Win, Place & Show
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Win, Place & Show is a game unique in my experience. What you get when you open the box are a simple oval race track, six racing horse tokens, two dice of different colors, and a 'racing program' for six different races. Each horse speeds up or slows down with each roll of the dice as predetermined by the numbers on the racing program. Any horse can win -- depending on the numbers you roll -- but some do have better chances than others. So, just as in a real horse race, the different horses pay off at different odds. You pick the ones you want to bet on, you buy at auction the ones you want to jockey, and then you start rolling and see what happens.
The running of the race does demand its particular little skills and strategies. There are choices to make on lane changes, blocking and avoiding being blocked, jockeying for position to get the inside lane on the curve, etc. But essentially the order of finish results from dice you roll just 5-8 times in a race: sheer luck will definitely play some part. This is not a game where the superior tactician will always prevail -- but it *will* keep him guessing.
Thanks to the excellent design of the track and the arithmetic involved, watching these six races run has held my interest again and again. I've played with fans of real horse racing who tell me that Win, Place & Show captures much of the flow of the real thing. For me it's just an exercise in numbers -- but what an intriguing exercise!