Racing Next Friday-Preview
- I just wanted to toss this out to the Wargamers as there might be some interested in joining us next Friday. I host a racing group once a month on the first Friday of the month. If this is something you might be interested in or have the evening free you are welcome to join us. We have a blast and the main event will be new to all participants.Hey Folks-
Almost that time of the month when friends gather for some racing excitement and good times. Real Action should be a game that could be played in about a hour or so depending on the # of laps.I'm not going to use the additional realism package for the first session as it could add a lot of downtime teaching it. I included some possible other games we could play afterwards, but this will stay open as you can look through the photo section and bring any other ideas to play. I think you will get a kick out of the mechanics for Techno Witches as it is a pretty unique and interesting game. Formula Motor Racing is a card based game I have been wanting to get to the table for a long time and haven't gotten around to it and one I think everybody will enjoy.
Hope everybody can make it and I will place a poll up for starting positions for the main event. The ones in front may have a slight advantage because the ones in back always need to make a challenge to the driver they are trying to pass. Check you entry into the poll and make changes as there can be only one drive per slot. I always take the fourth position so don't enter into that slot.
Real Action Stockcar Championship
Photo Showing My 1:144th Scale Nascars
RASC is a fast paced, exciting simulation of stock car racing. Our dynamic RASC board game comes with 2 different race tracks demanding different racing strategies. Up to 20 drivers experience the thrills of being in the driver's seat of a stock car with the excitement of true racing. All drivers make their own pit and race strategies to win the race and eventually the RA Cup for winning the RASC championship.
Each turn of the race follows the same pattern, with four phases. The first phase is track movement. Starting with the car in the lead, each player rolls two to four special six-sided dice. (Sides are “Min” x2, “Max”, “+1”, “+2”, and “TI”). Players then move their car the number of spaces corresponding to the best number showing on the dice:
- Min = Minimum speed (10 or 15)
- +1 = (11 or 16)
- +2 = (12 or 17)
- Max = Maximum speed (12 or 18)
Rolls of “TI” mean nothing, unless a player rolls a pair of them. At this point, the player rolls a pair of two regular six-sided dice and compares them to a chart on the board. Extremes on this chart range from the player’s car crashing to the car losing a couple spaces from their movement. In this way, the player can decide to roll more dice, hoping to roll a “Max”; but they take the chance of rolling more “TI”’s.
If a player starts their move on a “-1” or “-2” spot, they subtract that much from their total movement. Players are not forced to move their entire roll. Players can also not initially pass cars in front of them. Instead, they must stop in a lane next to the car they are attempting to pass and wait for the next phase, which is the “Challenging” phase. In this phase, each set of challenging cars (there can be three per spot) roll off to see who wins the lead in that spot. Each player rolls a ten-sided dice and subtracts the numbers, if any, on the space their car is located. If any player rolls an unmodified “0”, an incident immediately occurs, with two-six sided dice rolled and the chart consulted. The player who rolls the highest moves their car slightly forward to show that they move first next round, etc.
The next phase is drafting. If a player’s car is directly behind another car and is in one of the “drafting zones” on the board, both cars move forward one space; as long as BOTH cars are in the drafting zone. Only cars, which have either won a challenge or not participated in one, may draft. If a car is immediately behind another car at the beginning of a track movement, they will be allowed to add one space to their track roll only if the car behind lands within a drafting zone after moving.
Cars have a certain amount of fuel, which lasts only a certain amount of laps, as evidenced by each track. Cars can be passed in the pit zone without any challenging occurring. The race continues until the first ten cars finish. The first car to pass the finish line is the winner OR points are scored for the place each car ends up in, with bonus points awarded for each lap that a car led the race.
Possible Games We Could Also Play:You can always suggest a game, but I think you will get a kick out of Techno Witches as it is a very good racing mechanism.
1. Components (Rio Grande Version)
As typical with most Euros the components are very nice. Included are Four Witches riding the latest and greatest in brooms, there is an extra Witch riding an old school broom as well. There are four spell books which hold your Curves. Eight circular castles that provide obstacles to be avoided, four circular huts to be used as starting positions. Five flight tails, which mark the start of your flight. Lastly there are twenty curves, these are used to move your witch. The curves range in size and angle, from almost straight to almost 90 degrees. Almost forgot the Cat! The cat is a goal in a couple of the scenarios. The pieces are all sturdy, and language independent.
The Rules are well laid out, with scenarios interspersed. To play the basic game only one and a half pages need to be read. The full rulebook is 4 pages, of which 2 1/2 pages are the three advanced scenarios, only one new rule is introduced, backwards flight.
So how do you play?
It's fairly basic, on your turn you can do one of two things, Take a curve, or fly. Taking a curve is grabbing a curve from the available pile and placing it against your spell book. The direction of the curve MATTERS! So make sure you place it correctly. A spell book can only hold five curves, so if you have five, you must fly.
Flying is also fairly simple. Each broom has a tail marker at the end of it, and when a player flies, they remove the broom marker, and place their curves in order adjacent to their tail marker. So curve one is placed against the tail, then curve two is placed against curve one etc... Once all the curves are placed, place your broom at the end of the flight path, remove the curves, and place your tail at the back of your broom.
Ok, so what if you hit a broom or another obstacle (the castles) Well in that case you don't fly that curve, and toss all of your curves. Note that there is an error in the rule book. It states you keep your curves if your first curve is illegal...this should be MAY keep. You might do this if it is a witch in your way who is likely to move, if it is a castle...you might want to toss those curves.
This game is a lot of fun, the turns are fast, and furious, and it's amazingly difficult to judge where your broom is going to end up. The basic scenario is to touch the cat on the other side of the eight castles, and the first game we played ended up with only two players making it close, the others were stuck far behind. I'd recommend for new players to fly after one or two curves, even though this isn't efficient. But it'll save you lots of wasted turns due to a bad flight. The game reminds me somewhat of Roborally with the programmed movement, but it moves much faster. It's not going to kill your brain, but there is some thought involved, and a bit of risk...do I go for another curve, and risk one of my opponents flying in my way, or grazing that castle? This is well worth playing and I'm hoping it'll hit the table quite a bit this Christmas. It is also simple enough for my son to be involved, though he has a tendency to smack into castles.
The advanced scenarios are even more difficult, involving backwards movement, and even catching the TechnoPhobe ( the witch with the old broomstick) who moves whenever any other witch moves!
Game Type - Card Game
Play Time : 10-40 minutes
Number of Players: 3-6
Mechanics - NA
Difficulty - Pick-up & Play (Learn in 10 minutes)
Components - Good to Very Good
The Cars - These are the centerpiece of the game. Each player receives 2 cars in a single colour, which represents their team. They are made from a hard plastic and include all of the key features that you would expect - wheels, driver in cockpit and rear wing. As much as my Aussie male heritage frowns on this sort of thing, I am given no option but to declare that they are.....cute.
The Cards - The most important components though are the cards as they drive (he he ) the play. Whilst I prefer matte finish cards, the glossy cards provided are pretty good. They are identical in quality to those used in Battleline. The artwork is not mind blowing but it is certainly functional.
Six Pit Crew cards are also provided to outline which player is which colour.
Track Board - The new release of the game comes with a thin 1-flip cardboard board. This depicts the track and has room for all 12 cars in the race. It is used to help keep track of each car's position as the race develops. Parallel to the race track is a Crash Lane. This is likewise used to keep track of the order in which cars crash out of the race.
This board was not included with the game when it was originally released, with players simply placing their cars on the playing surface in order. So this inclusion is not necessary to the enjoyment of the game but it is a nice inclusion.
Dice - A single D12 (12-sided dice) is provided and used to resolve various card effects (but not all).
Score Sheets - A set of double sided score sheets are also provided to help keep track of each team's results between races. These are handy I guess but not really necessary. I haven't used mine and find a pad and pen just as easy to use. If I was down to 1 left, I wouldn't even go to the trouble of photocopying it.
Rules - The rules are well written and help clarify a couple of the cards that are more involved (feature text). They also include a summary regarding how many of each card exists. This can be important in a game of this nature.
Each player must choose which coloured team they will play and take their 2 cars. All Pit Crew cards are then randomly shuffled and drawn one at a time. This helps determine each player's starting positions for the first race.
The first card drawn will see the player holding the cars of that colour, place their cars in position 1 and position 12. In this way each player will have a relative front runner and a car that has some work to do.
It's also important to note that all 12 cars are used in every game. So if less than 6 players are playing, the other team cars (colours) not chosen will serve as neutral racers that still compete with the human players. These cars can still earn points in each race (see below) and they can add a nice dynamic to the game as player's try to use them to their advantage or their opponents disadvantage (taking up valuable places in the point positions).
Once the cars are in their starting positions, each player is given their Pit Crew card and this is left face-up. This helps remind each player of who is who during the game.
Each player is dealt a hand of 5 cards from the deck. Play is ready to begin.
The game also allows for the players to decide how many races they will play to determine the winner. I like 3 personally as it can play in a reasonable length of time (30-40 minutes) and allows for the strategy of the game to play out.
The Aim - of the game is to maneuver your cars into the top 6 positions of the track before a race is over. Each of the top 6 finishing positions will award a series of points (10, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1) and of course nothing is earned for finishing in positions 7-12.
Play a Card - Starting with the start player (player in Position 1 on the grid) a player must select and play 1 card from their hand. The effect of the card is then resolved according to the rules of the game (see below for a brief overview of the card options). Every card effect is designed to influence the position of the cars in the race. When cars move up or back, the positions of the cars on the Track Board must be moved to represent the changes.
In this way the positions of all cars in the race are constantly changing until a race comes to an end.
Draw a card - Once the played card has been resolved, the active player ends their turn by drawing a card from the draw deck to return their hand to a total of 5 and the next player in clockwise order takes their turn. Most turns can really be resolved in under 10 seconds.
Ending a Race - The game continues in this fashion until the last card is drawn from the Draw Deck, thereby exhausting it. Each player then gets 1 more turn before the race is declared over. Each player is awarded points based on their finishing positions and these are added to their team's total on the leaderboard.
Whilst the game is variable in length I recommended that the game be played over 3 races. Without this the game really degenerates into a case of finish first to win (unless someone manages to grab 2nd and 3rd and your second car didn't do well), which diminishes the game considerably. Playing 3 races can also be resolved in around 30-40 minutes, so the play length is acceptable.
By playing 3 races, it allows players to target the person in 1st place on the leaderboard with nasty cards. The jockeying for position is far more intense and in my experience the game simply 'works' better with a 3 race system.
If playing more than 1 race, the finishing positions of the last race determine the starting positions on the grid for the next race. Any cars that were taken out of the race, begin the next race in reverse order. In other words, if your car was out 1st, it starts in last place.
The rules even suggest that a Formula One Season could be played over time by recording the results of each race and the finishing positions (to help determine the starting positions next time). I haven't tried this but I feel it would be pushing the 'filler' game concept a little far for my tastes. I prefer Formula De for something like a season long game.
Brief Card Analysis
Formula Motor Racing is a 'Take That' or 'Screw You' filler game. I find that with these types of games it is important to know what the options are in order to judge if it will be for you.
That means we need to take a brief look at the cards as they run the show. The numbers in brackets denote how many of each card type there are.
Overtake Cards (24) - These are the most common cards in the deck. There are 4 of each colour and they allow cars to move up positions in the race. The first thing to look at is the colour of the card. A Yellow Overtake Card, for example, allows the player to select 1 of the Yellow Cars in the race. The number on the card then allows that car to move up that many spaces (the 4 cards on offer in each colour are +2, +3, +3 and +4).
The beauty of these cards though is that they also allow the car directly behind them to go along for the ride, which supposedly simulates slipstream.
So Overtake Cards result in a secondary consideration. Playing one of your own Overtake Cards will allow you to advance, but someone will get a free ride. Playing an Overtake Card that features another team colour will advance one of their cars but could take you along for the ride if you are directly behind them.
Overtake Cards really do constitute the majority of the strategy in Formula Motor Racing. If playing the 3 race option, it allows the relative point scores to become a consideration for making moves as well.
For example - "Oh blue is coming last on points, I'll happily advance their car +3, putting them in 1st place, and I'll take my car along using slipstream for 2nd."
Pit Stop (6) - There are 1 of these cards in each colour. The colour of the card played denotes the target team (either car can be selected) and a dice roll must be made. A roll of 1-6 sees the selected car move back that many spaces. A result of 7-12 has no effect.
The remaining cards are grey in colour and have the following effects.
Pit Stop (2) - These are identical to the coloured Pit Stop Cards above but they allow the active player to choose which team (color) and which car they wish to target.
Lose Control (3) - Moves any car of choice back 3 spaces.
Off Circuit (3) - Moves any car of choice back 2 spaces.
Wrong Line (3) - Moves any car of choice back 1 space.
Charge (6) - There are 2 types of Charge Cards –
Charge (Engine Blows) (3) - These cards allow a player to choose any car and make a dice roll. On a roll of 1-9 the car advances 1 position on the track. They can then choose to roll again if they wish. However, if on any roll they get a 10-12, the selected car is 'Out of the Race'!
This makes the use of this card rather interesting. It can be used to try and advance one of your own cars at the risk of being put out of action, or it can be used to target an opponent's car. Of course the risk here is that you roll poorly and only serve to advance them into scoring positions.
Charge (Lose Gears) (3) - This works in the same way as Charge (Engine Blows) except the penalty for a 10-12 roll is to send the selected car to the back of the pack (last place).
Spin Out/Last (2) - This card results in the dice being rolled. The number rolled will result in the car in that position on the track 'Spinning' out of control. If Spin Out was played, the car is put out of the race. If Spin Last was played, the car is moved back into last place.
The player rolling the dice is allowed 1 re-roll in case they rolled one of their own cars or really needed to put a particular team/car out of the race. However the 2nd roll must be taken, even if this ends in disaster.
Tailender Turbo (3) - This card allows a player to advance a car 3 positions on the Track Board. However the car chosen must be in the last 3 positions and it does not allow another car to gain from slipstream. This is a great card to help get one of your own cars moving through the field.
Crash (1) - Usually when a card game offers 1 of a given card, it is seriously powerful. There is no exception here. Crash allows the player to roll the dice. The car in that position is automatically out of the race and the rolling player can also take out the car that was in front or behind the car rolled. No re-rolls here just really nasty stuff.
The Final Word
Formula Motor Racing is a fast paced 'Take That' game, packed into a filler format. It is pleasant to look at and the variable (player choice) time frame allows it to suit the desires of those that play. This means it should never really outstay its welcome.
Whilst there is a fair degree of luck on offer (card draws and dice rolls), there is enough control available to players to make it worth the journey.
The fun factor is really high though because the game allows for vendetta's to form and revenge plays to occur. It really is a sweet feeling to take an opponent's lead car out of the final race, in retaliation for that nasty move they made on you in Race 1. It’s even sweeter when your actions hurt them in the quest for vital points on the scoreboard.
I really do recommend playing 3 Race Games. They allow for tension to build and important decisions to be made that will effect each player's position on the leaderboard.
Whilst Formula Motor Racing will see player’s lose a car from a race, it is rarely the case that a player has both their cars removed. There just isn’t any real incentive to do so and people will tend to target threats, which means players with 2 cars.
I also like how the neutral cars can be used by the players to further their own ends. This can make for some interesting decisions.
All in all Formula Motor Racing is a lot of fun in a small box.
I wouldn't mind playing Powerboats either.
START YOUR ENGINES