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  Road Rally USA™   “When in doubt, flat out.” — Colin McRae

From FUNFAIR Games the Family arm of MAYFAIR GAMES

READY! STEADY! RACE!

Race and maneuver to be in the proper position when scoring your checkpoints! Being first at the end of the race helps, but placing first at your scoring locations is even more important. Every turn someone could trigger a scoring point. Where will you be as you and your opponents control which checkpoints will score and which get bypassed?  It is impossible maintain the lead throughout the race. Each racer plays from identical draw decks, playing multiple cards of the same color to provide a boost of speed. Beware, you may only reshuffle your deck at gas stations along the way, and when your hand or draw pile are depleted, you are in for trouble. Race smart and bring home the gold!  Do you feel the need for speed?    If so, Road Rally USA™ has you covered! Simply pressing the accelerator is not enough- you must be efficient- managing your fuel and coming in first at your optimal checkpoints to maximize your score! So get behind the wheel of your powerful machine and roar down the tracks as you compete to run the best race and you will surely win!   Copyright © 2013 Mayfair Games, Inc. All rights reserved.

Components
• 1 Scoring Deck (21 cards)      • 5 Movement card Decks (21 Cards per deck)      • 10 Standard Track tiles  • 1 Finish Line Tile      
 
• 1 Starting Line Tile     • 5 Player Aid with car images Card stock sheets     • 5 Wooden Cars  • 21 Scoring Chits (1-21)    
• 6 Checkpoint Tiles     • 1 Last Place Player marker    • VP Tokens    • Rules Book   

Ages: 12+       Players: 3-5      Playing Time: 75-10 minutes     Designer: Carlo A. Rossi    Art: Richard Cochard    Made in: USA

Road Rally USA is, as you would havce already realised, a race game. It is played on a series of tiles that are positioned, to begin with as suggested and then randomly or by design, to form a winding road that begins at a Start tile and ends at the Chequered Flag.
Each of these tiles is separated into 4 sections which the road passes through, thus making 4 Movement Spaces per tile (exceptions for Start and End tiles). The race is from beginning to end, gaining points on the way so that once one car has crossed the Finish 
Line the game ends and the player who has amassed the most VPs wins - crossing the line first doesn't necessarily mean winning.

Players have their own cards, a race car and a reference sheet that matches the chosen car - except that the Black car playing piece is depicted on the card and in the rules by a Yellow 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am T-Top.

On 21 of the spaces there are stage tiles (actually these are counters) laid out in numerical order. Players each are given 4 random Stage cards from which they can play only 2 but they hold all 4 until they have played out 2 of them - at all times (until played) the Stage
cards are kept secret. There are also Checkpoint tiles that are placed on specific tile spaces (there are places marked for these). The Checkpoint and Stage Tiles are the means of scoring points. As they are landed on or passed points are scored depending on the position
of the cars. Depending on the number of players (2-5) the rewards for each scoring can be VPs or Bonus cards. As soon as one car passes these points they are activated (but don't aren't actually scored until all players have had their turn in the round). If a player has
the Stage card for the Stage activated they can play it then, and only then. This will double the value of the VPs they score for this round - so naturally it is best, if you can, to play your cards when you are in the lead position and gaining the most points.

Each player has a set of cards. All sets have the same number and value of Movement cards - 5 x Green 1, 4 x Green 2, 4 x Yellow 2, 3 x Yellow 3, 3 x Red 3 and 2 x Red 4
Players start with a hand of cards and on their turn they can play as many of these as they wish - as long as all cards are of the same colour. The number of cards drawn from their supply deck after playing cards depends on the colour of cards played. When Green
cards are played you get 2 cards back, Yellow cards give you 1 card and Red none. This is NOT per card played it is the exact number. Therefore if you play 3 Red cards you get no cards back to your hand. Play 1 Green card and you get 2 cards back, play 4
Green cards and you get 2 cards back. So card management is most important.

Around the course there are a few different symbols which when landed on are advantageous to the player. The GAS symbol allows you to shuffle your discarded cards into your draw pile. The General Store allows you to play up to 5 cards of varying colours, the Mechanic lets you rearrange the top 5 cards of your draw pile and the Detour (Shortcut in the rules) allows you to take a shortcut. The final symbol is the aforementioned Checkpoint Tile is collected by the first car to land on it and is worth 2 VPs.  Crossing the Finish line first gains 5 VPs second 4VPs etc and not crossing it in the same turn as the first player gains no points - the race ends when the line is crossed and all players have had their turn.  Stage tiles (counters) collected are worth 2 VPs.

The above concerns the 5 pages of Rules for the Base Game. Then there is a single page of Rules for the Standard Game.
The Standard Game allows for a variation on the Race course (as opposed to the preset course of the Base Game), a different number of Stage cards depending on the number of players, different Stage scoring and a few other simple rules changes. Notice this is called the Standard Game and not the Advanced Game, this is because it is more of a collection of optional rules brought together as another way of playing instead of just listing each change as an optional rule.

ROAD RALLY USA is a good 45-60 minutes of amusement if played occasionally. It is one of those games that if you play it too many times (successive game sessions etc) you will become too familiar with it and then shelve it. This would be a shame as it is fun and enjoyable. The introduction of the Stage scoring and the mechanic of it is, to my personal knowledge, unique in a Race Game 9or any other game that I know of).

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015