Legend has it that a long time ago, mankind was ignorant to the extent of not knowing how to count or tell the years apart. The ever-benevolent Jade Emperor wanted to help mankind out. From there, the idea of a twelve-year cycle and the naming of each year in the cycle after an animal was born.
But how should the Jade Emperor choose twelve animals from among so many animals in the living world, while remaining impartial? To resolve this equitably, the Jade Emperor decided to hold a race involving all animals on his birthday. The first twelve animals to cross the river and reach the Heavenly Palace will have a year named after them, in the order of how they finished the race. The race became known as The Great Race and the twelve-year cycle was named the Chinese Zodiac.
Race for the Chinese Zodiac is a board game that recreates The Great Race. Each player has a hand of eight action cards (numbered 1-8) as well as energy cards of different values and karma tokens. Each player selects one animal token and takes the corresponding animal card, which grants the player advantages during the race. All players place their animal token on the start space of the racetrack. Players assemble the dual-layered and double-sided action wheel that's used to determine the effectiveness of each action and place it in the center of the table.
On a turn, all players select an action card and an energy card from their hand, then they reveal these cards simultaneously. If the action card selected is one value lower than the player's previously played action card, the player must spend one karma token; if two or more values lower, they must spend two karma tokens. Players then resolve all played actions based on the orientation of the wheel, ideally gaining movement, new energy cards, and karma. Everyone places their played cards face up in front of themselves, then rotate the wheel clockwise by one space and start a new turn.
The first animal to complete the race earns the coveted right of having the first year of the Chinese Zodiac named after it!
3-5 PLAYERS | 40-70 MINS | AGES 8+
PLEASE NOTE: ROYAL MAIL ARE EXPERIENCING DELAYS IN SOME AREAS, PLEASE ALLOW EXTRA TIME FOR DELIVERIES TO ARRIVE.
All online orders are picked from our separate warehouse. We always ensure that your games are well packed before leaving. Wherever possible we'll re-use a cardboard box that we received games in from one of our suppliers. We figure it's better that way for our planet. But we do also use new boxes and wraps. If you have a strong preference either way please let us know in your Order Comments.
Our warehouse operates Monday to Friday, except bank holidays. Orders placed on a working day before 1:30pm will be packed and despatched that same day. All order are sent tracked via the Royal Mail. You will be able to follow your order from our warehouse to your delivery destination once your order has been fulfilled.
Postage is worked out by spend and delivery type. These options are listed below. There is also the option to collect your online order at our café, no delivery charge is made.
Important note on shipping times: none of the below shipping times are guaranteed. From time to time unforeseen problems that are outside of our control can lead to postal delays. We do not accept responsibility for this these and will not refund shipping fees in these circumstance. If it is imperative that your order must reach reach you the next working day please contact us so that we can quote for a guaranteed next day postal service.
FREE SHIPPING: ROYAL MAIL TRACKED 48 - UNITED KINGDOM
Spend over £50 and automatically receive free Royal Mail Tracked 48 UK shipping. You will have the option to upgrade your shipping method should you need a speedier service.
EXPRESS SHIPPING: ROYAL MAIL TRACKED 24 - UNITED KINGDOM
This is a tracked service so you can check your delivery is on the way. Your order should arrive within 1-2 working days from day of despatch. Deliveries are made on Saturdays. You will be sent an email or SMS message to confirm delivery. We charge a flat-rate of £5 for Tracked 24 orders, meaning you can order multiple items with no increase in shipping costs.
STANDARD SHIPPING: ROYAL MAIL TRACKED 48 - UNITED KINGDOM
This is a tracked service so you can check your delivery is on the way. Your order should arrive 2-3 working days from day of despatch. Deliveries are made on Saturdays. You will be sent an email or SMS message to confirm delivery. We charge a flat-rate of £4.00 for Tracked 48 orders, meaning you can order multiple items with no increase in shipping costs.
COLLECT AT THE CAFÉ (SUSPENDED DURING LOCKDOWN 2.0)
At check-out you will to have the option to collect your order from our cafés in either Oxford or Bath and avoid the shipping charge. We will notify you by email as soon as your order is ready to collect. Allow up to 3 days for Oxford collection orders and 7 days for Bath collection orders. Orders will be held for a maximum of 21 days before being returned to our warehouse.
- All delivery costs are present at the 'My Basket' screen once the shipping destination is chosen, before any money is taken.
- Please note working day delivery does not include Sunday, Bank Holidays, Public Holidays and substitute days (see the GOV UK website for clarification).
- If you request that the package is left in a safe place, this will only be done at the discretion of the delivery driver.
- Can't be home for delivery? Don't worry - Thirsty Meeples can ship to any UK address so you can have your order delivered to your place of work, to a friend, a relative or neighbour. Simply enter your preferred delivery address when checking out.