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from 13 customer reviews
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Ascot, in the summer of 1898. The world-famous racecourse, only a few miles from castle Windsor, is the scene of a royal racing day. And the players are in the middle of it, struck by racing fever! Which horse is the favorite? Does the long-shot have a real chance? How high are the betting ratios? Which bet promises the highest profit? But the race is already starting! The hooves fly, the crowd is cheering... and they're anxious... and....
I was completely caught off guard by how much I enjoyed Royal Turf and how well received it's been by my gaming groups. The rules are simple and straightforward, but despite the first glace that this is a simple game, there is far more at work.
Players take turns moving horses around the track to get them to Win/Place/Show after each race. By observing your opponents' actions -- which horses they move how far, how they react to other player's movement of certain horses -- you can try to determine who is rooting for which horse. Since there is a 'zero' or fake bid in the mix, you can never be quite sure which horses a player is pulling for except through their behavior.
The game plays very quickly, and since you play several races back-to-back for a complete circuit, you are never truly 'out' of the game if you perform poorly in the first race or two. There is also often collusion among players to completely decimate a horse they believe the current winner is bidding large on -- which can sometimes have unpredictable results!
A fine game with excellent components, a quick learning curve and incredibly high replay value. Highly recommende.
This is one of the more fun games we have played in years. We played with my family over and over again. It was easy to learn and equally fun for a variety of ages (9 - 70). Highly recommended from someone who plays A LOT of different games. review is almost 50 words!
I must caveat this review by stating unabashedly that I am a huge fan of Reiner Knizia. Of the 14 Knizia-designed games that I own, I have never been disappointed with any of them. Time and again, Dr. Knizia delivers challenging games that generate a lot of fun.
That having been said, Royal Turf has become one of my favorite Knizia games. As he did on his classic auction game Modern Art, he has designed a game mechanic which puts value on objects that intrinsically aren't worth more than the paper they're printed on. I won't repeat the details here, except to note that the game can be explained to newcomers in less than a minute, and enjoyed over and over again. Twice, brand-new players have won the game.
How much fun is it? Well, I haven't played a race yet where players weren't cheering their favorite horses on. I've introduced Royal Turf to three different game groups, and each one has insisted on playing again. This is a great game for small parties and get-togethers.
I most highly recommend this game, for horse-racing fans and game-lovers alike.
Royal Turf is a horse race of a different color. The order in which the horse cards are drawn from a shuffled deck determines how many spaces back from the starting post each begins. Each card shows the distance traveled for any given die roll. Everyone places betting chips on three horses, and the race begins! (Cue the Lone Ranger theme.) On your turn, roll a die and move one horse the distance dictated by the symbol on its card that matches the die symbol rolled. All seven horses must move before any horse can move again. The first three horses that cross the finish line on this 40-space track win money according to their positions and the number of bets that have been placed on them. The player with the most money after three races is the best bettor. Families that love games will race to buy this one.