David Matson
United States
St George
Utah
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've never played a racing board game (well, other than kid's games long ago) but I've become intrigued by some existing and upcoming board games (Formula E, Snow Tails).

When I think of racing games, I think of video games where you are speeding around a track and dodging other cars/animals/obstacles in real time. To me, these games recreate a pretty intense, virtual experience of movement, speed, and stress.

With a board game, however, it seems there are alot of starts and stops. You might play a movement card, move your piece, stop, then next person goes, etc. It's hard for me to visualize how racing games capture a feeling of racing/speed/movement with these pauses in game play.

My questions:

1. Do the racing board games you play give you the tense, stressful emotions of speeding around a track, barely missing obstacles, etc. like a racing video game?

2. If not, what features/mechanics do racing board games have or what feelings do they evoke that cause you to enjoy them?

I know the ultimate answer is to play one of these board games myself, but I don't have access to such a game at the moment.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Miller
United States
Rock Hill
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think it's possible for a board game to give that feeling simply because of the pace. However some do feel a lot like racing in other ways.

I've tried about all of the racing board games that I've known of. My all around favorite is Bolide as there is no random factor, it's all about picking your line through the corners and setting up the acceleration on the straights. There is a similar game that is free and web based to give you an idea: http://www.harmmade.com/vectorracer/
Bolide is better than that in my opinion as the tracks are better designed and you get to accelerate/decelerate by two instead of one per turn.

Rallyman does a good job of representing rally racing. It does have dice but there is tension in that you are running time trials and won't know until the end of the course what your time is. Shaving a few seconds off a section can be the difference between a win and a loss.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alfred Wallace
United States
Champaign
IL
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played...oh God, I have no idea how many racing board games of various types. I've also played a pretty considerable number of video games. I'll also watch almost anything on TV where one person or thing is trying to go faster than another. I enjoy both board games and video games, and I get different things out of them. If all you want out of a racing game is adrenaline--boardgames aren't going to cut it. But there's a lot else out there waiting for the racing fan, which I encourage you to at least try with an open mind.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
badge
Meow.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think they're fun in the same way but they do have a lot to offer still. Sensation of speed, no, calculated maneuvering and gearing, yes.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Scheidler
United States
Peterborough
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
publisher
badge
chigameguy
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think any good racing game has to be based on simultaneous reveal with resolution in order of track position.

One of my biggest problems with Ave Caesar is the track layout ensures the first or second player reaches the first bottleneck and then screws up all the other players... where a simultaneous reveal would let a faster chariot push past the bottleneck before it could get jammed. If everyone played fast cards, they would still jam up... just in different locations on the track.

I suppose a similar sort of condition could be applied to Formula De if you had more dice to account for all players using the same gear.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff McCarroll
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rallyman with Rallyman: Dirt is as close as I've gotten.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil Lewis
United States
Evans
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
“Whatever you do, He will make good of it. But not the good He had prepared for you if you had obeyed Him.” Perelandra, C.S. Lewis
badge
"He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.” Perelandra, C.S. Lewis
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Hard to compare... I certainly get more satisfaction from winning a boardgame.

Speed Circuit might be the most tense game I've ever played. Every choice impacts the outcome. It's resource management, planning, and strategy. Luck is minimal--you don't roll dice unless you make a decision to roll dice. It certainly captures the intensity and stress of open wheel racing. There are plenty of ways to increase the speed of play--enforcing racing rules (no counting spaces ahead, must move immediately on your turn), using cards to plot speed and poker chips (or lug nuts) as wear, and so on. The game is long out of print, but there are living rules online and plenty of downloadable tracks on BGG.



From the strategy standpoint, you might also check out The Stock Car Championship Racing Card Game. It's the best NASCAR simulation I've found. It's a card game that uses a track and cars for position. It's also heavy on resource management, but not as stressful as SC.



2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The faster something is, the easier it is to think of it in really s-l-o-w-e-d down terms. When things are naturally fast, many things happen in a very short span of time. Slowing fast things down allows you to really unpack and appreciate all of the details and perhaps make a game out of it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M Campbell
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Not a board game, but you might want to check out digital slot cars.
You can race multiple cars on two lanes, change lanes, and refuel.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Scatliff
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
flag msg tools
It's about time, too.
badge
I hate overtext but love irony.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Racing games can actually capture the thematic franticness if you enforce a specific play style. And when I say "racing games", I mean Formula De, but imagine it could apply to others.

The style is this: you have to play fast. When it's your turn, you immediately and quickly set your gear, roll the die and start moving your car. No delays. No sitting there counting spaces in your head. No moving half the spaces then going "oh wait, no, I'll do this instead". You move it. It requires everyone to buy into the system (because any enforced penalties can be gamed) but it really does result in some frantic decisions as you have to pick on the fly how to steer around debris and approach the corner.

It also trains people to plan their turns during other people's turns, a skill which translates well to all other games.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dennis Gadgaard
Denmark
Copenhagen
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Das Motorsportspiel is played with a timer and keeps players on their feet, literally. This is the only racing game I know that captures the stress of making quick decisions under pressure. Easy on a straight when no-one's around, but in a tight spot time can run out fast.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Udvari
Hungary
Budapest
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I only played Formula Dé in this category. Although a lot of fun and I do appreciate the large amount of randomness, things move a bit slowly for me to get the racing feeling. Nevertheless, an enjoyable game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Australia
NSW
flag msg tools
Menin Gate at Midnight, Will Longstaff, 1927.
badge
"At the landing, and here ever since" - Anzac Book, p. 35.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think PitchCar comes closest to matching the speed, stress and intensity.

You start with qualifying, where each player can either be timed to flick their disc around the track, or counted by the number of flicks it takes them to get around.

Then you have the actual race, where there is a lot of tension as players vie for the lead, knock each other off the track, block key sections of road, and ultimately race furiously for the finish.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Néstor Romeral Andrés
Spain
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dr_babylon wrote:
1. Do the racing board games you play give you the tense, stressful emotions of speeding around a track, barely missing obstacles, etc. like a racing video game?


That was my goal with Top Speed.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Morse
United States
Powell
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
n_r_a wrote:
That was my goal with Top Speed.
Yes, Top Speed is one of the only racing games I've played that is actually suspenseful. The use of a push-your-luck mechanism for progress lends a lot to that feeling!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Escape: The Curse of the Temple

Not a typical race game but you have 10 minutes to get out of the temple.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Chelsea
Alabama
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't get the same sense of speed playing Formula D, by far the best in the genre, that I do playing say Burnout or Need for Speed, but I do get some serious enjoyment out of Formula D.

Knowing when to downshift and play it safe or upshift and take wear points on your car because you blew through a turn too fast is a blast. It's a simple risk vs. reward mechanic that will have you planning your moves several turns in advance.

My buddy and I can't sit still while playing this game. We have to get up and count out the possibilities of every move we might roll with the various dice. We plan how to draft the other players. We plan when we should take damage to receive the first place bonus. We plan what gear we enter the turn in and what gear we will exit a turn in. We plan who to land next to in order to give them possible body damage.

Then the luck of the dice rolling comes in, and at times, it seems like the weight of your entire race can hang on a single roll. 1 point too short and you won't make it into the turn, forcing your car to double down shift and losing you the race. 1 point too much and you've overshot the turn and taken your last point of damage, destroying your car in the process. But find that sweet spot where your planning and luck collide, and you're off to the finish line in 1st place.

It's exhilarating. Few games replicate this rush of excitement that Formula D provides me. There can be serious down time between player turns, but it matters to me what each other person does. While I may be praying that I roll just enough to make it into the turn, I may also be praying that they roll just few enough to not make it into the turn. Their decisions drastically affect me. Did they cut me off on the turn so that the inside route is no longer available? Did they take the outside route, forcing me into the quicker inside route, which means I'll have to take a tighter turn and downshift?

This game is a ton of fun. I highly recommend it. Like I said, it doesn't give you that same sense of speed, but it provides so many other fascinating elements about racing that you can't help but love it. It's a game that you'll continue to think about long after you finished the race. You'll think about what you could've done better and what you'll do next time. That to me defines a great game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Morse
United States
Powell
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Indeed, you have hit on the primary issue with racing boardgames: Downtime. The vast majority try to simulate racing to a degree that it's a ton of downtime. That makes me crazy. It's why I rarely can stand to play sports boardgames: Take all the thrill and excitement of actually playing, and break it down to waiting for other "players" to take their turns. snore
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gunky Gamer
United States
Gardiner
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Playoffs Baby! Playoffs! F--n Right!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think a lot depends on you and the people with whom you play. Do you feel thrills, suspense, tension, etc. when you play other board games? It seems to me that some people do and some never can. Personally, I like to "get into" games. When I play Formula D with my kids, we are all shouting, running around the table, and spouting commentary about the race. But all that energy comes from us. It is what we put into the experience. To me that is a very different thing from a video game, which I also happen to love. The difference is that a video game does a lot of the heavy lifting for your imagination, providing sights, sounds and real-time action, while a board game can only give you a framework for telling your own race story. Formula D is great with people who can create a narrative to accompany the gameplay. It can feel kind of mechanical in the hands of those who are less fanciful in their play. Of course, the same could be said for many other types of games as well.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ocean Druen
United States
Buffalo Grove
IL
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

IMO you play boardgames and video games for different reasons. I a huge fan of Formula D, but I feel more like the team leader rather than the driver and that is fine with me. Racing strategy is more prominent in boardgames while skill is more prominent in video games (IMHO).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Néstor Romeral Andrés
Spain
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
zefquaavius wrote:
n_r_a wrote:
That was my goal with Top Speed.
Yes, Top Speed is one of the only racing games I've played that is actually suspenseful. The use of a push-your-luck mechanism for progress lends a lot to that feeling!


Thank you!

You might wish to read how I implemented it and how I tried to capture the feeling of a real race:

Designer Diary: Top Speed – Racing on the Shoulders of Giants

P.D.: By reading the comments on the ratings, I see that not everybody is happy with the amount of danger in the game. I love this! Formula 1 races are only for the brave

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lane Taylor
United States
Layton
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like Formula D, but it tends to get bogged down in the counting of spaces in every game I've played. My current favorite is Moto Gran Prix, both for the theme, and the simplicity that makes it play pretty fast. It plays much faster than Formula D, and if you get the players pressuring each other to move fast, it can really up the excitement and pressure.

I'm trying to get enough people in my regular gaming group to run a full racing season, and I'll have some house rules to speed things up. I am even considering having all players roll simultaneously, make their decision, then reveal their move. I wouldn't go so far as to have each player move one space at a time. Although that would potentially be fun, I think it would ultimately slow play down too much.

I would like to see the rules for Top Speed. I hadn't heard of that one. I prefer the theme racing motorcycles (because I race), and would like to see if Top Speed's racing mechanism could be adapted to Moto GP type racing. One big plus of Moto Gran Prix (as opposed to the 'official' MotoGP boardgame) is that it has a modular track, and there are lots of people out there who make the real tracks with instructions to build them using the Moto Gran Prix track tiles.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Néstor Romeral Andrés
Spain
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wylann wrote:
I would like to see the rules for Top Speed.


Granted:

http://nestorgames.com/rulebooks/TOPSPEED_EN.zip


1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patroclus
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dr_babylon wrote:
I've never played a racing board game (well, other than kid's games long ago) but I've become intrigued by some existing and upcoming board games (Formula E, Snow Tails).

When I think of racing games, I think of video games where you are speeding around a track and dodging other cars/animals/obstacles in real time. To me, these games recreate a pretty intense, virtual experience of movement, speed, and stress.

With a board game, however, it seems there are alot of starts and stops. You might play a movement card, move your piece, stop, then next person goes, etc. It's hard for me to visualize how racing games capture a feeling of racing/speed/movement with these pauses in game play.

My questions:

1. Do the racing board games you play give you the tense, stressful emotions of speeding around a track, barely missing obstacles, etc. like a racing video game?

2. If not, what features/mechanics do racing board games have or what feelings do they evoke that cause you to enjoy them?

I know the ultimate answer is to play one of these board games myself, but I don't have access to such a game at the moment.


I am an avid PC simracer (iRacing addiction) and I play a few racing boardgames so I will throw in my 2 cents (imho,ymmv of course)...
(this also applies to combat flightsims for me).


1. Yes, but not to an extent of video games.

2. The pace of a racing boardgame is slower and in that I find it more strategic and suspenseful than PC racing sims. In the PC sims you are definitely in the moment and relying a lot on training and instinct compared to boardgames.


The experience is quite different, but both PC racing sims and boardgames are fun!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patroclus
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SabataSmurf wrote:
Not a board game, but you might want to check out digital slot cars.
You can race multiple cars on two lanes, change lanes, and refuel.


my word, very impressive!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.