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Mille Bornes: the Classic Car Racing Card Game

by: Michael Elkins ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Could a racing card game released in 1962 still be relevant and exciting to modern board and card game enthusiasts? The Mille Bornes card gameprovides a mixture of luck, planning, and strategy, and allows for team and individual play.

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    Mille Bornnes Card Game Overview

    Play distance cards until you reach the end of your 1,000 mile journey. Named after cement kilometer markers on roadsides throughout France, Mille Bornes, translated "a thousand milestones," is an automobile themed card game introduced to the US market in 1962 by Parker Brothers. The goal of the game is to travel a distance of exactly a thousand miles by playing distance cards of different "speeds," the sum total of which needs to be 1,000 miles. But what would a 1,000 mile road trip be without running out of gas a few times, getting a flat tire, and hitting every red light on the way? Well, technically, I would call a road trip without any of those hazards ideal, but don't count on it in the Mille Bornes card game. There are plenty of hazards on the road, and your opponent is going to hit you with every one of them. Don't worry, though, you are packing some killer insurance, and if you play your cards right, you will be able to respond to every road hazard without losing any speed.

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    Hazards

    A car card game would be incomplete without road hazards, but the Mille Bornes card game cranks it up a notch by allowing full on automobile warfare. Players attempt to slow down their opponents' trips by playing hazard cards, which include red lights, flat tires, accidents, and running out of gas. However, there are protective measures that can be played in response or in anticipation of a hazard card. These cards, like the hazard cards, are played onto the battle pile, and they fix a flat, fill your gas tank, repair your auto, or grant a green light. Okay, so it's not Twisted Metal, but any car game with a "battle pile" wins a few points in my book.

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    Supports 2, 3, 4, or 6 Players

    Mille Borne card from 1962 Though the Mille Bornes card game is usually played with four players competing on separate teams of two, the game also supports various numbers of players, including two, three, and six player games. In two or three player games, each player plays in a free for all, racing only for themselves and the thrill of the thousand mile trek. Four and six player games are team games in which two or three teams of two compete for the 1,000 mile milestone mark. The ability to support different structures of play adds versatility to the game. If your best friend's wife is sick on your monthly game night, and you still want to play Mille Bornes, you won't be disappointed.

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    Decision

    For fans of non-traditional card games, Mille Bornes offers a mix of planning, luck, competitiveness and cooperation. The game is still in print after nearly 50 years, and it is widely considered a classic. Due in part to its simplicity, Mille Bornes can be purchased new for about $6 to $9, making it a bargain if you are able to get it to the table even just a few times.