Horse racing board game
by The Beast!
(Boardgame Beast HQ)
The Really Nasty Horse Racing board game
Number of players:
This is one aptly-named game! Don’t be surprised if an evening of ‘fun’ descends into a slanging match. With name calling, race fixing, odds rigging and revenge all part of the action in The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game, you won’t be sorry you bought this excellent adult board game.
The game and gameplay
The Really Nasty Horse racing board game is wicked fun for gamers who like a gamble. Everything about this offering, from the silly odds offered by Generous George the bookie, to the event cards that can really turn the formbook on its head, is calculated to cause maximum enjoyment (and annoyance!).
Don’t underestimate this game. The name says it all… Really Nasty will have the oldest of friends at each others’ throats by the end of the night.
Each player is a racehorse trainer and has six horses he may enter in six trophy races. One player (the bookie) is in charge of deciding (randomly) which cups are raced for in which order, plus the odds on each race, based on the form of the horses.
The game begins with random event cards being dealt to each player. These cards, many of them powerful bonuses or penalties, can turn a race on its head and influence a trainer’s thinking at the start of each game.Cash, which is limited at the beginning, is king in this game. You win money by owning a winning racehorse or by successfully backing a winner by betting before the race.
Trainers must look at the event listing and decide which events to enter which horses in. Your best horse is number one and your worst number six.
There are six races in The Really Nasty Horse racing board game, with different prizes, the biggest being the Queen’s Cup. In addition, trainers can bet on one horse ONLY in every race, including their own if they wish.
This is where the strategy comes in. You might expect to make the most money by putting your best horse in the biggest prize race, but other trainers might have the same idea. It could be wiser to target a lesser race for a better chance of winning, or to use your sneaky secret cards to give a long shot a real chance of victory.
Once each trainer has secretly chosen his race order, the bookie takes a note of these and marks them on the odds board.
Now the bookie has to make up odds for each race before it’s run. This is based on your chosen horse’s form, plus the position you are randomly assigned at the start. Odds can be VERY generous!
The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game board is a large oval racetrack with a start and finish line, plus several fences of different types. Because it’s oval, the inside track is much shorter, so the innermost horse has a big advantage.
A die is thrown to show movement for each horse. Some squares give movement bonuses based on landing on them. A horse may move forwards unless blocked by other horses, in which case if he has movement points left, he MUST move outwards.
On the other hand, throwing a six allows the horse to move inwards by one square.
The first three horses across the finish line win the three cash prizes for their trainers. If there are less than three finishers due to horses “falling” (by accident or the designs of the other players), the extra money is given to the winning horse. The winner is the person with the most money at the end of the last race.Any game which combines gambling, strategy and the chance to really cheese off your opponent has the potential to cause lots of outrage. This is one of those games!
The freedom you have to choose between being a successful winning trainer and a wily gambler allows for plenty of scope for creativity. Remember, there’s no rule stating you have to TRY to win with your best horse! From a gambling point of view, ‘throwing’ the big race could land you with a big score.
The event cards are, well, really nasty. Any time a horse stops on a fence, any player can use a Fall card, and unless the trainer has a Remount card, his race is over.
There’s even worse to come! Two cards can force a horse to move in or out instead of directly down the home straight, while the ultimate is Slipped Up on the Flat. The horse inflicted by this falls and may not be remounted.
Plenty of excitement, fun and fights are guaranteed with a night of The Really Nasty Horse racing board game.
Pros and Cons
This is an excellent game design, which will be a real departure if you’ve never played a horse racing game before. Even if you’re not much of a gambler, there’s plenty of scope for enjoyment here.
Most of the components are well-drawn, bright and cheerful and add to the fun. However, always clean the odds board off promptly at the end of a game, as you will end up with permanent odds marked on it if you forget.
The Really Nasty Horse racing board game is perhaps a touch too long at around 90 mins to two hours per game, though you can elect to race less than six times. If there is a criticism of the gameplay, it’s that the game is too similar all the way through. The replay value might fall as a result, especially if you aren’t particularly interested in gambling.
But don’t look a gift horse in the mouth! It’s a game that may surprise you. You could find yourself becoming much more passionate about the outcome than you ever believed possible.
Prepare to be impressed by The Really Nasty Horse racing board game. It’s tricksy, tons of fun (especially for large groups) and livens up a party no end. Just add beer. And whatever you do, NEVER play with real money at stake…