Friday, 26 July 2013

Racing tiny plastic cars!

So Wednesday night board games night at the Missing Geek brought a new game to the table for me, Formula D. Now I have had an on/off love affair with Formula 1 racing so went into this one with some trepidation. I have heard really good reviews from some of the podcasts I've listened to but could it live up to the hype?

Only one image I'm afraid as I was so engrossed in the game! But look at the size of the board, so big it comes in two parts.
So first up a quick overview. Each player has a number of cars, we had one each but two gives you the F1 team experience, and you are looking to be first across the finish line (who would have thought it from a racing car game). You have a set of resources which are themed to the different parts of the car such as tyres, brakes, gearbox, engine, suspension and body, should any of these run out you are out of the race. If you can make around the track you can stop in the pits to repair parts of your car. To determine your speed you need to manage your gears and each gear gives you a range of spaces you can roll to move, for example first gear is a D3 with one 1 and two 2s, second is a D6 with two 2s, two 3s & two 4s. this gies all the way up to 6th gear (the massive blue die!) which gives a movement between 21-30 spaces. The other main mechanic is the corner spaces as they require a minimum number of stops or you will tear through your tyres and be out of the race.

Things I liked:
- The dice mechanic for the gears is brilliant as, if you can avoid the analysis paralysis, it gives you some push your luck but also some exceptionally clever planning that can be done to shaft other players by forcing them to go a shorter or longer route than they planned.
- The variety in tracks would keep the game pretty fresh and the option of a street racing 'extreme' version mens you can play a less serious version with some more roleplaying.
- It seems like a game that works well at 2 or 10 players (yep a ten player game!) as once you are accustomed to the rules your turns are pretty quick.

Things that made me go hmm:
- It's a bit of a steep learning curve and it's easy to be out pretty quick if you under estimate some of the trickier corners.
- As with so many games you need to leave your analysis paralysis at the door as you can easily kill the momentum of the game.
- A three lap game can take a while, though you can of course play less laps to reduce the time.

3.5/5 Daves

I also managed to get in some games of Hey that's my Fish, Quarriors and Cutthroat Caverns (I really love that game and don't get it to the table nearly enough).

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