First, the Instant Damage and Instant Repair are about as easy as it gets: One adds a damage marker to the current player’s car, and the other removes a damage marker … not sure what else I need to add on that.
The Challenge card, however, has a lot going on with it. Here’s how the cards look:
When the Challenge Card is played, the person playing it is directly challenging the current player that they will be able to roll a better combo using 2 dice than the current player will have left over from the dice they rolled on their turn. The current player and the challenger each bet at least a control chip or a damage marker. Each of the other players may choose to get in on the bet, either betting on the challenger or the current player.
Once the current player is done with their turn, they form the best combo they can with whatever dice they have left over. If they form a 3-dice combo (or better), they win. If they didn’t have any dice left over, then the challenger wins. Otherwise, the challenger rolls a pair of dice (with some re-roll rules) and forms the best combo he can. If he has more dice in his combo, he wins … if he has the same number of dice in his combo, but his dice sum to a greater total, then he wins. In all other cases, the current player wins.
Wins and losses are traded with the common stash of bits — not with each other. So, if you bid a control chip, and you win, you grab another control chip out of the common stash. If you lose, you throw the chip you bid back into the common stash. There’s also something to be gained by challenging or being challenged and then winning.
What’s interesting is that this leaves the power in the hand of the current player. Assuming they get a normal roll of the dice, they will have the option to leave an easily winning combination in order to win the challenge. Of course, that will probably reduce what they can do with their cars on the track. And, so, the challenge can be used to simply slow down a leader. And the side-betting lets the other players have a chance to influence the outcome as well.
I do see it a major challenge to write the rules so that they make sense though. I see the test playing I plan to do at the Con of the North to really help with this.