09-Nov-2008All month
Snow Tails

It's that time of the year when our shelves are stacked with shiny new games. So this seems like a good time to try to get some session reports up on the site.

This was our first Sunday games day so it should come as no surprise that we decided to try out a few new games. Snow Trails, the new game from Fragor, was our opener.

Unlike their previous games, this has no cute animal pieces. The animal theme continues though as this is all about husky racing. Like many racing games it comes with a modular track to allow different courses to be constructed. We opted for an easy one for our first crack at it.

Also like many racing games, this is card driven. Each player has a sled which is pulled by two dogs. Each sled is equipped with a brake. Cards are played against the dogs and / or the brake to determine movement. Give each dog the same strength card and the sled will move forward. Give them different strengths and it will veer in the direction of the stronger dog.

Obviously, going straight ahead would be a little dull. Thus the courses have corners to keep things interesting. To keep things even more interesting, each corner has a speed limit. Going over the speed limit is a bad thing as that gives you one or more penalty cards. Crashing into the side of the course is similarly bad for much the same reason. Penalty cards are bad because the more you collect, the smaller your hand size becomes. The smaller your hand size, the smaller your options are. Worse, collect enough penalty cards and you are eliminated. Yikes!

The overall feeling was that this is a nice game. The movement is clever; I've not seen anything quiet like it. You need to plan ahead a bit to make sure you can take corners without losing too much speed. you also need to be able to react to people moving their sled into your preferred path, though we didn't see this happening very often. Don't get the idea that this is a deep game though. It's probably best thought of as a longish filler. Whether you need a copy of this depends on how much you like racing games, and how many you already have. I'll certainly be happy to play it but it's not one I personally feel the need to own.

 Comment by Tel  
I'm absolutley delighted that this is one of the games I was fortunate enough to get brought back for me from Essen. I've been looking to pick up a Ave Caeser/Ausgebremst type game for a couple of years and this game fills the hole perfectly. I look forward to trying some of the harder track configurations, but being the only player to have dent cards for more then the last round I may need a bit more practice with the huskies first.

 Comment by Andy  
I think there this is a clever game, plus I beat Tel cos he panicked when I overtook him on the big bend :)
Scores : Steve 4, Paul 3, Tel 2, Andy 1
Ratings: Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Andy