A mystery box filled with miniatures to enhance your RPG campaigns. All official miniatures and for a bargain price!

Buy Miniatures Box »

Not sure what game to buy next? Buy a premium mystery box for two to four great games to add to your collection!

Buy Premium Box »
Subscribe Now »

If you’re only interested in receiving the newest games this is the box for you; guaranteeing only the latest games!

Buy New Releases Box »
Subscribe Now »

Looking for the best bang for your buck? Purchase a mega box to receive at least 4 great games. You won’t find value like this anywhere else!

Buy Mega Box »
Subscribe Now »

Buy 3, get 3% off - use code ZATU3·Buy 5, get 5% off - use code ZATU5

Saddle Up For Four Horse Themed Board Games

long shot dice game

Cheltenham festival begins today, so it's only right we put the best horse games together in a handy list! Saddle up and reign in your excitement for four of the best horse themed board games!

Long Shot by Jay Davies:

Do you sometimes find yourself fancying a flutter on the horses but can’t bring yourself to part with your hard-earned cash to do so? Well, Long Shot: The Dice Game might just be for you!

Long Shot: The Dice Game brings with it all the fun of the Cheltenham Festival (and a lot more, in our opinion!) without the need to wear a fancy hat or down a bottle of prosecco… although you can do both while you play if you feel so inclined.

While it may look a little bit complicated, this Roll and Write game is easy to get to grips with. Players take turns to roll the dice, which indicates which horse will advance, and by how many places on the board. In addition, at least one other horse will also advance around the track, indicated by crosses on the horse’s specific card.

Once the horses have finished galloping around the track, players are able to perform one action related to the horse that was rolled. That could be placing a bet, marking off a concession token to try and make a row or column (which brings with it great rewards), acquiring a jersey or helmet, or even straight-up buying the horse itself.

Jerseys and Helmets bring with them their own benefits, not least that a full set will add a princely $5 to your total come the end of the game, but buying horses is the most lucrative option if players can afford it.

Each horse has a perk that varies in effectiveness and generally scales with the cost of purchase (there are 3 sets of horses in the base game too, which can be mixed and matched to keep things fresh) and the player(s) who own the horses that come 1st, 2nd and 3rd win a nice chunk of change to bolster their final score.

Concession rewards play a vital role in the game too, as they can be used to move horses forwards and backwards on the track, meaning even when one nag seems to have built up an insurmountable lead, there’s no guarantee it will take first place!

Long Shot: The Dice Game is a fun, frantic, race to the finish line that won’t leave you out of pocket when it’s time for someone to parade around the Winner’s Circle!

Ticket Gagnant by Roger BW:

JC Bouvier, better known for his Rallyman games, joins forces with his daughter Célestine to create this short family-friendly game for 2-6 players.

How To Play

There are always six horses on the board, but players won’t control them directly. Each player gets a prediction ticket and tokens, and one of them chooses the type of race (flat, obstacle, harness or steeplechase). Depending on the length of race desired, deal 3 to 7 cards to each player. Based on the cards they hold, each player makes at least one prediction (first, second or third place). Then players play their cards in rotation.

Most cards move a specific horse a fixed number of spaces, but the player can choose whether that movement is forward, backward, left or right. Wild cards let you move any horse (usually a shorter distance), and two-horse cards let you move one of the specified horses adjacent to the other. If you end your movement on an occupied space, you displace that horse to any adjacent free space.

If it gets near the end of the track, a horse can’t move backwards any more. There’s no finish line as such, but the race is over when all the cards have been played; and the horse in the lead is the winner (any horses tied for distance are ordered randomly with the photo-finish cards).

Once the finishing order has been determined, you get 4-7 points for an exact prediction, 3 points if your prediction came in place 1-3 but not the place you predicted, and -1 if it was 4th or below. There are bonus points if you predicted all three high-placed horses.

One race makes for a quick game, or you can accrue points through multiple races; I like to have one race per player, so that everyone get a chance to pick the type and length of a race.

Obstacle races have hedges; you can’t move backwards through them. Steeplechase races also have a river behind a hedge; you can’t end your move on a river space. Harness races use a variant track, and landing in certain spaces can get that horse disqualified for galloping.


The horses and hedges are card standees with plastic bases. The four-part racetrack is made from separate heavy cards. It’s all pretty basic but it stands up well.

Final Thoughts

This game’s obvious spiritual ancestor is Wolfgang Kramer’s Tempo, which has been revised as various motor racing games including most recently Downforce. But horse racing is perhaps a better thematic fit for a game in which you play not a team owner or a racer but a spectator who has a little inside knowledge about how the race may go. This is an easy game to teach and a quick one to play, with a single race usually taking ten minutes or less.

Really Nasty Horse Racing Game by Charles Eades:

The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game has been around a while, having been on the market since 1987. It was one of the first board games I ever played, and nearly caused my uncle and aunt to divorce while arguing over the rules during one memorable Christmas.

The game essentially takes the skulduggery and cheating that goes on in real life horse races and applies it to a board game, making for an interesting and often bad-tempered experience for the players.

How to be Nasty

The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game is a competitive betting game for 2-6 players. The player that wins the most money over the course of the six rounds, each round consisting of a single race, is the winner, and money can be earned either by a player’s horse finishing among the top three at the end of the race, or by placing a bet on the winning horse. At the beginning of each race the players must decide whether to bet on their own horse or another.

You start the game with a stable of horses numbered from one to six, with one being the fastest. During the race the players move their horses around the board, either trying to reach the finish line before the others or attempting to make sure the horse they bet on finishes first. How fast a horse moves depends on their grade, which is assigned at the beginning of the race and gives them a certain amount of leeway with dice roles, also giving players clues on who to bet on depending on the size of the stakes. Grades revolve with each subsequent race, so every horse gets to be the fastest horse at least once.

Where the game gets really interesting (or really nasty) is with the race event cards. These allow players to influence the race beyond dice roles and horse grades. Cards can be used to turn a horse around the wrong way, force them to re-start the race, cause them to fall over at the fences or just have them collapse in the middle of the flat. There are also defensive cards to allow remounts and, in the tumultuous final race, cards that can disrupt or even alter the final outcome such as objections and photo finishes.

At the end of each race the prize winnings are handed out, so players can then use the money accrued to place their bets for the next race. Players can choose not to bet if they’re short of money, in which case they would have to race for the prize money.

If you can cope with a bit of tension and like a game that involves betting and being horrible to your opponents, this is definitely the one for you.

Camel Up by Daniel Starman:

If you squint camels are just weird horses...right. Well, for the purpose of this blog they are! I'm sure a camel race would bring a whole new level of excitement to the Cheltenham Festival Races anyway!

In Camel Up two to eight players take on the role of eccentric Egyptian aristocrats, betting on camels racing around a pyramid. Whoever has the most money once one of the camels crosses the finish line wins. The game, which won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres in 2014, is designed for families and is both easy to learn and quick to play.


Camel Up introduces a unique stacking mechanic where both the turn order of the racing pieces and the distance they travel is very important. If a camel lands on a space occupied by another camel, it jumps on its back and hitches a free ride. This can lead to ridiculous racing towers of perfectly tessellating camels. It also adds a huge amount of unpredictability to the game – at any one point in a game the majority of camels could feasibly win the race.

Much of the fun and excitement comes from the unpredictability of the stacking mechanic. In my first game, the green camel looked like it was going to win from turn two, racing away from the rest of field. Fast forward 15 minutes, and the final moves of the game see the orange camel desperately catching green, and hopping onto its back.

Green then looks to sprint away, and just about gets to the finish line. But the free-riding orange camel stretches its neck out and crosses the line first (the camel on top of a stack always counts as being in front).

Winner, winner, (camel) dinner

But you’re not just betting on the overall winner - each race is broken down into legs, which end as soon as each camel has been moved. You earn almost as much money being the first to bet on the winning camel of each leg as you do by betting on the race winner. This is very clever as it means the whole race is hotly contested, rather than just the very end.

To get around the issue of live odds, Camel Up provides the first player to bet on the winner more money than the second player, who wins more than the third and so on. It works on the basis that clarity on the likely winner improves over time. The first player to place a bet on a camel is likely doing it with very little information and therefore should be receiving the longest odds.

Final Thoughts

It’s a great light game with some neat mechanics, and a worthy addition to any games collection. At a low price it’s also an absolute bargain.