Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Author: Wolfgang Riedesser

Publisher: Ravensburger 1989



Review by unknown author

A Roman chariot racing game, and one which manages to recreate the thrill of the chariot races in Ben Hur. An exaggeration? Well, perhaps it's not as exciting as actually seeing real chariots battle neck and neck, but it is one of the best racing games I have played. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to buy it just after I first played it and it makes me wonder why it is out of print.

What makes it better than other racing games, then? Well the track is narrow, mostly two and sometimes one space wide, leading to many opportunities to block the other players. Also, there are two ways that the 'pack' is kept close together during the race (with the further opportunities for blocking that gives). Firstly, instead of a die, each player has a pack of cards numbered 1 to 6 four times, s/he draws the top three cards and can play any one on their turn, replacing it afterwards. This means that all players will eventually get the same 'die rolls'. Secondly, the leading chariot cannot play a 6 card, meaning that they cannot finish the race leading from start to finish.

The cards only have enough points to take a chariot to the end of the race by the shortest route with a few points left over. This is where the other side of blocking comes in. At various points along the track, if you are positioned correctly, you can force other chariots around the outside, longer sections of track. If this happens to you more than a few times, you will not have enough points left to finish the race. The idea is to have at least four races and aggregate the scores to determine the winner, which also means that even if you know that you can't finish, it is worth continuing in the race with the possibility of preventing other players from finishing.

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany