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Mike Sagliano
United States
Hawaii
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“Gentlemen. Start your dice throwing!”

Playing PLAAAY.com’s Red Blue & White Racin’ Stock Car Action Game is like watching Race Rewind, the video race recaps on NASCAR.com. As you may know, those video clips present highlights of the latest race – the start, the lead changes, the smashes into walls and high speed spins, restarts, the rush to the finish line, etc. Red Blue &White Racin’ has that plus much, much, more.

In this review, I’ve concentrated on my impressions rather than an extensive description of game play. For details of a typical turn, refer to the example in http://www.plaay.com/HTPstockcarracing.html

Red Blue &White Racin’ (RWBR) by PLAAY.com has a lot of drama beginning with 50-60 drivers vying for starting positions during qualifying runs in Race Week. In fact, RWBR uses a unique method of handling all the action – shuffling and then drawing a certain number of driver cards; some drivers are featured during race week and, for example, wreck cars, make public appearances, antagonize fans, please sponsors, start feuds with rival drivers, while others have fast and slow qualifying, and the rest have a mundane week. That’ll take you 15 minutes or so to unfold. It is time well spent as it creates a special pre-race atmosphere, and die rolled-events have consequences for drivers in the upcoming race day.

The highlights throughout each race itself are masterfully revealed from throwing three die (one black and two metallic) to determine which group of drivers will be targeted for each of the 10-mile turn lengths – divided into TOP, MIDDLE and BOTTOM drivers. Internal and external car problems, duels between pairs of drivers and crashes –big and small- are just a sampling of events that can happen too. Actions between drivers challenging each other for the lead, attempting fast pit stops, dueling with leaders and driving them into walls are resolved with the red, white and blue dice. This’ll be 30-45 minutes more of sheer excitement. What ensues is an ongoing, rich, tension-filled narrative in your mind as the race plays out on the tabletop. You’ll have decisions to make in the race, but realize that you will act mostly like a spectator rather than a driver or team crew chief.

The components are very attractive, innovative and practical. There are sets of driver cards featuring a top down view of each colored and numbered racecar with lots of driver characteristics and qualities, various track cards, two books of instructions, two game boards for displaying the TOP and MIDDLE groups of drivers, a two –sided board listing problem results and rare results, plastic circled chips, and a set of 6 dice.

When the 19 leading driver cards are all set up on the boards, you’ll experience a spectacular view of its grid-like field (the exception being the stack of bottom feeders of drivers in positions 20-43), and during game play these driver cards in the TOP and MIDDLE groups are more frequently moved around which gives a satisfying feel for the jockeying that takes place and the action that causes it.

Sets of driver cards together with tracks are already available- 2011 NASCAR season, drivers of the 80s and even a fictional set. The game comes with 50 career drivers. More sets will surely follow.

I had a couple of quibbles. First, for me, the RWBR driver cards are too small for easy handling and are printed on card stock that frustrates my best efforts to shuffle well and, as a result, they suffer the consequences of my awkward handling. I prefer the glossy-type cardstock that plaay.com uses for some of its other offerings like HOCKEY BLAST. Fortunately shuffling only takes place in Race Week, and someone has already suggested using a 1d6 and a 1d10 combination for driver card selection instead. I recommend this method that is less fiddly and potentially faster.

Secondly, although the rules are very well - written with plenty of examples, the rules sometimes seem to lack completeness or needed clarification. For example, one starts the game with Race Week, but the rules fail to mention in that Guide that the red and white dice are read in a certain order and are used to find results (read as 11-66) on the accompanying charts. Perhaps another proof reading would have caught some of these situations.

However, don’t let my minor concerns deter you from purchasing RWBR. You would regret it since RWBR is such a great game even for someone like myself who has just been a casual fan of NASCAR in the past … until RWBR that is.

Because of the many novel aspects of the system (not difficulty I would add), you can contact Keith Avallone the designer directly at plaay.com for answers to your queries. He is diligent in quickly responding to all your questions…sometimes within minutes! Or go online to the Delphi Forums for plaay.com games where other gamers actively chime in with their rule interpretations. Keith turns up here to field questions at intervals as well. Customer service in ordering and delivery is superb too.

All in all Red Blue &White Racin’ is a great stock car racing board game. Period.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest) …

Game Play: 10
Components 8
Organization of Rules: 9
Replay Value 10
Complexity: 7
Price 8
Recommendation: A definite buy!
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Matt Hiske
United States
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Wondering if we can get more photos on the game page? Nice Review.
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Justin Davis
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Thanks for the review. Can you elaborate how the game plays with multiple players? Also, what kind of decisions are made during the game? Looking at the examples on their site, it seems that you are mainly just along for the ride watching the race happen.
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Mike Sagliano
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Here’s a list of the crucial decisions for the player to make.

At a certain point in the race a TOP group driver can decide to skip a pit turn. He takes a risk of running out of fuel or perhaps even winning or crossing the finish line on fumes.

Double fast pit stops can be attempted, but the driver may gain or lose important performance chips (the circled blue chips I mentioned in the review) that give advantages.

A driver can decide to duel another driver in the same group-TOP, MIDDLE or BOTTOM. Winning takes the other driver’s position, but losing results in a TROUBLE roll, perhaps ending with a failed repair and an end to his race.

A driver can decide how many performance chips to use in a game turn.

On a Yellow flag, a driver can decide whether or not to send the field in for an early pit.

After a pit stop, a TOP driver can attempt to challenge for the lead.

There is an optional rule for head-to-head play but it its very similar to solitaire in most ways. Basically the main difference between this method of play and solitaire is that there is a decision made when using each performance chip before the dice are rolled. in challenging drivers in different groups, head-to-head players can also choose one of two drivers in a MIDDLE group position.
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Rick Teverbaugh
United States
Anderson
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Really good review of one of the best 10 tabletop sports simulations I've ever played. This game really covers stock car racing and works with current, past or fictional drivers.
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P M
United States
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Great review, great game!
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Marty Klestadt
United States
Bellaire
TX
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Great review, Mike.
I'd like to add that what I do for driver selection for Race Week is to use a standard deck of playing cards. This works for me since I only use drivers that were points-eligible for the season that I am simulating. The cards (if they're good quality) shuffle easily, and one doesn't run the risk of a driver being selected twice (like they might if one rolled dice for this instead).
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