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Grand Prix» Forums » General

Subject: any comparisons between Grand Prix and Thunder Alley? rss

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Joshua Christensen
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So I haven't played Grand Prix yet (hopefully later today) but I just finished reading the rules. At first when reading the rules I thought to myself "why would I ever play Thunder Alley now?" upon completing the rules I thought to myself "Maybe I'll just play Thunder Alley instead"

The rules in Grand Prix (GP) are so similar to Thunder Alley (TA) but GP seems to have added/changed a few things that just seem to add clutter and don't add to the enjoyment of the game. I'll start off with what had me excited about GP at first:

NPC cars. These sounded great. Seems like I'll be able to have way more control over which of my cars I want to use my cards on. No longer will a car of mine be forced to take a permanent damage. It also sounds like it will add some interesting decisions and strategies being able to use the NPC cards to further your own cars and being able to activate other NPCs your opponent/s wanted to use before they get a chance to. Sounds like it will add a lot to the game.

I like the sound of the duration cost giving different values to different types of wear is interesting. Gives different value to the cards that give the various type of damage. Makes for more choices with out adding any more rules then TA.

Things I'm neutral on:

The close call markers sounds kind of meh. I'm worried they'll make the game more about staying with the pack because the event cards that target the car with most close call markers are brutal. But maybe this system will be better then the random system of TA for the targeting of these kinds of effects. So this one could end up being a positive.

Conditional Linking. Will have to play to see how I feel about this one.

There are a lot of different flags on the event cards for not much reason. The cards tell you what they do any way. Just feels weird to have 7 different flag types.

Event card text in GP is smaller.

Things I don't like:

No points for being the turn leader. I enjoyed fighting to get a car in the lead as much as possible to get the bonus points. Now it's not a thing int GP.

Only points for the first best 10 positions. Now I got to check how many cars are on the track when I car blows out. This one is pretty minor but it did feel less bad for people to get some points when their car blew up then to get no points. And as I said above it was easier to keep track.

Tire changes. There are only 5 cards that interact with your tires. It seems like you should just take the gamble and always use soft tires to start to get that little bit of extra speed. It doesn't seem like it adds enough to the game to bother with the extra rules and overhead.

My biggest complaint is the safety zone rules. I got a full page of rules to tell me that sometimes the track will shrink down to a single lane for reasons. This one just bothers me a lot. Doesn't seem like it will add much to the game but is extra stuff that needs to be memorized and explained when playing the game.

I think those are all the rules differences. It doesn't seem as bad as I thought after reading the rules now that I've laid them all out. But, the games are still so similar that I can't see keeping/playing both GP and TA. It is partly my fault for not reading the rules of the game before hand but I was just pumped up about this one because I am a big fan of Jeff Horger's other GMT released games.

For those of you that have played both do you mind doing a comparison of the games? Do you plan on keeping and playing both games in the future or will you just keep your favorite of the two? I suppose you could use the tracks from one in the other but how much does this change about the games.

Any thoughts on any of the above please post here.
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Brian S.
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The things you don't like are from the real F1. I can see why it might not appeal to gamers, but it is thematic and true to F1.
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Murr Rockstroh
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So far all the things you stated as "Don't Like" would be in my "Like" column because I am a fan of Formula I and not so much NASCAR. Having said that I really have enjoyed playing Thunder Alley and will likely be keeping both.
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Stig Morten
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Have played both and also helped playtest/proof Grand Prix. I'll just comment on the neutral and negatives.

ClanNatioy wrote:

Things I'm neutral on:

The close call markers sounds kind of meh. I'm worried they'll make the game more about staying with the pack because the event cards that target the car with most close call markers are brutal. But maybe this system will be better then the random system of TA for the targeting of these kinds of effects. So this one could end up being a positive.

The thing here is that alot of times you need to laterally displace cars you will use the NPC as they don't accumulate wear. For those instances where you use your player car, the Close Call markers are a risk, as close calls are in F1. You might end up being fine, but could be stung pretty bad by them.

ClanNatioy wrote:
Conditional Linking. Will have to play to see how I feel about this one.

I like this one and it makes it possible for you to really manouvre in the field. Kinda like using draft to pass cars.

ClanNatioy wrote:
There are a lot of different flags on the event cards for not much reason. The cards tell you what they do any way. Just feels weird to have 7 different flag types.

Thematically correct and adds some unpredictablility to the game. Restarts will undo a lot of your work, and more than in Thunder Alley, as they are fewer and more rare.

ClanNatioy wrote:


Things I don't like:

No points for being the turn leader. I enjoyed fighting to get a car in the lead as much as possible to get the bonus points. Now it's not a thing int GP.

being turn leader allows you to be the 1st player on the next turn. This is a big and significant bonus when Neutral NPC's are in the field. THe ability to use those first is enough to fight for first position.

ClanNatioy wrote:
Only points for the first best 10 positions. Now I got to check how many cars are on the track when I car blows out. This one is pretty minor but it did feel less bad for people to get some points when their car blew up then to get no points. And as I said above it was easier to keep track.

This also makes it important for you to use those NPC non-scoring cars to hinder your opponent in getting a high finish. You get that bit of motivation to fight for positions with you NPC car. But it is also thematically correct as F1, but as you say, no points for the back end of the field.

ClanNatioy wrote:
Tire changes. There are only 5 cards that interact with your tires. It seems like you should just take the gamble and always use soft tires to start to get that little bit of extra speed. It doesn't seem like it adds enough to the game to bother with the extra rules and overhead.

This can be a gamble and can hurt you alot if the weather change cards do come up. And that little soft tire bonus can be equally good at the end of the race or at the end of a turn to get that elusive 1st Player marker. Just a nice little tool.

ClanNatioy wrote:
My biggest complaint is the safety zone rules. I got a full page of rules to tell me that sometimes the track will shrink down to a single lane for reasons. This one just bothers me a lot. Doesn't seem like it will add much to the game but is extra stuff that needs to be memorized and explained when playing the game.

These will take some getting used to, but it will shake up the field abit and will be an obstacle for those times when you get a great card, but have to go through a safety zone. The rules as they are now is a lot less cluttered than the first set of rules.

ClanNatioy wrote:
I think those are all the rules differences. It doesn't seem as bad as I thought after reading the rules now that I've laid them all out. But, the games are still so similar that I can't see keeping/playing both GP and TA. It is partly my fault for not reading the rules of the game before hand but I was just pumped up about this one because I am a big fan of Jeff Horger's other GMT released games.

For those of you that have played both do you mind doing a comparison of the games? Do you plan on keeping and playing both games in the future or will you just keep your favorite of the two? I suppose you could use the tracks from one in the other but how much does this change about the games.

Any thoughts on any of the above please post here.


I hope that addressed some of your concerns.
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Jeff Horger
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I think that Carla & I did a pretty good job of not just re-releasing Thunder Alley in Grand Prix skin. We spent last week at a local convention and played numerous games of both Thunder Alley and Grand Prix. I feel that we were pretty vindicated in our choices.

Some players love Grand Prix and it will replace Thunder Alley for them. Others played Grand Prix and decided that Thunder Alley was their cup of tea. A third group seemed to enjoy both games and of course there are some that enjoyed neither of them.

Thunder Alley is going nowhere. We have our first expansion coming out to the market this fall and a second one on the way. In addition expansions will be added to the Grand Prix line as well. We do not look at them as the same game but two different games that share the same heritage and basic movement concepts in addition to being able to share tracks.

We wanted to be as true to F1 as we were to NASCAR (which means that both core fan bases will find things to nit-pick over... and they are correct in their criticisms). The items that seem odd to NASCAR fans hopefully seem sensible to F1 fans, who I am sure were annoyed at some of the Thunder Alley rules.


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John R
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Jeff Horger, expansions would be great. I have a suggestion:

I would like to suggest you look at bringing a MotoGP expansion to GP. There are no good MotoGP games out there in my opinion and I think the GP game engine would work very nicely for MotoGP minus the pit stops of course.

For now I am working my way through GP right now, struggling with some things but really liking what I see.

Thanks.
John
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Jeff Horger
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Huron725 wrote:
Jeff Horger, expansions would be great. I have a suggestion:

I would like to suggest you look at bringing a MotoGP expansion to GP. There are no good MotoGP games out there in my opinion and I think the GP game engine would work very nicely for MotoGP minus the pit stops of course.

For now I am working my way through GP right now, struggling with some things but really liking what I see.

Thanks.
John


John. I have never been a big Moto GP follower and feel that I would need extensive research and watching time to undertake such a game. I would feel more comfortable if someone that truly loves that sport adapted it. But who knows, maybe at some point I will get the time to learn the sport and decide to do a game on it.
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John R
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Thanks for the quick reply Jeff.

Well there is not a lot of difference between motorcycle grand prix and formula 1. The only real difference is pitting, there is none in MotoGP. I guess there is pitting in MotoGP but if you do your done racing. Generally pitting ruins your day.

I would think if a gamer could come up with a way to accumulate wear but not incorporate the pitting rules would be the quick fix. But what value (number of markers, or quantity of points...maybe a combination of the two...) would you use for a limit?.

I am a gamer who tweaks rules to my enjoyment. Let me see what I can come up with. If there are any other MotoGP fans out there please add your 2 cents.
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Sean Tompkins
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Huron725 wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply Jeff.

Well there is not a lot of difference between motorcycle grand prix and formula 1. The only real difference is pitting, there is none in MotoGP. I guess there is pitting in MotoGP but if you do your done racing. Generally pitting ruins your day.

I would think if a gamer could come up with a way to accumulate wear but not incorporate the pitting rules would be the quick fix. But what value (number of markers, or quantity of points...maybe a combination of the two...) would you use for a limit?.

I am a gamer who tweaks rules to my enjoyment. Let me see what I can come up with. If there are any other MotoGP fans out there please add your 2 cents.


If you come up with something, it would make a great user-variant - we could use the same tracks and wear components...
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John R
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Sean, What do you feel about pitting in MotoGP? I was thinking that you could use all the wear rules but you could only change out tires in a pit stop. The pit stop would have to be a huge penalty something like 2 or 3 times the normal duration, maybe more.

So say if you accumulated 6 tokens of other than tires your day is over. I don't think that would work, maybe multiply by 2, give each rider 12 tokens???

I need someone that has artistic skill to create an overhead bike and rider for a counter. I guess you could use miniatures but those are hard to find.

I have played multiple games of Grand Prix now and am turning into a huge fan. This is a fantastic game. As a MotoGP fan I think this would be even better with motorcycles!
 
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