (that are immediately replaced with something else after being taken). Players can then aim for something they know they want, but the other players also have some information about what is in each others' hands.

Computer racing games can have two versions of a power up, a normal version and a "juiced" version which has a greater effect. Maybe playing two (or three) of the same kind of card could do this.

About lane changes -- maybe a certain card allows you to do more than one lane change in the same turn.

What happens with crashes? In Snow Tails you take "damage cards" which restrict your hand size. In Powerboats your maximum speed is restricted (by reducing your maximum number of dice); you are also not allowed to crash deliberately if there is another option, sometimes forcing you to go somewhere you don't want to. In both games, if you crash you just stop dead still; another thing that could happen is pushing the other player forward (which helps them), or maybe pushing them sideways out of the way (which helps you). Or there could be no crashes at all -- you just pass them. Though having crashes may be more fun.

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One Armed Bandit
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You need to decide how many cards you actually have hitting the table first.

Once you know that, you can choose how to draw.

Drawing every turn, even just one card, means a LOT of cards will get played.

Only drawing on powerup spaces will significantly reduce the number of cards played, assuming it's not possible for every player to hit a powerup space on every turn.
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Kamil Chocimski
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How about you have players make skill checks on turns & traps and if successful, they get a card!

also, maybe every player starts with like 5 random ability cards but once they're used up they're gone, so players must be tactful when to use them. You can have total of like 8 cards, I provided 7 ideas below.

Card Ideas:

-Nitrous Boost +3 move

-Evasive Maneuvers +2 Evade Enemy Attack

-Pit Maneuver (attack Ability) -1 to move to opponent within 1.
Opponent must roll evade to stay on track, if not they crash (you
fiddle with what mechanic you're going for.)

-Oil Slick (attack ability) Place oil spill token on location, any car going over it is at -1 move and must make evade test.

-Slipstream If directly behind same opponent for 2 turns, get +3 to move on your next turn. (this is cool because it forces players who want the boost to get behind opponent.)

-Caltrops attack ability, same as Oil Slick)

-2 wheel Driving! +2 evasion for next 2 turns, -1 speed for 1 turn.

Be creative!
Hope these help!


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James Hutchings
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JefferyB wrote:
And what would be a good amount of cards a player may have on hand, 3 or 5 or X?


You could have a range, with players able to decide how many cards to draw.

Some things that players could do could be covered by cards, and other things could be done at will. However, the number of 'at will' moves the player could take would be smaller the more cards they have.

For example if the race was a 'Car Wars' style battle, cards could represent maneuvering, while firing and dropping mines etc would be 'at will'. If a player has a large hand size, their driver is concentrating on driving and therefore can't fire as often (or perhaps as accurately).
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Rob Robinson
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If the track was made out of a deck of sections, laid end to end, the player in 1st could lay the new track piece as he entered it.

It would make being in 1st place a lot more dangerous if hazards were included..

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Clive Lovett
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In my opinion the best race games are the simple ones. Races are supposed to be 'fast' so too much AP takes away from the theme.

Games you might want to check out if you have not already for simple yet effective mechanisms:
Daytona 500
Ave Caesar

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