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For the Win - Race Games
There are so-called "race" games, where the first player to fulfil certain winning conditions takes the victory and the game ends immediately. These games differ from other games where you play so many rounds and whoever has the most points at the end wins. Most race games are highly competitive and it's every player for themselves, but in some of these types of games, the situation is a bit more complicated. In this article, I want to look at race games where positive player interaction is a thing.
"Werhle" is the new "Worker Placement."
I like your writing Oliver, but this is by far the most inside-baseball article you've written. This definition of "race" could apply to darn near 80% of all mainstream games.
The best race games can mitigate this. Formula Dé is best played for a season where every position matters. The nature of the starting decks in Flamme Rouge means every finish should look close even if the veteran players are at a real advantage. Catan dangles the possibility of points on development cards and obscures who the leader truly is.
@Sagrilarus - Yes, Oath is by Cole Wehrle from Leder Games. Full title: Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile. It's... well.. hard to describe. It's definitely not a worker placement game. You're right though, a lot of games are race games. It's all right if this article wasn't for you. Hopefully, other articles will be more for you.
I appreciate that this is a gaming site for intelligent gamers and that new readers are going to have to come up to speed on much of the lingo. But calling any game where the first person to exceed a threshold of some sort a "race" game is really going to throw people off the trail. I don't know what else to call it and I don't even know if there is a need to put a label on it, because the breadth of games that would fall into this category would be so huge as to not have very much in common. Settlers of Catan and Formula D would both fit. Any game where something else doesn't finish the run would be in the mix.
I'd love to hear your opinions on "true race games" (how's that for violating my own rules) where the basic concept of getting from one location to another the fastest is clearly, non-metaphorically, the basic goal of the game. That's actually a pretty big pile of titles, and there certainly has been some innovation in that group. Your writing here is often foundational, taking a part of the hobby, defining it and speaking to examples of how it works. Your articles serve as ambassadors to the less experienced readers. Perhaps this time you just set the breadth of the discussion too broadly for my personal taste.
I appreciate that "techno-babble" isn't for new people in our hobby, but clearly There Will Be Games felt it appropriate to publish my article, so it seems to fit their requirements and seems to be the right sort of article for the site's visitors.
The articles from me that appear on There Will Be Games were first published on my own blog, before I submit them here. Ultimately, it's up to the editors of There Will Be Games to decide which articles they want to publish on the site and I would never feel hard done by if some of my articles never appear here.
Thank you for your suggestion of another article, but I don't quite have enough experience of "true race games", as you call them. Maybe another writer feels it's something they want to write about and I'll also bear it in mind for when I have played enough racing games to talk about this topic.