WIN, PLACE AND SHOW - Reviewed by Mike

Category/Format: Sport/Boardgame

For those interested in Horse Racing games this one should be included in your collection. Briefly, WIN PLACE & SHOW is based on a racecard of 6 races, each with 6 runners and variable distances and prize money. Printed on the racecard against each horse are the amount of spaces it will move each turn(they vary), its bonus number and its jockey type (veteran or apprentice) and importantly, its odds. Players study this information and secretly place bets on Win (1st only), Place (1st or 2nd) and Show (1st,2nd or 3rd). The race is run and winning bets paid out.

The clever part of this game is that each turn 2 dice are thrown, a yellow dice and a white dice. The yellow dice determines which horse number will start the turn, the white dice indicates how many spaces will be added to each horses movement for this turn and the sum of the 2 dice indicates the bonus number and a horse which matches this gets 3 extra spaces of movement this turn. So if the dice throw resulted in a yellow 4 and a white 5 the horses move in sequence 4,5,6,1,2,3, they each get 5 spaces added to their movement factor for this turn and the horse with bonus number of 9 gets 3 extra spaces.

You will see that the horse with bonus number 7 has a quite an advantage and the odds usually reflect this. However its movement factors may be 9,9,6,5,2,1 which means its a quick starter but a slow finisher. If the white dice shows low numbers it won't move very fast in the latter part of the race and may well get beaten by a fast finisher.

For those wishing an even deeper game there is the option of auctioning each horse off before the race is run and the owners receive the prize money associated with their finishing position. Using this option players can often bid a lot of money for a horse which then fails to win its race which then restricts what they can bid for next time and how much they can bet. This also allows for some skullduggery by the owner as they can deliberately run their own horse badly in an attempt to scupper some of the other players bets on the horse and in the hope that the one they have backed will improve its chances. However as all bets are placed in secret there's no guarantee that this ploy will work !

There's much more than this to the game and I would need to speak to you to explain it more fully. Suffice to say that it's a great game that plays in about 2 hours but it is quite difficult to find a copy these days.

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