Gameday First Play – Road Rally USA

Posted on by Jesta

Road Rally USA wasn’t even on my radar in any way when I was asked if I wanted to play it. But my goal is to play as many different games as possible so I figured I’d give it a go.

Well, it was either that or sit on my own…

Road rally USA is a racing game with a Rally theme where crossing the finish line first doesn’t mean you win.

Do you feel the need for speed? If so, Road Rally USA has you covered! Simply pressing the accelerator is not enough, as you must be efficient, managing your fuel and coming in first at your optimal checkpoints to maximize your score. Thus, you need to race and manoeuvre to be in the proper position when scoring your checkpoints.

So each player picks a colour car and puts it on the start line and draws 5 cards from their deck. Each player has their own deck made up of…

  • Green Cards – Values 1’s and 2’s
  • Yellow Cards – Values 2’s and 3’s
  • Red Cards – Values 3’s and 4’s

On your turn you can play as many of one colour as you like, you then move that number of spaces. The tactical element comes from drawing after moving. Depending on the colour set of cards you play you draw…

  • Green Cards – Draw 2
  • Yellow Cards – Draw 1
  • Red cards – Draw 0

So the faster you go, the less cards you draw. If you have no cards in hand, you skip a turn to draw a couple of cards. So hand management is very important.

Scoring is also very tactical…

Road Rally USA Card

Each player is dealt 4 ‘Checkpoint’ cards, 2 from the first half of the race and 2 from the second half. Now these checkpoints are scattered evenly around the track. When you pass a checkpoint, at the end of the round each player has a chance to ‘score’ that checkpoint should they have the matching number checkpoint card.

When scoring, first place gets 5 points, 4 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, 2 for 4th and 1 for last. If you are the player who played the checkpoint card, you score double.

If you are 4th or 5th, you can give up those points to draw 2 cards. (VERY important)

Obviously you want to score if you’re first, or second.

There are other squares on the board that mean thing. If you land on a gas station you can shuffle your discard pile into your deck. Like most games, your discard pile is NOT automatically shuffled into a new deck when depleted.

Road Rally USA Gameplay

One square allows you to play ANY 5 cards from your hand, regardless of colour, and then  draw a card. This is great to use your red cards and draw a card.

There’s other stuff too, but this isn’t a review…

I was enjoying playing it, I enjoyed it even more because I won. 😀

How did I win? Well I started my game with 3 red cards and Checkpoint number 1. I played the 3 red cards, end the round in first place, then scored the checkpoint for 10 points.

10 points is good, especially as I only had 41 to win the game.

I did like this game, I’m not desperate to play it again but I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity.

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