Let’s get this out of the way right at the drop of the green flag – auto racing is one of the most difficult of all sports to simulate.
There is something going on all over the track at almost every juncture of the race and often there is important action in the pits at the same time. To simulate that in a game system that players would actually enjoy is very much like doing an audio play-by-play of a three-ring circus.
To do an adequate job, it takes an exceptional design and there have been some such as Formula De, Speed Circuit, Rallyman, Stock Car Championship Racing Card Game and Fast Lane Racing. But to succeed in the simulation the way Red, White & Blue Racin’ (RWBR) has takes absolutely brilliance and that’s what Keith Avallone and PLAAY Games has presented in this tabletop experience.
To call this a game would be to minimize the experience completely. RWBR is a completely immersive simulation of stock car racing that manages to encapsulate the entirety of a week of stock car racing while still keeping the game play under an hour.
What is at the heart of making the game work are the driver cards, the ratings and the challenge system.
Each driver gets a car with a graphics depiction of the car and the number. Under that is the driver name and the year the card depicts (more on that later). Then the driver has gas pedal and brake ratings. The higher the gas pedal rating, the more likely that driver is to win a challenge. The higher the brake rating the more likely that driver will prevent someone from pulling off a challenge against them.
Then each driver is rated in several different qualities like Reflex, Control, Star, Smart, Skill, etc. There are three different levels. A driver might not have that quality at all or he or she might have a starred version of the quality, which indicates a heightened version.