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Das Motorsportspiel» Forums » General

Subject: Any ideas for reducing the heavy luck factor? rss

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Eddy Bee
United States
Marin County
California
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I've always been a big fan of this game, but after playing it fairly regularly, most of the people in my group, including me, have cooled off on it because we came to realize that lucky die rolls are biggest factor that determines success in this game. Let me explain...

There are basically four factors that influence a player's outcome in the game:
1. The decision of how many dice to roll on your turn
2. Skill at flipping and arranging your dice to generate the best possible move
3. Skill at maneuvering your car within a given time limit
4. The actual die roll itself

#1 is basically a no-brainer. It's nearly always safe to roll 3 dice, except when approaching the "2" corners, and even then, the odds are still favorable if you choose to roll 3 dice. So for experienced players, this decision really becomes a non-decision, and the assessment can be made quickly and easily.

#2 is probably the most strategic element in the game, but once you've played a few times, you are able to calculate before your turn what your ideal dice arrangement would be, so when you roll, it's simply a matter of flipping the dice as necessary to conform to that arrangement. Every now and then you can get screwed by a really bad die roll, but for the most part, the option to flip the dice gives you plenty of flexibility in arranging your dice.

#3 is a huge factor when you're learning the game, but after a few plays, this almost becomes second nature. Ultimately, this element becomes less and less a factor when all players are reasonably experienced. Now that my group has played this game many times over, most of our races are run without any spinouts or collisions.

Yes, we can reduce the time allowed for a player's turn, but at some point the time limit becomes so constrained that it's rediculous. We generally play with a 30 second limit, but sometimes we limit it to 20 seconds.

So #4 becomes the biggest factor in the game when #1, #2, and #3 are basically equal among all players, which is what happens when everyone is reasonably experienced at the game. If everyone is proficient at maneuvering their car, and can flip/arrange the dice efficiently, the only variable remaining is the die roll itself - and this is unfortunate. I've seen many games where the difference between the leader and the other drivers was simply that the leader got better die rolls, or the other players got bad die rolls. It becomes a very unsatisfying experience.

No one in my group wants to play with a shorter time limit, but perhaps this is the best solution to our problem.

I'm wondering if anyone has any other ideas for reducing the overwhelming influence of luck in this game...?
 
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Brad Miller
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Play a different racing game?

I mean seriously, it's a game where the dice move your car. If you've gotten the flipping/timing issues to where they aren't creating any angst, you probably just need to find a different game.
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Paul Sauberer
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The enjoyment and tension of the game does come from the challenge of racing against the clock. Managing your dice rolls becomes far more difficult when you have only so much time to do it and luck ends up making a fairly small impact as just about every roll is useful. This time factor will change as proficiency in the game increases.

If you are having no such tension with the time limits you play with and refuse to lower them, then you are, in effect, playing the game without a time limit. This would make the game really stink.

Some play the game with times as low as 14-15 seconds, I believe, so that is indeed doable. If you are determined to keep it at 30 seconds, then you probably should give up on the game.

With a G8 timer, you can even handicap the game by giving different players different time amounts so you don't have to all take 30 seconds if you've got a newbie playing.
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Jeffrey Vaca
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I agree with the other responses - it's all about the time.

Just tell your fellow players to stop their whining and play with less time.

As for the lower times being ridiculous - that's the whole point! If you don't feel that it's too little time then you are playing with too much. As has been pointed out before - if you are comfy with the time then you are effectively playing without a timer, which then renders this a lame game.

And one more point...

...my group had found that, once all players reached a reasonable level of proficiency, the leader had a significant advantage. It became difficult to overtake him, sometimes even with slightly better rolls. We solved this problem by making the leader play with 5 seconds less on the clock then everyone else. By then we were playing with 20 seconds, so the leader always had only 15.
Problem solved.
Unless the leader got the perfect roll, it was often too little time for him to make a well-though-out move and errors started entering into play once again.

Lowering the time is how you re-live the thrill that you had in the early days of playing the game. The problem with this is the pride of the players. If they have become proficient at the game then they probably expect a certain level of play from themselves and are too proud to accept that they may once again be making errors in the game (as they no doubt did in the early days). Just remember that 30 seconds probably seemed like too little time when you first started playing, but you still liked the game enough to play it over and over again.

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Eddy Bee
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Great responses - thanks everyone.

You're absolutely right, it's the crushing pressure of a seemingly impossible time limit that makes this game shine. Just like poker is boring without money, Das M is a snoozefest without time pressure.

I will go whip my gamers into shape!

Thanks again,
-Eddy Bee

"Once a gamer, always a gamer!"
 
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Michael Becker
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In my opinion 15 - 20 seconds is right on the money...

Are you sure rolling three dice is a non issue for all but the two corners?? I am wondering if you may have interpreted the rules incorrectly - my copy was very unclear on how the corner rules worked.

Let's say you are heading into a "3" corner and are four spaces away from the first corner square.

Let's say you roll all three dice and get a 1 on the red (flips to 3) and a 4 on another (flips to 3) and a 3 on another die (flips to 4).

Wouldn't this automatically cause a spin out or flag?

Take care,
Michael
 
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Julie DuBois
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Another thing you might do to make it exciting again is make your own tracks with more corners, so players aren't memorizing the best moves. (Maybe even add short, one lane sections where you can't pass - although this may just increase the luck element - it might give you more to think/worry about in your 20 second turn.)

The adrenaline rush is the best part of this game, hope you can get it back.

Julie
 
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Julie DuBois
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Michael,

The way our group plays, no single die (that you're currently moving on) can exceed the speed limit within the limited area. So, in your example, your roll results (with flips) in 3,3, and 4. If you've got four open spaces before the limited area begins, then you could arrange your dice 4,3,3, without causing a spinout. If you've only got three open spaces before the limited area begins, then moving on the 4 die would put you into the speed limit area moving too fast, so the remaining dice the two 3's would be used to calculate the penalty. In this last case the die order may matter a lot, because if you had arranged them 3,3,4, then only the 4 pip die would be causing the penalty, so you might get away with a smaller penalty. (I don't remember how penaltys are calculated, is it pips or die, and where the cut-offs are between different types of penalties/spin-outs/etc.)

Additionally, if I remember correctly, you can accelerate out of a turn? Meaning if you're in the last space of a speed zone at the end of one die's movement, then you can exceed the limit restriction on the next die's movement - as you are in essence moving back into the regular spaces of the board. However, I'm not certain of this, so could someone confirm or deny all of the above examples.

HTH,

Julie
 
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Michael Becker
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The English translation of the rules I downloaded off the geek or elsewhere unfortunately does not match the examples in my German ruleset... so I have been possibly playing my own game??? lol

We play so that every dice pip remaining which exceeds the corner speed limit would cause a driver error... therefore no matter how you arranged the dice you would have 4 points of speed in the "3" speed limit corner and this would give you the appropriate colored flag for exceeding the speed (in this case by one pip). Maybe this is not a good interpretation of the rules though? But, in our games with 15 seconds on the clock it leads to a fair amount of spin outs.
 
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