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Motor racing board games - memories?

6916 Views 53 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  Coopdevil
I was having a look through a 1950's Eagle annual the other day and came across an advert for Subbuteo motor racing. Now I had the usual football version and a school friend had the cricket one. I also vaguely remember a rugby version but I had never heard of this one so I asked Mr Google and he informed me that there were four versions of the same thing - motor racing, horse racing, speedway and cycle speedway - all using ball bearings shot down a tube to move the vehicles! LINK Apparently none sold very well and they are 'Mega Rare' today. Has anybody got one or memories of playing with it?

While we are on the subject, I have a well used Waddingtons Formula One board game in the loft. This sold very well in the sixties and there are loads on eBay. Anybody still play with theirs or have distant memories of 'tyre wear 1, brake wear 2' on their little card dashboards?

There must be other motor racing board games out there - who can add to the list?
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Kevan that old racing game looks amazing! What production quality for that old game. Must have been a really limited print run. I've not been able to find out anything about it. Do you have any additional info at all? Who made it, rule-book anything? I am very intrigued in this! Even to the point of recreating it. It looks like, based on marking on track is along the lines of the old Gran Prix:A Sports Car Racing Game by Wright - Mudge in 1956.

I am long time board game collector. And I've got quite a few racing games that I just love:

Waddington's Formula - 1, which is probably my favorite of this type of mechanism. I recently came in contact with another big slotcar racer, Barry Bloor, who was also part of some 70's formula racing and a lover of Waddington's F1. He and his mates had made a bunch of additional tracks with pencil and markers on posterboard. And I asked him if he could share the photos with me and if I had his permission to recreate all of the circuits and he said yes! So if you are ever over at BGG, you'll find 2 of them already redone, Zandvoort and San Marino.

Speed Circuit - I own both the 3m Bookcase edition and the Kleé editions. And have an absolute ton of addition tracks for this game. Yet, it's probably the one I've played the least, do to not alot of friends whom want this sort of great racing simulation, which is a shame, really. Because it's absolutely terrific.

LeMans - Avalon Hill. Which is a very cool game. It comes with Monaco and Circuit d'Sarthe. The game mechanics are similar to Waddingtons F1, Speed Circuit and (especially)Grand Prix mentioned above. So much so that the 2 tracks that came with GrandPrix work just fine in LeMans (Watkins Glenn and Sebring).

Bolide - a very interesting Vector Based movement racing system clearly based on the old, old, old "Racetrack" math game from our school days. It's got a few nice additions that made it more accessible but it's a movement simulation, thus plays slower and kind of the opposite you'd expect in a racing game, thus the few people I played with were board. Shame, because I like this game a lot.

Rallyman - is a simple, approachable, yet infinitly rewardable rally game who's subtlties of gear choice vs time make each game a tactical challenge. A recent Kickstarter saw the success of Rallyman GT, which I am looking forward to playing.

Formula Dé/D,Mini - just a terrifically fun and entertaining racing game. The multigear dice, the beautifully illustrated tracks and accessible game play make this one the obvious choice to pull out for game night. It is also my absolute favorite racing game. This is a game I have a long history with have made paper cars, scenery and ton's of extras for as well as curating a library of 3rd party tracks for this game that now numbers into the high 400's. I also make my own 3d design, resin printed cars.

Old paper cars made in 2006. I still have these, they play great. Just a little on the light side and easy to bump.


My current project of vintage 60's-70's era F1 and Can-Am(favorite racing series of all time) Resin cars I've designed:



Anyway, my other racing games in the collection are:

Mush Mush - Snowtails 2. I love this game of Iditarod Racing. It also comes with scenery pieces that remind me of Kevan's post above.

RASC (Real Action Stockcar Racing) - a pretty cool American Style stock car racing that unfortunately didn't get the love it deserved. It plays very well. An unofficial expansion was made for it that incorporated a road racing element to it.

Rush n Crush - which started life as a free print and play futuristic racing combat game was picked up by a publisher and brought to mainstream in a beautifully produced title (same name). The circuit spaces look similar to Fdé w/out the arrows. The moment system is pretty novel w/overheating being accounted for and the combat simple and approachable. Another one that I wished had gotten more popular.

USAC Auto Racing - the name is a little misleading but this is the Indianapolis 500 stat driven racing game. It came with all these little plastic injected car models and a collection of real drivers and stats presents similarly to collectible baseball cards (only square formatted). They even produced multiple years worth of drivers cards sold separately. The system is very basic, the game a little dry, but where it shines is how they almost always play out with real world results. Its a uniquely odd but enjoyable game if you are a fan of the Indy/Cart racing. It's too bad they didn't expand the system a bit more.

Daytona 500/Detroit Cleveland Grand Prix - I includes these 2 together, even those one is on an oval and the other is circuit racing, because they are part of the same card system developed by Wolfgang Kramer. It's a fun, accessible game. You basically bid money on cars to back, use the cards to move them (often all cars at varying distances per each card played) and sometimes bet along the way on who will finish 1st, etc. Its a fun system and has had many permutations over the years. Restoration Games has recently released an updated version of the system under the new title : Downforce.

Ausgembrest & QJet - are rethemed versions of Avé Cesar (Chariot Racing). Ausgembrest is gokart themed with track bits that allow you to customize the layout for each race. It has some rules tweaks compared to Avé Cesar and is a little more family friendly. While Q•Jet is more of a new coat of paint on the system where you are racing Jet Boats in a future Japan. I personally like this one the best.

Thunderroad, Wreckage, Outrider, Road Kill Rally, Battle Cars, Dark Future - I am putting all these here for simplicity. As these are all combat/racing games. Thunderroad was mass produced by Milton Bradly and is clearly a simplified version of Mad MAx:The Road Warrior. It's alot of fun, plays quick and you can get the entire family playing. Dark Future is more squarely themed at Mad Max (1st movie) where you are part of either the "law enformcement" or the "bad lands gangs". Its an interesting system but it's slow playing and feels a bit over complicated for what it is...but still worth a look.

I've got quite a few boat racing games as well but those aren't the topic of this discussion so I'll leave them for another time.

There are a few more I am forgetting or not mentioning (like Turbo & Pole Position arcade to board game translations) but that's an overview of some of mine.


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Yep, Dark Future was a wonderful concept but let down by not actually being any fun to play. I have an immaculate set in the games cupboard, it used to reach a very high price on the second hand market until enough people realised it was rubbish!

The actual conversion of die-cast cars was the best aspect which I enjoyed a lot more than the game so ultimately I wrote my own car combat car "Axles and Alloys" in the early '00s (the jokey name suggested by a wargaming friend) based upon the spacecraft wargame Full Thrust.

Another couple of car combat games are Car Wars, and the recent Gaslands from the Osprey books series of wargames rules in slim softback books.

I have pipedreams of scaling up Thunder Road to use Matchbox-scale cars but the track is going to need to be over seven feet long which perhaps makes it a bit impractical even for my local wargames club where tables are six feet long making it marginal to even fit on diagonally.
I have your Axles and Alloys PDF , it's entitled: AXLES AND ALLOYS II Playtest 11Feb .pdf

I never got around to playing it. But I had always wanted to convert some MAtchobx/Hot Wheels Diecasts to play. Problem is getting people whom will play. I have a couple of these types games, Warlands, Diecast Mayhem, RoadRage, Outriders and a few others from scouring the web a decade or two ago.

Gaslands seems to be picking up speed and I may get it and just 3d print or scratch build the terrain pieces.

I'll probably never part with my Dark Futures game. Even though I'll never play it. Love the art for it.


Have you seen all the stuff people have made for ThunderRoad? Man there are tons of assets for it.

That would be a terrific game to upscale.

I had bought a semitruck toy to try some madmax type scenarios... but never got around to it.

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Does anyone remember Matchbox Steer and Go? Not strictly a board game. A beastly toy that few had, and even fewer liked.
That's cool man! I've only ever seen this once as a kid!
Yes, that sounds like the last version that's floating around on the internet from about a decade ago. I have actually returned to it recently to create a version 3 which changes the movement system entirely and adds on a campaign system where your band of wasteland warriors and automotive gladiators grow between games - inspired by the systems in Games Workshop's Necromunda and Mordheim if you know those games.

And for a seamless segue back to *motor racing* boardgames, I'm hoping this version will be more suitable for actual racing scenarios which the original A&A wasn't. Play-testing it on Sunday as it happens with some ideas for US style figure-eight racing!

Couple of pictures from the last playtest session in which I, the author and mastermind behind it all, got spanked by a mate who'd never played it before.

EDIT - Well you would have pictures but bloody Slotforum is up to it's usual sugar, refusing to allow JPGs from Imgur and I can no longer be arsed to try and work out what it's whinging about.

Also going back to *motor racing* boardgames, my wargames group compiles a calendar of three months worth of planned games at a time, and I've put forwards an evening of Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix (and maybe Turbo if there is time after that) so we'll see how they play.

I've got so much GW product from the 90's it's ridiculous! 1995 is when i got in to 40k. So I've got quite a bit from this era. Orcs, Eldar, Marines, Guard & small Chaos. I sold off my Tyranid Army.

We still play Warhammer Quest, I've got all the expansions for it now and addons. We still enjoy this game. We got quite a bit of old and (now) new Necromunda stuff. I invested in the main set for Mordheim before GW changed hands and they were still keeping the living rulebooks on line. As well as the Annuals, Empire in Flames and a couple gangs. It's one I'd love to get to the table with one of the updated rule sets made by players.

We bust out Space Crusade sometimes and Space Hulk 3rd edition (which is alot more like the 1st edition) We have 2nd edition but they stripped it down to pretty bland. I want to try Advance Space Crusade but I hear it's only ok. My set is still on sprues.

And my son was recently introduced to Heroquest. Which he enjoys. Advanced Heroquest is cool but you might as well just play D&D.

Talisman (3rd edition) still gets played on our weekly game nights. Not every week, but once a month or two. We love the expansions... which make the game much more fun.


Speaking of Motor Racing games, have you ever tried the game M2 Motorsport by Fruidion Games? It was kind of a cool racing tabletop game where you made the track however you like and it had a basic set of rules and measuring sticks? It was a decent start to a pretty unique game. I dunno if it went any further in development but I liked it enough to design a track and 3d buildings to go along with it.

Anyway, start a new thread and post about your Axels and Alloys tests go. Send me your Imagur link I'd like to see it.



ps. We are trying out Rush n Bash this weekend. A very solid and (most successful) attempt at a Mariokart style racing board game.
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