Next on the agenda at BackyardCon II (which was held for the second year in the screen room due to inclement weather) was Chariots of Rome. This is a board game from Victory Point Games. It was actually on Kickstarter, but didn't get enough funding, but the company went ahead with it anyway and took pre-orders. Turns out it was worth the wait!
Basically each player takes control of a chariot and receives a charioteer with unique skills. Some are better drivers, some are more aggressive attackers, some are favored by the gods. You get the idea. Then by tracking your endurance, tactics and rattled level, it's off you go! There are three basic speeds to choose from (4, 7 or 10 spaces) but these can be adjusted somewhat by spending endurance to roll a die to add up to three extra spaces.
Charioteers can attack rival racers with a whip or by ramming them. Note: Whip when you are on the inside. If you make your opponent swerve, guess where they swerve!
The fate deck introduces intervention from the gods and other such external devices to spice things up and keep you on your toes. Component quality is very good - nice board, sturdy cards that are clear and easy to read and tokens that make sense.
It took us a lap or so to get the hang of it, especially the cornering rules, but it's really not that difficult overall and can be picked up pretty quickly. We had only three chariots, but can see this is definitely one of those "more the merrier" type games. It would be a hoot at a party with up to eight charioteers sticking it to each other!
We're already looking at ways to make this a miniatures game, and found that Essex makes racing chariots. Ah, the temptations.